Our 3rd Restaurant of Christmas; The Dining Room at Mare Street Market has been selected not only for its enveloping interior and slightly quirky menu, but also for its ability to blur the lines between restaurant and retail by seamlessly intertwining itself with the rest of the market. Created as one, the market as described by the Evening Standard offers ‘the best E8 has to offer under one roof’, just as envisioned by creator and founder Marc Francis-Baum; serial entrepreneur and co-owner of Bar Works, East London Liquor Company and ex-owner of Camden Town Brewery. With the careful curation of two restaurants, a bar, deli, florist, coffee shop, record shop, antiquities store, pod-cast studio and pop-up space, the repurposed job centre is now an all-day social hub for the local community as well as a destination for Londoners and tourists alike.
 
The restaurant itself feels more like an antique store than a place to eat, diners are immersed in furnishings and eclectic lighting from Pure White Lines (the in-house antique and interior shop), all available to buy. As the more formal offering of the two restaurants, the menu offer sumptuous dishes with unique twists such as prune and date brown sauce and seaweed butter, but most notably features a dedicated vegan/vegetarian menu alongside a carnivorous one.
 
Mare Street Market demonstrates three of the key trends we have highlighted in 2018; the growth of the vegetarian/vegan movement, community hubs and blurring of the lines which is particularly why we wanted to feature it in our 12 Restaurants of Christmas.