Venturing North of the River – La Ferme Primrose Hill
I’m a South London gal through and through; exploring North London sometimes feels like a bit of an adventure. In all the years that I’ve been going to gigs in Camden, I didn’t realise how close this very pretty and chi-chi area was to Chalk Farm tube; a mere 5-minute walk. It’s a complete change of vibe from buzzing busy noisy Camden to this quiet and elegant area. La Ferme is the newest restaurant in the area, but already feels as if it’s perfectly placed, not least as it has a rather nice Champagne bar upstairs for a relaxing aperitif.
We started the evening in style, with a glass of the house Champagne from Deutz. This was a lovely Champagne, bone dry but fresh, with a long and elegant finish. At £10 a glass, this is somewhat of a bargain by London standards.
We headed downstairs for our meal where we were presented with several options to choose from. There is the Menu de La Ferme containing many classic French dishes which can be shared, such as Escargots de Bourgogne, Charcuterie plate, a Croque Monsieur made with goat’s cheese, mini burgers and many more. These looked perfect for lunch, or a light supper. There was a Menu de Chef, which you could order individual items from, or experience it as a 5-course tasting menu for £39. Plus the final menu which was the Menu du Marche; this changes weekly and is keenly priced at 2 courses for £15 or 3 for £20, or again you could just choose a single item from this menu. So which menu did we go for? We tried items from each of the 3 menus; just for balance you understand, nothing to do with being hungry and greedy!
We started by sharing a Croque Monsieur Forestier, which was one of those dishes that seems simple enough, but when done well like this, is gorgeous. It consisted of toasted bread, goat’s cheese, bechamel, mushrooms and spinach served with a little lettuce in a perfect French Dressing.
We indulged in Fois Gras served with a homemade peach chutney and brioche bread. I always feel rather guilty eating this, but not quite guilty enough to turn it down. Fiona has written previously about how production methods have changed in recent years, and I hope that ours was one of those geese.
We then hopped across to the Menu de Chef for Jeunes Morilles et Asperges sauvages; that’s Vin Jaune sabayon, morel mushrooms, wild asparagus, spring shallots, sliced radish, and linseed served with a parsley foam. The tiny morels gave a fantastic burst of flavour to the subtle wild asparagus and the sabayon. This dish managed to be rich in flavour yet light and fresh to eat. This is the kind of dish I really love.
We then got to meet the talented Head Chef, Guillaume Dunos, a finalist in the Young Chef of the Year 2017 by Michelin. He told us that he was driven to have his own restaurants so that he could create his own dishes, rather than wait for years to become a Head Chef in an established restaurant. I think he made the right decision.
The service at this Primrose Hill restaurant was friendly and helpful; as we’d selected such a variety of dishes we were offered wines by the glass which worked really well.
- STARTERS: 2015 Domaine de Sermezy, Morgon “Grand Cras”, followed by 2015 Pinot Noir – Vincent Bachelet
- MAINS: 2012 Château Baratet – Bordeaux Supérieur
- DESSERT: 2004 Château Sigalas Rabaud 1er Cru Classé
I know that the next time I’m booked to see a band at the Roundhouse, I’ll be coming to La Ferme Primrose Hill to eat first. The other branch of La Ferme restaurant is in Farringdon and I’m looking forward to visiting there too soon!
London NW1 8XN