Last night I was lucky enough to attend a French food and wine and art event at Union Canal and Deli in Ladbroke Grove. I have Joanne Mortlock and her fantastic Love Pop Ups – London Facebook group and website Love Pop Ups – London to thank for it.
WeFiFo (We Find Food) is a “social eating” platform which allows people to host events and invite people along or as they put it “WeFiFo connects people who love to cook with people who love to eat.” Events happen regularly and all of the place so there’s usually something for everyone.
I invited by my eating buddy, Laura, along for the evening; knowing that this would be something she would enjoy as much as I would.
Getting there was interesting. I don’t venture into West London often and going that far on the Bakerloo line was a little scary. Once out the other end it was about a 10 or so minute walk to Union Canal and Deli. We were a little early so we sat just inside Grand Union Studios which the cafe was attached to.
We went in just after 7 and were met the lovely (and tiny) Tory Turk, who was hosting. We were offered a glass of sparkly wine (very tasty Bouvet) and we had a bit of chat about the event. It was to be a relaxed affair, partly inspired by France and the works of artist, Prudence Holton (whose work was inspired by her time in France) who had some of her collage work displayed in the cafe.
After having a look at the art and sitting chatting for a while the chef brought out some nibbles in the form of bread with a little pesto and Parma ham. A very good start to any meal.
The main meal was to be served canteen style so we were invited to queue up, select what items we wanted and then find a seat at the communal table. On offer was a fresh green bean and mangetout salad, beef bourguignon, ratatouille, mashed potato and roasted veggies. Obviously I had a little of everything. It was by no means a refined meal but it definitely fit the bill of “relaxed”. Every morsel was delicious. The beef tender and melting in the mouth, the ratatouille was vibrant and highly seasoned, the roasted veggies perfectly cooked with just enough bite and the bean salad was fresh, crunchy with a nice citrus edged dressing.
The host and some of her helpers were never too far away to offer wine and water. Everyone was very friendly. We felt a little bit out of place though as a lot of the guests seemed to be acquainted already but we were not made to feel uncomfortable.
Dessert was a choice of lemon or chocolate tart. I had the chocolate and Laura had lemon. Naturally we tried each other’s. The chocolate tart was rich and nicely bitter good crisp pastry (no soggy bottoms here). The lemon tart had similarly crispy pastry and the filling was smooth and lemony. I felt it could’ve been a little sharper but Laura was pleased with it.
The evening was rounded off with a very nice cup of coffee.
I must say it was quite far to go for dinner but it was definitely worth it. If all the WeFiFo events are similar to this I’ll certainly be going to more of them. Value for money, tasty food in interesting surroundings. I didn’t feel that it was particularly ‘French’ but there was good quality food, delightful wine and some tasteful art on display. Well done to Tory and Co for their efforts!