Toro Gordo | London

Toro-Gordo-kingstreet-hammersmith
Who doesn’t love small plates of Manchego cheese, garlic infused shrimps, boquerones with patatas bravas tapas on the side? Toro Gordo is a new tapas place a little out of the way if you have no reason to be near Hammersmith but it’s really close to my offices so I couldn’t wait to check it out – not many fun new places open around here. The restaurant is run by Miguel Caffarena, who previously worked at La Bodega Negra in Soho. It has a bit of that feel to it, even though it’s much more laid back. We had a lovely evening. The service wasn’t great but fine and we enjoyed the food even though I wouldn’t describe it as the best tapas I ever had, but I did feel strongly about writing about it as it’s such a great option for when you’re in the area, and perhaps a tiny bit hangover 😉 – the churros with a dark and white chocolate option as dessert is a must. 121 King Street | Tube: Hammersmith | Tel: +442088347434 | Website | ££

Bobo Social | London

bobo-social-london-charlotte-street I really enjoyed this new burger place. It’s on the lovely Charlotte Street so perfect for after work dinner, and there are loads of good places to go for drinks before and after. You might think, oh another fancy burger place…. but the difference between most burger places and Bobo Social I think is that it felt like a cosy restaurant instead of something overly trendy where you end up queuing for longer than you end up sitting down for dinner. For starters, you CAN book, secondly the place feels a little like a home – cosy and with friendly waiters, and they serve good drinks (cocktails and wines) and even starters. I absolutely loved the Mushroom and Truffle burger with guacamole and red pepper salsa. They also do a Peanut Butter burger – haven’t tried this one yet so please do let me know if you have. I might have to come back for it. 95 Charlotte Street | Tube: Goodge Street | Tel: +44207 636 9310 | Website | ££

Shrimpy’s | Kings Cross, London

Shrimpy's London Kings Cross snackettes dinette
If a place offers Snackettes, I’m generally sold. I love sharing plates so I can try lots of different things. Especially if it includes chips and dips and deep fried chillies. Shrimpy’s call themselves a deluxe dinette, offering burgers, chippies, as well as some other more healthy options. The restaurant was set up by the old crew behind Bistroteque and they renovated an old filling station to launch Shrimpy’s. The interior is a bit of a weird mix but I like it. Expect a good time surrounded by fun wall illustrations, lots of random golden pineapples, palm trees and a few giraffes.. PS. They have lots of seating space outside too. Goods Way | Tube: King’s Cross | Website | £££

Mazi | Notting Hill, London

Greek restaurant Mazi London Notting HillAmazing food, atmosphere and service at this cool Greek restaurant just off Notting Hill Gate. I wish I had discovered it earlier! It reminded me of summer holidays in Greece with white walls and a simple light decor. We went on a Friday night when it started to get really busy at 7.30pm – glad we made reservations! The lovely Greek waiter suggested to order 2 jars to start with, 2 hot dishes and one signature dish to share between the 2 of us. And so we did. Absolutely loved the grilled aubergine spread which came with really nice bread and a smokey flavour. We also thought the feta tempura was great, to mix with meringue and lemon. The calamari main was special but not our favourite while the greek yoghurt mousse was the perfect end to our dinner. Foodies will enjoy this place. They also have a cute garden in the back. 12-14 Hillgate Street | Tube: Notting Hill Gate | Tel: +44(0)2072293794 | Website | ££

Royal China | Bayswater, London

Royal China Dimsum London Bayswater
In case you are looking for an alternative to a Sunday Roast with a group of friends, I would highly recommend going for Dim Sum at Royal China. The place has apparently been here forever and is not fancy at all. It’s essentially an old-school retro Chinese with lots gold and black decor with great food. From gyoza’s, buns and dumplings to peking duck pancakes. They offer everything you wish for if you love Chinese dim sum. We would recommend going with a group of 4-5 so you can get one of the smaller tables. We were sat at a really large round one for 10 people and we couldn’t really connect with each other at the other side of the table. Royal China doesn’t take reservations so you might have to wait for your table but it goes relatively quick. Aside from the standard prawn & coriander dumplings and roast pork buns etc, you should also try the sautéed chili tofu ! 13 Queensway | Tube: Queensway | Tel: 020 7221 2535 | Website | ££

