Tuesday, 26 July 2011


If you have booked at The Bonnie and Wild, the part-time restaurant in Chapel Market in Islington, you will receive an e-mail of instructions the day before. It will tell you, amongst other things, that it only takes cash, you have 2 hours to eat your meal and 'please do not be offended if we hurry you to finish you meal', oh, and 'the venue is 100 years old so please be careful of the fixtures and fittings'.  Are they expecting a large representation from the criminal classes? Perhaps as Bonnie and Wild originate in Scotland they envisage the average Londoner will be linked to a shady underworld with historical links to the Krays - and, of course these hoodlums will be well up for a bit of chipped off Victoriana. 
They'll be easing off a bit of tiling maybe or even when no one is looking unscrewing the lampshades to sell down their local hostelry. Well at least they won't have any problems paying with cash ... those types always have a monkey or two in their trouser pocket, don't they?
So what's the story, guv?  (see what I did there?) The B&W is a part-time restaurant (as opposed to a pop-up), setting up each Saturday evening in Manze's eel, pie and mash shop in Chapel Market.  Manze's is an unreconstructed gem, all glistening tiles, marble slabs as table tops and delicate glass lamps.
Bonnie Gull, sustainable fish suppliers, have got together with the Wild Game Company for this new venture, offering a simple menu to display their wares. The smoked mackerel and venison are both excellent, well cooked and with nothing to distract from the star quality of central ingredients.
The staff are nice if a little nervy (it's only opened recently) and the clientele is a mix of Islington Boho and a more mature, well-heeled type (who else can afford the house prices around here?). It's pretty reasonable though - £30 for 3 courses and you can drink a nice wine with it as it's BYO (or in our case a nasty supermarket wine bought without due care and consideration by T).  Word is out, on the street and all over the blogosphere - the Krays would have loved it. 

Now Bonnie Gull have set up on their own with a pop-up on a roof next to the Shard: Bonnie-on-Sky
Find them in Magdalen House, Tooley Street until July 21st, and then in the Autumn in a more permanent home.


  1. What a beautiful interior. I love the tiles. The food looks good too!

  2. I found you at my friend's lizzieatslondon. What a beautiful place! Lovely blog. I'm following you from Rome!