Spiced perfection at the Tandoor Chop House…

The streets of Charing Cross are littered with more than just shredded copies of yesterdays Metro and empty McDonald’s bags puff-balling morosely towards Trafalgar Square. Pink heeled hens cackle up to the goldfish bowls of Covent Garden’s cocktail making classes, swarms of tanned & backpacked continental teens marvel inexplicably at the disturbingly dreadful floating Yodas upon whom stone Nelson gazes down in utter despair and tourist masses decant from ‘Dream Girls’ and ‘Kinky Boots’, clutching £10 programmes and warbling all the way back to the tube.

Every now and then though, something happens that’s surprising and rather special; someone opens a restaurant in the sort of area you normally power-walk through to get to somewhere better, only this time Tandoor Chop House is the something better. Actually, it’s something a lot better and if Indian food in the capital doesn’t equate to thickly clotted sauces, slice-able bricks of boiled white rice or poppadums that leave an oil slick trailing behind them to you, then it may just be what you’re after.

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London dining at its most gorgeous? That’ll be Bronte then…

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Bronte is a beauty of a restaurant. Designed by British brand Tom Dixon – worth a swoon for their bowls & platters alone – every inch of the restaurant is a dream of brushed gold lighting, emerald leather banquettes and a cotton candy pink bar.

Sat squarely on a corner of the Strand, the bar gives you the opportunity to sit inside watching denim shirted bartenders mix a little magic or perch outside for al fresco cocktail drinking as you watch the world go by in Trafalgar Square. The sweet & smoky mescal heavy ‘Mirage’ is laced with pineapple, cactus fruit liqueur & passion-fruit and comes served in the sort of heavy crystal tumbler that makes you feel as though you’re getting a real drink; with a lick of heat & a kiss of blackberry, it’s a perfect way to start your evening.

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Cream puffs & ceramic pineapple cocktails aka the classy side of San Francisco…

So far in San Francisco we have covered a lot of savoury ground. I’m talking from the ocean with salmon rice bowls to south of the border with burritos to err, Italy with macaroni cheese sandwiches…? Granted, that is one tenuous link there on the last one but forgive me and something deliciously sweet washed down with something tropically potent will be your reward…

First stop of the day then is Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs. Do you know how I knew these were going to be good before I even delicately stuffed one into my mouth? Because J recommended them. J doesn’t have the world’s sweetest tooth so when we wandered past the unassuming, downtown store front and he exclaimed with delight that they were amazing, I knew I had to stop and experience them for myself.

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