FOOD&DRINK London Lite Wednesday, 12 August 2009 15 oftheGoodLife Eat your greens: Tamara fills a basket with Chegworths finest organic produce, which is all grown at a family-run farm in Kent Wellequipped Absinthefountain IF, LIKE all the best hedonists, the thought of spending time preparing your absinthe is all too much, invest in this absinthe fountain. Place a measure of absinthe in each glass and the slotted spoon and sugar cube on top, then fill the fountain with chilled water and ice. The mini taps drip slowly, creating a perfectly prepared drink. 47.11, thedrinkshop.com Litebites Foodanddrinknews Perfectiononaplateforbudgetfoodies A SECOND helping from the chaps behind The Green, this Islington gastropub looks set to be as successful as the home of Clerkenwells best Sunday roast. Some will make a beeline for the bar, with its draught beer from small breweries, but The Compass is way more gastro than pub. The larder oozes British ingredients such as wild garlic hand-picked in Devon, or wild mushrooms foraged from the New Forest. Stop yourself drooling over the menu by tucking into thick, home-baked bread (2) stuffed with rosemary and anchovies or On the map: with its real ales and British ingredients, The Compass is the new gastropub on the Islington block a bowl of English radishes with salt -- a home-grown (and also low-calorie) alternative to olives that more restaurants should take up. Gin-cured salmon (6.50) had a delicious dry quality, like a perfect G&T, complemented by refreshing ribbons of cucumber. A huge portion of snails with garlic and parsley (6.50) was gloriously rich, luxuriating on a creamy bed of mash. You cant accuse The Compass of stinginess. A pan-fried sea bass (13) was a double portion of fish on a bed of garlic and chorizo- infused samphire. The only disappointment was the Cornish fish stew (13): an over-tomatoed mulch crying out for extra fish. Wed eyed up a summer pudding with vodka terrine only to be barred on the grounds that the chef wasnt happy with it yet -- such perfectionism. A crisp-crusted yet sinfully gooey brownie with clotted cream (4), however, was chocolate perfection on a plate. Foodies on a budget should give up overpriced gastropubs and set a course for The Compass. LARUSHKA IVAN-ZADEH THE COMPASS 58 Penton Street, N1, 020 7837 3891. Three courses for two with wine, 80 Heavenlyiced teas EVER the optimists, were reckoning on another month of rays this summer. Lets hope so, as weve developed a taste for the sophisticated iced teas and Frostea smoothies at Tea in St Pauls Churchyard. Also taking our fancy are the summery Tea Picnic Boxes -- 10 for finger sandwiches, hand-made crisps and scones. 1 Paternoster Square, St Pauls Churchyard, EC4, 020 7248 6606 Picnic and a play ONE of the South Banks most impressive private rooftop spaces, The Deck at the National Theatre, is open to the public this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday at noon, it is hosting The Deck Champagne Picnic Package for 40, where you get a feast of smoked salmon bagels and champagne followed by a matine performance. nationaltheatre.org.uk/thedeck Red alert at BBR RUSSIAN food debuts at deluxe Soho diner Bob Bob Ricard this month. Chic BBR may be known for late-night comfort food and cool afternoon teas, but the new Russian specials are pretty good, too. New on the menu are jellied ox tongue with horseradish (7.50) and Russian herrings (6.50). 1 Upper James Street, W1, 020 3145 1000 Glorious grouse TODAY isnt just a good day, its a glorious day. The Glorious 12th to be precise -- the day when the first grouse of the season find their way to the capitals dining tables. Galvin at Windows is serving it two ways: with all the traditional trimmings (bread sauce, game chips, etc) or with pearl barley, confit cabbage and brandy jus. 22 Park Lane, W1, 020 7208 4021 HILARY ARMSTRONG in varieties including lamb and mint or chicken, honey and herbs. Sheepdrove Organic Farm Family Butcher, 5 Clifton Road, Maida Vale, W9; 020 7266 3838; sheepdrove.com FarmCollective TO STOCK their farmers market stall in the smart urban caf environment between Farringdon and the City, owners Dom and Craig personally source every item from UK farms. Stylish pictures of suppliers line the walls of the constantly-packed shop, which sells home-made salads, sandwiches and sausage rolls as well as fresh fruit, available depending on what tastes great at the market in the morning. Bacon baps (2.80) are on offer at breakfast time, as well as excellent coffee (from 1.40) sourced and roasted by the Square Mile Coffee Company. Farm Collective, 91 Cowcross Street, EC1; 020 7253 2142; farmcollective.com FranklinsFarmShop A SHOWCASE for some of the incredible produce supplying the adjoining restaurant, Franklins Farm Shop has been open just over a year. Currently stocked with stunning Heirloom tomatoes, multicoloured aubergines and sweet Romano pep- pers, 95 per cent of the produce comes from the UK -- some even within the M25. Fans of Franklins restaurant will love the ready meals it prepares for the shop. A portion of beef and mutton stew for two is just 6.50. Franklins Farm Shop, 155 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22; 020 8693 3992; franklinsrestaurant. com/farmshop DaylesfordOrganic THE string of Daylesford shops in Pimlico Road are so elegant, youd never imagine the picture-perfect produce had seen farmyard mud. It is some of the finest youll find in London, all grown on the Bamford familys land in the Cotswolds and Staffordshire. The farm makes its own organic cheddar cheese, bread from its own grain and provides a selection of fruit and veg. It also keeps Sasso chickens -- the gourmet choice for exceptional meat and eggs. Daylesford Organic, 44B Pimlico Road, SW1; 020 7881 8060; daylesfordorganic.com FarmW5 PART greengrocer, part deli and part caf, FarmW5 is the first retailer to be endorsed by Slow Food -- an Italian-born movement that promotes seasonal, sustainable and fairtrade food. As well as a decent organic fruit and veg offering, it is a keen sup- porter of local producers, selling Ealing honey and salads home-made in nearby Acton. Theres also a juice bar and caf that serves, among other things, cakes from Farmhouse Cookery in West Sussex -- the choco- late brownies (2.20) in particular are insanely good. FarmW5, 19 The Green, Ealing, W5; 020 8566 1965; farmw5.com City boys: the Farm Collective in EC1 index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html