I love the Barbican Food Hall, despite the fact it’s overpriced, the staff are rushed, and the food is anything but exciting.
With a title like “Food Hall”, with its “Selfridges Food Hall” connotations, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s one of these multi-faceted, multi-tilled affairs with various different cuisine zones and the like.
Seriously, it is not. For example, £3.75 for a very basic but fresh tuna mayo sandwich on reasonably thin normal bread, in an unlabelled packet.
After its refurbishment this year, the place is a lot more sexy to look at, there’s a lot more choice of food, drinks, and cake, and they serve marginally better coffee. (Previously coffee was a serve-yourself affair with an automatic coffee machine, now it’s a barista and a couple of delicious looking espresso machines, they use Monmouth beans. But that doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t know how to clean a steam wand and prevent your milk from tasting rancid thus producing stuff that’s even worse than using an automatic… I digress.)
Yes it’s sexier. Much, much sexier. The interior is lovely, and whoever came up with the concept clearly understands the style of architecture in which it is situated (brutalism – not everyone’s cup of tea).
It’s for the above reason that I love it. I’m a self-confessed brutalism-maniac and this place utterly floats my boat.
As for floating my foodie boat, I’m sorry but at its heart, it’s still canteen food.