An unexpected find in the fast-changing area of Old Street, London, is The Ceviche Old Street Gallery which displays a changing exhibition of the work of Peru’s best contemporary artists – Miguel Aguirre, Fernando Bryce, Alice Wagner, Mariano Vivanco and others on the walls of the Ceviche Old Street restaurant where you can enjoy Peruvian contemporary art alongside Peruvian food and drink.
Ceviche Old Street has taken over the former Alexander Trust Dining Rooms and the interior decoration has references back to the original designs of the dining rooms, built by philanthropist Sir Thomas Lipton to provide inexpensive meals to poor men and women of the area. As was current thinking of the time, the kitchens were located on the fourth floor at the top of the building where six boilers could heat 500 gallons of hot soup and a three-course meal cost 4.5d (2p) in 1898 with some 100 waitresses serving up to 12,000 meals a day in the three halls which could accommodate 500 people.
Part of the original building is now incorporated in the adjacent Z hotel, and the original ambience has been recreated in the new restaurant/bar where much of the original tiling has been retained. For Ceviche founder Martin Morales, the restaurant is the realisation of his dream to create a Peruvian restaurant in London, with fresh ceviche prepared in front of the diners eyes and barbeque meats cooked anticucho-style on an open grill.
“I imagined serving food rooted in Peruvian tradition yet made with a contemporary edge, drawing on the best of London’s creativity and ingredients. This is coming to life at Ceviche Old St.” (Martin Morales)
Peruvian art is vibrant, colourful, wide ranging – sometimes incorporating traditional Peruvian textile patterns; sometimes taking inspiration from Pop Art, or from fashion or contemporary photography. The Ceviche Old Street Gallery provides an opportunity for contemporary Peruvian artists to introduce their work to London in a pleasant and convivial environment.