Naughty Piglets, Brixton

Naughty Piglets is the kind of neighbourhood eatery you move flat to be nearer. The restaurant was set up by husband and wife team, Joe and Margaux Sharratt, in March 2016 who aim to provide visitors with a considered natural wine list and a frequently changing seasonal menu, based around charcoal grilled recipes. Needless to say the 34-cover venue is always packed, with locals, and those travelling from other areas of London to try out this winning combination.

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Inside the restaurant is modest but stylish, with eight bar seats which boast a kitchen view, for those who want to be closer to the action! We sat here and enjoyed observing the restaurant as a busy Friday evening unfolded. I let Margaux choose our wine, with sommelier experience from some of London’s most successful culinary spots I figured she would pick better than me. We tried a glass of two whites, a 2013 ‘La Rue aux Loups’ Chenin Blanc and the very unique 2014 Cheverny Tradition, from Domaine de Montcy. Both wonderfully refreshing and satisfying at the same time.

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The menu is short and sweet with options to suit every palate. Locals who visit often can relish different dishes each week as the recipes change with the produce available and the seasonality of ingredients. Roast Pumpkin with Goat’s Cheese and Parma Ham was a rustic dish of subtly complementing Autumn flavours, smokey chunks of fleshy pumpkin with salty ham and cheese. I can’t miss out on burrata if I see it on a menu, it is difficult to go wrong with a dollop of the creamiest soft cheese, but the version Joe has created is particularly lavish, served on a bed of perfectly seasoned caponata.

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From the meat and fish options we chose Scallops with Cauliflower and XO sauce, Beef Rump with bon marrow toast, shallots & watercress and BBQ pork belly with sesame and Korean spices, a favourite which has been on the menu since opening in March. Scallops were delicate and succulent paired with silky cauliflower puree and a hint of citrusy yuzu which cut through the richness of the dish. I loved the simple, slick presentation of the pork, but found the whole dish too salty, even with assortment of green vegetables. Silence fell over the table as we devoured the beef, an utterly delicious plate of wholesome British flavours, compiled in an elegantly French way.

Naughty Piglets

There were two decadent puddings to choose from, naturally we ordered one of each. Chocolate mousse with salted caramel and hazelnuts was like a grown-up Mars bar deconstructed on the plate, with oozing dangerously sweet caramel sauce and the smoothest mousse you could imagine. Baked vanilla cheesecake with figs was blissfully soft, topped with contrasting crunchy puffed rice and served with ruby red fig segments.

Naughty Piglets

I’m lucky enough to only be a short bus ride away from Naughty Piglets, and I can’t wait to spend more Friday evenings here, unwinding with a good glass of wine and a lot of completely delicious food.

More information and book a table at Naughty Piglets here.

Myla & Davis, Brixton

Until now I have trekked up to East London for hip haircuts, but this week I discovered Myla & Davis, a trio of independent hairdressing salons in South London. Founder Katya Davies started the brand in Herne Hill, as a boutique neighbourhood salon offering cut and colour services by pro stylists at reasonable prices. I recently visited the newest venue in Brixton… a perfectly compact but well organised space with fresh, clean design and an informal and friendly atmosphere.

The Myla & Davis salons have become known for their mix of professionalism and good chatting skills! I’d picked up a few magazines to absorb whilst my stylist Jess transformed my unruly mop of hair, but soon we were chatting away and the reading material was discarded! After 6 months of world travel, with questionable hair products and no haircuts, my hair was in great need of a revamp. The roots were unfashionably outgrown and my split ends were creeping further up. We decided on a trim and highlights to brighten and lighten the tips whilst making the roots look more natural.

Jess worked wonders, magically and effortlessly blending the dye to soften my colour, giving a natural, sun-kissed look. Endless cups of earl grey tea, sparkling elderflower and water were bought to me whilst I sat lazily in my seat. After a quick toner and hair wash I was back in front of the mirror ready for my trim.

Myla and Davis work religiously with US cult brand Bumble and Bumble and the product ranges are lined up neatly on the wall. I love their products but often struggle to understand which suits my hair best. Jess offered me frank and realistic recommendations of which products I should use, dependent on hair type, what look you wish to achieve and how often you wash your hair. It was decided that the surf range would offer a beachy texture whilst not adding too much weight to my hair.

Often I feel rushed by hairdressers but Jess seemed genuinely happy to spend time demonstrating how to use each product and offering insider tips. I walked out of Myla & Davis with a beautiful, bouncy new hairstyle and feeling confident that I could maintain the style in my own home using the salon’s helpful advice.

More information and book an appointment at Myla & Davis here.

The Salon, Brixton

Most of the eateries in Brixton market are rough and ready, take outs and quick eats. The Salon, however, offers some refinement and sophistication despite its shabby chic appearance. This small rustic restaurant serves seasonal plates of food utilising the British produce available in and around South London. Located above the Salon deli, the upstairs kitchen has the ideal larder in which to get the fresh and flavoursome ingredients.

The compulsory set menu eliminates the conundrum of deciding between dishes. Priced at £29 for four courses, the menu is designed for the whole table to enjoy. But before we got involved in our carte du jour, there were aperitifs and snacks to enjoy. I tried the summery and refreshing Rhubarb Gin Fizz, though I would also recommend a bottle of the local Brixton Brewery beer. ‘Nduja Croquettes were the perfect nibbles to accompany our drinks, seriously tasty aromatic balls served with pickled cucumber and a creamy aioli.

Set Menu

Romanesco, Tarragon, Dandelion, Grapefruit

Ham, Egg, Turnip Tops

Swaledale Lamb, Jersey Royals, Seaweed

Rhubarb, Buttermilk, Roasted White Chocolate, Oats

Romanesco is a beautiful green-tinged vegetable from the broccoli / cauliflower family. The subtle taste and hard texture worked well with the tangy citrus grapefruit and the creamy tarragon sauce. It was a light and vibrant starter to awaken the taste buds and alert the palate. Next up was a warming bowl of goodness. This dish felt Asian inspired with a clear broth soup and floating poached egg, charred greenery and tender slow cooked pork. It felt healthy and soothing, with a touch of richness from the egg yolk.

For main course we were treated to a glorious piece of lean lamb with some braised meat presented on a bed of samphire, tiny jersey royals and a powerful green sauce. I couldn’t taste seaweed precisely but the earthy flavours of the vegetables complemented the meat. With the absence of carbohydrates it was a lovely dish that felt substantial but not too heavy. I needed to add a little extra seasoning but aside from that the dish was faultless.

A brief cheese course followed, a showcase of the best British cheeses, soft, hard and blue. I don’t normally favour the sweet and savoury combinations but in this case the homemade red onion chutney was a suitable accompaniment to the indulgent cheeses. Finally a sweet course, and one that I had been excitedly anticipating for the whole meal. A luscious assortment of flavours: poached and puréed rhubarb made the dish a pretty shade of pink, arranged with buttermilk mousse and shards of burnt white chocolate. It was a graceful and airy dessert, and I scraped my plate clean with a big smile on my face.

The Salon was a real delight; innovative and delicious British food in a casually cool setting. Simple dining with a focus on the food, you couldn’t ask for more.

This small eatery is also available for exclusive hire and would be the perfect setting for a special celebration or meal. More information and book here.

More information and book a table at The Salon here.