Category Archives: england

Poppy’s Place, Parsons Green, London



Located at the Lillie Road end of Munster Road, Parsons Green, this new little cafe-diner is as kooky as it is tasty. Nestled on the corner of Bronsart Road, the glass facades provide a light, airy space which won’t induce Sunday morning hangover claustrophobia.

Poppy's Place, 255 Munster Road, Fulham, London SW6 6BW, United Kingdom

The Decor?

Poppy’s is beautifully decorated with white wooden walls and flooring giving it a beach-like, summery feel perfect for a summer’s day treat. A rustic, duck-egg blue cabinet houses a delicious spread of jams and breads (even crayons for your tots), while the vintage server at the front is bedecked with tea cups that little girls dream of. Cute wooden tables are adorned with beautiful fresh flowers in coloured glass vases and lab-like stools complement the uncluttered vibe.


The Grub?

The menu is varied and affordable and the quality of food, top-notch. Nothing on the breakfast/lunch menu exceeds £10 which is a pleasant surprise versus some local joints so if you’re after a bargainous, slap-up brekkie, take your pick. There’s something for everyone here, from smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and a choice of sides such as grilled bacon or chorizo to bacon baps, porridge with winter fruit compote or greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit.


The Lunch?

Lunch options are equally diverse from house burger and macaroni cheese to a range of toasties, salads and baguettes. Steak, horseradish and rocket is a personal favourite. There’s even a Little Munsters Kids’ Menu including fish finger sandwiches, chicken wedges, baked beans on toast and boiled egg and soldiers.


Dinner too?

Open until 11pm, the dinner menu also includes a range of mouth-watering dishes, from fresh catch of the day to ribeye steak (sourced from premium Lake District Farmers, this is the priciest dish on the menu at £25). The only health-warning of note is that you’re likely to become a regular if you visit this place. After a mouthful of these goodies, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more.



Address: 255 Munster Road, Parsons Green, SW6 6BW

Telephone: 0207 920 6420

Nearest Tube: Parsons Green


Mews of Mayfair, London

Where is Mews hidden?

Tucked away down the dimly-lit alley of Lancashire Court, this classy brasserie come bar is cosy-chic combined.  A stone’s throw from Berkeley and Hanover Square, the cobbled courtyard comes alive with business folk winding down with a cocktail or two after a hard day’s slog. Whether sinking into the deep leather sofas in the cocktail lounge illuminated by 18th century chandeliers, or sitting nestled in the narrow outdoor alley under the stars, there’s something for everyone.  

What’s on offer?

The extensive cocktail menu offers many a zingy delight from the classic Cosmopolitan to the exotic Chilli Cuddle for the more adventurous-spirited. The food menu is equally pleasing, with a range of delicious bar snacks such as Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs and Cheese Boards to heartier meals proper such as Fish and Chips, Guinea Fowl Leg and Scottish Ox Cheeks.  Prices range from £5-18 for bar snacks to £9-18 for mains with a South Devon 1 Kilo Double Rib Steak for a hungry twosome at £65. 

Special Features?

The basement lounge is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, with DJ decks built into a grand piano and glass beaded nooks that are easy to sink into. Open until 1am Wednesday to Saturday, whiling away the wee hours here is the perfect way to round off the evening.

If it’s a private room you’re after, the upstairs space is perfect for a canapé party of up to 40, a seated dinner for up to 28 guests or a snazzy meeting spot for presentations.  With antique maps adorning the walls, surround sound, wifi and a hidden 50” screen, this an an imperial experience no client will forget!

For a more decadent affair, La Cave Private Room is situated opposite Mews Art Gallery and can accommodate up to 15 guests for lunch and dinner, or 25 for a standing reception. Doubling up as a wine boutique, La Cave mixes cosiness and sophistication to perfection, the dark wood and brown leather seating set off by the wine and champagne which lines the walls. 

And finally…

I’ve always thought that Mayfair embodies the ideal man – powerful, understated and elegant. Mews is an example of all three.


Website: Here

Address: 10 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London, W1S 1EY 

Tel: 0207 518 9388


Las Bravas, St Katharine Docks, London

Where is it?

Tucked away in St Katharine Docks between Tower Hill and Tower Bridge, Las Bravas brings high-end, affordable tapas to London. Having opened in March this year, it’s not surprising it’s received rave reviews on Trip Advisor given the quality of the food and staff.

What’s the food and decor like?

The restaurant is top-end shabby-chic, with cosy enclaves for the winter months and full-length windows running dock-side. The menu is diverse, ranging from Foie Gras and Brioche with Serrano Ham and Lamb Chops with Rosemary Alioli to Fried Baby Calamares and Smoked Sardines.

What’s the damage?

Prices are very reasonable. Ranging from £5-10 a dish, the food is beautifully presented with charming service that’s rare to find.

