London Quickie

Last week, I had about 30 hours in London for Thanksgiving and a client meeting. While that’s just about enough time for tube travel between a few places, I managed to squeeze in a few favorites and make some new discoveries. Here are some of the highlights.

Brat Open-fire cooking is big in London right now. Chef Tomos Parry is doing some of the best. Whole turbot was slowly grilled to a luscious state, but its showstopper status was upstaged by smoked potatoes in melted butter. Next time, I’ll save room for the burnt cheesecake with pears.

P. Franco You don’t want to go to this natural wine bar with me: I’m too distracted by the design of the chef and winemaker posters lining the room. (Whoever you are, you’re hired.) You should go, though, and soon: The very talented Anna Tobias is in residence until spring 2019. She’s cooked at Rochelle Canteen and the River Cafe. Her cooking is limited by the fact that there is no kitchen to speak of, and she’s the dishwasher, but she wrestles beautiful things from those plug-in burners. Has beans on toast ever made you cry? In her hands it can.

Leila’s Shop No news here, but wow. The cafe attached to the rustic/gorgeous London grocery is pure comfort. One spoonful of the white bean and cabbage soup and I stopped whining about being unable to get into Rochelle Canteen around the corner. (That place, you reserve.)

Luna & Curious Claire Ptak took me to this shop for children (and their moms) last summer, and I ran straight back. The kids’ clothes and accessories are unlike most things out there, cool without being twee. And there’s always a good sock or smock or waxed cotton bat-wing coat for me.

Strange Days: Memories of the Future In New York, real estate developers turn untenanted ground-floor space into pop-up Instagram museums for dogs (true story). In London, they get a New Museum curator to fill empty rooms with jaw-dropping video installations from Pipilloti Rist, Kahlil Joseph, and Camille Henrot, whose “Grosse Fatigue” had me speechless. Through December 9.

Didn’t make it to, but was eager to try… BrightBlack Axe MangalSmoking GoatTwo LightsDuck Soup

Stayed at: The Ace Hotel London Shoreditch so I could be around the corner from (almost) everything.

You can read my full London guide over at Bon Appétit, along with this fun guide from Claire Ptak from the beloved Violet bakery.