Luke Mackay and David Turcan, who opened deli Brompton Food Market in 2014, said they had banned the word “gastropub” from the design process for their new site, wanting to make sure the Hour Glass felt like an authentic “1930’s London boozer”.
Mackay said: “We see ourselves as custodians [of the pub] rather than people with a five-year plan to make as much money as we can – we want to leave our mark on London. It’s not a burst of PR like a Shoreditch pop-up, it’s something that will be here a bit longer and become part of the fabric of South Kensington.”
The Hour Glass is set to utilise many of Brompton Food Market’s already-existing suppliers, with a menu focused on ‘straightforward, seasonal food, cooked well with simple accompaniments’ designed by Mackay and head chef Tim Parsons.
Mackay added: “I think most chefs start out wanting to do Michelin star food and foams and be the next Heston Blumenthal – hopefully most of them come out of that when they realise they don’t have the time or the talent – it’s actually not that accessible. It’s not what people want in a pub.
“I’ve always been more about what you leave off the plate. With Brompton Food Market we very much concentrate on ingredients and seasonality and that’s what we want for the pub.”
The Hour Glass’ menu will change according to what produce is available, but has already featured dishes such as roast heritage beetroot with chicory and orange and poppy seed dressing, feathered game pie and mash and sea bream with cauliflower, leeks and brown shrimp butter.
Desserts include blackberry and almond tart with Jersey cream and buttermilk pudding with damsons and honey.
Nose to tail
“If we have influences in London I suppose it would be places like the Anchor & Hope and the Canton Arms – that group that do very similar food, almost nose to tail eating but in a very light way,” said Mackay, adding that becoming a community hub was fundamental if the pub was going to succeed.
He said: “A lot of people come into [Brompton Food Market] and we love it when they say they feel like it’s been here forever and fits in with the local surroundings. And that’s what we want to do with the Hour Glass.”