Saturday, 27 October 2012

Eating and drinking my way around London

I keep reading and hearing about new eateries and bars to try out around London. Sometimes I even get round to going to them. But with having the memory of a goldfish I tend to forget them almost immediately, even if they were bloody marvellous.  I keep meaning to write them down, but I forget to do that, too.

So I’ve decided to do a brain-dump here, more for my benefit that yours (sorry dear readers), so I no longer have to spend an hour deliberating where to meet friends at 4pm on a rainy Saturday, or keep texting my friends asking for the name of 'that place near the thing where we had that great falafel about 2 years ago.'

Today: West End, Mayfair and East.

 Apostrophe, Grosvenor Street / St Christopher’s place - The Best Hot Chocolate I Have Ever had, and I’ve had a lot. (Apart from the Choco CafĂ© in Prague, maybe.) So thick you need to eat it with a spoon. Order it ‘small and thick’ and feel all your troubles melting away.

Maze, Grosvenor Square  - Very swanky and not inexpensive Mayfair establishment, but surprisingly welcoming and happy for you to perch in the bar with one large glass of wine, when you’ve just left your office over the road and deposited your gym kit and bag of Sainsbury’s shopping with their immaculate cloakroom staff.  They give you lovely nibbles, too. It took 4 visits and as many C-list ‘sleb’ spots before I realized it was the Maze. Shows what a long day at work can do to you  - and that high-end venues needn’t be twattish.

Vita Organic, Wardour Street  - – no meat, no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no additives, nothing cooking above a low heat so all technically raw. But still manages to be delicious.

The Samuel Smiths pub on the way to Marylebone, which I’m told is actually called Angel In The Field and is on Thayer Street - One of the few places near the West End for a seat and a reasonably priced drink in a well lit pub, even on a Friday evening. I am getting old!

Follow this with pitta and hummus a couple of doors down Thayer Street at Diwan before you get on the tube.

A great, kitch and but doubtless deeply inauthentic Lebanese is just behind St Christopher’s place  - Le Comptoir Libanais, Wigmore Street - A real failsafe for lunch or dinner. Lovely, lovely food. If there’s two of you get a big mezze platter and a meaty wrap to share, then extra mezze if you’ve got room.

Little Georgia, Hackney In between Hackney City Farm and Broadway market, it provides amazing winder warmers like pungent, tomato paprika-y mushroom and aubergine stew topped with wondrous gooey cheese. And great big colourful carrot and beetroot salads. I’ve not tried their traditional cheese bread yet (the one I sampled at The Georgian opposite Clapham South tube was like a big hug for my tummy), but as it’s now made it into one of Nigella’s cookbook’s it’s got to be on my to-eat list for next time. Their website doesn’t seem to be working yet and they appear to have opened another branch, so it’s the one at 87 Goldsmith’s Road.

Still to come – Central, North, South West and Places I Still Need to Go.

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