Boxcar Butcher and Grill opens

We all know the importance of trying to use local businesses where possible. The needs of a family are such that supermarkets and large chain restaurants are of course part of life, but the much-talked-about “village feel” of Marylebone comes from the fact that we still have many independent local businesses catering to locals (both residents and those who work here) who can provide for our needs.

Stores like La Fromagerie and Ginger Pig draw people to the area from miles around but there is so much more than that.  We have hardware stores where we can get advice and help – the Crawford St hardware store next to Titania’s Garden is amazingly well stocked, and Redmount on Seymour Place had helped me out when I have had a flooded kitchen with washing machine leaks. We have the fruit and veg store on Blandford St who has a great variety of produce and the luxury of purchasing 1 or 2 pieces of fruit rather than pre-packaged, plastic wrapped multipacks (I’m on a household crusade to reduce single-use plastic consumption – more on this another time!). The wonderful organic/natural store As Nature Intended also adds to the variety in the area, and I have also previously written about La Petite Poissonnerie on New Quebec St who can source even the most obscure fish as well as advise and give you recipe inspiration.

Recently we have welcomed Boxcar to New Quebec St – a fab new butcher and grill where you can buy meat but also has a lovely menu for dining in or take away and is open all day from breakfast time. I had visited a few times for their delicious bacon rolls (which are sooooo goooood). Recently while picking up lunch and some meat from the butcher I met Nicola Gregson who is part of the Boxcar team and thought it might be an opportunity to learn and share more about the business and what they hope to bring to our Marylebone community.

The main director of Boxcar, a Marylebone local, is experienced in the hospitality business with several bars and restaurants to his name. He wanted to create a neighbourhood place with a focus on quality products. When that was mixed with the other director who is from a family of butchers, a dying tradition as we all know, Boxcar was created with the aim of primarily being a butcher and grill but with provisions and other complementary items mixed in. The store has been 18 months in the planning. Boxcar was chosen as a name as it is what drove the cowboys out of business – refrigerated railroad cars that enabled food to be transported more easily.

Boxcar focuses on UK produced products. Another of the directors is Nicola’s brother who knows and has visited all the producers and suppliers personally. Fruit and veg come from within a 50 mile radius. Meat comes from areas such as North Yorkshire (I bought some delicious lamb from there), and Essex less than 100 miles from here! They have complete knowledge of the food chain for the products they are selling. Though the products are not necessarily organic, they focus on the integrity and quality of produce, food miles and the conditions that the animal is reared in.

There is an in house pastry chef who is baking most of the breads and pastries in house now – the soda bread uses Nicola’s family recipe. The sausage rolls and pies they have for sale are just delicious. I was skeptical about the mushy pea pie but it was one of the most yummy things I have eaten for a long time and I will be having to ration my consumption of them or else I may end up having to go up a few dress sizes!

Even the eggs for sale have been thought about – they sell pullet eggs. These are eggs from chickens who are under 12 months old so basically just starting to lay eggs. They are smaller than most supermarket eggs by 25% and may be wonky shaped, but they have a high nutritional content. Supermarkets don’t sell them so they tend to be destroyed – such a waste – but Boxcar will be selling them from a local farm.

Although some of the alcohol for sale is not UK produced, they do sell beers from Toast. Do try them and look them up as it is a great story – they use leftover bread to create the beer!

The team at Boxcar would love to hear about any interesting products you come across that you would like stocked too. They already have lots of interesting items in the store and more are coming soon.

The store itself is part restaurant and part butcher. The butchery team can of course provide you with whatever cuts you want and can advise on cooking etc. Downstairs the restaurant space doubles as an event space and there is a kitchen you can see into with an amazing grill for the meat. They can run butchery masterclass events and will also be running classes for the public in time. All around the store there are little details such as real branding irons used as decorations.

The restaurant menu uses the butcher’s meat obviously but also small details like bread and butter pudding using leftover bread which is so great to see! The Sunday Roast sounds rather good, and they sell half portions for kids (and will happily provide plates for little ones who might want to share your dinner instead!).

I have visited the store a few times now. Full disclosure that I was given a free mushy pea pie and pork pie – both delicious, I would happily pay for and will be buying many more of! I have also bought the bacon roll a few times (yummmmm), steak salad, burger and beef sandwich. Firstly, they are all delicious! Secondly, they are priced very attractively especially considering the quality of the produce. I have also bought meat from the butcher – I recieved lots of advice, was introduced to some new alternative cuts, and the price was very attractive . The meat was delicious when I cooked it whicht is definitely a reflection of the quality of the produce.

This is such a great addition to the area!


What can Marylebone Living offer?

Living in London is a full-on experience. In order to make the most of living here, sometimes you might need some help. Whether you are a newcomer to the UK, a recent resident of London, or a London old-hand who might just find yourself in need of some help – perhaps dues to a change of circumstances (hello, parenthood!) – I’m here to help!

We may be called Marylebone Living, but as someone who is born and raised in London, and lived my whole life within the Zone 1-6 London boundary, I know a LOT about London. Anything I don’t know, I probably know someone who does know – ask away!

Having lived in and around Marylebone for over 15 years, I know all the hidden gems in this part of Central/West London. I’ve lived here as a free and fun-loving single career woman, part of an urban professional couple, and now as a full-time parent. I know where you are coming from, whatever your circumstances.

One of the most common enquiries is about Education options in the UK/London/Marylebone. There is a lot of hype surrounding schooling in London but a lot this is normally unnecessary and put out there by “education consultants”. If you are willing to spend a little bit of time doing basic research yourself, paying the kind of fees these services charge is only one of many options. I can help guide you on your way, to help you decide whether you want to spend that money.

Unfortunately for most “normal” families in Central London, high end “education consultants” just create and intensify the hype and general craziness surrounding schooling and generate stress, though unfortunately they can distort the market which is already quite tight. Thankfully many schools are now pushing back and looking out for the “normal” families too.

I am not an “education consultant” but I have helped many families new to the UK system with a broad overview of choices, and how the system works here given I am born and raised in London so have experienced the system myself and now with my daughter. Especially in Marylebone, we are in an area where schooling is a bit of an issue so I am happy to share my knowledge and experience and help guide anyone who needs help. It might be that paying up for a consultant is the right thing for your family, but I can help you make that decision before spending what can be a lot of money.

To this end, I am offering, for a (low) fee an advisory service. I’m here to help with anything you can throw at me – examples are:

– understanding education options and the British/London system
– orientation to life in the UK/London/Marylebone and even surrounding areas (I lived in Richmond Twickenham and Kingston growing up so know the whole area of W/SW London very well)
– options if you are considering moving out of Marylebone
– understanding life in the UK/London/Marylebone
– language “lessons” and conversation to improve and refine your English
– concierge/lifestyle services, gift ideas and purchasing etc

The list goes on… email me to enquire!

The fee will help me cover the annual costs of running the website and hopefully allow me to continue to help families in the area!

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of this. You can reach me at