London is recognised as one of the most influential cities in progressing traditional dining experiences, often with a modern twist. From a traditional English breakfast to the quintessential afternoon tea, there are many dining options to immerse you in the English culture. Here are just a few of London’s appetising establishments that are a must visit while in town for the Intermedix Global Summit.
A hearty breakfast is the best way to start your day, especially while in England where a traditional breakfast consists of beans and toast, both of which are much more appetising than one may think. If it is a traditional English breakfast you are after while in London, I highly recommend the Regency Café. A small corner café located near Westminster with decorations limited to photos of the Tottenham futbol club, this café will make you feel like a local while chowing down on their traditional British fare.
Everyone loves a classic 80’s film, and dining at The Breakfast Club in Soho embodies many elements of a John Cusack film. The walls are adorned with polaroids and various memorabilia left behind by patrons and employees, there is a strict 80s only playlist blasting throughout the tiny room and the food is incredible. With all day brunch until closing at 5pm on weekdays, anytime is a good time to stop in for pancakes. Be prepared, however, for a line on weekends as they only accept walk-ins.
Offering breath-taking views of the city, Duck & Waffle is nestled on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, one of London’s tallest buildings. Serving a modern take on traditional British fare, Duck & Waffle is open sunrise to sunset and is celebrated for their extensive menu that includes fare for breakfast to late night dessert.
Lunch in London could span from anything such as a simple order of fish and chips to a fresh farm-to-table style dish with all ingredients delivered straight from family-owned farms on the English countryside. For the latter, I fully suggest heading over to Daylesford in Notting Hill. Here patrons travel for exceptional fresh dishes arriving straight from their award-winning organic farm in Gloucestershire.
Farm Girl is another great farm-to table dining option. Also located in Notting Hill, tucked away a block from Portobello Market, you can’t make a bad decision ordering anything on their menu. If you go, you will want to make sure you try their delicious lavender latte.
London is also famous for its plethora of markets scattered throughout the city, many of which trade all sorts of goodies ranging from antiques to innovative foods and beverages. Borough Market, open Monday to Saturday, is a foodie’s dream, offering every type of food one can imagine from more than a hundred vendors. Be sure to bring an appetite—it is hard to choose just one option.
Like any big city, there are always new, exciting restaurants opening around London, but here are some restaurants that are guaranteed to make your stomach growl. If authentic Italian is what you are in the market for, look no further than IL Pampero. Located in the new boutique hotel, Hari in Belgravia, IL Pampero is an upscale restaurant offering traditional Italian cuisine. They are most famous for their delicious pasta dish where tagliolini with creamy sheep's cheese and black pepper is swirled in a wheel of Pecorino cheese at your table.
For a contemporary take on classic British fare, offering some of the most delicious pies, go no further than Bob Bob Ricard. An upscale London staple, this restaurant offers patrons the option to dine in their blue-themed room or their red-themed room. No matter the room, every table is adorned with an antique style “press for champagne” doorbell. You will never have to ask for champagne again!
Lastly, found atop the legendary Shard building is Aqua Shard, a smart, casual-attire restaurant serving modern British cuisine. Whether you stop for a drink at their three-story atrium bar or sit down to a nice dinner in the restaurant, Aqua Shard provides spectacular views of the city.
Afternoon tea is, in terms of English history, fairly new; first created in 1840 by the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna. Anna found herself quite hungry around 4pm, as dinner was traditionally served around 8pm, and thus found the span between meals to be far too long. The Duchess began to request tea, bread, butter and cake be delivered to her room everyday around 4pm. This became a routine and quickly blossomed into a social event for high society women. Afternoon tea has become a staple of British culture, and here are a few the best places to indulge in this long-standing treat.
If it is a traditional London afternoon tea you are after, Claridge’s is prided on observing this English heritage for about 150 years. With the mint green-striped china decorated with decadent pastries, afternoon tea at Claridge’s exudes a traditional high society feel, serving more finger sandwiches than one could dream of.
If you have your eyes on a popular trendy tea spot, then Sketch is the place to go. With soft pink couches adorning a dimly lit room, there are over 239 original drawings by artist David Shrigley—the Gallery is a sight to see! Don’t forget to stop in their pod-themed restrooms either. Arguably one of the most popular bathrooms instagrammed, this innovative bathroom is definitely worth a visit. Located on Conduit Street in Soho, Sketch makes for an elegant place to stop for tea and take a quick break from all the phenomenal shopping venues in the area.
Alternatively, tea at Hotel Café Royal in the famously named Oscar Wilde Bar is the perfect way to feel like a royal while sipping some of the house special teas and listening to the local pianist. Named the Oscar Wilde Room after the famous author who was known to frequent the bar in his day, many famous faces have since graced the gold-lined mirrored room.
For something out of the box, Alice in Wonderland fans can rejoice by dining at Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson Hotel, feeling like they’ve just jumped into the rabbit hole themselves. This Alice in Wonderland-themed tea house is located in the garden of the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia and is appropriately named as every detail—from the caterpillar-shaped marshmallows to a dessert that draws inspiration from Alice’s “Drink Me” potion—truly brings this fantastical story to life. Even if not an Alice in Wonderland fan, Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is a location that everyone can enjoy!
A long-standing tradition in England that dates back almost 2,000 years, pubs originated from the term “public house” where locals began frequenting solely for beverages. Today, most all pubs serve food as well, making pubs common gathering places for a pint after work and maybe even an order of fish and chips. Luckily, pubs can be found on nearly every street corner and are the most traditionally London venues for all visitors to frequent. Although all pubs are unique in their own way, here are two must-visit pubs around London.
The first, Churchill Arms, is known for its myriad of flowers blossoming from the exterior of the pub, of which cost about £25,000 every year to upkeep. The upkeep is certainly worth it as this pup is one of the most beautiful in town. Located in Kensington, this establishment is known for serving Thai food and being filled with Winston Churchill memorabilia.
Another pub rich with history, Hung Drawn and Quartered is located near Tower Hill and was the site for most executions, dating back to the 14th century. While the Tower was exclusive for the more famous executions, Tower Hill was the site for the majority of the executions. The Hung Drawn and Quartered pub is famously named after the ancient punishment for severe treason and makes for a great place to grab a pint and crisps near one of London’s most historical sites.
I hope that attending the two-day 2017 Intermedix Global Summit not only gives you better insight into industry-specific track sessions, but also gives you an opportunity to expand your food palate in one of the foodie capitols of the world. I look forward to seeing you in London!