PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
It's a small and special place: a gallery that's mainly devoted to jewellery, with a few tables and a limited choice of food and drink. Remember that jewels don't have to be big to be good. The gallery is called Self Preservation because it's a protective hub for creativity, and maybe also because jewellery was often worn as a protective talisman, to keep away evil spirits. There's a small space as you enter, and a neat little bar dominated by a coffee machine. The length of the store is taken up by jewellery display cases, and there's a table at the back, with additional tables in a picture gallery space.
Manager and co-owner Anitsa Connor is a jeweller, as is Line Paras, and they both make jewellery in the upstairs studio that can also be used for functions. In addition to their work, there are also usually about a dozen independent jewellers whose work is on show and for sale, and there are a few vintage pieces as well. Buy some earrings and celebrate with a glass of bubbly, or have a cup of coffee and consider a necklace or ring. The menu is a list of the limited food options – fresh bread and jam or muesli and poached fruit for breakfast, olives and nuts, salads, cheese, or pastries at any other time. The ham and cheese roll, freshly made from an epi, a wheat-ear shaped breadstick, is reassuringly good. The coffee is well made, the tea comes in a pot, and the delicate pastries are small enough to be tempting. There are also wines and beers by the glass. All in all, it's a pleasing and thoughtful place.