On my last lunch in Soho I visit my friend Uffy at Andrew Edmunds; restaurant and antique print shop on 46 Lexington St, Soho. I peer through the window of the print shop but she is nowhere to be seen. I find her perched at the restaurant bar munching her way through a plate of gnocchi with mushrooms and parmesan. My mouth waters it looks so delicious. Working in the family business has its advantages. Andrew Edmunds is one of those places with effortless cult status, everybody's favourite restaurant. Bistro in style it's atmosphere is sheer romance. I wonder how many proposals or declarations of love have been whispered across their starched linen tablecloths. Cosy and unpretentious, a place where time stops still for a long lingering lunch or cosy evening. It's no secret that the food is sublime, seasonal and the wine list is excellent. They have only just launched a website recently, purely because when somebody does it as well as them word get's around. The phone rang constantly for bookings whilst I sat there, people desperate to be squeezed in on the weekend. Why has it been so long since I last ate here ...... mmm clearly I'm not being romanced enough. Housed in an 18th century building, Andrew Edmunds is a Soho establishment started over thirty years ago. Decades before the likes of La Bodegra Negra and all the trendy no- booking policy restaurants pitched up. Back then Soho's vibe would have been sleezy and avant garde but you only have to look around to realise that rents have soared since then. To some running a restaurant and antique print shop next door to each other might seem an odd combination. But isn't there a symbiosis in running your two passions in life side by side? The two are an extension of the other. There is an uncompromising feel to the place; this is what we do and we won't be changed by passing fads. The restaurant has plenty of attention but the print shop is where I want to while away the hours. Uffy shows me some two hundred year old botanical prints with remarkably vibrant colours that must have lurked in a drawer to remain so bright. She tries to tidy up for the photos but the point is I love the shop just the way it is. All the artefacts decorating the mantlepiece capture my imagination; the ivory fish sitting in a tea cup, the brittle dried orange pomanders. If only my office looked liked this I think to myself, there is a lot of collecting to be done.
Andrew Edmunds the restaurant.
Uffy's lunch of gnocchi with mushrooms, parmesan and rocket.
A handwritten menu is always a good sign.
The antique print shop sits next door to the restaurant.
Love the tiny letter box flap.
The building is largely untouched.
Two hundred and something year old botanical prints.
The river Thames snakes through this charming guide on Antique print and map shops.
One day the 1930s glove print in the window will be mine......