Covent Garden’s latest all-day gourmet fast-food gastro-wonder opened to incredible success, and deserves to see it continue. 

Covent Garden has a lot of hungry mouths to feed, tired feet to rest and bored brains to revive - we’re talking tourists, shoppers and office workers - though not necessarily in that order. With innumerable cafes, restaurants and bars dotted around the winding lanes that make up this quaint little corner of central London, The Black Penny knew there was going to be some singing for its supper involved when it launched. So sing they did: the first day of opening the restaurant publicised a massive “1 penny Lunch” promo, which worked so well they had to turn people away when the food ran out shortly after lunchtime. It was more than just a good ruse though, as customers discovered just how generous, healthy and nutritious the offerings were: from soup to sandwiches, take-away salad boxes you can make up yourself, hot meals, quiche, desserts and all the sides you could drool over, The Black Penny has all its clientele’s palate preferences covered. There are also specific menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner - so for example you could be ordering duck hash with spinach, sweet potato and poached duck egg for a cure-all breakfast on-the-fly (even better: it’s actually served all day), then come back and settle in for a leisurely lunch of stone bass ceviche with roasted aubergine and grilled cauliflower, or a slice of ale and kale pie. Sound virtuous? Wait till you taste the salads, complete with every conceivable combination of dressing, they are copious, filling and can be digested after with a deliciously blended coffee from the group behind London’s leading  “Alchemy” roasters. 

If you’re wondering why the name is staying when the price-tag isn’t (though it all remains eminently reasonable), this is a reference to the city’s very first coffee houses, known as ‘Penny Universities’, in which you could purchase a cup of the strong stuff and sit down for an informative, mind-opening chat, discussion, lecture or rant… so nothing much has changed there then!