Back to School at Rochelle Canteen

Hidden behind high brick walls in Rochelle School, it is unlikely that you will accidentally stumble across Rochelle Canteen. It is more likely that you’re an artist working in one of the Shoreditch galleries or a regular visiting especially for the delicious food and laid back atmosphere.



Ring the doorbell and you enter the former school playground, where you can also enjoy your lunch, if the weather allows. If not, a narrow pathway leads you straight to the restaurant, which has been converted from a former bicycle shed. The canteen itself is a small room with big windows and plain wooden chairs and tables, but behind the counter is the spacious kitchen, where Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson prepare sophisticated British food. Having contributed to the success of famous British restaurant St. John, they know the art of creating food to remember.

The menu changes daily but always consists of the freshest seasonal products and the food is always delicious. Start with quail and tomato salad or brown shrimp, cabbage and chervil and continue with lentils, spring greens and goat’s curd or rabbit, potatoes and aioli. Don’t forget to order the freshly baked sourdough bread, which you can also take home for breakfast the next morning. Finish with one of the fabulous desserts, perhaps a plum and redcurrant tart or fresh fruit and ice cream.

If you are lucky enough there will also be an art exhibition right behind the canteen featuring Central St. Martins graduates or upcoming artists in the airy completely white rooms of the former school for you to enjoy once you’ve finished lunch. Even if you hated school – you will definitely love this one!


By Anastasia Albert


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