I've spent the last few days in France by the seaside, sipping (ok, glugging) Provençal rosé, frolicking in the sea and generally having a lovely time. I came back to a slightly greyer London, dejected and tired so I was completely delighted when I arrived at C Food, a new pop-up in Camberwell. Just off the Peckham Road, the courtyard this weekly pop-up is housed in took me right back to the holiday spirit I'd just left behind. When we arrived, musicians were strumming guitars gently, and twinkling fairy lights festooned the space.
Brightly coloured tables and benches are set out for groups to dine at, sharing family style. Held every Sunday until 27th September, for £25 set price for food, the menu kicks off with bundles of peppery radishes and nutty, seeded bread.
Oysters, freshly shucked come at two per person, a fine example, briny with a splash of lemon. We slurped on a blush rosé, £18 per bottle, easing me back from my French binge.
New potatoes, boiled and buttered, scattered with parsley are handed down the table and soft floppy green leaves are dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette. Platters of seafood (for four to share) are served on ice; a dressed crab, rich with brown meat, was eagerly piled on top of the bread and dolloped with dill or plain homemade mayonnaise. Plump prawns are mess-makers, the bowl beneath catching the discarded shells. I've not often had cold mussels but these were sweet and firm, less wobbly than a hot preparation. Smoked salmon is generous (I would have liked some capers, but I do love the things) and a ramekin of smoked mackerel paté benefitted from a squeeze of lemon. As darkness fell, one bottle turned into two and the doom of the impending Monday melted away.
Dessert is simply strawberries drizzled with cream and dotted with mint leaves, a nod to this month's Wimbledon and a refreshing and light end to the meal.
Safe to say I really enjoyed C Food - it was the perfect antidote to the holiday blues. By the end of the meal we were chatting to our neighbours long after the evening had settled in. I could barely believe we were in the hustle and bustle of Camberwell, and it was quite the shock turning back onto the main road. You can buy tickets here.
(I was invited to C Food but all opinions are my own. Obviously.)
If you prefer your mussels hot over cold, I have a cracking recipe for Mussels in Lemongrass Broth in Chinatown Kitchen - you can buy it here.