Percy and Founders, Fitzrovia

Hidden away in Fitzrovia lies Percy and Founders, a sleek all-day dining spot in the former site of the Middlesex Hospital, which has experienced a reformation in recent years. More brasserie than public house, the smart restaurant echoes the style of the modern apartments that surround it while also making a feature of the original stone doorway of the Fitzrovia chapel in peaceful Pearson Square. The restaurant is a jack-of-all-trades, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays as well as brunch on weekends and the classic British Sunday roast. 

Blessed with sunny weather, the staff welcomed us into the restaurant’s charming new outdoor area which boasts both smaller marble tables, fit for a quick drink and a serving of their lip-smacking truffle and parmesan fries, and larger wooden tables perfect for the three-course lunch we set out for. The décor is contemporary, the terrace surrounded by well-kept flora on one side and a view through the glass-panelled windows into the airy indoor dining rooms on the other. The spacious restaurant draws in diners with its simple yet elegant interior design, which had us wanting a similar aesthetic in our own dining rooms. 

With a wealth of drinks on offer behind the bar and a heavenly cocktail list (Fizz Rovia had me chuckling to myself), the food will always be well complimented. We opted for a carafe of the house white, fittingly light for the day’s summery weather. To begin, we opted for potted Cornish crab served with home baked soda bread and dill crème fraîche. The crab had coleslaw-like tones with the addition of apple and celeriac and a mustard kick gave the British classic a new lease of life.

Apple-cured salmon topped with breakfast radishes and lime and chive mayo was also impeccably presented, though the sweet and sour combination in this case was too conflicting. The à la carte offers a variety of mains, from chicken and leek pie to a trio of healthy-looking salads. Carnivores needn’t be worried as the restaurant offers Josper Heaven – three cuts of meat from the grill, bottomless beer, a side and a sauce of choice. Given that the head chef, Diego Cardoso, is Argentinean, this looks very promising! 

We were immediately drawn to the fish dishes which, once again, earned top marks for presentation. I was thrilled with the delicate sea bass, accompanied by a surprisingly tasty shallot purée and white wine lemon butter. These ingredients worked so well that the addition of razor clams was superfluous.

Alongside this, we ordered the roasted cod with lemon mustard, garlic and samphire, sitting atop a bed of cannellini beans. Having enjoyed our mains and eager to discover the sweet finale, we were presented with a refreshing and adventurous list of desserts. Finding it hard to limit our choice to just two, we finally settled on the grilled peaches with suitably crunchy popcorn and earl grey ice cream, a tea lover’s dream, and the white chocolate mousse with strawberries. The latter turned out to be our favourite, reminding us of a deconstructed Eton mess with the addition of a fresh basil sorbet.

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