Where to eat on Soho’s main street
Old Compton Street: We know and love it because it’s the center of Soho, synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community and the city’s hazy evenings. The surrounding streets are known to be teeming with excellent restaurants, but the main thoroughfare? Not so much, although there are plenty of restaurants worth visiting.
Most Sohoites know Eat Tokyo, but if not, get to know it as soon as possible. An oasis of affordable bento boxes and sushi. The huge range of dishes in this fast-paced, never-busy spot has something for everyone, even if you’re not a fan of fish. Across the street from Italian cafe Bar Termini, you’ll find squishy focaccia sandwiches, cakes and pastries accompanied by great coffee and signature Negronis. A few doors down, the French-inspired brasserie Cafe Boheme offers mean English if you can face the street again the next day, a satisfyingly juicy croque monsieur and a fairly decent tuna niçoise if you’re looking for something lighter. Cecconi’s next door is great for sitting outside and watching the world go by while you devour the wood-fired fennel sausage pizza and jars of Negroni sbagliato. Plus, you can get your hands on a delicious tiramisu until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you’re in the mood for boujie, Maitre Choux’s decadent twists on eclairs make for the perfect pud, and Malaysian eatery Laxsa has all the classics, including bowls of laksa (obvs), coconut nasi lemak, served with garnishes and silky , subtly seasoned Roti Canai. Mr Ji for Asian tapas is a must: try the shrimp and cornbread toast with a steep topping of shredded cheese. And of course, at the end of Wardour Street, there’s always Poppie’s award-winning fish and chips, which always hit the spot, especially with a generous helping of curry sauce. Hungry? We see you bowling out of the Admiral Duncan.
The hip new spots in the capital
Hackney’s Tamila founder and ex-Roti King chef Prince Durairaj serves excellent South Indian food, cocktails and beer inspired by his childhood at this newly opened pub in Islington.
now open 115 Hemingford Rd, N1. thetamilprince.com
More pasta? Never mind if we do. You can now find extensions to this rapidly growing Soho icon on the corner of Wigmore Street and Marylebone Lane, as well as in King’s Cross and the City. Order the crab linguine.
now open 13-15 Marylebone Ln, W1 . linastores.de
To cheer! Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s popular and uber chic Middle Eastern restaurant is back in new, larger premises in Bloomsbury. We’ll take the shakshuka, stat.
now open 54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1. honeyandco.co.uk
Do you remember the Albion? Under new management, it has returned with a dramatic refurbishment and a new name, serving delicious seasonal, modern British cuisine from veteran chef Robin Freeman. now open
2-4 Grenzstrasse, E2 . border.london
Douglas Blyde recommends checking out these London distilleries
In 2009, Sipsmith was London’s first copper pot distillery to open in almost two centuries, compared to 24 distilleries here today. Bone Idyll opens next to Turks Pier in Kingston Upon Thames this month. Funded by clients from other Good Life hospitality collection venues and decked out with souped-up old masters branding, the glass space is the brainchild of local industry stars Sam and Alex Berry. You can attend a gin school here or sip vodka, gin and rum cocktails from the stills in your midst.
Launched in May ’58 and co, and already boasting acclaimed gin, the company offers hours of immersive experiences in its vault at Acton Mews. Guests can make their own gin using a blend of botanicals from a mini copper still, distil and wax seal it, and take away a bottle of their creation. The master class includes four cocktails, all the necessary catering and a fascinating history lesson with juniper accents.
Finally, Park Royal’s Bimber, which means “moonlight” in Polish, is a nod to the roots of third-generation distiller and founder, Dariusz Plazewski. It is already rightly renowned among connoisseurs for the quality of its grain-to-glass single malt whisky, of which only one cask is made per day. In-depth production tours are available from Guide Luke.
boneidyll.co.uk, 58andco.com, bimberdistillery.co.uk