London catering firm to open restaurant & cafe

Alex Head (pictured), the founder of go-to London catering company Social Pantry, has announced the launch of a new restaurant and café, Soane’s Kitchen, which will open at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery in Ealing, London W5, this July.

Soane’s Kitchen will be located inside the original walled kitchen garden at Pitzhanger Manor, which was built in 1800-1804 by acclaimed British architect Sir John Soane as a country retreat to entertain his friends.

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust, Ealing Council and Social Pantry have worked together to reflect Soane’s love of entertaining, the new restaurant and cafe will be an inviting and informal space that will bring the outside in and make the most of the landscaped and historic setting of Walpole Park.

Pitzhanger Manor is currently undergoing extensive restoration supported by Ealing Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and the Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust, to restore this iconic London landmark to its former glory, and once opened – along with Soane’s Kitchen – will provide locals and visitors alike with a sanctuary to escape the city.

The all-day menu at Soane’s Kitchen will deliver light and comforting, seasonal dishes that reflect Social Pantry’s signature style. Highlights will include: Burrata with Broad Beans and Radish; Grilled Baby Carrots with Ricotta; and Bavette Steak with Carrot Top Pesto, Seabass and Confit Tomatoes. As much produce as possible will be grown on-site in the kitchen garden, meaning that seasonality and crop availability will also dictate the daily menu.

On Sundays, a bottomless brunch will provide the perfect opportunity for long, lazy get-togethers with friends and family, with signature dishes included Summer Pea on Toast with Feta and poached egg; and a Ginger Pig Fry Up, with all the usual trimmings.

The restaurant, designed by architects Jestico + Whiles, will comprise a 70-cover dining space with the flexibility to create a 30-cover private dining area. The space will incorporate natural woods to create a light and calming feel, accompanied by pinks, nudes and creams for a modern look.

Following on from the main dining room will be ‘The Larder’, a grab-and-go offering that will act as an extension of the main restaurant and allow visitors to take away pastries, sandwiches and coffees. Soane’s Kitchen will also provide an events space that will host regular talks, concerts, workshops and other events and activities.

Charitable activity has been a key part of Social Pantry’s business, with Alex outwardly supporting a number of charity partners such as Key4Life and Bad Boys Bakery, both of which encourage ex-offenders into jobs within the hospitality industry after prison.

Social Pantry’s Social Suppers are one way in which Head continues to raise awareness of these causes, inviting leading chefs to come together for a one-off night of great food.

The last Social Supper took place recently with chefs including David Carter (Smokestak), Nicholas Balfe (Salon) and Jon Chantarasak (Som Saa). These now-legendary events will continue at Soane’s Kitchen, with a monthly-changing guest chef series to launch in August.

Head commented, “I am delighted to be opening Soane’s Kitchen and Pitzhanger Pantry and introducing Social Pantry to West Londoners. Not only will we be welcoming Pitzhanger visitors and Ealing residents to enjoy the space, we’re hoping Soane’s Kitchen will be a destination for Londoners further afield - a little retreat to the country as Soane liked to describe it as (even if it’s only a train ride just shy of 10 minutes from central London!).

'For me, as a business owner, my aim is to be as sustainable as possible whilst ensuring that every meal we deliver is as delicious as the last. I love to provide customers with an enjoyable and creative experience and I will apply these values at both Soane’s Kitchen and Pitzhanger Pantry.”

Clare Gough, Director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust, commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with Social Pantry at Pitzhanger: we are excited by the quality offering and excellent service Soane’s Kitchen will provide to visitors of Pitzhanger and Walpole Park and look forward to Soane’s Kitchen becoming a sought-after destination.”