How To Make The Ultimate Sandwich

Head chef Garry Durrant with a plate of food topped with green leaves

In celebration of British Sandwich Week, Head Chef Gary Durrant of The Arch London has shared his top tips on how to create the perfect sandwich.

Making the same combination for lunch each day can become dull. So if your cheese and pickle rolls are starting to go stale, then these tips are guaranteed to help you improve your lunchtime routine.

Gary Durrant is the sandwich aficionado behind The Arch London’s signature Club Sandwich, as well as the sensational sandwiches on the Royal Afternoon Tea menu.  These are both served with the Gary’s unique homemade crisps seasoned with salt, sage and peppercorn.

Add some flavour

You can make your sandwich really stand out with just one extra ingredient. Try adding fresh herbs, a sliced hard-boiled egg or make your own quick pickles – cucumber, vinegar, oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Choose your bread wisely

The bread is the most important part. If you want to add very moist fillings, then it is best to go for dry and dense bread – or try flour tortillas. These will keep the ingredients fresh and the moisture content just right.

Two tier cake stand with sandwich assortment, Battenburg cake and strawberry tart

Afternoon tea at The Arch – simple egg and cress or ham, plus a spectacular open roast beef sandwich

Add some moisture…

For the right amount of moisture add your spread to both sides of the bread – this will also help lock in the flavour. Spread to every edge of the slice of bread to create a seal for the fillings.

Use butter, mayo, mustard, cream cheese or experiment with pesto, jam, chutney or salsa.

…but avoid a soggy sandwich

If you are adding lettuce, first dry it with kitchen roll to prevent the bread from getting soggy. Also place the lettuce at the top of the sandwich so that it remains crispy.

Do not put wet ingredients directly onto the bread – instead, layer them with drier items. For a basic sandwich example, add your fillings in this order:

  • cheese
  • meat (or alternative filling)
  • tomato
  • lettuce

Time for seasoning

Salt, pepper and spices can change a whole sandwich, so experiment! Add a pinch of salt to your vegetables before adding them to the sandwich for that extra flavour. Adding too much dressing to the salad in your sandwich can also make it soggy so season it lightly.

The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD

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Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!