Exceptional coffee and attention to detail defines Story Coffee, Sol Alam’s first venture. ‘Everything we offer has its own story and absolute transparency, hence the name,’ says Sol. The wonderfully fruity cappucino is an Ethiopian blend by Square Meal roastery and there are guest roasters such as Berlin’s The Barn. Milk from Goodwood Farm is organic, and there’s affogato for summer, plus Silverleaf Green tea from Lalani. Smoky baked eggs with deep flavour, a punchy innovative mix, with cavelo nero, tomato and chickpeas, devised by guest caterer Tucktogether.com is sustaining. Even more delectable are quinoa pancakes with roasted apple, wild flowers, honey from Oliveology, whipped ricotta and toasted coconut.
115 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1SZ; 020 7998 3303; storycoffee.co.uk
Giving teenagers the skills required to meal plan, shop, and cook a nutritious, tasty and budget-friendly meal ensures peace of mind when they start uni. From stir fries to sushi, Vietnamese summer rolls to Pad Thai, this one-off course at Wimbledon resident Jeremy Pang’s School of Wok in Covent Garden from 3-7 August is designed to give students some key kitchen skills, as well as a repertoire of dishes and flavour combinations, perfect for quick and easy meals, study night sustenance – even entertaining. All they need is a wok, not dozens of pans. Jeremy’s demos are fun and truly inspirational and there is plenty of hands-on cooking. The course is £750 per person. 10.30 to 4.30 every day, lunch included, and a certificate awarded at the end of the course.
3-7 August, 61 Chandos Place WC2N 4HG; 020 7240 8818; schoolofwok.co.uk
We’re getting spoilt for choice on Hildreth Street, with Brickwood now having competitive queuing with M1lk. I’m not convinced by the recycled shack interior, but I can’t fault the food. The baked goods are tasty and ultra fresh, with unusual offerings like grilled banana and walnut bread, with whipped espresso butter and orange. I was most taken with a healthy variation on an egg brunch: crisp kale, broccoli, asparagus and goat’s curd cheese; and don’t miss the excellent Caravan blend iced coffee — one of the best I’ve tasted.
11 Hildreth Street SW12 9RQ; 020 8772 6818; brickwoodlondon.com
Abel & Cole has created a Superfood Salad Box, £19.50, which contains three recipes for two people, devised by its culinary guru, and South London resident, Rachel de Thample. Charred and sautéed cucumber lifted a salad of lemon, dill and quinoa — better still when I added griddled asparagus to leftovers. My favourite was zingy lentil and avocado salad, with lime and coriander salsa: actually a good stand-by. I’d recommend a grilled salmon or chicken on the side to serve two.
The fried Chicken Shop in Tooting that has gone down a storm. Now in a double yolker, it is egging up the offering in Balham on the former Poulet Rouge site, hopefully with better acoustics. The wood-timbered interior is warm and inviting. Free-range chicken — marinated overnight, steamed and rotisserie cooked over charcoal — and simple sides will be order of the day, alongside some rather more adventurous eggcentric brunch dishes.
7a Chestnut Grove SW12 8JA; 020 8102 9300; chickenshop.com
1 Courgette, lime and pistachio cake is exquisite and counts as veg as well as treat. Made by the charming Valerie of Honey Pie at Balham Farmers’ Market fortnightly.
2 Forage Fine Foods’ relishes including ‘summer in a jar’ Sorrel, Lavender & Lilac, are sure to add razzmatazz to cold cuts. Try the pickled wild garlic buds, with wood-sorrel infused vinegar. From £4.25. Partner with Marsh Pig charcuterie, handmade in Norfolk. Red Wine & Black Pepper Salami or lomo (air dried pork) are great.
Volker & Quinn 6 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ 020 8675 4178
3 Choose in-house produce from Bayley & Sage: huge scotch eggs £2.50, mini Sicilian tomato or spinach and ricotta quiches £2.75. Stores in Wimbledon, Turnham Green and Parsons Green: bayley-sage.co.uk