The Wolseley Restaurant
Welcome to London! The home of many great things, including Mawi and lots and lots of wonderful restaurants. I’ve rounded up some recommendations of where to eat this LFW. Some are old, some are new, some are East, some are West, some are smart, some are a bit scruffier… What they share is that they’re all authentic places to fall in love with.
Have a delicious London Fashion Week!
1) The Wolseley, 160 Picadilly, London (0207 499 6996) - This is a London institution! Housed in a beautiful art deco building which was once an elegant car showroom in the 1920s, today The Wolseley on London’s iconic Picadilly is a wonderfully old-fashioned, quintessentially British place to enjoy long suppers with crisp linen tablecloths, antique silver and a charmingly quaint menu. The souffle and the crab are two of my favourites…It’s also famous for its scrumptious afternoon teas! And if you keep your eyes open, you’re sure to spot a few famous fashion faces…
2) Automat, 33, Dover Street (020 7499 3033)- Just up from The Wolseley on super-smart Dover Street is another London restaurant with a fabulous interior and an equally fabulous menu. This is the London outpost of the chic American diner- a favourite with Anna Wintour when she is in town! The menu is all-American steaks, mac and cheese and the best fries in town.
3) Cecconis, 5a Burlington Gardens (020 7434 1500)- Also in Mayfair, is my favourite Italian restaurant in London- Cecconis. This chic haunt is perfect for both business and romantic dinners. Get dressed up and enjoy the sublime menu. It can be difficult to get a table but you can always perch at the bar, drink Bellinis and eat cichetti- a bit like Italian tapas. This is where British Vogue hold dinners when they want to impress.
4) Dean Street Townhouse, 69 – 71 Dean Street (020 7434 1775) – If you fancy something a little less swish and a bit more cosy, head into the heart of London’s colourful Soho for dinner at Dean Street Townhouse. I’ve raved about this place before on the blog, and continue to love its lively yet intimate atmosphere and no frills good British food (the peanut shortbread with salted caramel ice-cream is the best pudding on earth). They also have rooms if you fancy prolonging your sojourn in Soho!
5) Polpetto, 49 Dean Street, (020 7734 1969), Nestled away above Soho’s legendary pub, The French House (drinking den of the likes of Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon), if you want to be in on a Londoner’s secret, come to Polpetto. With just 28 seats this is an intimate affair serving good, straight-forward small Italian dishes- order lots and share. It gets incredibly busy in the evenings when things operate on a first come first serve basis, so try to sneak away from the shows for lunch when you can make a booking.
6) Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell (020 7833 8336) - This foodie gem is quite far from the hub of LFW but it’s well worth the trip. Quite simply the best Spanish cuisine and tapas I have ever had. Fun, lively but not pretentious, or self-consciously ‘hip’, eat here and feel part of real London life.
7) Paramount, Centre Point, 101–103 New Oxford Street (020 7420 2900) – The Centre Point Building isn’t actually all that tall but because it dwarfs the buildings around it, it commands spectacular views over London. Previously it has only been open to private members, but the sky-high restaurant and bar are now open to the public. Sit at the Tom Dixon designed bar and order martinis and chic bar food.
(8) Viajante, Patriot Square, off Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9NF (020 871 0461) – I blogged a while ago about Nuno Mendes’ cool Loft Project in Dalston, and also interviewed the man himself for Luxury Society. While the Loft Project is ideal for a special launch or event, to sample Nuno’s idiosyncratic cooking and restaurant concept, head to London’s exciting East End and get a table at his stylish restaurant, Viajante. If you can’t stretch to the full restaurant experience, Nuno has also developed a fantastic and affordable bar menu. Start your night here and then head out afterwards to understand why people say London street style is the best!
9) Bistrotheque, 23-27 Wadeson Street, E2 9DR (020 8983 7900) – A Londoner’s favourite, Bistrotheque is one of a cohort of restaurants and bars that is pulling London Eastwards. This cool space offers everything from drinks, dining and entertainment. (And they also serve up a killer brunch at the weekend). The dining room upstairs is always packed serving simple, seasonal fare inspired by the French bistro tradition. There’s also a cosy performance space famous for its OTT, camp cabarets and entertainment, and there’s also a tiny bar with a big personality. East London at its best!
10) Maroush 38 Beauchamp Place, SW3 1NU, (020 7581 5434) - For after-hours Fashion Week dining, it’s got to be Maroush on Beauchamp Place (they have a host of other branches though so check out the website.) A LFW favourite with the Mawi team, Maroush is basically a very posh kebab shop, and for vegetarians like me there’s delicious humus, crudités and grilled halloumi. What I love best about this place is the authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere and clientele- it really feels like you’ve travelled to some exotic city!