Personal feelings about the name Apricity aside (the restaurant shares its name with a fertility clinic located, confusingly, just around the corner), we can’t help but admire what it’s set out to do. Apricity describes itself as a ‘socially conscious endeavour’ and, even if you weren’t aware of its eco credentials before visiting, you’d probably put two and two together within five minutes of being seated.
Chef-founder and owner of a Michelin Green Star Chantelle Nicholson is known for her low-waste approach to cooking, an ethos that also applies to the interiors at Apricity. Everywhere you look, something new has been created out of something old. Dusty pink walls are sparingly coated in plaster, second-hand sinks feature in the bathrooms while rescued chairs are made from Cola bottles. Neat. Now that sustainable is so often synonymous with trendy, Apricity feels exactly like the sort of place any in-the-know foodie would want to be seen in.
We opted for the five-course tasting menu for £65 a head, which offers the diner a choice between a plant-based or a meat/fish option for each course. As expected, it was the vegetable dishes that hit the highest notes for us: smoky aubergines with a creamy cashew sauce and intensely sweet caramelised onions, plus buttery miso-braised cabbage, trumped a plate of two slightly-chewy chunks of pork served with crunchy tenderstem (the wild garlic sauce was very good though). As is the eternal struggle with tasting menus, a few dishes felt slightly sparse and staged at times, and therefore couldn’t deliver the oomph we were so desperately looking for. To finish, you can’t go wrong with the signature chouxnut (éclair meets doughnut) which is surprisingly crunchy, doused in cinnamon and reminiscent of the freshly-fried doughnuts you get at the seaside.
The charming and friendly team were able to help with wine suggestions and delivered each plate with genuine enthusiasm. Overall, there were great moments and needs-work moments, but you can’t knock a restaurant as do-good as this one for its conscious approach to cooking.