Richmond is one of the most picturesque areas of London and very popular for weekend strolls, an afternoon at the pub or in one of the many restaurants.
Tucked away between Richmond’s leafy Green and the bustling Kew Road lies No1 Duke Street, a relatively new bar – having opened its doors in November 2015 – that has quickly becoming one of the go-to haunts of the area.
No1 Duke Street offers irresistible breakfast dishes, lunch classics, and dinner feasts. Alternatively you can pop in for a quick coffee or cocktail to relax after shopping in town, or walking round the green.
Gary and I headed here, after a long stroll along the riverbank. We were treated to lunch and cocktails and generally had a fabulous time.
Here are my thoughts on the latest restaurant from Darwin & Wallace.
DARWIN AND WALLACE
Formerly a local pub called The Lot, No. 1 Duke Street is the latest offspring from bar and restaurant group, Darwin & Wallace, that includes among others the award-winning No.11 Pimlico Road and No.32 The Old Town.
No.32 The Old Town, Clapham was shortlisted for Time Out’s Love London Awards 2015, whilst No.11 Pimlico Road was named ‘Best Designed Pub’ at the Casual Dining Awards 2014. But what awards will No. 1 Duke Street win?
All of Darwin and Wallace’s eateries, offer an all-day casual bar and dining experience with atmosphere and refined interiors which reflect their local surrounding and communities. Yet at the same time all sites retain some of the quirkiness of the original buildings.
LOCATION OF NO1 DUKE STREET
No.1 Duke Street is located just a five minute walk from Richmond train station, tucked away behind the leafy green and bustling Kew Road.
When entering the site, formerly known as The Lot, one steps into a welcoming courtyard that offers alfresco dining, complete with outdoor heaters and blankets, casually draped over the chairs, to take away the chill of the British Weather.
INTERIOR AND ATMOSPHERE OF NO1 DUKE STREET
After considering the possibility of an alfresco lunch for an instant, we walked past the outdoor seating area and pushed open the huge doors to step inside No.1 Duke St. Gary isn’t a fan of outdoor eating.
Upon entering this new independent bar in Richmond, we couldn’t help but be awed by the chic interior. Its stylish design clearly reflects the calm but playful atmosphere of the local area, drawing inspiration from the nearby Thames and Richmond Park.
Using a palette of dark greys, sheer whites and pale peaches, it’s clean and pristine but packs bags full of quirks and character. Whilst the restaurant generally has a cool light, airy and modern look, the interior is completed with vintage furnishing – such as quirky swallow-you-up arm chairs, worn wooden tables and plenty of pretty plants. Unsurprisingly, I photographed the instaworthy interior just as much as I did the food.
The second thing you’ll notice about No. 1 Duke Street is how big it is. The restaurant is made up of two separate bar areas connected by a passage lined with comfy chairs, low tables and a blazing log fire. Upstairs (and accessible by lift) there’s a private room which can seat up to fifty and a ‘man cave’ complete with a bespoke neon foosball table.
The venue has quickly become a go-to destination and was very busy when we arrived at midday on Saturday. It is clearly popular with local families and is well set up to accommodate everyone from cosy couples, groups of friends through to families with small kids.
Bearing this in mind, No 1 Duke Street offers a whole variety of seating places. You could snuggle up in one of the armchair by the open fire. Or opt for an intimate table for two. Alternatively you could prop yourself up at the bar. Or how about settling down in the games room or in a dining booth? There are even central tables where you can read the latest papers while nursing a few drinks if you so wish. They basically have tables and seats to suit everyone. It means wherever you choose to place yourself you are comfortable, and that makes No.1 Duke St. one of the most relaxed dining atmospheres we have ever encountered.
In the end, we were led to a perfectly positioned table near the open window, giving us the best of both worlds. Just our table was a little small or the feast that was to follow.
MENU AT NO1 DUKE STREET
No.1 Duke Street mainly attracts a young professional crowd and socialising lies at the core of its menu with a range of smaller dishes and sharing plates which jazz up any post-work drinks. The venue offers an expansive list of wine for ladies who lunch and an excellent selection of craft beers to tempt rugby fans. The unique cocktail selection is not to be missed either: favourites such as Pineapple and Sage Mojito and Passionfruit Capirinha are coupled alongside seasonal specials.
Furthermore the restaurant prides itself on offering a menu of glorious yet great value food alongside its thirst-quenching drinks. In terms of dining, there’s something for everyone here at No.1 Duke Street. With an extensive menu offering light snacks to full on meals I’m sure anyone will find something that will wet their appetite.
The all-day venue is open from 9am through to 11pm and offers wholesome breakfasts, brunch, light lunches, snacks and delicious dinners. There are non-meat options available, catering for vegetarians from start to finish and the menu also features a small selection of dishes for ‘little people’.
No.1 Duke St work hard to offer ingredients that are of high quality and taste great. The dishes vary seasonally – ingredients – think lamb and apricots in springtime; beef and blackberries in winter – and everything is made from scratch. Even the sauces are freshly made in house.
Needless to say, silence fell over the table as we devoured the delicious food that was placed in front of us.
After copious photos of the photogenic spread I set about tasting each dish.
