- I was in charge of booking a meal with my sister Charlotte for her birthday, so I chose Picture Marylebone, which I haven’t been able to stop gushing about since I went about a month ago. The tasting menu is a steal at £40/head, but if you go via Bookatable you get it for a £35, plus a complimentary grapefruit bellini. Take all your fussy-bugger friends; they tailored the menu to the three of us with custom-printed menus, even though one of us was a vegetarian and one a dairy-free pescaterian. (And don’t forget to let them know ahead of time; no chef likes an unexpected vegan.)
- Another birthday meal, this time for my boyfriend Mike at the wonderful Native in Covent Garden. Co-founder Imogen, who used to be the falconer at Wimbledon (!), did us a custom set menu which had most of us gorging on wood pigeon kebab and South Downs venison, and they opened on Sunday just for us (so we had the whole place to ourselves!) I was enjoying myself too much to take any pictures, but take a look at my full review.
- One Tuesday night I took the Victoria line down to Brixton for a second trip to Kricket with Rosie and Lou (first trip reviewed here). Three is the perfect number to order literally everything without getting too spendy – about £20 each plus drinks. It’s currently cooking out of a shipping container at Pop Brixton, but a bigger, more grown-up restaurant is coming to Soho in November. There will be no reservations, naturally, so elbows at the ready.
- Last week Mike and I had a swift Sunday lunch at the newly re-opened Tramshed at 50% off. Pros: chips and sauces included in the price, complimentary sparkling water and that cow by Damien Hirst. Cons: Disappointingly fatty sirloin steak and hungover, hipster wait staff.
- I’ve rekindled my love for G&Ts after trying Sipsmith’s new Lemon Drizzle flavour, which does for lemons what Hendricks did for cucumber. (Except not horrible like cucumber. Bleurgh.) It’s available exclusively from M&S.
- My old uni mate Emily and I risked Bao on a Friday night, feckless fools that we are, but managed to get our bums on seats within half an hour (queuing from 5:55pm, if you’re interested). The food is great, except a dish of thoroughly underwhelming sweet potato fries, but the overall experience is not worth the wait. Go on your day off when it’s quiet.
- Ellis and I looked in on the launch of the Only At Bruton menu at Hakkasan Mayfair a couple of weeks ago, where new full-size dishes had been converted into adorable canapes. Hakkasan is one of my favourite special occasion restaurants in London, though I tend to prefer the Hanway Place location. I may start making exceptions for the Szechuan-style stir-fry langoustine. Surprise contender: the (veggie-friendly) Three Treasure Crispy Bean Curd Wrap.
- Flat Iron’s Covent Garden branch is my new favourite. It’s huge, so you don’t have to wait as long, and there’s free salted caramel ice cream cones for everyone who doesn’t nick the steak knives. Pair that with £10 steaks – Mike always has two – and you’ve got yourself a pretty cheap night out.
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.