London, God I love this place. At a 222-mile air travel distance, it’s practically my backyard, yet I am bathing in a completely different culture; a fine dining, fun loving parliamentary democracy, where hotel bars meet the desires created in my dreams and humor is a solve-all.
Where the monarch is a total boss-lady and taxi’s carry you to your next destination backward on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. I cannot even find the words to tell you how much public transport freaks me out in this giant of a metropolis and cabs aren’t cheap, especially if you make US dollars to spend British pounds, so for me personally, this is not a city for living. However, I absolutely love to visit the Mother City of the former North Sea Empire in style for one or two days and leave with a load of great memories and inspiration to be translated into new work. In this case taking you on a little recommendation-trail, visiting my favorite places, cause after all; sharing is caring.
#1: American Bar at The Savoy
For millennia now, humans have been debating whether or not God exists, if so in which form and where we ‘go’ in the afterlife. I am not one to judge others for their beliefs, nor tell anyone I know best, but what I dó know for sure and for certain; Heaven is not necessarily a place. At the American Bar, it is served in a glass…
Erik Lorincz, Head Bartender at the 125-year-old American Bar in Covent Garden, has created a level of excellence in cocktail land that is hard to reach and not often exceeded. When I got the menu from the highly adequate waitress, while occupying a blue pillow-loaded bench in the Art Deco-interior, the vintage spirits immediately caught my eye. Sparkling off of the page were rare and expensive whiskeys, gins and brandies mixed with modern ingredients into inimitable beverages that would later leave me in a simmering state of intoxication. The divine vintage White Lady that was made for me served in a stunning high stiletto-like glass, equaled a four drink bill, but as we all learn one way or another in the world of quality; go big… or go home… Two of those and Purgatory no longer stands a chance…
#2: NOBU – Shoreditch
I have to admit; not often do I leave things up to others. Especially when it comes to food. I am gladly in charge of my own choices and left to pick whatever it is that blows my skirt up. Omakase, deriving from ‘makaseru’ (Japanese for “to entrust”) is the utter opposite, so… upon arriving at Nobu Shoreditch, where the Chef’s choice menu was awaiting me, I felt a tad resistive. I had only slept three hours, had a twenty-two-hour plane ride ahead of me and was hungrier than a hostage so my concern had more depth than my reoccurring lunch-conundrum starting by the words ‘what can I get you’.
I mean, no way to deny that I was mollycoddled in the world of sushi by living in both Japan and LA where I got taken to the best of the best by my foodie friends, snobby clients and love- interests. And as open as I am to trying new things (Lord knows I’ve eaten nearly anything imaginable), when you know you’ve quite possibly had thé best… you get a little spoiled, especially considering the whopping prices this particular food choice tends to come at.
But… when the first course knocked me off my chair and had me singing Hallelujah to the sake cooler, I lost all judgment and was without refusal at the chef’s disposal, surrendering to all flavors he was skillful putting together to impress me and my silver-spoon taste in Japanese cuisine. No questions asked. Seven courses and some hours later I belly rolled out onto the street and said to my oyster-shot-accomplice: “Same time tomorrow if I could…”
#3: The Hoxton Shoreditch
Size matters and feeling home is paramount when it comes to hotel rooms. In London, space comes at a steep price and not all hotels have the acreage to house ballrooms and high-tea wings. Ennismore’s director of design Charlie North seems to have found a way to give The Hoxton Shoreditch 210 cleverly designed rooms, giving you a five-star feel in a shoe-box. The lighting, the furniture, the walls and the headboards are all amazingly put together and particularly fitting to the hotel’s vibe as a whole. All rooms have their own little nooks and quirks and are equipped with USB chargers as well as European and American outlets. The large round mirror, made me feel like a gym was never needed and make-up belonged to the past, unlike 99% of hotel mirrors that reflect an image out of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.
The Hoxton lobby feels cozy, like an upscale living room. It is home to a Soho House & Co restaurant that made the terrible mistake of getting cocky over their own burger. Not even top-20- worthy and I know my burgers! Other than that, this is a place where budget meets high standards and where your head gets a good rest after a stroll through London’s great bar scene.