Don’t let the crisp white linen, expert service and grandiose surroundings fool you – HIX is relaxed and welcoming.
Old school values are very much at home at Mark Hix’s funky Mayfair incarnation of traditional British cuisine. A silver trolley service nestles against wooden panelling, as Ionic columns jut up behind a traditional bar, yet the upholstery’s colour scheme is a bold purple and green, and Tracy Emin declares in pink neon ‘I love you more than I can love’ from her canvas above the fireplace. Diners might echo that same sentiment of love for Hix, after joyously feasting on his traditional menu that retains a playful touch of cool Britannia…
Read my full review for View London, including HIX’s dense slices of Albemarle smoked salmon, tender Scottish Kingairloch red deer with chanterelle mushrooms, and classic treacle tart.
> HIX Mayfair review
There has been a flurry of cycling cafés opening in East London of late. Inspired by the famous Tours around the world, I set three café head to head, latte to latte, to see who comes out victorious with the yellow jersey. Continue reading
Let’s face it: makeshift BBQ’s don’t work.
The debacle goes something like this: you can’t be bothered to heave a full-size BBQ up onto Hampstead Heath, so you raid the corner shop for one of those disposable numbers instead. All disposable BBQs should really be disposed of immediately, however, you still waste 45 minutes trying to get the thing to light – whilst you and your friends cower around a tin foil container that’s half the size of your burger, trying to convince each other that it’s not that cold, really.
You could go to The Stag pub just off the heath, to enjoy locally sourced meat, ostentatiously classic desserts, and a BBQ beer garden that’s almost as beautiful as the heath itself… Read more of my Stag review here.
Behind an unmarked door, down a cobbled alleyway, just off a 14th-century square – you could be forgiven for missing Le Cafe du Marche, yet it’s only minutes from Farringdon Station and Clerkenwell Road. A double bassist and jazz pianist set the relaxed tone to the evening, whilst the restaurant’s classic French cuisine and expert service combine fine dining with friendliness. An unforgettable, five-star dining experience. Read more of my View London review here.
Whites walls, almost no windows – but it doesn’t matter. Dinings is the best sushi I’ve had in London; where else would you consume seared tuna that makes you question the boundaries of your own body, or crab tar-tar tacos that bring you back to reality with a wasabi-kicking crunch. Read my View London review here.
We didn’t speak all night. I hadn’t seen the friend opposite me for eight years – but the food was too delicious to talk of anything else… click here for more of the Village East review.
Rasa Travancore, Stoke Newington
When an establishment has two restaurants on the same road – both of which are full – you know you’re on to a good thing. I have tried to get into the vegetarian Rasa on two occasions now, but long queue has always meant that I’ve ended up at the carnivores’ Rasa across the road. I say ‘ended up’ like it was second best, but I soon forget my disappointment as the friendly waiters bring out an assortment of fantastical crunchy rice flour and black sesame snacks and pickles whilst I peruse the menu. Continue reading