Located in the original 1924 Bluebird Garage, then the largest in Europe, Bluebird has a brasserie, pit-stop café and a new deli bursting with delicious French and Italian treats. It now also boasts its own impeccably edited fashion store, with an ever-changing mix of such fresh designer labels as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Mother of Pearl and Maison Martin Margiela.
The legendary department store Liberty of London has jumped on the fashion cafeteria bandwagon by opening a new Champagne and oyster bar where shoppers can refuel with small bites and bubbly.
Cha Cha Moon
Famed restaurateur Alan Yau, the man behind Michelin-star Hakkasan and fun dimsum eatery Yauatcha, designed this Soho spot for those on a budget (perfect for those disadvantaged by the exchange rate).
Chin Chin Laboratories
Europe’s first ‘liquid nitrogen’ ice cream parlor is located in Camden, north London. The Chin Chin Laboratories are an ice cream parlour and candy shop. Instead of freezers, there’s a 180-liter tank of nitrogen and staff wearing leather gloves and safety helmets. They’re working on such concoctions as glow-in-the-dark ice cream and ice cream noodles. Started by a former city broker and marketing consultant, Chin Chin takes its inspiration from such top chefs as Ferran Adrià and Heston Blumenthal. The couple had been researching ‘nitro’ ice cream for almost two years before opening this cutting-edge shop in 2010.
Lady Carole Bamford’s eye for detail wins again at Daylesford’s Pimlico setting, her latest. The gleaming white marble interior and handmade willow staircase are exquisite, as is the shop’s selection of cheeses (especially the cheddar). After antiquing on the Pimlico Road (don’t miss Gordon Watson’s shop at No. 28), stop here for a cappuccino and a slice of apple, chestnut or pecan pie.
Fernandez & Wells
Described as a ‘European market stall in an English setting’, this lively food and wine bar is not for those on a diet, serving cured meats, cheese and bread piled high on the oak counter (which becomes a bar in the evening). Perfect when you need something more than a quick coffee, you can also visit their nearby sister café (on Beak Street) and espresso bar (in St Anne’s Court).
Better known for his appetite for cutting-edge art, collector Charles Saatchi opened Gallery Mess, a casual brasserie housed in a dining room that boasts Georgian architecture and walls adorned with modern art. Mess serves delicious, affordable food all day, from breakfast to afternoon tea and dinner. The food is provided by top-of-the-line London caterers Rhubarb. Best of all, Gallery Mess is attached to the Saatchi Gallery”:/destinations/13/departments/90#article_6585 just off the Kings Road, in case you get an appetite for more of Saatchi’s incomparable collection.
Granger & Co.
Popular with the Notting Hill ‘yummy mummies,’ this sunny spot makes a great breakfast and is a nice place to stop for a coffee.
At these convivial neighborhood bakeries, London’s beloved Israeli-born chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi transports his patrons to aromatic lands south and east of the Mediterranean. Ottolenghi’s countertops, fragrant with dukkah and za’atar, lavishly display tarts, cakes and canapés of vibrant green, crimson and violet. The assortment is quite literally a feast for the eyes – one feels revitalized just gazing at it. Enlightened pastries are seasoned with Iranian lime, pomegranate molasses, and lemon myrtle salt, though traditionalists will be very content with a cappuccino and an inspired almond croissant. Ottolenghi is perfect for breakfast, lunch or a quick break between boutiques.
Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market
A favorite of artist and designer Nathalie Hambro:
“The Rose Bakery, a small café located on the fourth floor of the Dover Street Market, is owned by Rose Carrarini and her husband Jean Charles. It’s the perfect place to drop after shopping for tea and a snack. You’ll find all manner of left-field designs and cutting-edge curios as well as stars from the fashion world munching on the bakery’s scrumptious fare. Look for the cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea (Phaidon Press).”
A hip hangout owned by Sir Terence Conran’s son, Tom’s Deli has a buzzing café and a deli section that’s filled with cakes, chocolates and other treats.