Best burgers in London – updated!

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It’s National Burger Day today (apparently) and a good opportunity, I thought, to update this old post about the best burgers in London.

I’m sticking to my division of thin and coarse/thick patties. I like both, but at different times.

Reading this post made me realise that Soho Diner still hasn’t opened its doors since the refurbishment (?) and I miss their burgers terribly… Sob.

Thin patties:

  1. Shake Shack – This is burger perfection in my world. Thin crispy but not overdone patties, the best burger sauce and those lovely soft but almost chewy buns.
  2. Bleecker Burgers – A very close second to Shake Shack. The patty is nice and thin and pink in the middle, the buns good and the dressing lovely, only thing I don’t love is the fries.
  3. Sophie’s Steakhouse – Great burger, tired fries.
  4. Meat Liquor and Meat Market – This used to be favourite before I discovered Soho Diner and before both Shake Shack and Bleecker had opened (in London). Oldie but a goodie.

Coarser and thicker patties:

  1. Dirty Bones – Really nice burger, but would have preferred a slice of cheese instead of the cheesy sauce.
  2. Tom’s Kitchen – Close second! Great burger, well seasoned, perfectly nice chunky chips and plus points for making their own ketchup!
  3. Bar Boulud – Also very good, but a bit crumbly.
  4. Opera Tavern – The mini burgers with pork and foie gras are still phenomenal!

Note: I haven’t yet been, but I could bet money on that Dip & Flip would make this list.

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London: Kettner’s champagne bar

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There are bars, and then there are bars. The champagne bar in Kettner’s Townhouse falls into that latter category; it’s a bar that’s far more than a bar.

It’s dark and cosy (and open late!) and it has that old school glamour that makes me think of a lost time when women wore pearls and fur and gloves.

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Add to that a fantastic list of champagnes, both NV and vintage, to order by the glass (or bottle). To me this is the epitome of luxury; to go here, sit down at a cosy table with its own table lamp, on a comfortable sofa and order a glass of delicious vintage champagne, served in a coupe glass.

The interior has an art deco vibe that I love and the whole townhouse is wonderful. I must plan a staycation here soon. It’s obvious in the details that Kettner’s is part of the Soho House Emporium, but it has a different vibe and feels smaller and more intimate. And a little more decadent.

It’s a treat every time I go here and I will keep coming back. This is hand’s down one of my favourite bars in London!

Kettner’s Townhouse, 29 Romilly St, Soho, London W1D 5HP

London: Champagne + Fromage, Covent Garden

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Having lived in London for 10 years now (eek!) I have accepted the fact that I will never ever feel up to date on restaurants regardless of how hard I try. There are simply too many restaurants opening and changing for me to keep up. Especially since I want to go back to my favourites from time to time too.

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So I love when my friends suggest a new place to try. I had completely missed the arrival of these cute French Champagne + Fromage spots all over town, but luckily my friend Mary-Lou had spotted one so that’s where we went one evening.

We arrived without a reservation (big mistake) but although the place was packed the staff eventually managed to find us a table. That’s great service!

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Other than that the concept is pretty clear; this is where you drink champagne (we tried a lovely Blancs de Blanc that was the wine of the month) and eat cheese. We had a cheese and charcuterie board with lots of bread which was lovely, but there are also some lovely cooked food on offer. The table next to us sampled about half the menu and it all looked amazing!

Champagne + Fromage, 22 Wellington St, London WC2E 7DD

 

London: fabulous Frenchie

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It was a rainy evening the other side of summer when I met up with my old friend Mattias for dinner. He wanted to go somewhere new and fun and  I’m so glad I managed to grab the last two seats at Frenchie in Covent Garden that evening, because we had such a wonderful meal.

To avoid food envy we decided to share the snacks and starters (it was encouraged by the staff), choose the same main course and then share the puddings as well. I highly recommend this strategy as it’s easier to focus on the food when you get to try everything. And trust me, you want to try everything at Frenchie.

First up was the delicious egg Mimosa. Don’t they look stunning?!

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Then we moved on to maple syrup and bacon scones which were a-ma-zing!

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Then the first proper starter; green asparagus with parmesan crème, smoked egg yolk and puffed barley. A modern take on the classic asparagus with hollandaise and it was just heavenly.

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We then had the most tender squid, served with petit poi, white asparagus and raspberries. A rather unusual combination but it worked; spring freshness on a plate.

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When it was time for the main course we were simply stunned; the hanger steak was truly amazing, full of flavour and cooked to perfection. The artichoke purée and goat’s curd further elevated this star of a dish. I really struggle to describe it but it was one of the best dishes I’d had in a long time.

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The puddings were just as nice; and this dark chocolate crème with crumble and bacon ice cream is a must-order dish. Divine!

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The Brillat Savarin cheesecake with raspberries, pistachio and elderflower was also delicious and provided a nice contrast to the dark chocolate.

I simply adore this place and can’t wait to go back. Frenchie has everything I want when I go out for a meal; food that’s utterly delicious and chef-y enough that I can’t replicate it at home, as well as a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. Top marks!

