Sunday, 16 July 2017

Salt & Pickle

I first met Interior Designer, Ian Haigh, four or five years ago. He'd recently moved to Crystal Palace, and had stumbled across this blog. It so happened he was looking for an Interior Photographer to shoot his latest projects, and happily he's been a great client and firm friend ever since. Quite possibly he spotted my very first post on the opening of Good Taste back in 2011, but anyhow, he quickly became a big fan of Manish and his wonderful cheese shop. One day Ian said to him that what the shop needed was a few tables and chairs, and so an idea was formed. Meanwhile, owing to the success of Manish's shop, he commissioned Ian to design an upgrade with new counter and shelving. A glance at the old blog post shows how different it used to look.
Salt & Pickle came about as a natural progression from the shop. It was to be somewhere that showcased the best cheeses, charcuterie, wine and beer, in simple surroundings, but with the addition of a chef to create exciting dishes around a theme of cured and pickled foods. Naturally all did not go smoothly in the long process of finding a site. Several sites were looked at, and a previous attempt to secure the lease on what had been Betty's Bakery, fell through. It finally all came together earlier this year, with Ian on board as a partner in the business. The budget was tiny, so Ian's concept, was one of minimal intervention, which would echo the ethos of the food. The suspended ceiling grid was dismantled, walls for kitchen and toilet were erected, and bar constructed. These main building elements were carried out by local firm, Living Funky, but thereafter it was down to the partners to roll up their sleeves and wield the hammers and paint brushes. Simple painted panels created a backdrop to the space, while through his industry contacts, Ian was able to procure lighting and furniture at cost. The one big ticket item which swallowed up a chunk of the budget, is the lovely copper counter top.
On the food front, talented young chef, and bass player, Henry Freestone was appointed. Having previously worked at the Westow among other places, he's creative and energetic, and works pickling wonders in the kitchen. And in addition to enjoying a meal inside No.67 Westow Hill, you can also take-away, including some pretty amazing sandwiches at lunch time. With regard to suppliers, many of the beers are familiar local names, but  according to Manish, the most important criterion for selecting suppliers, apart from taste of course, is that they are pleasant people to deal with.
With Manish at the helm, it was always going to be an entertaining, and memorable venue, and assisting him , he has a great friendly team, some of whom previously gained experience in the shop. But finally, he would like to introduce you to his newest member of staff, Coravin!  Coravin is actually a clever device which allows you to extract wine from a bottle without taking the cork out, thereby allowing expensive wines to be sold by the glass without spoiling the remainder of the bottle. Santé!

Chef, Henry Freestone, Manish Utton-Mishra, Designer, Ian Haigh


67 Westow Hill
020 8761 9739
Instagram/Twitter @saltandpickle

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