Winning in life – and at dinner – in the Wigmore…

The thing about the Wigmore is that it’s good. It’s really good. The fact that it’s barely five minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus – something which would normally put me off being anywhere near it – works in its favour here. You won’t quite be able to believe just how close you are to the part of London that makes normal people want to curl up in a corner and cry because it’s so beautiful and welcoming and soothing and buzzing and stylish inside. Those are adjectives never usually applied to a sentence containing the words ‘oxford’ and ‘circus’.

Decked out in shades of pistachio and olive, lit by glowing copper stemmed bulbs and offering polished wood, leather stools & the comfiest of armchairs, it looks for all the world like a cross between a movie-set court-room and the personal library of your Pinterest dreams. As someone with a bit of thing for bar-side dining, my tip would be to get there for an early-bird dinner and bag two seats on the back of the 360-degree bar. You’re on the quieter side of the space but perfectly placed within chatting distance of the very friendly bartenders. You’re also ideally seated for people watching, my favourite kind of acceptable nosiness.

With a menu from the pen and the pan of Michel Roux Jnr, the fact that it’s simple, elegant and exciting will come as no surprise. Certain dishes have, naturally, already become staples on London’s late 2017 Instagram dining scene – hello baby crumpets and giant toastie – whilst others are less showy but stonkingly delicious.

You can’t have a decent bar menu without chips. Here they arrive chunky as a Christmas lovers’ thighs come January 2nd when all that remains of the Quality Street are tooth shatteringly unlikeable toffee pennies. These chips are hot, crispy, fluffy and covered in an intensely sharp & moreish Bloody Mary Salt.IMG_4787Those afore mentioned crumpets are perfect two-bite canape inspiration and come topped with sweet crab meat, brittle slivers of seaweed and a smattering of paprika. Rich and fresh, this is the second time in as many months that I’ve seen these baby crumpets out and about and, as pugs & party food are proof that the world loves anything miniature, I’m just gonna place my bets and call them out now as something we’ll be seeing everywhere by the end of 2018.IMG_4793 Read More

A stunning birthday dinner at Boundary, Shoreditch…

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Having already had one fantastic birthday dinner this week, I have now been lucky enough to not only have another but to have one in a place with food so amazing that it now ranks as one of the top 3 meals I’ve had since moving to London. It’s hard to compare places against each other – how do you decide whether this portions-as-big-as-your-bathtub American style diner is better than that cosy-with-the-scent-of-garlic-lingering-around-you-for-days-afterwards Italian or if that impeccably-romantic-and-tastefully-muted French bistro tops that super-chilled-dig-in-with-your-fingers sushi place? It’s kind of impossible but actually sometimes a place comes along that simply can’t help knocking all other competitors out of the running, acsending to that gold medal podium and shaking it’s fists in euphoric victory.

Such a place is Boundary, Shoreditch.

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Pineapple re-imagined at Cuba Libre, Angel…

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Angel is the kind of place where you can find food from just about any corner of the globe – it’s one of the things I love about it and one of the reasons so many people come here searching for top quality food. Cuba Libre came highly recommended from friends as a great place to go for a fun, lively evening and to enjoy a huge variety of tapas so when the lovely EJ and her fiance A came down to visit, this seemed like an opportune time to give it a go… Read More