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Located in Tooley Street’s imposing former fire station, this ‘buzzy’, glass-fronted outfit does its bit for social responsibility while giving the local chains a run for their money. Head chef and
founder Simon Boyle is a ’truly inspirational character’ who set up Brigade in tandem with the charitable Beyond Food Foundation – offering vulnerable people six-month catering apprenticeships and
‘the tools for a brighter future’. The results of their labours might be restaurant-quality dishes ranging from Scotch egg and potted pork belly with apple chutney (‘worth a visit alone’) to John
Dory with herb-crusted clams, salsify and caper butter. With its orderly open kitchen, exposed brickwork, huge embossed lampshades and flashy cocktails at the bar, Brigade certainly knows how to
lure in swarms of London Bridge suits. There’s also a new wine club for purchases and tastings.
As a lover of all things food related, I'm the annoying one who enjoys shopping for it, cooking it, eating it, and being adventurous with it. Living in London and eating out so much though, my kitchen cupboards stock more bangles, earrings, scarves and handbags than tinned tomatoes, truffle oil or lentils. Give me an excuse to cook though, and I will jump at the chance with childlike glee! Enter The Brigade...In conjunction with Beyond Food Foundation and De Vere Venues, this bar, bistro and cooking school is a little more than it seems on the surface. Not only does it employ and train young people at risk and those who have experienced homelessness, it actively reinvests its profit into other social enterprises and charities, all aiming to increase meaningful employment in the local community. Now, this is by no means the only one of it's kind in London, but that fact does not detract from the superb initiative of chef founder Simon Boyle. A haven of food, drink and learning all under one roof will generally be immensely pleasing to me...
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Turn right on Tooley Street out of London Bridge station and right by More London and Hays Galleria you will come across Brigade Bar and Bistro. Simon’s brainchild occupies the site of an old fire station built in 1879 to save lives and protect property after the devastating fire at Cottons Wharf on Tooley Street on 22 June 1861. Just 30 minutes passed from the discovery of smoke at a warehouse to the fire burning out of control and the flames soon stretched from London Bridge to Customs House. Engines arrived from all over the country to help the the local fire engines, but it still took two weeks to put the fire out and it was regarded as the worst since The Great Fire of London. The fire led to the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1865, of which The Fire Station in Tooley Street would be a part.Since March 2012, Simon Boyle has used the same values of business sense and social responsibility to run Brigade as a social enterprise...
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It’s always a bonus to find a good restaurant within walking distance of our offices. It’s even a bigger bonus when the restaurant helps vulnerable people by giving them catering apprenticeships and thus the opportunity for a brighter future.The establishment in question is Brigade Bar and Bistro and together with the Beyond Food Foundation (under the guidance of chef founder Simon Boyle) it serves up some incredibly delicious dishes...
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