What better way to celebrate ‘hump day’ than lunch with a great friend at Upstairs at Trinity, now open lunchtimes from Wednesday to Saturday..
I hopped on my bike and pedalled across Clapham Common into the Old Town, parking up in that fresh new space opposite The Omnibus known as The Polygon.
Trinity is looking stunning; its contemporary makeover some time ago still fresh and inviting; downstairs we were greeted by pretty flowers on each table, fresh white linen, green hues and light wood. We were welcomed and shown ‘Upstairs’ where we chose seats at the window, opened wide on a warm autumn day. All the tables, and so the chairs, are high, not ideal you might think for those with a buggy, but there was somebody there with a happy baby who dozed quietly for the duration (I marvelled - not sure mine ever did that!).
A glance at the menu confirmed it was one of those where I could have happily ordered and devoured the lot. There are several choices of starters, mains and puddings, all generous ‘tapas’ size, ideal for sharing.
We overcame indecision and started with the Cep arancini – earthy, spiced, incredibly moreish, topped with a dusting of parmesan, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and completely delicious on the inside. I have thought of them daily ever since.
Next came the Roasted Delica Pumpkin with fresh goat’s cheese, sage leaves and quinoa. It almost pipped the arancini to the post, but I’m declaring it a dead heat, all the gold medals, joint first place. The pumpkin was lightly charred on the skin to give it a tasty crunch, while inside was soft and packed with flavour, the plate dotted with crispy sage leaves, smooth and creamy goat’s cheese and crispy quinoa – original in itself. Every mouthful heavenly.
The Stem Broccoli, hazelnuts, bagna cauda and parmesan – crunchy, nutty, creamy, and as good as ever (I confess to having been to Upstairs at Trinity in the evenings and can never resist this plateful of iron-filled goodness) – arrived, along with the crispy, fresh and oh so light Fritto Misto with monkfish, meaty whitebait and squid, plus a small bowl of aioli to go with it and a zesty lemon to squeeze on top.
In the interest of tasting as much of the menu as possible we went for a pudding of Lemon Verbena Sorbet, Limoncello, which looked stunning when it arrived and tasted just as good. We were also given a cheeky taste of the day's special which involved ice cream, salted caramel and chocolate. Enough said.
As well great food, Upstairs at Trinity is quietly expert at the aesthetics. The plates, the cutlery, the bottles of water, a nod to autumn with leaves hanging in muted colours from the ceiling. The lunchtime atmosphere is perfect - light, bright and airy, with music in the background and friendly service. And the prices are really reasonable. At just £15 for two plates rising to £25 for four (that’s £12.50 per head for four delicious, clever sharing plates), it’s a brilliant spot for lunch with a meticulous modern menu which puts excellent food within easy reach. I’d go so far as to say it’s a steal and I, for one, will be going back for seconds.
Upstairs at Trinity
4 The Polygon, SW4
Open for lunch Weds-Sat 12pm-2pm
Dinner Tues-Sat 6.30pm-10pm
Sunday lunch 2pm (set menu)