Caravan have announced further details ahead of their opening in the Bloomberg Arcade this autumn. Following Vinoteca’s announcement this week, Caravan are the second of the seven confirmed restaurants to reveal their plans. It is not yet known when the other restaurants will open, but Eater London understands that Brigadiers will not be opening until the new year, while Koya Bar will open soon after the development launches; three of the restaurants moving into the development remain unconfirmed, though both A. Wong and Pierre Koffmann continue to be heavily linked to the site.
Caravan City will operate as an all-day dining restaurant from 7am, split over three levels: reservations and walk-in guests will be accommodated in two dining rooms and a coffee and cocktail bar. A mezzanine will be designed to act as a work space during the day and as a private dining area in the evening. Coffee, cocktail and food masterclasses, as well as collaborations with other neighbouring restaurants are planned for the mezzanine space in the weeks after launch. Early ideas include espresso martini masterclasses and pizza-making nights. There will also be an outside terrace with 50 covers. In total, the space will accommodate almost 200 guests.
Eater London spoke to Laura Harper Hinton one of the three founders and owners of Caravan this morning. She said she was “really pleased and excited to be working with the other restaurants, many of whom are personal industry friends.”
Asked about the two defining features of service in the City — a fast working lunch trade and a lack of footfall at the weekend — Harper Hinton said: “There’s the limited time for lunch trade so our service will be nice and fast. Miles [Kirby, another of the owners and executive chef] has got some work to do! Obviously we bring brunch to the mix so that’s a reason to come. But we’re under no illusions and are assuming we’ll have to work harder [for the weekend trade] which is why we’re doing events and have broader ideas for collabs with the other restaurants.”
On weekdays Caravan’s speciality coffee will feature alongside a new breakfast and daily bake menu. An express take out offer will featuring coffee, smoothies, juices and plus a single origin filter coffee menu; takeaway in ‘bag-in-box’ designed for time-poor City workers will also be available. Other menu items, available during the week include: fermented daikon, black salt and pickled ginger and whipped morcilla, house roti and herbs plus a wagyu hanger steak with popped capers and anchovy-tarragon dressing.
New for weekend brunch will be their sourdough pizza — available from midday. Only three dishes from their existing brunch menu will feature on an overhauled offer — baked eggs, avocado on toast and the Caravan fry up. There are plans to develop new pizza doughs with heritage grains such as spelt and einkorn.
The Ned, which opened earlier this year with nine internal food outlets has given reason to think that the City of London is no longer a restaurant dead space. About its new and changing status, Harper Hinton said, “The City is having a food revolution. The Ned is a great thing. Even though they have lots of restaurants there, they also have hotel rooms and the guests do want to leave sometimes.”
Drinks will be a big focus. Harper Hinton said, “people [in the City] seem to be really engaged on wine and cocktails so there’ll be extra efforts put into those lists.” The list will include probiotic sodas and kombucha along with a ‘shrub station’ in the dining room for guests to create their own drink. In addition, bottled self-serve cocktails will include a ‘buy a barrel’ options where guests can purchase their own barrel-aged cocktail to takeaway.
Caravan City has been designed by Harper-Hinton and Rebecca Richwhite “taking reference from the Victorian street scape.” It will be the group’s fourth restaurant opening since 2010 — adding to locations on Exmouth Market, King’s Cross and Bankside. The group are also moving their roasting facility — currently in King’s Cross — to a 8,500 square foot site in north London.
Caravan City will open on 2 October at 7am in the Bloomberg Arcade 3 Queen Victoria Street, London EC2R. Last orders in the evening will be at 10.30pm; the site will close at 11.30pm in the week and midnight on Friday and Saturday.