Father and daughter team Luc and Julie van Oostende (the Belgian restaurateur behind Le Pain Quotidien and Cafe Theatre in Ghent) have just opened an all-day modern European brasserie in Marylebone. While away a hot summer’s day at their pretty renovated Victorian property or make their melon gazpacho at home and hightail to the park.
200 g sugar
200 ml water
5 Charentais melons
50 ml Ratafia de Champagne
1 lemon (juiced)
200 ml olive oil
2 vanilla pods
Small bunch of mint
1. Make a syrup by bringing the water to a boil and stirring in the sugar.
2. Peel and chop the melon into large pieces. Blend the melon, syrup, lemon juice and Ratafia de Champagne until smooth.
3. Heat the olive oil until it is very hot. Cut the vanilla pod in half and empty the seeds into the hot oil. Remove from the heat immediately and allow to cool.
4. Add the vanilla oil to the melon, blend again and serve chilled with a julienne of mint.
Cafe Luc, 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN (020 7258 9878 or cafeluc.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Cafe Luc