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 | ££
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 | £££
Amazing 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 | ££
There 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 | ££
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 | $$$
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 | £££
On Charlotte Street (one of my favourite streets in London) is this cute, simple, raw restaurant where I had a good dinner a few weeks back. This would be a place I pick for a dinner on a weekday. Not quite fancy enough for a Friday Night perhaps but still a great spot for dinner with some friends. Charlotte Street is a great hang out so always good to have a few options. The restaurant is tiny with some tables outside on the pavement, some seats at the bar, seats on high stools at high tables and upstairs 6 or so tables squeezed into a small space. It seems like a big trend the past few years in London but also this place has the sharing dishes idea. London would not be a great place for Joey Tribbiani (from Friends – who does NOT SHARE food) The interior is a combination of wood and metal. The only thing I did not like about this place was the charcuterie platter we got (for 2 people); 3 pieces of meat that did not even taste well so I would not necessarily order that. If you want a great charcuterie platter to start you evening with you better go across the street to Vagabond. 18 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London | ££ | Tube: Goodge Street | +442075803842 | No Booking Policy | Website
Sex, Coffee & Rock n Roll in what is says outside their ‘shop’ which makes you curious… I was contemplating what to do and peeking inside (drawn in by the red lights) and then the nice guy at the counter persuaded us to come in and check it out. We first had an espresso in their upstairs bar (which was seriously good) and we then moved down into their tiny little basement floor for an Espresso Martini. Love this concept of coffee & cocktails which makes it the perfect stop for after dinner. You leave your restaurant after dessert, head here for a great coffee of any kind and then have a few cocktails downstairs to finish off a great evening. However, I just read on their website that they offer food of all kinds during the day as well (from porridge and eggs to salads, cold meats, filled croissants and soups) There are two other Grinds in London (Picadilly and Shoreditch). I am in Love.
19 Beak Street, London | £££ | Mon-Thurs 7am-11.30pm, Fri 7am – midnight, Sat 8am – midnight, Sun 9am-8pm | Tube: In between Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus
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 | ££££
Last night I had dinner is this buzzing, loud, funky open plan kitchen in Soho. Awesome place!! I love ceviche and theirs is mouthwateringly good. It rains Sea Bream in classic Peruvian combinations on their menu which is good and I believe I had at least three Pisco Sours (they were even better).
Don’t go here with your grandparents or poor hearing friends because the volume of the music is turned on full power but the atmosphere is absolutely great. Señor Ceviche is located in a food hall in the middle of Soho; a different experience than a place off the street but a great wining, dining, food destination where you are sure to find something that suits your needs (from hamburgers to healthy smoothies) The restaurant itself looks funky with coloured wooden tables, industrial lamps and chairs, bright coloured posters, colourful tiles and a professional looking open plan kitchen. The interior is completely inspired on Lima’s market life and it seriously felt like being on holiday while having dinner here so I guess they did great a great job in terms of vibe. Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London | Tube: in between Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus | £££ | email@example.com | Website