You're one of the world's best designers of restaurants and hotels. Where do you go for inspiration when you're visiting your London office? That's the question we put to our dear pal Adam Farmerie of AvroKO, who shares the gang's favorite — the coolest, the most striking — spots around town.
WHERE TO EAT
First it was a bank. Then it was a 1950s car showroom for the British car company Wolseley. Today, at the hands of premier restaurateurs Corbin and King, it's a local institution and a must for breakfast and lunch.
With outposts in Exemouth Market, King's Cross, and now Southwick, the Kiwi restaurant-slash-coffee roaster nails all-day meals and vibe better than anyone in London. Owned and run by our friends Miles, Laura, and Chris, everything on the menu — food, drinks, and coffee — gets equal attention. Don't be alarmed that they use the logo from our NYC bar The Daily for one of their blends: We traded it for free coffee for life.
The Nuno Mendes' restaurant in the André Balazs hotel in Marylebone is not the easiest place to secure a booking, but the hotel bar is an equally great place to grab a drink. The space is beyond beautiful, as is the crowd.
Opened by our friend chef, Ollie Dabbous, who, as a teenager, cooked with AvroKO executive ehef Brad Farmerie at Le Maison in Oxford in the early 2000s. Legendary British restaurant critic Fay Maschler famously gave it an uncommon five-star review when it opened in 2014, and it continues to deserve the praise. We for dinner, followed by drinks afterward at Oskar's bar downstairs. (Editor's note: Since this article was published, Dabbous has closed. But chef Ollie is now cooking at Hide in Mayfair, and his food remains among the best you'll have in London.)
The Palomar and The Barbary
We love both of these Israeli/Mediterranean restaurants by nightlife scene brother-sister team Layo and Zoe Paskin with chef Tomar Amadi. Seats are mostly counter-style and are on a first-come basis, so it's best to go early or be prepared for a (well worth it) wait.
WHERE TO DRINK
A super cool coffee bar in Fitzrovia inside what used to be an underground men's public restroom. Improbably, they built the counter through the urinals. The only signage outside is the word "Attendant," painted on top of preexisting graffiti, which artists continue to add to.
The new-ish bar from the NightJar team is getting a ton of love in the press and was named 2016's Best New International Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. For good reason: It has the most elaborate and exciting cocktail list — in design and offerings — that we've seen in a long time.
Mr Fogg's Residence, Tavern, and Gin Parlour
One of the wackier ones, and a brilliant spot to grab a drink. The Mayfair spot was designed in homage to Victorian explorer Phileas Fogg, hence the hunting rifles, taxidermy, and more. Beyond the design, cocktails take center stage. The bar recently switched to booking on a ticket system, so plan accordingly.
Ryan Chetiyawardana and Iain Griffith serve bottled cocktails at their super cool spot in Hoxton. No ice, no fresh fruit. Everything is super delicious and completely innovative.
WHERE TO SHOP
Columbia Road Flower Market
Open only on Sundays, the large and vibrant flower market that's home to tons of cool shops and cafés has become a staple of our weekend routine.