Isabel (Mayfair glamour and crazy loos)

The usual clientele of Isabel do not arrive clutching their ‘proper’ shoes in a Lidl bag and attempt a surreptitious switch just outside. The doorman pretended not to notice such infra dig behaviour, even when repeated by Liz ten minutes later (minus carrier bag). Our seat in the window afforded the opportunity to see the […]

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Lupins (draughty bar seats, but oh, the food!)

A bomb-site isn’t a good spot for dinner. And so, surveying the ruins of my former kitchen, I rapidly started making dinner plans for the week ahead. Calling Lupins (at the edge of Flat Iron Square) to book, I was told the upstairs dining room was full, but there were two free seats at the […]

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St John Maltby (mackerel, marriage and awol pigs’ ears)

Kris came for the pigs’ ears. Imagine, then, her distress to discover the menu had changed. No porcine cartilage. Not a single piggy item on the menu. She was sufficiently distracted and distressed to miss the news of Christy and Philip’s engagement; while Christy and I merrily clinked glasses, the confused question came – “I’m […]

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Edwin’s (a neighbourhood gem in Borough… if you can find the staircase)

Picture your living room at its best. But better decorated, more elegant, and with a touch of vintage glamour. Add teal paint, leaded windows, big mirrors, and a fireplace. And you have the dining room at Edwin’s, a surprisingly unsung gem of a restaurant, perched at the top of a steep, almost hidden staircase over […]

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LASSCO bar & dining (brunch, and the art of peak hipster)

Brunch. In an architectural salvage warehouse in Bermondsey. Yes, I’m laughing at how pretentious I am too. But while Maltby Street at 11am on Sunday was already teeming with bleary-eyed souls in search of epic cheese toasties and giant vats of tartiflette … …LASSCO bar & dining was empty. What a find! (Literally in fact […]

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Roti King (roti, noodles and nostalgia in north London)

Settling into a cramped seat in the back corner, after 40 minutes in a queue snaking down the stairs, my mother announced “I feel a bit tearful”. In a good way it transpired, thankfully. She lived in Alor Setar in the ’60s and was experiencing a rush of nostalgia. My sister, Tara, too – on […]

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Beef fat satay, washed down with charcoal coffee (a Yogyakarta street food extravaganza)

I’ve never been so surprised by food as I was in Yogyakarta. Full credit goes to our guide Hario, who opened the eyes and filled the bellies of the three enthusiastic eaters on his afternoon street food tour. We began, at 4pm, with the iconic dish of Yogyakarta, gudeg, in one of a row of […]

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Duck & Waffle (or: why would you eat duck with a waffle?)

  After a vertiginous glass-lift ride to the 40th floor, I was shown to a table looking out across the grey, chilly London skyline. And asked not once, not twice, but three times if anyone was coming to join me at my table for three. The final time, the new and extremely enthusiastic waiter for […]

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Arthur Hooper’s (a convivial Borough Market local, with no need to queue)

Just the mention of smoked almonds had Alicia sold on trying Arthur Hooper’s. A second visit (with Christy) was unplanned – driven by the madness of the Padella queue (3 hours? Who are you kidding?) – but cemented my good opinion of this newish Borough Market local. On both visits, the staff were a bit […]

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Fera at Claridge’s (we came, we saw, we ate everything)

We had to ask the sommelier to repeat the name of the wine. It wasn’t that we didn’t catch it, it was that Alex and I wanted to hear him say Almansa Garnacha Tintorere Albahra again, in his delicious accent. We’d have asked for a third time too, but just managed to summon a shred […]

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