Champagne vodka cocktails
Being ushered in through the Georgian townhouse doorway of the Polish Hearth Club feels a bit like joining an intellectual’s literary soiree in mid-19th century Warsaw. I felt bereft without a cossack hat and furs as we entered on a cold December night, but the warmth within fully made up for it, as we were greeted by a towering, glittering Christmas tree and a fireplace sideboard for a reception desk. Continue reading
On a once rather drab corner opposite the Crown and 2 Chairmen pub on Soho’s Dean Street, where straw-covered Chianti bottle two-bit spaghetti house Il Siciliano used to sit, is now a rainbow riot of colour in the form of Galeto. A shiny new and ultra-eager ‘Brazilian Street Food’ joint, Galeto is named for the famous “little chicken” – its signature dish, a classic from the favela food stalls imported by the Portuguese to Brazil in the 70s according to the appropriately street-foody, recycled, brown paper menu. The offering is simple, the menu tiny, the staff all smiles and Latin flourishy friendliness. Continue reading
Get crabs in Lisbon. Yep – it’s an oldie but a goodie!
On a recent 48-hour jaunt to a wedding in Lisbon, I was finally able to indulge in the sheer joy of visiting a seafood zenith made (slightly more) famous by the notorious Anthony Bourdain, my kind of Chef. Cervejaria Ramiro – thronging with well to do Lisbonites on 3-hour, proper lunch breaks – is a place where Lobsert is king, his minions are prawns the length of a small baby and angels are oysters and spider crabs stacked to the ceiling. Continue reading
You’d be hard-pressed to beat a first night in Marrakech with dinner at Riad Farnatchi. As an introduction to the Riad lifestyle in general – these private Moroccan palaces converted to guest-houses, of which the city boasts over a thousand – Riad Farnatchi compels the senses with a full-blown whammy of exotic plushness. As per my request, the Chef also didn’t hold back with an assault on our taste-buds of Marrakchi classics, liberal with the spicing and rich on the best bits of the animals…
This is one of those “London is full of surprises” moments. In the relatively subdued and in-betweeny neighbourhood of St. James’s Park, which on this particular Saturday was prey to a marching black and white army of anti-Badger Cullers, sits the shiny newly refursbished, very smart and elegant St Ermin’s Hotel – once a notorious meeting place of secret agents and spies, now the third aquisition by Marriot’s “Autograph Collection” of independent, upscale hotels. James Bond meets interior design – my kind of den, really. And within this dazzling den, quietly ticking away, is the absolutely delightful Caxton Bar and Grill.
Koffman’s at The Berkeley
Dining at Koffman’s is a bit like eating in the ante-chamber of a giant billiards room in a London gent’s townhouse (because I’d know all about that, you see). The edgy feeling that behind one of the doors, is a bustling, incredibly fun dining establishment bursting with vim, vigour and gluttonous diners throwing claret down their gullets by the carafe-load. Continue reading
Strozzapreti with Sicilian prawns and butternut squash – Cucina Asellina