Restaurant Review: Percy & Founders, Fitzrovia in London
Percy & Founders is the latest addition to the Open House family, which also includes The Lighterman on Granary Square, King’s Cross and The Larder, at Fitzroy Place.
First impressions were encouraging enough: it’s a smart, cavernous hangar of a place – seating over 200 – built on a section of what used to be old the Middlesex Hospital, near London’s Oxford Street.
The hospital originally opened in 1745 and was founded by 20 benefactors including Percy, Earl of Northumberland, hence the rather obscure restaurant name.
Tables are scattered around a central bar so as not to look too canteeny, or formulaic, which makes for a more relaxed vibe. There’s a forest-load of wood panelling, brushed and burnished to a slightly bland, corporate look. The restaurant will definitely benefit from a little wear and tear, lending it a more lived-in character.
For starters JJ and I ordered roasted tomato soup (£6) and Citrus cured Sea Trout (£11) respectively. We exchanged a few morsels and both dishes tasted fresh and pleasantly seasoned.
For mains, we ordered from the Sunday Roast menu. JJ’s slow roasted Lavinton lamb was off-the-bone tender, while my Castlemead chicken was perfectly moist with a crispy skin. (£20.50 and £18.50.)
Both came with glazed market vegetables, including carrots and parsnips, and potatoes roasted in duck fat – resulting in golden crispy shells with fluffy white insides….as we like ‘em. Lavinton Lamb, by the way, is native-breed lamb produced by shepherdess Sophie Arlott in rural Lincolnshire.
The plates were unfortunately heaving with food, which is neither appetising nor aesthetically pleasing. Good intentions with the portions, but a little restraint would enhance the presentation.
Pudding was a treat. Elderflower Panna Cotta for me and a slice of lemon and poppy seed sponge for lunch-mate JJ – all whipped into an artful arrangement of deliciousness – a wonderful finale.
We both enjoyed our visit to Percy & Founders, with its chilled vibe and more-than-capable cooking. It’s a tad pricey for the level it’s aiming at, but life would be dull if we couldn’t engage in decadence, occasionally.
Service was friendly and efficient – though we did have a couple of neck-craning episodes to locate our off-the-radar waiter. The bill came in at £56 plus whatever it was for water, coffee and 2 glasses of ‘Brut Réserve, Champagne.
Best seat in the house is a table for two beside an arch window offering a spectacular view into Fitzrovia Chapel, the Grade II listed building which was once part of Middlesex Hospital.
Verdict: Heavenly food, divine location.
Address: 1 Pearson Square, W1 (020 3761 0200, Mon-Fri 7.30am-11.30pm (midnight Fri), Sat 9am-midnight, Sun 9am-10.30pm.