So you travel around the world and see a whole heap of awesome places – but sometimes the highlights of your travel are places that touch something close to your heart. I fell in love with Monocle Magazine as a fresh, post-gap year 19 year old, at the same time as falling in love with Clipper Cafe. In fact, it was Clipper (and Paper Cup in Stanmore) creator Adriano Matteoni who lovingly stocked his cafe with Monocle Magazines, prompting me to start my own collection. While my love for Clipper has faded over the years, my love of Monocle still glows strong. I learn much from it, and it teaches me to appreciate beautiful things. It is a magazine of epic proportions – sometimes over an inch in thickness and covering everything from international affairs, business, culture and design. 5 years on, on my 24th birthday, I went to The Monocle Cafe and stepped into what I felt was a physical representation of the magazine. I was so happy to be there!
My last day in London was characterised by frantic shopping on High Street Kensington. I think I bought at least 3 pairs of shoes, then wondered how I’d fit them in my already full bag… After all that running around on a stinking hot London day (where are you air-con??!?!) there’s only one type of food that calls to me – Japanese! Yashin Sushi and Bar is tucked away in a side street off High Street Kensington, and with those tinted windows you’d never know it was there. Luckily for me, S. is in the know and we stepped into a calm oasis of Japanese foodie precision.
Sure, dining at Michelin Starred restaurants is a treat, but sometimes you just want a good ol’ burger. Amirite? A few weeks before I went to London, I found out that Shake Shack had opened in Covent Garden. Having heard of this fabled institution from my friends travelling to New York, I was all too excited to try it out for myself. I ended up going twice in the 10 days I was in London – I think I consider that a success. Everything about this burger is perfect, so I guess I could leave it there, but let’s delve into a few more juicy details…
On a holiday, where you manage to go to a 1 Michelin Star restaurant (which also holds the #7 spot on the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants index) as well as a 2 Michelin Star restaurant – I think it’s fair to say you’ve done pretty well. While my 1 Michelin Star experience can be revisited here, my 2 Star experience was for my birthday at The Ledbury in the beautiful suburb of Notting Hill, London.
Is it too hot for ramen when it is over 30 degrees (celsius) outside? My answer – no. Dragging poor S and T over to Bone Daddies after a long day of shopping on Oxford Street in London – probably not my brightest idea. Was I determined? Yes. Thank heavens they had air conditioning – it is actually a rarity over here. Plus there were fun cold drinks on the menu! Happy days all round!
Sunday brunch has become somewhat of a tradition between T, S and I. After a girly sleepover we had originally endeavoured to go to Duck & Waffle – ridiculously popular right now, no doubt due in part to this blog review and the infamous cronut… However being in holiday-mode meant we didn’t book in time, so we resolved to go to The Drift – also located in Heron Tower on Bishopsgate, but on Level 1, accessed via a side entrance.
London. Heston. London. Heston.
Two words that conjure up so. many. great. things. One of those great things can be located at the Mandarin Oriental (the beautiful building can be seen below) in Knightsbridge, London – namely, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. What a joy to be in a city where such great food is readily available – and if Heston isn’t to your fancy there’s always one of Gordon Ramsay‘s ten (yes, ten) possible restaurant outlets for you to try – ranging from pub food to hotel restaurants and his signature Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea. S. and I decided to go to Dinner by Heston for lunch (haha), with the intention of getting the, in my opinion, quite affordable (for fine dining) set lunch menu for £38. But then we saw the Meat Fruit on the normal menu….