Review: Apricity


This Mayfair restaurant is a joyful celebration of conscious cooking

Plant-based, low intervention, nose-to-tail, hyper seasonal, locally foraged, zero waste… the Capital’s restaurateurs have embraced conscious cooking. And the queen of the scene? None other than chef, author, restaurateur and sustainability advocate Chantelle Nicholson, whose Mayfair restaurant Apricity won a Michelin Green star earlier this year, less than 12 months after opening.

Chantelle Nicholson

An advocate for seasonality and sustainability, Chantelle’s menus champion veg-forward cooking, which is probably why it has taken me quite so long to drag my other half along to Apricity – he’s of the school of thought that a meal is not a meal without meat. He’s in luck though, because meat does feature on the menu here, it’s just by no means the hero.

It is striking on stepping through the doors how very un-Mayfair the space feels. There’s none of the glitz and glamour of neighbouring establishments, instead the aesthetic is unexpectedly simple and oh-so welcoming. Entirely in keeping with the food concept, the interior fit-out followed the guiding principle that nothing new should be added unless strictly necessary. Stripped walls have been left exposed, with lime plaster used to fill gaps, old skirting boards have been repurposed to make the bar, and original timber floorboards have been sanded back to reveal their innate beauty. The restaurant chairs are manufactured from recycled Coca-Cola bottles (even they were not bought new, rather rescued from another restaurant that was closing) and the ceiling lights are made from cut oyster shells (crafting something striking from food waste products). The finishing touch: gorgeous green plants hang from the ceiling, giving colour and texture to the space. We’re smitten.

Apracity Interior Credit Ben CarpenterRestaurant Interior (Photography Ben Carpenter)

Never able to resist a tasting menu, we opt for the five-courses, which is available in both a carnivorous and a plant-based version. We order one of each, to fully experience everything that is on offer. We choose, as an aperitif, a gorgeously refreshing and characterful glass of sparkling wine from Sussex-based Roebuck Estate – all of the wines on the menu are biodynamic. Along with our glasses appears an amuse bouche of savoury chickpea doughnuts filled with caramelised onion.


Divine little mouthfuls, they promise good things to come, and they tell no lies: from the oat and fennel crackers served with a moreish ‘wasted’ dip (made from unwanted kitchen odds and ends), to the signature chouxnut (a light-as-air doughnut made from choux pastry, accompanied by a delicious damson and plum sauce), everything tastes and looks exquisite.  It is an eye-opening evening for my partner, who admits after more than one course that he has preferred the plant-based option. Of particular note are the tomatoes with cashew cheese and pickle granita, the flavours and textures of which positively zing – it is a taste of summer on a plate. Equally surprising, for somebody who has   been a huge fan of fungi, are the crispy Oyster mushrooms with spicy XO sauce and wild garlic.

That said, he also loves the bavette, which I have to agree, with its lick-the-plate-clean black garlic ketchup, is a real standout. I’m sure you’ve already discovered Apricity’s delights, but if not, go immediately – this place has style and substance by the bucket load.

68 Duke Street, W1K (020 8017 2780;