When TS Eliot retreated to the English coastal town of Margate in 1921 it was to recuperate after what was likely a nervous breakdown. The seaside enclave would prove to be both rejuvenating and inspiring for the beloved writer; it was there that he plugged away at oh, you know, one of the most important poems ever written, The Wasteland. And it is Margate that, so many years later, would also inspire Dom Bridges. His goal with Haeckels, the hand-crafted fragrance and skincare brand he founded in 2012, was to create a connection, olfactively at least, with the wildly beautiful natural landscape he was surrounded by in Margate. And to use some of the many thousands of tons of seaweed that wash up on the Thanet shores each year (the brand is in possession of one of only two licenses in England to harvest seaweed) as the base for his natural product range. Bridges’ reverence for locally harvested botanicals rang true with Hoi Polloi chef (and neighbor; the Haeckels Shoreditch pop-up shop is next door) Braden Charlesworth; so much so that he crafted an entire menu that highlights the same ingredients. So, this week (through May 25th), should you find yourself in London, book a table at Hoi Polloi for the special Haeckels dinner to feast on visionary delicacies like Margate burger puffs, fennel seed tonic with pine pollen, and sea bass with weeds and buckthorn. A restorative meal indeed. FV
Call 020 8880 6100 or see hoi-polloi.co.uk for reservations.