Frenchie Covent Garden, 16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH

Breakfast at The Wolseley

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Despite having lived in London for 8 years now (yep, time flies) I haven’t had the pleasure to eat breakfast at The Wolseley until this year. Bad planning on my part, obviously. But at least I’ve been there for several lunches, dinners and afternoon tea. But there is something special about breakfast in this fabulous art deco space with perfect eggs and perfect service. If you fancy reading up on the subject (and get the recipes), I highly recommend A.A. Gill’s book Breakfast at The Wolseleyit’s very good.

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For me, this is the ultimate breakfast experience because it’s so different from having breakfast in your own kitchen. There are lots of waiters and they’re there to pour water, take your order, serve the food and fetch you whatever you want. Their attentive and efficient and together with the perfectly executed food it makes it such a special experience.

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I had breakfast here with two of my best friends from Sweden when they were visiting. We needed some morning luxury and thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast here with Eggs Florentine (spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin) and an excellent bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

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We also enjoyed cappuccinos and freshly squeezed orange juice, and to finish this lovely basket of pastries. My favourite was the plain croissant, wonderfully buttery and flaky. If you also need this breakfast experience in your live (you do), I urge you to book a table well in advance as it’s a very popular weekend treat.

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB

London – a guide

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I published a concise London guide on my Swedish blog today and was going to leave it at that. But, on afterthought, I think this guide would be useful here too.

Enjoy!

LONDON – a guide, vol.1. 

I plan to update this guide a couple of times a year to keep it fresh.

MICHELIN STarred:

The Square – Wonderful Phil Howards two -starred restaurant is amazing. Sofisticated, amazing service and of of course delicious food.

The Ledbury – Notting Hill restaurant with two stars and a spotless reputation.

L’Atelier de Joel  Robuchon – Quite relaxed for a two-starred restaurant. Also serves small plates.

GOURMET:

Roganic – Simon Rogan is true to his own way of cooking and mixes technical gastronomy with foraging. A pop-up restaurant that became permanent.

Pollen St Social – Jason Atherton is trained by Gordon Ramsay but it far more endearing. And his food is amazing. One star.

BRITIsh:

Hix – British, well cooked and seasonal food. Nice bar in the basement too.

St John – Fergus Henderson started the concept nose to tail eating and can cook any cut of meat to absolute perfection. The signature dish is his bone marrow and parsley salad which I love. One star.

GASTRO PUBs:

Bull & Last – Cosy and relaxed with great grub. Known for their Sunday lunches. In Kentish Town.

Harwood Arms – A one-starred gastro pub. Amazing food in cosy surroundings. In Fulham.

ITALIan:

Bocca di Lupo – Authentic food, cosy interior. Anthony Carluccio approves!

Zucca – A favourite! Fantastic modern Italian food. In Bermondsey.

The Polpo Group –  Four central restaurants with authentic Venetian cuisine. Cheap too.

Chinese:

Leong’s Legends – My fave. Have a feast of dim sum and crispy aromatic duck. First come first serve.

INDIan:

Dishoom – Bombay Style Café with proper Indian food. In the middle of Covent Garden, cheap.

 TAPAS:

Barrafina – Only 27 covers and no reservations so come here early or late. Simple yet wonderful tapas, always seasonal.

BURGers:

MeatLiqour – A little New York-y with dimmed lights, skull and crossbones in the ceiling and great burgers, chicken wings and fries.

Bar Boulud – American restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s first London restaurant is a hit and may have the best burgers in town.

steak:

Hawksmoor – Great steaks, really good bearnaise sauce (and I don’t say that lightly), chilled out ambiance. Not cheap but worth it.

FISh:

J Sheekey’s – A Covent Garden institution that’s still holding its own. Both restaurant and oyster bar.

Outlaw’s – Nathan Outlaw has created a name for himself and is a fish expert!

SUSHI:

Yashin – Sushi serves without soy sauce. The soy is incorporate into the rice instead. Best sushi in town!

breakfast:

The Wolseley – You breakfast in style here. Art deco interiors, perfectly cooked eggs and pastries. So famous for their breakfasts that A. A. Gill wrote a book about it.

Kopapa – Peter Gordon’s café in Covent Garden. Laid back and really good food.

AFTERNOON TEA:

Fortnum & Mason – Fornum’s has great restaurants and cafés too.

something different:

Dinner – Legend Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in Knightsbridge serves dishes dated from the 1390s onwards. One star.

Bubbledogs – Hotdogs and champagne!

Nopi – Ottolenghi’s wonderful restaurant with unusual flavour combinations. Also has a NYC feel to it. Even the loo is fantastic.

John Salt – Neighbourhood restaurant with that little something extra. BBQ inspired food. Very foodie!

HOt:

Balthazar – The French New York restaurant has opened in Covent Garden. Impossible to get a table at the moment, but the bakery next door does takeaway.

Dabbous – last year’s most popular restaurant is still, indeed, popular.

Footnote There are plenty of great restaurants in London and this is a selection.