The Return to London

In less than two weeks, I am starting my short yet efficient summer holiday. It is quite common here in the Nordic countries to take four or fine weeks, however myself and M save our holidays to the winter. Something that is on the agenda every summer though is a long weekend in London, our former home city. There is nothing like summer in London. It is so vibrant, like always, and unlike the Nordics, July is still buzzing. Its also quite interesting to go and mingle in the city post-Brexit. I am hoping for some really good prices on wine. We have had our eyes on some bottles of Bollinger VVF, that are now much cheaper with the weaker currency. Lets see if we end up taking that road of no return. When you start collecting bottles like the VVF, I doubt that you ever stop.   

In this post, however, I want to list some of the places we have planned to visit this time. The good news is, that the list is brand new. We have reserved a set of places in areas of the city, we do not hang out that often.

Hidden away in the backstreets of Fullham is Harwood Arms, the only pub in London with a star. The food is traditional British: barbecued pigeon, beetroot, black pudding and chicken liver. The chef, Alex Harper has worked both at Texture as well as one of my all time favorites, the Ledbury. They also serve wines from London Cru, the urban winery we visited a year and a half back. At that time we could not import the wines for that good of a price due to a strong pound. Now we might have a chance to reconsider.

For a bit of variety from the west, we will also take a trip to the deep east. Legs is a restaurant and wine bar i Hackney. The menu is driven by seasonality and quality produce. Lamb ribs, cauliflower, asparagus and baked ricotta – sounds delicious. The wine offering focuses on small independent producers, who strive to best represent the land they grow on.

Clove Club is located in Shoreditch, in the old Town Hall building. The building serves nowadays as a cultural center. The venue is said to be very cool. The restaurant focuses of British produce: Flamed Cornish mackerel, roast Cornish Pollock, Yorkshire suckling pig. Mmmm..I am getting a bit hungry just reading the list. And YES! They have Chartogne-Taillet by the glass for 11.50£ (58£ for a bottle). I can’t wait!

The Greenhouse is a French restaurant in Mayfair with two Michelin stars. We are going for a set lunch: 3 courses, 1/2 bottle of wine and coffee for 50£. I love these London lunch deals. Perhaps 50£ is expensive for a lunch, but when on holiday, I don’t really care what time of the day it is. To me this is a tasting menu, wine and coffee at a two star restaurant. I am sure they will have a few amuse bouche as well (French as they claim to be). You cant get a deal like this in Sweden.

Frenchie has also opened an outpost in London, on Henrietta street in Covent Garden. If you recall, we just had a great dinner in Paris in Frenchies wine bar. Great to see if they have been able to bring the same quality to London. I am often skeptical of these overseas branches. Even my pet chef Jason Athertons Singapore restaurant disappointed after being awesome for years (I want to blame it on New Years eve). The menu at Frenchie Covent Garden will echo its Parisian counterpart with simple sharing dishes.

The restaurant experience I am waiting for the most is dinner at restaurant Ours. This is a restaurant by the same guy who has Story, a one star built in an old public toilet. The menu at Story is edgy and fun, influenced by fairy tales. We had for example the Goldilocks and the three bears porridge: three bowls of porridge, one too sweet, one too salty and one “just perfect”. The star dish was however the “bread drippings”, a candle made of beef fat was lit, and we dipped sourdough bread in the drippings. The whole meal was so much fun that I just cannot wait to see what Ours is like.

I am just getting really excited writing about these restaurants. One and a half weeks to go, and then we fly off again. Any recommendations on other restaurants and wine bars are really welcome!

xx Soile

P.S. pictures are from last summer

South Bank London
An evening walk on the South Bank
London Cru
Tasting wines at London Cru, urban winery.
Duck and Rice London
Thursday dinner at Duck and Rice. The cava, Rene Barbour was a steal at around five pounds per glass.
Magic Roundabout Old STreet London
Coffees at the Magic Roundabout. The cold brew was awesome.
Borough Market
Nothing like some Pimm’s to start the day
Social Wine and Tapas London
Awesome English sparkling and Francis Boulard Champagne
Social Wine and Tapas London
Jason’s signature sliders with foie grass


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