It is not often that I head SOTR -(South of the River) to Clapham/Battersea, however, I had been promised ‘one of the best lunches in London.’ How could I refuse?

Soif, is  somewhere that had not been on my radar, on arrival I realised it is from the same owners as the critically acclaimed restaurants; Terroirs, Brawn and Green Man & French Horn.  From a quick glance at the menu I  learnt that Soif was french and fine French at that. A simple menu that included all the French classics; moules frites, bavette accompanied with chips and cafe de Paris butter as well as  grilled fish like only the French know how. I was strongly advised to go for the lunchtime chef’s special deal, the special changes daily and  comes with a glass of wine of your choice and is followed by a coffee for the very reasonable price of £10. The special for us was fried sardines with tomatoes on grilled sourdough. A dish that had the potential to be very standard – nice but just nice! Not, however in the case of Soif. This very simple dish of effectively bread, fish and tomatoes simply blew me away. The sardines were meaty and delicious, covered in perfectly ripe, juicy tomatoes and topped with the most delicious, flavoursome dressing. Which I am guessing was  made with the most simple of ingredients; olive oil, lemon and garlic. This dish proves that simple really can be best, especially when the raw ingredients are of high quality and uber fresh! The prefect addition to this dish was a glass of light white wine. Apres, I substituted the coffee for a fresh mint tea.

Honestly a truly perfect light lunch for a crazy light price, but still premium quality french food. I really wasn’t expecting to find such a gem, it just shows, venturing slightly further than you usually would can pay off. If  Soif is on your doorstep you are too lucky! Perfect for a working lunch or laid back catch up with friends. J’adore.



Nouveau Greek? Sharing Greek? Well Greek is always a sharing food. I would say Opso is modern Greek, they describe themselves as Social Food. It is located in Marylebone where everyone and everything seems to be going down  right now. This is a Greek restaurant but not the traditional taverna type, Opso has a modern air about it, with plenty of culinary twists and turns. The head chef has come from Princi bakery in Soho, thus all the breads and pastries are freshly baked onsite, such a treat! With this on-site bakery in mind, I imagine brunch would slip down all too well here. However I booked for supper for my Muma’s birthday treat.

The restaurant has a lovely airy, bright feeling, with one long table down the centre and smaller tables surrounding. Ravenous as per usual, we immediately ordered some koulouri bread to start. Let me talk you through what arrived – 2 bagel shaped pieces of bread but dinkier, flatter, softer and covered in sesame seeds, served warm with a small pot of goats curd and a separate pot of sea salt. It was truly delicious and served in a novel way. Fresh, warm bread has to be one of my favourite pleasures and when covered in sesame seeds and coated with a salty goats curd I really was in heaven. Although the menu may look like it is split into starters and and mains, all dishes are small sharing plates, I would recommend about 3 per person, obviously dependent upon size of appetite (mine is always healthy!)

Our table looked something like this – A Greek coleslaw, packed full of cabbage,carrot, iceberg lettuce, spring onions, quinoa and dill. On reflection, i’m not sure what makes it Greek, maybe the zesty yogurt dressing, however it was delicious. Next up, feta cheese, which had been barrel matured, it was creamy and strong in flavour, totally Greek and served with excellent sourdough bread. The next treat was Grouper tartar, this was one of my favourites, super fresh fish served with a zesty, light oil dressing. Then onto the Fish burger in a squid ink bun with tomato jam and chips. I was slightly apprehensive that this would arrive with battered fish, no need, it was completely fresh and the squid ink bun gave an interesting salty flavour. There were two miniature burgers and I kind of wished they were a little bigger, good things come in small packages! Lastly, ‘pastitsio’ – a Greek pasta known as hylopites (traditional square noodle) served with slow cooked beef and a bechamel sauce.  As you would expect the beef was tender and the sauce was rich and creamy, not a dish I was expecting from a Greek restaurant but delicious nevertheless.

So there you have it a modern Greek restaurant playing off traditional Greek delicacies. A great something new to try, when you are bored of the usual haunts, this will give you the food sense of adventure you are after. Crazy I know but the breads were really a highlight for me, so trying brunch is a must. Social food for social people. Enjoy!

The White House

white house restaurant

A perfect speck in the Ionian Sea – is how the writer Durrell lovingly described Corfu. It is hard to disagree with him, with its lush countryside, perfect turquoise seas and warm Greek spirit.

The White House perched on the edge of the rocks of Kalami village, just round the corner from the Rothschild residence. The taverna is accessible by car or boat, I would highly recommend the latter. Traveling by sea is the easiest most stunning way to see this jewel of the Ioanian. What better way to walk into a restaurant than with sea legs and drenched in sun and salt. The restaurant has the most idyllic spot, clinging to the rock face with sky blue  views to infinity and beyond (well Albania!)

