• Tang at St Giles

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love autumn.  In fact, it’s probably my favourite time of year.  But the combination of the clocks going back and stupidly long hours spent in the office have left me in need of a little pick-me-up.  And pick-me-ups don’t get much littler than Tang.  Not because it didn’t have the desired effect, but because it is genuinely tiny.  This weeny Chinese restaurant is hidden away in one of those strangely unpalatable parts of the West End, just off Tottenham Court Road, and you’ll definitely need to keep your eyes peeled to find it.  It’s worth wandering up and down the tourist-choked streets of WC1, however, because Tang is a hidden…

  • London Cocktail Week 2016

    My poor liver.  It’s taken a bit of a battering lately.  All in the name of research, you understand…. Recently one of my favourite events took place – London Cocktail Week.  Now, usually I try and pace myself, spread my “investigations” throughout the week, break it up a bit.  But this year?  No.  This year I decided to cram it all into the final weekend.  So it was less “London Cocktail Week”, more “London Cocktail Weekend”.  Never before have I planned a drinking sesh with such military precision, and never before have I necked drinks with such speed when it’s not closing time.  However, I lived to tell the tale so here are my highlights…

  • Tayyabs

    First dates are the worst.  I particularly hate first dates that involve going to a restaurant because I get so nervous that eating – such a simple thing – becomes impossible.  So a first date that involves not just food, but very spicy food, really is the stuff of nightmares for me.  On the plus side, however, this date took place at Tayyab’s.  Despite the fact that the relationship eventually crashed and burned, I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to this gem of a restaurant. Tayyab’s is a Punjabi restaurant tucked away down a side street in Whitechapel.  It is something of a local institution, with people prepared to queue…

  • Artusi

    London’s a strange one.  You move here all bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited by the endless variety and eager to explore all that the capital has to offer.  Fast forward several years and you find that the city has shrunk to a bubble of “home” and “work”.  That’s why it’s great to suddenly find an excuse to venture beyond the borders of your own little world.  For me, that excuse has been flat-hunting – and my search took me to Peckham and Artusi. Peckham’s association with Only Fools and Horses is long gone.  These days you’re more likely to find a beardy hipster sipping on a Negroni instead of Del Boy knocking back…

  • Cafe Murano

    Mondays suck.  There is very little doubt about this.  Dragging yourself out of bed at an unreasonably early time, squishing onto the sweaty tube, dealing with emails before you’ve had a cup of coffee.  No thank you.  However, there are one or two things that can improve a Monday.  Leaving work at lunchtime always helps.  A visit from your mum and lunch at a top restaurant, like Cafe Murano, pretty much guarantees a better start to the week. Here’s the thing.  Cafe Murano isn’t actually a cafe.  It’s a rather sophisticated restaurant from Angela Hartnett, former chef-patron of The Connaught.  The “cafe” element comes from the fact that it’s a more laid-back version of…

  • The Polish Bakery

    In the murkiness of a post-Brexit world, there is one thing for certain.  Living in London has allowed me unparalleled access to a huge array of cultures and new experiences.  I feel so lucky to be able to choose from cuisines as eclectic as Eritrean or Ecuadorian, Swedish or Swiss.  However, I do have a weakness for food from one area in particular – and that’s Poland. I travelled to Krakow last year where I engaged in acts of unspeakable gluttony.  It’s very difficult not to overindulge when you are confronted with delights such as pierogi, boar steak and apple cake. Fortunately the large Polish community within London means that I am able to…

  • Bao

    I used to date a guy whose motto was “we don’t queue, we don’t pay, we just large it”.  Many years later, I can safely say that I do pay and I’m not really sure that I large it.  I do also often find myself queuing, much as I dislike it.  Therefore queuing for a restaurant is something I try to avoid, especially when there are plenty of bookable, queue-free options around and when London weather is not exactly queue-friendly.  This is why I had never been to Bao.  Until now.  And yes, I did have to queue.  And yes, it was totally worth it. A bao is a Taiwanese steamed bun…

  • Gold Rush

    Channelling my inner Yosemite Sam isn’t something I tend to do very often.  Yet last Friday night I found myself  “yee haw”-ing to my heart’s content, whilst downing shots of buffalo juice.  This was not some marathon session of Looney Tunes, however.  It was Gold Rush. Gold Rush is the latest pop up from Django Bango.  Sounding like a cross between a Tarantino film and a 90’s dance tune, the team have previously held successful events such as Wild West Town in Shoreditch earlier this year.  Gold Rush sticks to the Wild West theme; this time transforming a steel yard in Vauxhall into a gold mine worthy of the Klondike.  A…

  • Syrian Supper Club – Part 2

    A little while ago I wrote about the Syrian Supper Club and the Hands Up Foundation; a group of young people who were motivated to start a pop-up event aimed at raising money for those affected by the crisis in Syria.  Well, the sound of all that Middle Eastern food made me really hungry so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and check out one of their supper clubs. Supper clubs are very much on trend at the moment, but I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I had never been to one before.  There are so many to choose from, where do you even start?  So…

  • The Little Taperia

    On a grey bank holiday Monday, it’s tempting to spend the whole day watching Netflix in your onesie.  Alternatively, you could pretend that you’re somewhere else entirely, somewhere with good food, good wine and summer vibes.  Tooting may not be the first place that springs to mind, but step over the threshold of The Little Taperia and it’s as if you’ve gone through a wormhole to sunny Spain. The Little Taperia is the lovechild of two of Tooting’s leading foodies: Hikmat Antippa of Meza and formerly Caprice Holdings, and Madeleine Limm of The Little Bar and ex-Food & Drink editor of the Independent magazine.  There is much noise made about Tooting being…