Completely excited about this relatively new restaurant in Mayfair. Just a few steps away from Roka Mayfair actually (very different food, atmosphere and price range though!) This is a great French Bistro restaurant to go to for lunch during business hours but it looks so good that I think it will probably also be really nice in the evenings or for drinks in the afternoon. The interior style is contemporary and industrial with very cool light fixtures and it looks light and fresh during the day. I Loved their tableware so much that I now have the same tableware at home and I also found their salads original and fresh.
In their basement they have a very cool looking cocktail bar. 41 North Audley Street, London | Tube: Bond Street | +4420 7493 3443 | ££ |Website
Oh my what is this restaurant good… Heavenly…The best. I am in love. I had trouble getting a reservation here so I would recommend making a reservation a few weeks before especially if you want to go in the weekend.
I also recommend you try the Premium tasting menu.. Expensive but the best, and it allows you to try things you may not select yourself. I basically could not speak a few times because I was just trying to figure out how to express myself about the divine food that entered my mouth haha…
Okay so; the restaurant is located in Mayfair (there is another Roka in Marlybone – see Guusje’s post), has a contemporary Japanese Robatayaki cuisine (award-winning) and has room for about 80 people in the main dining area, a few high tables with stools for 2 guests and seats around their Robatayaki grill. They also have a few tables outside on the pavement. The grill is in the center of the restaurant and the whole place has a warm contemporary feel to it. I wish I could eat here everyday! 30 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London | +4420 7305 5644 | ££££ | Tube; Marble Arch or Bond Street | Website | Map
By accident I ended up in this completely amazing little bar in Islington (walking distance from Highbury and Islington station) I had a reservation in Le Coq next door and went to wait for our table to be ready in this charming place. So cute. It is the place you want to take your friends from out of town to, to show them how cute, cool, funky and creative London is as a city! Their kitchen is too small to start a ‘real’ restaurant so they are only open on Fridays and Saturdays for tapas etc. The rest of the week just breakfast and lunch. 290 Saint Paul’s Road, Islington, London | Tube; Highbury & Islington | £££ | Website
Love this little restaurant in Islington on walking distance from Highbury & Islington Station and right next to the BEST bar ever (Sawyer and Grey) In le Coq you pick a starter and as a main you’ll get the most amazing, juicy, free range roast chicken with sides of your choice… The interior is cozy with an open plan kitchen, small tables, industrial details and big windows overlooking St Paul’s Road. Perfect restaurant to go as an easy dinner during the week, with your parents when in the neighbourhood or with your romantic date. Probably wise to make a reservation on time if you are planning to go here in the weekend. On top of this they have a private dining room, do take away and office delivery and catering for large parties! 292-294 Saint Paul’s Road, London |+4420 7359 5055 | Tube; Highbury & Islington | £££ | Website | Map
Now that I’m spending some time in Amsterdam as part of my maternity leave I finally have time to check out what’s new and fun in one of my favourite cities. CT’s is situated in an old twenties style cinema building so think extreme high ceilings, various floors and open plan everything.. A unique space. They did a really good job in making it feel relaxed with a natural look while still keeping it buzzing. Love the black & white photographs on the walls. Probably one of the reasons why it feels good is because it’s almost always busy – be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends. On the menu are fresh juices, smoothies, herbal teas, granola, coconut pancakes ( made from almond flour), different salads, a selection of bites and they do dinner too, all very delicious. Ceintuurbaan 282 | Tel: +31203541104 | 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 | £££
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 | ££
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam hotel consists of six 17th century canal houses right in the heart of Amsterdam. The hotel is very chic, very big and very grand. Think marble floors, high ceilings, monumental stair cases and superrrr attentive staff. I have to be honest in saying that the interior style in the rooms is not particularly my style but it is definitely very comfortable ;-). They also have a luxury spa with access to the indoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and three treatment rooms for relaxing and massages. Great hotel if you are staying in Amsterdam for business and you want something central, very comfortable and with superb food.. Their restaurant Librije’s Zusje has the former chef of 3 Michelin star restaurant de Librije as their master chef so the food there is absolutely amazing. I also loved their vault bar which you entry through an enormous original steel door (this part of the hotel was originally a bank and the old 19th century vaults are still visible behind the bar) It is very much a gentlemen’s bar (for girls too…) in terms of atmosphere; Dark and chic. Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam | Tel: +31207184600 | Tram: 4 (Keizersgracht/Utrechtsestraat) 9, 14 (Rembrandtplein) | €€€€ | 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 | £££
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 | $$