Why work at Canteen? A bit about us

Would you like to work at Canteen? Are you positive and enthusiastic, and do you have a can-do attitude? If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions and to those that relate to our current vacancies below, then check again you match who we’re looking for and send your CV to, stating which role…

Chef de partie

Do you have previous experience in a busy, high-volume, branded kitchen environment? Do you take pride in your work? Would you like to work somewhere you can progress? Can you help maintain our high standards, and maybe even help us raise them further still? Do you love cooking with locally sourced fresh seasonal products? Do…


Bartenders, we need you. To smile, to help, to serve. From bottled beer to bubbly, and from cold ciders and perrys to hot chocolates, here at Canteen we take our drinks very, very seriously. That means you’ll have to be as skilful at making coffee as you are at preparing our uniquely British cocktails, such…

Waiters / waitresses

If you’re confident and positive, with a warm smile and an even warmer personality, then we need you – this is more important than experience and training – we can offer you that. You’ll be part of a great team that enjoys good benefits and chances to progress within the company, if that’s what you…

We are happy to report that power has been restored at Royal Festival Hall and things are back to normal. Regular opening hours apply. We hope to see you soon.

2 or 1 on selected drinks at Canteen's Happy Hour

Join us Monday to Friday between 5pm and 7pm at Canteen Baker Street, Canteen Spitalfields or Canteen Royal Festival Hall and enjoy 2 drinks from our selected menu for the price of 1.

Feel free to mingle at the bar, relax in a booth or soak up the sun in our outside dining area. Take advantage of the heatwave and choose to cool down with either our signature cocktails, pints of Meantime draught beer, large glasses of wine, or flutes of Prosecco and Nyetimber.

Offer only available at participating branches until 31st October 2013 – click here to see our full drinks menu.

04.04.13 - Waterloo

The Wigmores’ house doesn’t look the way you expect an artisanal cheesemaker’s to look. From the outside, the house is a mixture of countryside and suburban and you would never guess that, at the end of the garden, in a converted workshop and stables hides a fully functioning dairy. The size of the dairy too belies the work that goes on inside. Somehow in their small rooms, the Wigmores produce 3 great cheeses.

Anne and Andy Wigmore came to cheesemaking after trying other employment and finding it wasn’t for them: Andy is a former journalist and Anne a former microbiologist and cheesemaker at the National Institute for Research into Dairying; in fact she’s the only one of our producers to have such a technical background. Their first cheese was Spenwood, a hard ewes milk cheese, followed by Wigmore. These recipes were then adapted to Guernsey milk when they had an arrangement with the Duke of Wellington’s estate to make cheese from the milk of his herd. The cows cheeses were named Wellington and Waterloo after the estate. They no longer buy milk from the Wellington Estate, but from a farm near Henley and around that time, they decided to stop making Wellington and concentrate on its more popular counterpart Waterloo.

Waterloo is a washed curd cheese, which means that during the make, a quantity of whey is replaced with water, before the curds are drained and moulded. Removing the whey has the effect of taking out some of the acidity and usually washed curd cheeses have a gentle flavour.

Every year we are invited by the British Ambassador in Paris to serve cheese at a big garden party in honour of the Queen’s official birthday. The first year we were invited, wanting to show off the quality of British soft cheeses, we took Waterloo. Once there and faced with a queue of french diplomats some in military uniform and displaying rows of medals, we realised we’d not made the most tactful choice. Luckily the flavour of the cheese convinced them … that and the fact that we temporarily renamed it Austerlitz!

Along the fragmented coastline of West Scotland lies the Isle of Mull, a bleak and beautiful landmass of mountains, lakes and small sheltered woodlands, no longer than thirty miles in length and twenty across. Tobermory is its only town, with a third of the island’s population of 3,000. Jeff and Chris Reade moved from Somerset, where they had been making cheddar, to Scriob Ruadh Farm (pronounced Ski-Brua and meaning Red Furrow) in 1979.

At that time, the farm was a shell: the farmhouse had no roof and the first thing they had to do was put a roof over the cowshed (it promptly blew off in a storm). It was 1999 before they had fully roofed the farmhouse as housing their herd and building a dairy took precendence. The Reades milk about 100 cows, mainly Friesian but with some Jersey, Ayrshire and Brown Swiss too.

Chris and Jeff have four sons who also live on the island. Two of them (Brendan and Garth) work on the farm and their brothers run a hotel on the west of the island and a bakery in Tobermory respectively. Back at Scriob Ruadh, Garth is the herdsman and Brendan looks after all their equipment. It is too expensive to get a mechanic over from the mainland if something breaks so Brendan can build and fix everything from tractors to computers.

Life on an island requires the Reade family to be resourceful and to use local resources as much as possible. Even feeding the cows provides challenges. Summers are short and the cows are kept inside for a lot of the year. In order to avoid supplementing the cows diet with expensive feeds from suppliers on the mainland, the Mull cows are fed the spent grain husks from the whisky distillery at Tobermory which is called draff. The Reades collect draff from Tobermory. It is mixed in with sileage and fed to the cows. It smells and tastes winey and fermented, which contributes to the yeasty, feisty, sharp flavours in the cheese. The pale colour, is also due to the cows diet being low in grass. Sileage, draff and hay contain less carotene than fresh grass and carotene is one of the things that colours other cheddars golden.

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