Covent Garden, London
Where fine French pastry techniques meet Asian ingredients. Modern and minimalist warm wood deco – the word often heard on the street is that this is the best bakery in town. Must tries are the miso bacon escargot (pastry swirl – not buttered snail) and tropical pineapple and mango danish.
We love: the signature Honey Butter Toast. Worth it to witness the thick slice of fluffy Japanese shokupan milk bread being dipped in the thick gloop of honey butter before being toasted - humada humada.
Max's Sandwich Shop
Finsbury Park, London
The 'hot sandwiches & booze' chalk board outside doesn’t do this place justice. Max has a formula - hot, cold, sweet, savoury, crunchy, soft - these sandwiches are more than just a sum of their parts. The Korean Gangster built from a hefty seven ingredients is a feat of sandwich engineering; which includes noodles and topped with ‘incredibly slutty gravy’. Knives and forks are scarce, sandwiches get brought to the table wrapped in paper and an elastic band, the coffee is black, and the tea is builders. ‘There ain’t no treat like breaded meat.’
We love: the sandwiches of course, the lo-fi menus giving 90’s mix tape vibes, the copywriting and the merch.
Hôtel Les Deux Gares
Gare du Nord, Paris
A small and cosy hotel in Paris, close to Gare du Nord station. Designed by Artist Designer Luke Edward Hall ‘A hotel, or the home of a bohemian Parisian collector?’ This idea was central to Luke's concept and you feel this story-like quality, even in the tiny rooms. Walking into the lobby is like falling head first into a Wes Anderson film.
We love: the depth of the brand world, the clashing chair fabrics and the chocolate bear shaped treats in a jar on reception.
First discovered on a trip to Tokyo, down a random back street – we were beyond excited when this landed in town. This is a very high quality Japanese coffee concept.
Things here are precise, practised, slow and controlled, serving what a lot of people say is the best coffee in London. A small space so not much room to hang out, go and appreciate the coffee – even if you have to take it away. Get into the right 'mindful' state before going.
We love: the coffee, the perfectly square baked custard Kashi cake and the zen vibes.
One of those 'off the beaten track but still in the centre of town' places. Hidden deep in the basement at 14 Denman St and created by the same team as Kricket, this bar serves super tasty distilled cocktails.
We love: the long central bar shared with the bartenders, the black drapes and the creative spin on traditional drinks, using ingredients like galangal, toasted coconut and jaggery cane.
By far our most visited London restaurant of all time. We're talking rustic french bistro, with everything done right. It has been open nearly 10 years but it still hits the spot.
It's the truly exceptional bread in a brown paper bag, with a perfect salted pat of butter, the frites with hollandaise sauce, the cheese with honey, the wine, the mains – especially the tuna tartare and the Dover Sole. But everything is always changing and there is no worries there, as these three brothers know what they are doing.
We love: the music, the decor, the food. Perfection in a restaurant.
Little Red Door
A lot of people say this is their favourite cocktail bar in Paris, if not the world. Big talk. Drinks have a 'farm to table' concept, which sounds like something from Zoolander, but it's really authentic and honestly done. Stories and beautiful photography on the farmers who they partner are in the magazine style menu. The staff are bend over backwards kind, sort of the opposite to the lazy Parisian stereotype. Cosy, fun and all hiding behind a little red door. What's not to like.
We love: the small flyer that recommends other parisian bars when you get the bill, the glassware and the general chilled vibe.
The sort of hotel that you have to visit once in your lifetime, or if you’re lucky – twice.
Situated in Japan’s Setouchi Inland Sea, Benesse House is on Naoshima - a fishing island which is increasingly known for its innovative art projects. The island is filled with art installations, galleries and architectural wonders and rugged nature. Staying in certain rooms at Benesse House gives you 24 hours access to the main Benesse art gallery. It really has to be experienced to be understood.
We love: the Tadeo Ando concrete architecture, being alone with a Jackson Pollock before bed and the random and artistic apocalyptic feel of the island.
Covent Garden, London
Hawaiian inspired street food anyone? Trust us, it’s down in a basement, based on a Hawaiian tiki bar – and it’s good. And if you’re wondering about the food, we’re talking sort of like a cross between Japanese and Mexican, or from their mouths... ‘inspired by Caribbean, North Latin & South American, European and East Asian cultures’
There may only be 8 tables, but there’s a lot of good vibes bouncing around in here. It feels like you’re dining and partying at your friends’ house.
We love: the green walls, the kick that accompanies most of the dishes and the lumpia – spring roll style pastries.
If you ever find yourself in Deptford on a rainy lunchtime, get yourself into this small, unassuming Vietnamese restaurant. Super friendly team, authentic food and the best lunch of 2022 so far. It had us thinking up different excuses to come back this way.
We love: The aubergine fries and the depth of flavour in the broth. Take us back. We’ve read reviews since saying that it’s the best Vietnamese in London.
London’s only two Agaveria’s, this cosy and fuss free place is the home of Mexican agave based spirits in Dalston, with a larger second site in Brixton. Serving small plates of underrated but delicious Mexican food, all the right size to eat with one hand while drinking. This feels laidback but there is a lot of passion here.
We love: the take out bottled Mirror Margarita for after hours drinks, the famous Fish Taco and the non-profit organisation ‘Equal Measures’, set up by the company.
An amazing group of three restaurants, based on the Parisian ‘Bouillon’ restaurants of the past. A real ‘Dishoom’ feel of looking back - but feeling very much in the now. Situated in beautiful old buildings, with traditional, affordable food and drink.
We love: being able to order a shot to a jeroboam of any drink, cordial, water, soft drinks, beer, wine. We had a magnum of Perrier for a group of three. Also the best cold rice pudding with caramel sauce. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.