The menu matches the view – perfection! A delightful selection of all the Greek favourites with a few special twists. I never tire of Greek dips and treats to start and some grilled fresh fish drenched in lemon for main, of course accompanied by a fresher than fresh salad. To start, as well as tzatziki and marinated anchovies , we had grilled halloumi, dripping with greek honey and an abundance of sesame seeds for added flavour and all round deliciousness. What better way to wash down these gems than with a glass of prosecco which they topped with fresh strawberries . For me these small touches make all the difference. For main I had a large fresh tuna salad, simple, yet so effective. When on holiday salads just seem to taste different and are much more exciting. I put it down to the freshness and quality of the simple ingredients; tomatoes bursting with juice, cool, crunchy cucumbers, red onions and all drenched in cold pressed olive oil from the vineyards of Corfu and lemon juice from the tree you can see from the table. All of this while watching ‘our’ boat bob up and down in the crystal, diamond scattered Ionian Sea. It is hard to want anything more.

Il Baretto


A forgotten favourite of mine in magical Marylebone is Il Baretto. For me, it has been reincarnated/returned to my radar owing to the opening of the new King of London hang outs, CHILTERN FIREHOUSE. Yes, it does deserve caps lock! Andre Balaz’s new hotel and restaurant is so cool you almost feel physical pain, well not really, but it definitely raises your resting heart rate due to the pure electricity running through the place.

After drinks at the Firehouse, with even big hitters being turned away for food and the fact I have already sampled their delights, we decided Il Baretto was the perfect choice.  With a vibrant atmosphere, good food and a sprinkle of slick chicness, we trotted over the road.

I really had forgotten how much I love this menu. It is full of well known Italian classics and some other less well known treats from small villages in Italy. As we were seated, pizzas were twirled out to the adjacent table. Immediately, pizza was all I could think about. You may already know my rule with pizza, simply – keep it simple. I went for the bufala mozzarella  and rocket. I did, however, manage to divert my attention from pizza to order a starter or two. With too many good options, we shared an array amongst the table. The zucchini chips are to die for, you may as well order two bowls to start with, one is definitely not enough. Other highlights – the seared yellowfin tuna and fennel, a char-grilled giant octopus tentacle, the bufala mozerella salad with artichokes and wild garlic leaves were all divinely fresh and bursting with flavour.

The piece de la resistance, my darling pizza was danced in front of me. Honestly,it was one of the lightest, freshest pizzas I have tasted in London. I could taste the love, care and finest ingredients that had gone into this delicious Italian staple. Pizzas in London, in fact anywhere but Italy can often be a letdown and not live up to your expectations. Yet with this pizza, I was completely overwhelmed. Will you be able to tear yourself away from the pizzas to order anything else? If you are able to, try the homemade pappardelle with lamb ragu. Again, it tastes even better than you imagine from the menu, super tender meat, with a rich, almost creamy but still tomato-ey enough sauce.

In true Italian style, the traditional tiramisu and selection of ice creams will mean you finish on a high.

So the opening of CF is great for London. The fact that Il Baretto is on its doorstep is better than a cherry on top. Traditional Italian dining in a glamorous setting! Perfect for a special occasion or when you fancy dinner after drinks at CF.



Ape and Bird

This gastro pub is from the EVER expanding Polpo empire.  All of Russ’s restaurants so far have been very distinctive with small sharing plates as the main focus. The talk of London, how would this work in a pub? Located in arguably the centre of central London, Cambridge Circus where Covent Garden meets Soho. It is in the heart of shopping/theatre/officeland. When I think of Polpo, I think small and fighting for a table. At the A &B,  bagging a table aspect hasn’t changed that much but size most definitely has. This is large, set over 3 floors with 4 different bars and 2 areas to eat. The menu really is gastro pub, with all your naughty faves; prawn cocktail, pies and burgers. Some polponess does shine through in the side orders – roasted beets with kale pesto (oh hi California) and the truffle chips are beyond divine. You have to leave space for some good olde English puds – apple and black current crumble, sticky date pudding and flourless choc cake (not so traditional English, more Cali!)

Imagine when a tourist comes to London and quickly want to tick traditional pub off their to do list, yet unknowingly wander into a weathersppons or brewers fayre. This is where they should end up, a pub for London to be proud of with good atmosphere in a central location and excellent food to match, landlords listen up! Oh and Londoners this is not just for tourists,  no of course not, you will love it for after work just drinks that turns into the best meal you have had in a while.