Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Lauraine’s blog

4 July 2024


London's dining scene is fizzing. There's such a variety of cuisines, options, wine bars and street food it's hard to know where to start. Over three days, I had some world class dining and some true comfort food. What really stood out was the freshness of everything especially the vegies and salads.

A pub not to miss

Pub lunches have aways been a Sunday thing in Britain and the midday roast at this true gastropub in Islington was just the ticket on a bleak grey day. A vast variety of roasts- we were too late for the suckling pig - fabulous array of starters and veggies and those roasts with al the trimmings. Gastropubs don't get much better than this.

Top of the list

Enter this lively first floor restaurant (rated in World's Best 50) and pass by the open kitchen where chefs are cooking over fire. Go hungry, and order as many dishes as you dare, and then more. Cleverly garnished oysters, best mussels ever with fresh orange, a generous braised lamb shoulder chop on the bone, duck rice, amazing juicy rare beef, the best freshest green salad to cut all that richness (pic above) and amazing baked cheesecake with rhubarb. Beg, steal or borrow to get a reservation. It's really worth it.

The forever classic

Chef Fergus Henderson is the master of offal (nose to tail cooking) and also putting fabulous ingredients together very very simply.

For 30 years his restaurant has been a must do destination for food-lovers. The restaurant in the Barbican was being a given a thorough renovation so the entire staff, furniture, wine and everything else took up residency in Fortnum & Mason for six weeks. A spectacular find for us and that's where I had that stunning smoked eel, pickled prune and horseradish pictured above.

Elegantly sophisticated with a bargain worth seeking SPRING

Lucky to spot this bargain of all bargain in what is undoubtably the most beautiful dining room in London. Skye Gyngell is known for stunning food, and also her commitment to the planet. The "Scratch" menu at 30bps is three courses of food made from all the little extra ingredients the kitchen has on hand and it's all delicious. Available between 5.30pm and 6.30pm Tues to Sat - booking essential.

Simplicity when you need it

Travelling and eating out can cause food overload but here's a delightful meal that was comforting and simple. With three sites for this clever operator - one a wine bar, one a cafe and this one, the wine bar and restaurant in Bloomsbury served us a silky creamy cheese souffle and a perfect salad. Everything has a cheesey aspect and lovely unusual wines. The cheese room is worth a browse, especially as British cheesemakers deliver some wonderful artisan products.


When your hotel offers no food (don't ask) you have to get out and about. The Full British Breakfast has no appeal but here's a couple of places near St Pauls and the City.

GRACE ST PAULS In the tiniest of corner stores, the owner of Grace, @SandwichPhil, makes excellent, really excellent coffee that sees a steady stream of locals pop in for takeout coffee and takeaway food. His enormous warm from-the-oven sausage rolls are famous ever since they were written up by a Korean food blogger, and we loved the spinach omelet and the porridge with fresh berries. Three seats only, perched against the window, but it was all so good we returned the next day (to the chagrin of Phil!)

THE NED This trendy huge hotel, in a street called Poultry, near Bank was once home to the Midland Bank. Now it is place to be seen or to sit and wonder who all these beautiful people are. Have coffee through the morning with pastries in the lobby or venture a little deeper past the reception and eat in one of the restaurants on the same floor. Loved my avocado on sourdough with lost of fresh greens that came, American deli style with a bottomless supply of coffee.

blog comments powered by Disqus