There’s a special kind of magic when a group of people gather around a table – all the way from a humble cup of tea, through to intricate tasting menus that titillate the palates. Soutine is elegantly in the middle, a Parisien corner of Salon de thé, a St John’s Wood restaurant in a glorious period building. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the newly opened Soutine but as ever, all dreamy pastel metaphors are very much my own.
We gathered, a group of four expats – talking of life, love and kettles (long hilarious story) over a table filled with delectable dishes.
It’s late in the day. Your tummy is rumbling, but you can’t face the thought of first deciding what to cook, working out where to get the ingredients from and then HORROR OF ALL HORRORS cook it in the correct order for a nice dinner. So, I’ve put together this list with 7 of my favourite informal London restaurants.
Think of it as a dinner time gift from me to you (and then probably back to me again because my blog is a sterling memory keeper for those days that I can’t remember anything.)
The honey-stone walls of Oxford city centre conjure all kinds of wishes and whimsy – and each time that I’ve stayed overnight in Oxford, it’s like slipping into an architectural Narnia. Disclaimer: On this visit I was an invited guest of Mercure Hotels and Experience Oxfordshire, but all thoughts and laboured literary metaphors are very much my own.
Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time.
“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.)
We met for lunch on a snow-filled day, one of those winter ones where your cheeks are rosy and you nestle as far into your scarf as you can.
I’ve always maintained that a good meal is worth making an effort for, so I decided to gather together 5 of the best lunches worth travelling around the world for – the noonday repasts that I have loved and would happily travel again for.
There’s a real combination in this list- from 2-Michelin starred luxurious hotels to simple, delicious treats accompanied by the fresh sea air – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.