Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking. A teaser!

Here’s Russell making broccoli & anchovy crostini, one of the recipes from his upcoming new book Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking, published by Fig Tree on 29 Mar 2018.

This book is Russell’s return to Venice – the city that inspired POLPO – to immerse himself in the authentic flavours of the Veneto and the culinary traditions of the city.

His rustic kitchen – in the residential quarter of the city where washing hangs across the narrow streets and neighbours don’t bother to lock their doors – provides the perfect backdrop for this adventure, and for the 130 lip-smacking, easy Italian family recipes showcasing the simple but exquisite flavours of Venice.

A Line in the Sand

So here it is, the day that many of us at POLPO HQ have been working towards – NEW WEBSITE DAY! We’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about POLPO – who we are, what we do and how we can best move forward. We’d like to think of today as a marker of sorts, a line in the sand, a time for new beginnings.

A new year provides the chance to look at the company for ways we could better ourselves, to consider every piece of customer feedback, to think about our social responsibility and how we can work better with our communities and local charities.

We’ve laid ourselves bare and are ready to start 2018 from today, with a renewed sense of purpose and vigour.

Our very simple responsibility is to make sure our customers receive fantastic food and service when in our restaurants. It is our promise that this mission will always remain at the forefront of what we do and why we do it. In such a saturated marketplace – containing everything from single-item eateries to clean-eating havens – it can be easy to forget the straightforwardness of what we’re doing.


It’s also time to remind ourselves of our biggest inspiration of all: Venice… the preposterously beautiful city built on water. The backstreet bacàro where locals meet, drink, argue and gossip – and which has provided the template for POLPO – are a lesson in simplicity at its best. These provide a public service in the shape of a place for workers to refuel and socialise.

These uncomplicated rooms, serving good honest food, are hubs for these communities and their neighbourhoods. Menus are simple and the interiors pared-back, but bacàro are places of life and noise. At POLPO, we are a celebration of Venice and people; of bringing together friends, lovers, colleagues and families to laugh, dine and feast.

Venice has a calendar of spectacular festivals and events throughout the year, which we will be celebrating along with the city with plenty of goings-on across our restaurants. So watch this space for news of our events, parties and partnerships which are just around the corner.

Russell Norman x The Founder

POLPO opened in 2009 in Beak Street, Soho, London. By a remarkable coincidence the site of the first POLPO was also once the London home and studio of the most famous Venetian artist of all time, Canaletto. Over three days in June 2015, Chris Floyd shot a film about Russell in Soho and Venice.

Join him as he takes us through some of the places that inspired him to create this modern London landmark.

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The Polpo Team