While the English mightn’t be known for their exceptional creativity when it comes to the culinary arts, the same certainly can’t be said of their local fashion industry. As we approach the tail end of London Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2017 shows, here are five restaurants favourited by some of fashion’s favourite faces.
Almost half a century ago, Michael Chow opened the first of his global restaurants on Valentine’s Day. His clients on that night in 1968? The Beatles and The Stones. Ever since then, celebrities have loved Mr. Chow and Mr. Chow has love them in return. In the intervening decades, Mr. Chow has courted a see-and-be-seen clientele undeterred by questionable reviews and, naturally, the prices attached to his take on Beijing cuisine, served with sense of ceremony (a champagne cart will inevitably materialise table side on your arrival) and the restauranteur’s signature charm. Just as Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring called Mr. Chow a regular in the 80s, so too do British models Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, all of whom have called on the Mayfair flagship for crispy Beijing duck and dumplings. Book here.
Coya’s take on Peruvian cuisine, which eschews traditional starchy staples like rice and potato for a strong seafood focus, proved so popular on its opening that two spin-offs in Miami and Dubai soon followed. Ms. Dunn, who certainly knows a thing or two about spicing it up, is a fan of Coya’s three kitchens across two levels spanning an open ceviche bar, a char-grill and a central kitchen from where executive chef Sanjay Dwivedi has been at the crest of the new wave of Peruvian cuisine since 2012. Coya is a members-only venue, so book for lunch and head for the in-house Pisco Bar afterward. Book here.
Paradise by Way of Kensal Green
Paradise by way of Kensal Green bills itself as a home for “the restless and eclectic” north of Notting Hill – an ethos evinced as much as in the gastropub’s seasonal, locally-sourced and organic menu of traditional British cooking as in its Saturday night entertainment options, which range from burlesque and cabaret, to live music, art and film screenings. Named for poet GK Chesterton’s The Rolling English Road (originally titled A Song of Temperance Reform), don’t be surprised if you run into Kate Moss or Lily Allen, Sophie Dahl or Jade Jagger on their way to a Saturday night session. Book here.
Rita Ora performed – and is supposedly a regular – at this Poseidon’s Palace in the heart of Mayfair, whose the décor reportedly cost $26 million and where three pert mermaid sculptures commissioned of Damien Hirst preside over a pink hued lava stone bar that supposedly houses one of the largest Japanese whiskey collections in Europe. As its name suggests, subtlety isn’t the strong suit of Sexy Fish, the recently-opened restaurant whose Asian fusion menu (see the ‘Japrese’ salad below, where mozzarella has been substituted for tofu) has struck a chord with Anna Wintour, Amal Clooney, Georgia May Jagger and Kate Moss, who dined here recently with her twenty-something paramour Count Nikolai von Bismarck. Suffice to say, walk-ins don’t stand a chance. Book here.
Guy Ritchie won The Punchbowl, one of the area’s oldest pubs, in his 2008 divorce settlement with Madonna before selling it three years ago, but that’s done little to diminish this Mayfair pub’s high wattage, which remains as popular with Princes William and Harry as it is with Leo, James Corden and British model Edie Campbell. Now in new hands, the Punchbowl continues to draw a crowd over three levels, with a reliably British bar menu of pub classics; an upstairs dining room dishing up elevated English fare; and an even more exclusive experience in the top tier bespoke experience, The Club. Book here.
Tile and cover image: Instagram