Why go?

If you’d like a taste of Spain without breaking the bank, I can’t rave highly enough. This place is the tops.



Address: Saint Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Tel: 0207 481 1464

Nearest tube: Tower Hill

Barossa, Parsons Green


Neatly positioned on the New King’s Road, a stone’s throw from Parsons Green tube station, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Barossa is another mainstream cafe.  Not so. An independent Coffee House & Australian Kitchen, the understated facade of the cafe belies its character.

How eggcellent is it?

My first encounter was the result of months of sibling raving and suspicions that said sister might have over-egged the pudding, so to speak.  I must say, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  The eggs were cracking as promised with a Bondi Brekkie feast complete with smoked bacon, corn fritters and poached or scrambled eggs.  Now I’m a regular, I like to mix up the egg treats – whether benedict, florentine,or royale, I am yet to be disappointed.

Healthy alternatives?

I’m a particular fan of the sourdough toast which is an unusual addition to the fry up, giving it a healthier taste you wouldn’t associate with a naughty treat.  If you’re looking for something lighter, there are various options on offer, from avocado on toast with tomato and feta, to toasted banana bread or granola with greek yoghurt and blueberry compote.

Scrummy lunches?

If it’s lunch you’re after, you’re spoilt for choice.  With a delicious range of all day sarnies, from the classic BLT or a sausage feast, to crab cakes with chilli and lime or the superfood salad with chickpeas, quinoa and feta, there’s something for everyone.

Tea for two?

Thirsty for coffee or tea – you’re in for a treat.  A range of loose leaf teas are served in funky see-through tea-pots which sit atop your mug and are activated by pressing southerly while coffee beans are sourced by Caravan Coffee, roasted by hand in small batches daily and stamped with a frothy heart or leaf.  

Sweet tooth?

For a sweet accompaniment you can choose from a fluffy freshly made muffin, a slice of red velvet cake or other fondant fancies a guilt-ridden glutton might term ‘terribly light’.

Best bits?

Best features of Barossa? The large glass fronted facade, the delightful window seat, the range of artwork on sale and the fantastically friendly staff who give their local competitors a run for their money. If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, there’s also the option for hire for after-hours events, lunches, meetings and parties for up to 70, complete with canapé menus and even a wedding cake package. Tick, tick and tick.


Address: 277 New Kings Road Fulham, London, SW6 4RD

Tel: 0207 751 9711               


Nearest tube: Parsons Green

The Piano Bar, High Street Kensington

What do the critics say?

If you like cocktails, cosiness and live music, read on.  Quoted as being ‘one of the best nights out in London‘ by Edward Sullivan from the Evening Standard, The Piano Bar is nestled behind a single black door opposite Kensington High Street tube station.  With live piano playing six days a week until the clock strikes midnight, this wee place is a hidden gem.

What’s the vibe like?

If you favour flamboyance over minimalism, this may not be your bag.  Characterised by its cosy bistro interior, The Piano Bar is understated, continental chic with the real treasure lying in the gastronomy, cocktails and musical magic.  Like me, you may find yourself staying far later than planned, mesmerised by classics like ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ as you make your way through Vodka Martinis and Risotto Balls.

What of the menu?

The menu includes a range of treats from the Charcuterie Board to the mouth-watering Roast Pork Belly & Apple Slider on a Homemade Brioche Bun, with prices ranging from £5-10 for the Weekly Menu and £12 for the Buffet Menu (which must be ordered in advance). 

Do you need to book?

The only red flag is to book a table to avoid disappointment.  With no cover charge and a pretty special ambience, it’s no surprise The Piano Bar is popular. And if you get to hear Nick Reeve (aka the Pianoman) play, you’re in for a treat.


Address: 106, Kensington High Street

Nearest tube: High Street Kensington


Tel: 0207 938 4664


Tuesday-Friday, 5pm – midnight

Saturday-5pm – midnight

Sunday – 6pm – 11.30pm

Live Music:

Tuesday-Thursday 6pm – 11.30pm

Friday 6pm – midnight

Saturday 6pm – midnight

Sunday 8.30pm – 11.30pm

The Troubadour, Earls Court

One of my favourite venues in London, the Troubadour is a cafe-bar-restaurant-club extraordinaire you have to visit at least once.  With pots, pans and all sorts of trinkets hanging from the beam-lined ceilings, this is a fantastical hubbub as magical as Alice’s Wonderland.

Music, you say?

Located at 263-267 Old Brompton Road and established in 1954, The Troubadour is one of the last remaining coffee houses of its era in London, with a club room in the cellar which has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.  Steeped in artistry befitting its name (a Troubadour was a lyric poet or performer from the High Middle Ages), it continues to host live music and poetry, mainly by performers who write their own material.  The performance area downstairs remains an intimate space for 120, with a cosy underground jazz club feel, dance floor and cocktails served until the early hours.

