Reopening Report: Lunch at Rochelle Canteen


Reopening Report: Lunch at Rochelle Canteen

We headed to Rochelle Canteen on the day restaurants reopened and it was, as ever, calm and carafe-heavy.

July 6th, 2020

Before Saturday it had been 3 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, 16 hours, 19 minutes and 59 seconds since we last ate in a London restaurant. Is it just us that’s been tallying the days by scratching them onto the wall? Anyway, with some (but not all) restaurants reopening on the 4th, the only thing to decide was where to go. And it was always going to be Rochelle Canteen. To shamelessly quote ourselves:

“Our associations with Rochelle Canteen are so good that it’s always been our #1, many-pints-deep answer to where HQ will be when the undead rise against us. And that’s not just because you have to be buzzed in.”

No, we haven’t quite been in a zombie apocalypse. But in terms of being somewhere that always made us feel comfortable, there was only ever going to be one choice.

The Report


Rochelle Canteen.



What we’ve said before:

“Reassuringly straightforward... It doesn’t feel like concerns get much bigger than a brown shrimp being dropped onto a Shrimps jacket here”.

Nice. Is it still the same?

Pretty much, hygiene things aside. There’s hand sanitizer attached to the wall for before you buzz in, staff are masked-up, and you’ll also have your temperature taken. Otherwise you’re still sitting in the same tranquil garden, drinking wine, shovelling cod’s roe, admiring table 14′s cords.

But what if I don’t like cod’s roe?

More fool you. And also, don’t worry. Your server will bring over a blackboard of the menu, and you can have salsify crisps, or foie gras terrine instead. All of it tastes familiar and comforting. Especially the potato bake. Not to mention significantly nicer than our fridge Tupperware excavation the night before.

And if another table is looking at the blackboard?

Patience is a virtue.

Reopening Report: Lunch at Rochelle Canteen

photo credit: Jake Missing

Speaking of, what’s the situation with the other tables?

Calm and collected, like everything here. We were given a four-person table, despite being a booking for two, and there are benches on the grass now as well. Indoors is no-go at the moment. But if the weather’s looking bleak, you can rearrange your booking.

Okay. How about everyone else?

We’re still working on our perceptiveness from 2m+ away, but everyone seemed relaxed and respectful. Lots of wine, lots of conversation, and lots of linen. We’ve said it before, but being in Rochelle is like being in the Garden of Eden. Or on The Island.

Mhmm, mhmm. Any highlights?

The brill with rouille and monk’s beard, and the realisation we didn’t know our pin number anymore.

Oh dear.


That’s embarrassing.


Well it has been a while, hasn’t it?

Yes. Appreciate the understanding.

Do you have thoughts or questions about dining in London right now? Give us a shout. Email us at

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