Lockdown 2.0 might not seem the best time to launch an exciting new food concept, but for industry experts Sven-Hanson Britt, Tris Hillier and Scott Ward, opening Homestead, the main food and drink offering for London City Island – the culturally inspired neighbourhood on Leamouth Peninsula – is a pioneering move.
‘Despite the current lockdown measures, we actually feel it is a great time to launch Homestead,’ says brand and communications director Tris Hillier. ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone. We’ve created Homestead as a way of providing for the City Island community, offering food that would have previously only been sold directly to restaurants or impossible for a consumer to directly purchase themselves.”
Initially, Homestead will open as a takeaway kitchen, deli and store for collection, giving the local community a taster of what is to come when the space opens up to dine-in guests once the restrictions have lifted. Guests will be able to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as an expansive range of fresh produce from Homestead’s Counter, which will showcase quality meats, homemade pasta and a selection of cheese and fish, all sourced ethically from small artisan producers, including BH Fish in Poole and Tori & Ben’s Farm in Derbyshire.
And it’s not just small suppliers that Homestead is supporting. ‘The team we have put together is amazing,’ says Ward, Homestead’s director of operations. ‘We feel very privileged to be able to hire people during this difficult time for UK hospitality, and buy direct from farmers, fishermen and growers who need our support more than ever.’
During lockdown 2.0, Homestead is also partnering with Brewdog to bring a mobile bar to Hopewell Square, offering a range of beers to take away. The extensive wine list will include wines from hand-picked small growers and wine distributors, ensuring a diverse by-the-glass option with a focus on wines produced with viticultural sustainability at their heart.
Designed as a central hub for the local London City Island community, Homestead will eventually offer all-day dining with menus designed by creative director Britt with executive chef James Durrant (formerly of Maze). The charcoal grill will be an integral part of the menu, used to cook the selection of daily-changing meat, fish and vegetables. ‘The East London food scene has completely changed over the past few months, meaning everything we knew before about eating out is now different,’ says Britt. ‘Ultimately, Homestead is all about community, which we will contribute to by delivering something meaningful to our ever-growing family of neighbours here in East London.’
Homestead is now open to the public with its takeaway offering. Keep checking the website for more information on the full opening. Homestead LCI Ltd, 45 Hope Street, Poplar, E14 0QL; homestead-lci.com