REVIEW: Farmstand – sustainable, wholesome food in Covent Garden



Places to eat and drink in Covent Garden, London’s beloved Theatreland, have never exactly been thin on the ground – with long-standing titans of the restaurant world gracing its hallowed streets alongside a veritable cornucopia of eateries, wine bars and pubs packed to the rafters, the only difficulty when it comes to pre- and post-theatre dining or having a drink after work is choosing where to go.

That said, simple, wholesome, sustainable food at reasonable prices is not quite so common-place. Step up Farmstand, a relatively new kid on the block situated on the corner of Drury Lane and Shaftesbury Avenue which looks to be just what is needed to fill that void.

We arrived for dinner just before 8pm and were immediately greeted by charmingly helpful staff who explained how everything works – it’s a simple ‘build your own box’ situation with a choice of either one main and two sides, or three side dishes without a main – either option will set you back a mere £7.50. There is also a selection of ready-to-go boxes for people eating on the run ranging from £4.99-£7.50.

Being in no hurry ourselves, we sat down and ordered a glass of house white and a lager (yes, they do alcohol! £5.95 and £4.50 respectively) before going up to the counter to fill our plates – in the interests of research we decided to try as much as we could manage, just for you, dear reader.

From the mains, I opted for the roasted aubergine with celery, tomatoes and olives; served cold, it was rich with Mediterranean flavours; and the harissa chicken: marinated for twelve hours it was succulent, perfectly spiced and my favourite part of the meal. My guest loved his lamb meatballs with smoked paprika and tomatoes but it was the slow-cooked beef brisket with mushrooms and tamari that really got his juices flowing and put a beatific expression on his face as he wolfed it down and went back for seconds.

They have a great selection of healthy and imaginative sides too – some of our favourites included the pickled cabbage with turmeric and black onion seeds, roasted sweet potato, ginger and coconut yoghurt and maize pasta with artichokes, mushrooms and marjoram.

Farmstand’s philosophy is all about sustainable, ethically sourced food – details of all their suppliers can be found on their website and they have an excellent track record. Minimum waste, maximum taste, if you will. If we lived or worked in Covent Garden we would definitely make this a regular stop-off – as it is, we are looking forward to popping in again next time we are in the area.

42 Drury Lane

Written by Saga Lynd