What’s the cafe like?

The ground-floor cafe is a spell-binding affair which caters for every taste bud and budget.  From The Brompton Burger and chunky chips to ‘The Troubadour Trio’ – a scrumptious spread of hummus, taramasalata and pumpkin dip with pitta bread and crudités – you will not be disappointed.  The jungular garden nestled at the rear of the cafe is but another feature to enjoy on a warm summer’s eve.

What’s the Wine Shop like?

The variety doesn’t stop there, with the neighbouring Wine Shop providing a calm alternative to the fast pace of the cafe and club next door.  Available for private parties, it was also awarded the ‘Best Argentinian Wine Retailer of the Year’ in 2010.  Wine-tasting evenings and Troubadour Feasts are superbly hedonistic events involving a several course dinner based on a chosen region or country in return for paying a fixed fee and the promise of meeting new and interesting people (The Troubadour tends to attract engaging sorts).

Do they do private parties?

If that’s not enough for you, The Troubadour Gallery is an elegant room perfect for use as a private party room for drinks for up to 70 guests or a buffet lunch or supper for up to 50 people.  Located on the first floor, it is designed in classical fashion with wooden floors, large windows and high ceilings.

Not sure it’s your bag?

If you’re an artistic soul who enjoys the eclectic, visit The Troubadour.  It’s one of a kind.  And if you’re a touch nutty, wear a hat on a Tuesday and you’ll get a free dessert!


265 Old Brompton Rd, London SW5 9JA


020 7370 1434

Music Gigs: £5 for advance online bookings / £7 on the door

Poetry Evenings: Mondays Fortnightly 

Hours: 9am-Late  

Duck & Waffle, London

Balancing atop the 40th floor of London’s Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle’s unique food and panoramic views give other city haunts a definite run for their money.

Inspired by broad European and British influences, the restaurant offers feast, fizz and fun 24/7 – from breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner through to late night menus.  And when I say 24/7 – it literally is open all night.  The all-day menu is served from 11am to 2am; the late night menu, from 2am until 6am; and breakfast, from 6am to 11am – hardly your average post-Disco venue.

With prices being generally medium-range (brunch or breakfast averages at about £20-£25 per head), it’s pretty affordable given its vertical appeal and designer vibe.  Though tempting to opt for your typical choices for breakfast or brunch, the restaurant’s name-sake dish – the duck and waffle – really is a must try.  Consisting of confit duck with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup, it might sound stomach churningly rich, but is a real treat for the taste buds and a great sharing plate if you want to balance it off with your standard fry up; with other unusual dishes including BBQ spiced crispy pig ears, bacon wrapped dates, spicy ox cheek doughnut and pollock meatballs with lobster cream.

Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a great private room with outstanding views, the restaurant has possibly the best in the capital.  With capacity for 20 people and a minimum spend of £1,000, it’s pretty reasonable value when all’s said and done.

So if you’re not vertigo afflicted and want to experience unrivalled, panoramic views with dishes and choices to match, Duck and Waffle it up.


Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Phone: 020 3640 7310


El Pirate, Mayfair

This is a gem of a tapas restaurant not to be missed.  Located in the quiet back water of Down Street a stone’s throw from Green Park and Hyde Park Corner, the quintessentially English location belies this Spanish experience extraordinaire.

The buzzy restaurant and bar are full of character befitting the name (‘The Pirate’).  From the easy charm of the native waiters to the Mediterranean white wash walls and mouth-watering tapas, this is a slice of Spain you won’t forget.  Informal, inexpensive and above all authentic, El Pirate combines exquisite tapas and fine wine in a relaxed atmosphere.  The classics are there for the picking, providing a feast for the senses which is second to none – deep-fried squid, juicy chorizo, paella and tortilla to name but a few.  And with a set menu of 10 tapas dishes for £20.95,  El Pirate offers surprisingly good prices for such a swanky area.

There is a bespoke party room for up to 60 people with an offering of live music and two party menus (one is vegetarian) – ideal for larger parties and a great way to enjoy tapas.  With a whole raft of treats from meatballs and calamares to patatas bravas and pan-fried chicken for just £18.75 per person, this really is cracking value.

Reviews confirm the obvious with Nobu’s celebrity chef and restaurateur, Nobu Matsuhisa calling El Pirata “my favourite restaurant” and Brian May of Queen stating “El Pirata rocks!”

In the words of Gervaise Odell: “El Pirata offers me everything I look for in a restaurant. Fine food, excellent choice, comfortable surroundings, marvellous service and a bill at the end that doesn’t give me indigestion!”  I couldn’t agree more.

5-6 Down St, London W1J 7AQ
020 7491 3810