Relaunching this week is the bar that was at the forefront of Bermondsey Street's current position as a foodie mecca, as Village East reveals a completely new look.
Village East is from the same people behind Riding House Café, the hugely successful bar and restaurant just north of Oxford Street - and they're looking to repeat some of the great success they've had there south of the river.
The revamp stretches across the whole building - adding two new cocktail lounge bars, a casual ground floor canteen, a new raised dining area overlooking an open kitchen and a new ‘Little Room’ for private dining and meetings. Some of the touches do sound quite interesting and we like the idea of the "chefs’ pass taking the form of a dining room table in amongst the diners". The revamp comes courtesy of Box 9 design who were also behind the look of Riding House Café (and those squirrels) and Islington's Fish and Chip Shop.
The menu is getting a revamp too, and is given a seasonal leaning from Executive Chef Toby Stuart, who was most recently at Roux at Parliament Square and who has been looking at restaurants in Chicago for inspiration. So if you're heading along, there are sharing plates which include roasted fig radicchio, poached cod flakes with tomato, sorrel, olive oil and bone marrow with horseradish and parsley salad and salt-baked beetroot, with toasted spelt, apple and tarragon. Mains include milk-braised pork shoulder with kale, and parsley and soft- shell crab bap with lime & coriander sambal.
The drinks list has also been revamped, with new cocktails including a beetroot Bloody Mary or a "Secret Garden" (vodka, tarragon cordial, lemon juice, white grapes and sprigs of tarragon, topped with soda water.)
Village East fully relaunches tomorrow, September 17 (it's currently in soft launch mode), at 171-173 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UW. For more info follow them on Twitter @VillageEastSE1.