JILIAN BANJOKO, JULY 2017
Both Londoners and tourists alike can delve into the wacky and wonderful dining experiences London has to offer. Granted, the food may not always match the standards of the traditional five star classic cuisine that is so highly acclaimed however, London is all about the culture and experience. Whether it is the attraction of the wacky and or picture worthy interiors or the attention-grabbing concepts, London is surrounded with dining extravaganzas to encourage you to add and tick off your food experience bucket list. If you are looking to experience exciting London dining in an alternative way, here are the top five picks to get you started.
Ziferblat This place would not strike a non-London native as dining per say, it is more of a casual Café spot. A place you go to pass time, study outside of a traditional study location or even make new friends. Ziferblat, is located in Old Street/ Shoreditch and strikes as an average hipster retreat like many cafés in this area. However, what sets this place apart from the norm is that everything you eat is free, yes you read correctly, it is completely FREE. You only need to pay for your time here, and at only 5p a minute (£3 per hour) it is an absolute steal. Coming from Russian origins this social experiment type experience encourages one to be creative and interact with others, the website describes it as “a tree house for adults where we encourage you to create, collaborate and play. Together we want to build a community of people who want to use our space to make something interesting”. There are also a number of events that are held here, you are always encouraged to get involved. Remember to pick up a clock to track your time, sit back and relax, get creative or play old school board games with old and new friends in your new home away from home.
SketchSketch London, if you have not heard of it you have most definitely seen pictures of it floating around on social media; it is the place with the pink room and egg shaped toilet stalls. Located in Mayfair, this picture worthy hot spot houses five themed and individually decorated rooms by a variation of commissioned artists and interior designers. The Lecture room and Library, The Glade, The Parlour, the east bar and the most sought after ‘pink room’ officially named The Gallery. The transformation of the Gallery was a result of a collaboration between David Shrigley, a well-known British artist, and India Mahdavi, a well-known architect and designer. The pairing have created a tastefully loud but harmonious atmosphere, with 239 of Shrigley’s creative art work which line the walls of the backdrop Mahdavi created. The ethos speaks loud and clear through the more is more opulent yet playful décor and is a popular location for afternoon tea or dinner.
Bob Bob RicardBob Bob Ricard is an iconic luxury Soho spot for Londoners wanting to experience an eclectic crowd and indulge in reinvented classic English and Russian cuisine with an extravagant twist. An all booth restaurant, Bob Bob Ricard is a brasserie heavily inspired by the early 20th century. The restaurant’s interior was designed by David Collins studio which uses references from romanticism of this era and is heavily inspired by the train éclair du luxe, grand brasseries and hotels of central Europe. Hence, the all booth set up, opulent marble, hypnotising wallpaper and dimmed table lights. If you are not amazed by the quirky elements that make this place what it is then you will surely be intrigued by the piece de resistance, the restaurant has a ‘press for champagne’ button, that actually works and allows you to summon champagne at your will. If you like a night out but are over the club scene this restaurant offers the right balance between dinner and drinks.
Beach Blanket Babylon Notting HillBeach Blanket Babylon, better known to locals as BBB, is a rococo style Georgian Town house which upholds this quality in its exterior; however, once entering the restaurant/ bar you feel as though you have been transported onto the pages of a dark mystery novel penned in the era of romanticism. BBB houses themed rooms such as the Ball Room which is a lavish private dining area fit for a king, the crypt which is a hollowed out cave, an elevated circular room known as the Chapel and many more other semi-private dining spaces filled with decadent periodic furnishing. With its lavish interior protected by its modest exterior, this place can be seen as Notting hill’s best kept luxurious dining secret. Although the food may not be anything special, the ambience and drinks do make this place a worthwhile visit, especially if you are celebrating.