The Big Smoke is renowned for everything from award-winning exhibitions to heritage tours, designer and high street shopping, and a real-life Hollywood princess.
Its gastronomy scene is another thriving facet – London’s melting pot of cultures and peoples have come together to create one of the most vibrant and diverse food cities in the world.
Here is our itinerary for 72, very palatable hours a Londres.
12PM – Lunch At Wheeler’s Bank
There’s no better way to begin your London stay than with a meal at the restaurant of one of the country’s original celebrity chefs – enfant terrible, Marco Pierre White. The restaurant specializes in steaks and British produced cooked well, plus a side of handsome, sharply dressed bankers from the vicinity.
2PM – Check-In: The Threadneedles
Situated in the same building as Wheeler’s – the Grade II Heritage Listed building was formerly the head quarters of the London, City & Midlands Bank. Today the elegant 74-room Autograph Collection hotel has won numerous accolades. From this vantage point, see how the frenetic buzz of the Financial District ebbs out come Saturday, and you are left to explore the historical buildings of the Square Mile in an otherworldly like calm.
Fact: Some 55,000 commute into the Financial district for work on weekdays. The actual residents in the area numbers about 5000.
6PM – Cocktails & Tapas at Sabor
Time to party! Those in the know will tell you that cult tapas joint Barrafina’s head chef Nieves Barragan Mohacho moved and opened Sabor in early 2018. Despite the queues, the reviews are incandescent. Go early for prime seating, and don’t miss the Prawn Croquetas, Pulpo a Feira, Chorizo Tortilla, Crisp Pig’s Ears, and more from the asador upstairs. We also recommend you make your way through the delightful list of vermu.
9AM – Breakfast At Borough Market
Another reason to stay at Bank – its proximity to the London Bridge and just beyond it, the culinary haven that is Borough Market. Begin with coffee at Monmouth, then amble around with one of the heavenly doughnuts from Bread Ahead, before you join the notoriously long queue for….
12PM – Lunch At Padella Pasta
The fresh pasta, efficient, friendly team, and upbeat music will have all your queue woes forgotten the minute you step in. We started with green olives and salame, the ‘must-have’ Pici Cacio e Pepe, Tagliarini with Dorset crab, Chilli & Lemon, and a special of fettuccine with fresh black truffles. The Padella Negroni was also imbibed with ease and appreciation.
Then for a walk and wander – get lost for a few hours at Tate Modern, and saunter across the Thames on the Millennium Bridge towards St. Paul’s Cathedral.
3:30PM – Tea At Leadenhall Market
Take tea at the spectacular Victorian-era Leadenhall Market (also one of the sites for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies), a mere 5-minute detour as you stroll back to Threadneedle Street.
7PM – Dinner At Bright
Lauded by critics, yet still under the radar, Bright is a 7-minute black cab ride away in Shoreditch. The restaurant offers natural, low-intervention wines served alongside a short menu of rustic, interesting and delicious dishes which range from Chicken Katsu Sandos, to Mussels, Smoked Mackerel Broth & Curry Leaf, Pork Chop with Quince Preserve and Turbot with Cider Butter. We loved it because it’s a step towards the future of British cooking, with the list of sustainably produced wines being a big plus.
9AM – Breakfast In Bed
Sleep in, it is after all a long-weekend getaway. When you’re ready, order breakfast from Wheeler’s – the Full English is lovingly curated by Marco Pierre White, and it is a stunner. Expect fat juicy sausages, aromatic black pudding and eggs done to perfection, with fresh orange juice and strong black coffee, you’re fuelled up for the day.
12PM – Lunch At Duck Duck Goose
There are no Chinese people in sight working in the kitchen at this modern Cantonese canteen, but don’t let that be a deterrent. Owner-Chef Oli Brown has perfected the roast duck technique – crispy golden brown skin that almost shatters under your teeth, giving way to moist succulent duck imbued with flavor – in our opinion this is second to none in London (or Hong Kong). Every dish is stellar, from the roast pork to soy-poached chicken, prawn toast and seasonal greens with dried chilli and sesame. They started operating out of a tiny, quirkily decorated container in Brixton, but have since stopped service with the view of opening in Central London. Keep abreast via their Instagram.
7PM – Dinner At The Holborn Dining Room
End the weekend on a pie high at the Holborn Dining Room, where chef Calum Franklin is doing some very sexy things with pastry. Curried Mutton Pie may not be to everyone’s favour, but here’s a pie that will turn you (on). Then, there’s the beautiful rendition of Beef Wellington, the work-of-art Comte, Caramelised Onion & Dauphinoise and the pate en croute – which is moist and full of flavor on the inside, encased in a lovely light golden pastry on the outside – that’s what they’re all like, actually.