Blixen is a new opening just around the corner from Spitalfields Market. It stands on the site of an old bank, two walls house huge windows with metal fanlights to let in acres of natural light.
The interior décor is all rough brickwork, whitewashed and surmounted with walnut wood. The ceiling’s a beautiful construction of pale floorboards. The bar’s a white shrine, cunningly lit, with bottles of spirits in glass-fronted cupboards, and globe lamps on stalks.
Beside the kitchen is a cute pergola hung with vines, past which you’ll find an outdoor terrace for drinks. Downstairs there’s a little cocktail bar that takes up to 45 drinkers and a private dining room for 18 in the old vaults.
The owners are Clive Watson, who’s spent a decade doing up London pubs (notably The Garrison and The Riding House Café) and Justin Gilbert, a designer of immense style and swishiness. Their first restaurant is perfectly proportioned, cosy, bustling and instantly appealing to walk into.
Gluten Free Food at Blixen:
Gluten free options on the lunch menu are plentiful. I went for the kale, walnut and courgette salad with grilled chicken and avocado, which tasted so good – despite being relatively healthy!
The others picked burgers, served with some really tasty crunchy fries and salt beef on potato rosti with poached egg; that was actually from the brunch menu, which you can still order from before 2pm.
Blixen’s Gluten Free Desserts:
We couldn’t resist puddings, because the ice cream menu at Blixen is brilliant. I tried white chocolate and hazelnut ice cream (SO good) and we also had affogato, which is a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso. It tastes great, and you have your dessert and ice cream both at the same time, so you are indeed winning.
The Verdict: The restaurant’s pretty as a picture and so is the food. Save room for pudding, that’s my tip!
65a Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London E1