If you want a bite to eat or a few drinks...
30 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8NA
You will find the adorable and atmospheric Cora Pearl (apparently named after one of the 19th century’s most celebrated & notorious Parisian courtesans) in Henrietta Street, a small bustling street in Covent Garden, bursting with a number of quirky and interesting eating establishments.
Beautifully adorned with a nod to the decadence of the period but adding more modern touches to avoid creating a period theme. The restaurants interior are well-coming, relaxing, cosy and very comfortable and fit perfectly into the theatre district of Covent Garden.
The food has a Modern British twist with a Parisian flavour and even hints of Spain and Portugal. We had a selection of small plates followed by a main, the shrimps with Cayenne on toast (Ranhöfer) were perfect, the devilled eggs were buttery and spicy, the garlic cheese bread was hearty and the Fish Stew (which arrived nude until the waiter poured over the most amazingly aromatic bright yellow seafood bouillabaisse) was to die for! Not forgetting the roasted cod with spiced crab served with chunky hand cut chips roasted caulis flour cheese which was rich, mouth-watering and very satisfying!
We finished with the pureed Pumpkin Curd, Ginger Ice Cream & Pecans which didn’t let us down, yum! Oh and we were presented with a little hand-made in-house petit-chocolate on a decorated plate (we had a Birthday) which just melted in the mouth and which was a very nice gesture! And all accompanied by crisp white vintage linen napkins and original vintage cutlery, just adding to the 19th century vibe.
The cocktail menu is generous, making it difficult to choose but when you do, you will delight in the combinations that are on offer and the house Cava was fresh, sweet, bubbly and incorrigible.
The team also run Kitty Fisher's in Mayfair and when you have been to CP you will immediately get the chic & classy connection
Ideal for that pre-theatre dinner but equally suiting for that extra special occasion.
119 Queen's Road, London SE15 2EZ
Peckham’s (Queen’s Road) new addition and well worth the wait! Offering a selection of interesting small plates, the menu is nicely affordable and inspired by South African cuisine.
With a cosy retro appeal, the venue is small but intimate (the dimly lit hanging orbs set the scene) and the walls are adorned in a subtle dusky pink plaster and set off by beautiful aquamarine tiles, the eclectic tables are marble topped and the seating is finished off with numerous comfy cushions and crushed velvet banquettes, think vintage, think laid back.
The signature bread dishes were exciting (a sweetish Afrikaner loaf similar to a brioche) and pleasantly unusual; we went for the baby shrimp in melted butter option, OMG amazing!! Naughty but very nice, the baked fluffy bread appeared in a cast-iron skillets (to size) and was apparently cooked over an open flames, you then broke off pieces of the bread directly from the pot and dipped it into to the accompanying cast iron frying pan containing flavoured melted butter to moisten the bread and scoop up all the additional ingredients, just gorgeous and a very satisfying process! We added a few fresh oysters to our starter order too, which were plump and really tasty
The mains were hearty with a small group of options, all very well thought out, we went for the medium rare Beef onglet (for two) served with hipsi roasted cabbage and a deliciously rich dipping sauce sprinkled with spicy black pepper, the ribbon Zucchini with wild berries and crème fresh also supported the dish really well too.
Comfort food with a touch of class, a decent wine list (South African options of course) and a good choice of classic cocktails, all served by very polite, thoughtful and helpful staff, we LOVED it.
1st floor, 32 Southwark St, London SE1 1TU
Almost part of Southwark’s thriving Borough Market, this electric buzzy Portuguese restaurant comprises of two floors with the upper floor offering an enormous open plan seating area, beautiful exposed beams, 5 metre high ceilings with a huge skylight offering plenty of natural light, both table and bar seating and its own separate ‘secret’ green room bar area (found hidden behind a large pulled curtain). The downstairs area is more of a cosy, intimate space, more laid back, slow and relaxed.
Perfect for both lunch and dinner and specialising in the delicious Algarvian-style piri piri chicken frango (which they do ‘exceptionally’ well) traditionally cooked over a wood-fired grill (the authentic way) the baked cauliflower with roasted lemon was gorgeous and very flavoursome, the octopus ink rice was a pure taste of holiday (so yummy) the green salad was crisp, fresh and green! and the and the tempura vegetables were softly crunchy and very succulent with the batter was cooked to perfection and there’s also top quality regional charcuterie plates on offer too.
And it wouldn’t be Portuguese without the ‘pasteis de nata’ would it, divine! With natural traditional Portuguese wines and beer on offer, CdF is an explosion of all things Portuguese and all at the top of its game.
Please note, you can’t book so get here early
24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG
Meat, meat, meat, if you like really good quality meat, then Blacklock is for you.
With an almost hidden entrance (originally an old Victorian Soho brothel) on great windmill street, keep your eyes peeled or you will miss it but once inside the atmosphere and ambiance is lively and fun with a buzzy canteen feel.
Offering a more modern take on the Traditional Great British chophouse, with meat apparently sourced from the best award winning West Country providers in Cornwall, you’re in for a quality meal and all cooked over a real charcoal grill (try the mixed combination started plate as well, a tasty and fun way to start your main meal).
Prices are good too, food is reasonable and the Cocktails start from a fiver, they even do wine on tap! It’s all geared up to provide simple top quality food and an overall pleasing atmospheric chop experience and it did.
Blacklock Sundays are also good for those hearty Sunday Roasts at very reasonable prices.
4-6 Ballast Quay, London SE10 9PD
First of all, those River and Canary Wharf views! Just gorgeous, this well positioned historical pub (sat here for over two-hundred years) is perfectly situated right on the edge of the beautiful river Thames and located in Ballast Quay
The food on offer is mostly classic gastro fayre with a focus on fish and seafood dishes. We all went for the Fresh Traditional Fish and Chips served with Mushy peas and Tartare Sauce, a massive portion that was well priced and suited us all perfectly. The one order of Home-made Quarter Pounder Burger with Cheese & Bacon and served in a glossy Brioche Bun was hearty, succulent and moist and apparently hit the spot perfectly too.
The interiors feel like they have remained in a similar style since the pub was first opened, with dark wooded floor boards, dark wood tables and cosy dimmed lighting, all spread over three levels that all offering those stunning river views.
With a number of draught beers on offer, all brewed in London including Young's unique cask-conditioned and bottled beers, Lager’s, Bitters and various Cocktails & Specials, you won’t go dry!
If you can, grab a table on the quayside patio and while your time away watching the daily river traffic pass by, then do, its great for soaking up the heat on those warm sunny days.