Believe it or not, I do sometimes leave West London. And recently when I have it has invariably been to head to Soho.
I have just discovered the joy of the very late 19th century ‘booths’ at the back of the Kettner’s champagne bar and seize every chance I get to go to the noisiest coffee shop in the world on Wardour Street-aka the very stylish, and considerately insomniac Princi, with its perfect coffee and magnificent array of carbohydrates.
But in my opinion the new jewel in the Soho crown is Dean Street Townhouse-the latest addition to London’s restaurant scene from the Soho House Group. In a vaguely acquisitive way, I love trying new restaurants but over the past couple of weeks I have eschewed the allure of novelty to return to what is quickly becoming an adored and reliable Soho haunt, complete with an old-fashioned bar heaving with old-fashioned drinks.
It’s a bit like The Wolseley’s slightly less beautiful, but possibly much more fun little sister.
The interior feels so perfect right now-cosy and classic in the sort of muted, earthy colours that are simply begging to be seen by candlelight. Like the decor, the simple, no-frills yet very delicious food is at once totally timeless and very fashionable. The menu is seasonal but if you take my advice you’d book a table soon and try the minted pea soup and what I have been told might just be the best fish and chips in London. (Make sure you’re feeling hungry too because the peanut shortbread with salted caramel ice-cream is heaven on a plate!)
During the day there’s also a wonderfully quaint Savouries menu with things like Welsh Rarebit and Smoked Anchovies on toast- evocative of an imaginary, charmed childhood spent in a nursery.
Ask to be seated in the snug room at the back- the low velvet seats are so soft you can just drift off to sleep if the conversation gets dull…