Hoxton Hotel, Holborn | London

Hubbard & Bell restaurant Hoxton Hotel HolbornThere is something I love about hanging out at hotels lately.. Especially when they have an open space bar for all day drinks, good work/laptop area and coffees (Soho Grind is next door) and 2 really nice restaurants options situated within the hotel for when you get hungry. You basically have no reason to leave this place. We only tested the Hubbard & Bell restaurant which is on the ground floor, open plan and sort of connected to the bar area so you feel you’re right in the midst of the action (above pic is of the H&B). The other restaurant is the Chicken Shop in the basement – by the owners of Soho House. It tends to slow down a little over the weekends compared to Tuesday-Friday when the after work crowd takes over. Oh and they have a great event/party space called the Apartment – I had a sneak peek and am already thinking of a reason to throw a party. 199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD | Tube: Holborn | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7661 3000 | Website | ££

 

 

The Musket Room | NYC, Nolita

The Musket Room NYC Nolita
New Zealand cuisine in Nolita. First of all, I absolutely loved the interior. It feels very rustic and understated but cool at the same time – very instagrammable! The food is impressive too. We shared the Heirloom Gazpacho, Fois Gras, New Zealand Red Deer and Chicken & Egg. All came beautifully presented with great taste. Good to know, the starters are tiny but the mains are normal sized so don’t be afraid you won’t end up with enough to eat. When you decide to go for an afternoon shop & stroll in Nolita, this restaurant is the perfect place to end the day. 265 Elizabeth Street, Nolita | Tel: +1(212) 219-0764 | Subway: Houston St & Prince St | Website | $$$

Hamyard Hotel | London

High tea Hamyard Hotel London
I have always been more of an Afternoon Cocktails girl than one for Afternoon Tea but now that I’m pregnant it’s my new favourite thing. Especially at the Hamyard Hotel in Soho. This hotel is the newest opening by the Firmdale Group who are also behind the Covent Garden, Charlotte Street and Soho Hotels in London as well as the Crosby Street Hotel in NYC. All look really cool and colourful. I love how they have a lot of art mixed in too, I always see thing I want to copy for my own flat.. In my opinion the Hamyard one feels the most modern and a little more laid back. Their high tea is perfect including tea, many savoury snacks, cakes and scones for £18. Ps. when you make a reservation I would ask to sit in the orangery area, it’s a little more lively.  1 Ham Yard | Tel: +44(0)20 3642 2000 | Tube: Piccadilly Circus | Website | £££

Buvette | NYC, West Village

Buvette Grove Street NYC West Village
I’ve been meaning to come here for ages and I finally did on my last trip. I absolutely love it. Buvette is a small cosy French cafe in the West Village that serves French tapas style food all day. Our evening starts with a super cute menu (and waiter) and we decide to go for some of the tartines, shaved Brussels sprout salad and a little pot of Coq au Vin to share (other dishes on the menu are pissaladière, croque monsieur, housemade charcuterie, tarte tartin, so French!). Everything tastes really good and the vibe of the place is great. Buvette is also known for offering amazing brunches so keep in mind if you’re in the area. There is a tiny terrace in the back so you can sit outside if you’re lucky. No reservations unfortunately. 42 Grove Street | Subway: Christopher St – Sheridan Sq | Tel: +1 212-255-3590 | Website | $$

Chiltern Firehouse | London

Chiltern Firehouse London
The Chiltern Firehouse Restaurant and Hotel is owned by the people who are behind the famous LA Chateau Marmont Hotel so I guess celebs were always going to show up. From Lindsey Lohan, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacy to David Beckham and the Delevigne sisters.. It’s made it almost impossible to get a table – thanks very much. Anyway, a few weeks ago I was finally able to check it out. I loved the vibe of the old Marylebone Firehouse Station. Both the courtyard area (lovely place for Sunday brunch in summer!) and the restaurant look so nice and felt really busy and buzzing. Great place for people watching. The chef is Nuno Mendes who worked at elBulli and lots of other prestige restaurants so I was expecting really great food. I got the Ceasar Salad which was nice but not amazing, next time I want to try the Crab Doughnuts – they looked so tasty. We had a little peek around the hotel and bar area and absolutely love their living/reading/party room, with a massive dj-set ready to go. I think I’m going to have to book a night at the hotel and pretend I live there one day. 1 Chiltern Street | Tube: Baker Street | Tel: +44(0)20 7073 7676 | Website | ££££