Two current trends in the London dining scene at the moment are creating all-day-dining menus and adding a gratuitous “& Co” to the end of your business’s name. Newly opened Damson & Co twirls a double braid of zeitgeist to offer the constant flow of Soho shufflers a handy little place for a full-on dinner or a dabbling dash with libation – be it booze, fresh juice or quick shot of espresso. Based on two recent visits, I’m giving Damson & Co two all-day thumbs up and recommend that you and whatever company you keep soon follow suit to have a look and taste for yourself.
With respect to the eat and/or drink whenever you feel like concept, I’m more than willing to hitch a ride on that bandwagon. As a member of the growing ranks of officeless, freelancing riff-raff floating round town in a constant quest for WiFi, decent grub and above average coffee there simply aren’t enough clean and characterful settings for working on-the-go or having meetings without resorting to something a bit too alcoholic, overly priced or overtly corporate. Why catering to customers beyond regimental “regular” eating hours and realising that not everybody wants to drink all the frickin’ time are just now starting to catch on is a bit beyond me.
Damson & Co’s menu is smartly designed for whenever you visit, and I reckon pretty much anybody could find something tasty on it. The majority of what’s available is British in origin (even white wines) with the menu serving as a sort of “best of British” food and drink checklist. I really liked sampling the baked flat bread sliders (cheese and tomato base, £5.50 + £1.50 per extra topping). I shared a smoked turkey and chilli one, and it really hit the mid-afternoon spot. I also had a bite of Kent cobnut saucisson (£4 for a plate) that was really nice … as was an ample slice of carrot cake (by Nick’s Fine Foods, £3), a fresh pressed Green Juice (spinach, pear and grape, £3.80) and a spot-on shot of espresso (Ozone Coffee Roasters, £2).
That was during my first visit – an impromptu work-related meeting. Second time round, I stopped in to have a couple of beers (Samuel Smith Organic Lager, 355ml, £5.50) with some friends. In both situations, the vibe felt right. Beyond the good food and drink, Damson & Co provides comfortable seating, a big window from which to watch a never dull parade of Soho folk passing by and a commendable number of conveniently placed plug-ins. Service is personable and efficient.
As for the “& Co” thing, I just wonder how long before such a suffix will start to seem dated and to be a telltale sign that an establishment opened during the sputtering teens. In the case of Damson, it is my hope that the restaurant – as well as this all day dining trend – can stick around long enough for the place potentially to require an update.
Damson & Co is located at 21 Brewer Street, W1F 0RL. Find out more at damsonandco.co.uk.