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3 Days In London

I have been fortunate enough to make several trips to London within the past 4 months. Each of these trips lasts only three days but is quite packed with location surveys and meetings in restaurants run by large groups, some in large developments and others featuring rising star chefs and GMs that are sure to be heard from in NYC. I like to start my first day with something familiar and fun or not too adventurous as I often fly the red eye into London and have meetings all day on day one. I try

By Keith Durst

3 August 2018

I have been fortunate enough to make several trips to London within the past 4 months. Each of these trips lasts only three days but is quite packed with location surveys and meetings in restaurants run by large groups, some in large developments and others featuring rising star chefs and GMs that are sure to be heard from in NYC.

I like to start my first day with something familiar and fun or not too adventurous as I often fly the red eye into London and have meetings all day on day one. I try to lunch in casual places that have a real shot at an international market and then like to have a cocktail and a snack early evening and a meal later to round out the night. With the time change and the short duration I pretty much just try to push through without worrying about time of day.

Day 1

The best place to start your day is Sharps Barber and Shop in Fitzrovia. The owner, Rory, set this place up with an amazing espresso bar.  You can have a great espresso and then get a shave (or a haircut for the non-folically challenged). It is a wonderful way to start the day.

Brian's Coffee Spot

For lunch I have been pressing a few business ventures with Harrods and Westfield London so I usually end up within one or the other and both offer some terrific choices. It may be hard to appreciate, being from NYC, but the London Westfield has an amazing food court. Yes amazing with real restaurants. None better than the Yo Sushi spot where you pick your plates as they cruise by on the conveyor belt. For a quick bite midday, this is terrific. When I am in Harrods, I prefer a bit more service orientated and like to sit in their rooftop restaurant. The food is simple and good and the pace is very relaxing.

Dinner and or dinner and drinks day 1 is very simple. The Lockhart.

The Lockhart | The Telegraph

This is Brad McDonald’s place. I knew Brad from my time in Brooklyn, when I opened Aska. At that time Brad had a few places one of which was Governor before the hurricane wiped it out and he was doing some terrific things there. Brad took American Southern food to London and he makes the best cornbread on earth. The food is straightforward and simply tastes great. He also has a terrific collection of Bourbon there and I enjoy catching up with him whenever I can.

If you want something a bit different on day one then I may suggest St John Restaurant. St. John is super casual and you can have some locally hunted and sourced game.

St. John Restaurant | londoneater

Day 2

The Clove Club | The Telegraph

For day 2, choices start to pop up and some of them may have to do with travel times, as going to The Clove Club in Shoreditch (in the old Town Hall Building) is the a great spot run by a group of guys called the Young Turks that did a bunch of pop ups before they settled there. The aging they are doing is amazing. Great cocktail program and all around fantastic way to spend a few hours.

Restaurant Story | The Sunday Times

My other choice is also a distance away as it is in Bermondsey. This is a sophisticated dining spot that will take some advance notice to get into. Restaurant Story - Tom Sellers place. It will be an experience and someplace that may take you a bit to get to depending on where you are staying. Then you will spend 3 hours there so you need to have time. Tom is a Per Se grad and has a unique modern vision.

The Three Bears Porridge at Restaurant Story | Visit London Blog

Day 3

Day 3 becomes a bit more casual. A great place owned by Ollie Dabbous. It is called Dabbous and has a terrific cocktail lounge downstairs then a fun and modern menu upstairs for a much more simple but well rounded dining experience. Ollie will be cooking at Feast in Portland this year so you can certainly check in on him there first if you are out on the west coast.  

Dabbou | Tatler

About me: I am a hospitality consultant and broker. I have worked with and built multiple Michelin starred restaurants in NYC and work with some of the best chefs and groups in the industry. I travel to London several times a year on development deals, these trips are brief but action packed and I like to speak to and dine with chefs and restaurateurs that are making a difference in the community and ones that I believe will make their way to the States.

Cover photo credit: Anirudh Koul

Anirudh Koul