COCKTAILS AND LEMONADE AT NO1 DUKE STREET
No1 Duke Street is the place to go for cocktails of the best kind. In fact drinks are one of the highlights of the venue with concoctions such as Pineapple and Sage Mojito and Passionfruit Capirinha presented alongside seasonal specials such as Pear and Ginger Toddy during the winter months.
It being summer, I opted to slurp my way through a Watermelon Sour. Actually I could quite happily sipped my way through the whole menu.
The Watermelon Sour is concocted with Ciroc Coconut, fresh watermelon and a little lemon juice.
The drink certainly was very photogenic, as well as being perfectly refreshing on a hot day. While the alcohol was relatively bitter, it was nicely balanced out by the sweet melon.
This Watermelon Sour has to be one of my favourite summer drinks and immediately conjured up holiday feelings.
HOMEMADE ELDERFLOWER AND CUCUMBER LEMONADE
And for those of you who don’t drink, they also offer house lemonade made with homemade lemon sherbet in a variety of flavours!
Since Gary tends to drink mocktails, he ordered a homemade elderflower and cucumber lemonade. And since it was a hot day, I convinced him to get a whole jug. It was incredibly light, refreshing and the perfect combination with our meal.
STARTERS AT NO1 DUKE STREET
FENNEL SALAMI, CHILI & TRUFFLE RICOTTA CROSTINI
Having read a couple of reviews beforehand, I simply had to try one of the brushettas on offer at No1 Duke Street.
In the end I chose the Fennel Salami, Chilli & Truffle Ricotta Crostini for my starter.
The crostini turned out to be a very generous helping of salami and truffle ricotta on three small slices of toasted sourdough, all beautifully presented, though somewhat tricky to eat!
Whilst the cheese was very creamy and light, the taste of garlic and truffle was unmistakeable. I also loved the crispness of the bread and the salami was noticeably of good quality.
Gary often finds it difficult to pick a starter, and often opts for a side instead. In this case he decided to order a small cheese board and when after a lot of umming and ahhing went for the Rachel.
The cheese is served with a generous selection of artisans bread, chutney and crackers. I must say these were some of the best oatcakes I have ever tasted, whilst the bread was homemade, incredibly soft, slightly salty and still warm, with a dusting of flour on top. Very Moorish indeed.
The chutney was just acid enough to cut through the very mild and milky cheese.
I would certainly recommend this dish.
MAINS AT NO1 DUKE STREET
THE NO1 HOUSE BURGER
If there is a burger on the menu, chances are Gary will order it.
No1 Duke streets has two burgers on offer, including a vegetarian Halloumi and Courgette Veggie Burger.
Gary however picked the No1 House Burger, which comes with blue cheese, and a side order of fries.
It was just as delicious as it looks – two patties of meat sandwiched with cheese and a sweet tomato and onion relish in a brioche bun.
He wolfed it down before I even had time to dig into my own main course.
GRILLED SEABASS & CHIPS
This basically is a modern and grown-up version of fish and chips.
The fish was cooked to perfection and I really loved the bright green pea puree. The mint and herbs gave it a fresh and summery taste.
The tartare sauce that was served with the seabass had a lovely sharpness and cut through the other flavours.
DESSERTS AT NO1 DUKE STREET
After finishing our main meals and wiping the glutton looks off our faces… we couldn’t help but take a peak at the dessert menu.
Eton Mess is one of my favourite desserts. I love the combination of fruit, cream and biscuit.
The Eton Mess at No1 Duke Street was beautiful and incredibly photogenic. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
Filled with crunchy treacle meringue, luscious whipped cream, drizzle of berry sauce and fresh strawberries, this was a super tasty dessert.
BITTER CHOCOLATE TART
Gary went all out and ordered the luxurious Bitter Chocolate Tart with Chocolate mousse and rice krispies.
The Rice Krispies turned out to be a shard of rice Krispies, Hazelnut and biscuits. The dish was served with a lovely fluffy and creamy chocolate mousse, vanilla ice-cream and a salted caramel sauce.
The bitter chocolate tart was intense, it packed a punch of flavour and was actually pretty sweet.
I don’t know how but somehow Gary managed to finish it all.
WHY GO TO NO1 DUKE STREET
No. 1 Duke St. fills a gap in Richmond as it’s not ‘high end’ restaurant and not a ubiquitous adolescent filled pub. It’s something in between the two.
It tries to provide a perfect atmosphere for all comers, from lone wolf freelancers looking for wifi hot spots to families looking for a somewhere friendly to bring the kids.
No. 1 Duke Street and the diversity of its layout means this bar is pretty much perfect for any occasion – couples, friends, family, breakfast, a light lunch, a casual drink, a night out, the Christmas party, beers before the rugby – this place will have you covered.
However not all aspects of No1 will appeal to everyone. According to restaurant manager the two chef’s tables in front of the open kitchen both attract and deter clients in equal measure and many of the dishes are deliberately prepared to try and provide something different.
Gary and I however loved it. Everything was delicious, the service was attentive and ambiance just right, I honestly think this has become our favourite restaurant in Richmond!
If you are in Richmond and would like to try something a little different or if you just fancy getting away from the centre of London for something less busy and chaotic, heat to No1 Duke Street.