Carousel: London’s Permanent Pop-up Goes on Tour

in London’s notoriously competitive dining scene, does a
quartet of 20-something cousins with no experience of setting up
restaurants create a successful business? With pluck, luck and a
taste for travel, if the Templeton family’s Carousel restaurant in
Marylebone is anything to go by. Carousel hosts a revolving roster
of chefs from all over the world, who cook in their kitchen for a
couple of weeks at a time.

As the genesis story goes: on a drive back from a family holiday
in France, the Templeton cousins were collectively dreading going
back to work the next day. Ed was in advertising, Anna in TV
production and Will in events. Chef Ollie had already proven
himself at London’s Moro and was looking for a new challenge.

Ed recalls: “Our uncle was in the car listening to us and said:
‘you have to do something about this.'” By the time they’d got
home, a family business plan was hatched. “Our uncle actually
recorded that conversation! He could tell we were on to

Unlike a million other ideas hatched on road trips, this one was
actually put into action. Between the four of them, they had a
team, and after testing the waters with a pop-up dining business,
last year they took the lease, and the proverbial plunge, on a
three-storey building.

The first chef they coaxed on a flight to London was Javier
Rodríguez, who decamped from his kitchen at El Papagayo in
Argentina to set up shop for a few days. They’ve since seen chefs
from restaurants in Paris, Mexico City and Sydney take over the

Carousel goes on tour

Their latest venture saw the Templetons turn the concept on its
head. Instead of hosting, last month the team took their own menus
on a tour of Europe, installing themselves in restaurant kitchens
in Céret in France, Stockholm and Berlin. By the time SUITCASE
dropped in on the travelling circus of cousins, they were getting
ready for an evening’s service at The Store, Soho House Berlin‘s concept retail

Headed by Alex Eagle, The Store is a carefully edited version of
all things cool and beautiful: the walls are flanked with rails of
perfectly curated outfits, with just the right shoes to match sat
beneath. There are massive sofas to sink in, thick wooden tables
and cosy, handmade mugs all up for sale.

Alongside all the gorgeous objects, The Store is also a café
and, as of this month, a restaurant. It had just received its
drinks licence and Carousel’s dinner was the first dinner service
they’d undertaken out of the brand-new kitchen. Which should be
cause for some A-grade stress levels, but no: this is a team that
clearly take travel in their stride. Chef Ollie was perfectly
relaxed and prepped, working alongside Soho House chef Johnnie
Collins to fix me up with a plate of food for lunch while they did
final prep together for the evening meal.

A starter of pickled sardines on spelt toast and salt-baked new
potatoes with crème fraiche set the tone for the rest of the
evening’s strong, concentrated flavours. The main course was pork
chop with burnt leek and salsify, while the dessert was an
autumnal, citrusy yoghurt panna cotta with mandarin curd and
granita. The food was delicious, all went to plan, and they dragged
the guests out into the Berlin night afterwards for beers: you can
see why the Templetons have done well.

Back home, the next chef flying in to take part in the
Templeton’s merry-go-round is French chef Mathieu Perez.

Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 8AB.