Roka Mayfair | London

Roka mayfair
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

Sawyer & Gray

sawyer and gray
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

CT Coffee & Coconuts | Amsterdam

CT Coffee and coconuts - Amsterdam - lunch
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 | ££

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 | ££

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 | ££

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 | $$