• Homestead puts new dining concept at the heart of London City Island
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Homestead puts new dining concept at the heart of London City Island

A new concept in all-day dining has arrived at Ballymore’s London City Island, on the Leamouth Peninsula, east London. Called Homestead, this restaurant-with-a-difference is the first and principal dining destination serving the new east London community. Once lockdown dining restrictions have lifted, the restaurant will be open all day with menu options extending from early breakfasts to evening dinners, created using ethically sourced and small farm produce. For now, the facility is operating as a takeaway kitchen, deli and store for collection, giving people a chance to sample what it has to offer.

Homestead’s concept is the vision of creative director and former chef at the Ritz, Sven-Hanson Britt, who is working with the Unlocked partnership’s Scott Ward, director of operations, and Tris Hillier, brand and communications director. In spite of the lockdown this trio of industry experts decided to go ahead with the opening in London City Island because of their confidence in the area. Britt says, “The East London food scene has completely changed over the past few months, meaning everything we knew before about eating out is now different. My family and I have moved to City Island, a hub of creativity and artists in need of a great food offering.”

Hillier adds, “Despite the current lockdown measures we actually feel it is a great time to launch Homestead as everyone is at home. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone and so we are looking forward to launching. We’ve created Homestead as a way of providing for the City Island community, offering food that would have previously only been sold directly to restaurants or impossible for a consumer to directly purchase themselves.”

During the current lockdown Homestead is offering takeaway options, including sandwiches and pies, as well as aubergine massaman curry and other hot dishes. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, the restaurant will offer dining in and drinking options, the former featuring high quality meats, fish and vegetables produced by small suppliers and cooked on a charcoal grill. The kitchen is led by executive chef James Durrant, former executive chef at London’s Maze restaurant, who will oversee a team of chefs. Alongside the kitchen, Homestead has its own bar but during lockdown the restaurant has partnered with Brewdog to bring a mobile bar to London City Island’s Hopewell Square.

There is also Homestead’s Counter, a deli offering quality meats, homemade pasta and cheese and fish, all ethically sourced from British day boats, high welfare farms and small artisan producers. Counter is open through lockdown and will remain an essential ingredient of the Homestead hub, as well as an expression of its commitment to delivering the best ingredients to its community. Britt explains the ethos: “It’s all about provenance, the story, the ethics and the traceability behind the products. Ultimately, Homestead is all about community, which we will contribute to by delivering something meaningful to our ever-growing family of neighbours here in East London.”

Director of operations Ward adds, “Homestead is a place that we would be excited about visiting ourselves, with our friends and family. The team we have put together is amazing; we feel very privileged to be able to hire people during this difficult time for UK hospitality, and buy direct from farmers, fishermen and growers who need our support more than ever.” Homestead is open during lockdown from 8am to 8pm every day.

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