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Micromanage my Life - London Edition


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#1 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:51 PM

A few questions - 

 

Any good thoughts on coffee/cafe type places for casual meetings in The City and the Hedge Fund land around Hyde Park . If you were a hipstery-ish foodie finance guy where would you meet. The answer might be nowhere.  Lunch places might be helpful as well. Nothing too gilded.  Could range from a great espresso place with a standing bar to something more formally cafe-ish - but likely to be quiet enough for a chat.

 

Am I being locationally difficult if I pick Hedone as a place for dinner with friends who live in Richmond and Maidenhead?

 

Complete this sentence: If I loved SJ/ SJ B&W and The Anchor & Hope 8 years ago I would love eating  at________ 

 


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#2 IanT

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:43 PM

Casual meetings over coffee

 

I sometimes use Prufrock for casual meetings.  Some of the best coffee in town and plenty of space.  You won't be the only meeting going on, you certainly won't be the only hipster but you might be the only finance guy.   Kinda cheating though as it's just outside the Western edge of the City, in the City proper I'd go with Taylor St Baristas near Bank.  There are some great casual lunch spots around Smithfield - Chabrot, Comptoir Gascon, Cellar Gascon.  There's a good Italian further East in L'Anima (though maybe too gilded).   

 

Good coffee sports are very rare in West London.  I can't think of anywhere good near Hedgie-land, I often use The Wolseley for coffee meetings in that part of town.  Coffee is fine and its always buzzing.  One of my clients uses it as his "office", he'll stay at the same table from breakfast, through morning coffee, lunch and sometimes afternoon tea with a rotating cast of companions.  It's that kind of place.  Non-"gilded" lunch options also not very plentiful around there.  Though you're not far from Soho where they abound.

 

If your friends are driving then Hedone is a great compromise.  Nowhere is going to be all that convenient for people coming from Maidenhead and Richmond.  If they aren't driving then somewhere closer to Paddington would be much easier for them - The Ledbury?

 

"If I loved SJ/ SJ B&W and The Anchor & Hope 8 years ago I would love eating at" The Harwood Arms.

 

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

 

Ian



#3 Suzanne F

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:22 PM

So I guess Bonner isn't bringing the baby?


[B]ragging rights are a side effect of hype. -- Sneakeater, 4 January 2017 - 02:21 PM

 

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deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#4 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:43 PM

not a vacation

 

assume that the Maidenhead and Richmond folk will already be in town as they'll be working -  one by bank the other at green park. Is the Ledbury still the best choice?

 

Maybe I can do Hedone solo? Its really not near anything and I'm flying in and out of LCY even, so can't do it en route to heathrow.

 

Ian - any places you think are must eats for NYers? I have a work week - figure 2-3 of those nights will be solo.  No lunches though unless they are in those areas mentioned above.


Why not mayo?

#5 balex

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:11 PM

Or Cecconi's as an alternative to the Wolesley, same thing really but Italian, and they have a bar you can take coffee at.

 

Workshop Coffee on Wigmore Street is not too far -- just next to Selfridges and has good coffee but maybe too small for meeting people.

Courtyard of Dunhill in Bourdon House on Davies Street.

 

Pop in to gawp at the wine shop Hedonism up the road still on Davies Street. Ultra high end Russian backed, and quite something.

 

The Connaught bar opens mid afternoon I think.

 

Hedone solo is fine.



#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:39 PM

Hedone solo is fine.
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#7 IanT

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:18 PM

Argh, just lost a long response. Internet connection not so good in Cambria, CA. Will rewrite tonight or tomorrow, presume timing not too pressing?

#8 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:19 PM

no - few weeks out.


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#9 IanT

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:22 AM

To third that view, Hedone solo is fine. Ask to sit at the bar, strike up some internet food-nerd chat with Mikael and you will be all set.

It's a tricky task as much of the improvements in London's inexpensive/mid-range restaurants over the last 5+ years have been in areas where you are already well served in NYC. We now have good steak, sushi, ramen, udon, Szeuchan, burgers, hot dogs and BBQ. If you are interested in trying any of these in London then let me know and I will let you have some recommendations.

At the high end, The Ledbury is the best restaurant in town in my view. Depending on how much time you have, The Sportsman and The Hand and Flowers are both excellent and within striking distance.

As regards solo dining, good choices include Roka (at the robata bar, order the king crab hot pot and the lamb chops), Arbutus (sit at the bar, very consistent 1*, order the rabbit) and Sushi Tetsu (impossible to book but it has 7 seats so sometimes there's a solo spot, e-mail Harumi and let her know the dates you will be in town). Dabbous is one of the hottest restaurants in town, I wasn't blown away but it has a bar underneath with a good cocktail programme and a bar menu which generally contains a couple of dishes from the main menu.

London does Indian well obviously. I presume you've been to Tayyabs but if not its a must go. Quilon is my pick of the high end places though I haven't been in a while.

There is great Chinese food. I thought HKK was 2* standard and, after quite a bit of research, Bar Shu is a notch above the rest for fantastic Szeuchan.

If you are into beer, I could recommend a beer/food crawl around Clerkenwell. Lots of great beer pubs (Brown Cow, Craft, Dovetail, Jerusalem Tavern), Welsh rarebit and bone marrow at the bar at St John, scotch egg at Coach & Horses, salt beef at Long Room etc.

One thing that hasn't made it onto many peoples radar is the redevelopment north of Kings Cross. An old grain store has been converted into the new Central St Martins art/fashion school. They did a beautiful job and there are a couple of good restaurants in the development in Caravan (excellent brunch and coffee) and Grain Store (Bruno Loubet's new place, very good on a first visit last week, Bruno was at the pass. His other place in The Zetter is worth consideration, with a cocktail at The Zetter Townhouse before dinner). It's on the canal and a very pleasant canal walk East brings you to Clerkenwell/Islington (30 minutes) or West brings you to Regents Park (45 minutes).

#10 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:45 PM

That's great. Yeah - I have no interest in the things I can find here.

 

I tend to think ingredient driven places are the way to go.

 

In that regard - best straight ahead Spanish tapas-y type place?  Is La Fromagerie still the place to go for cheese?

 

I intro'd the senior management of my firm to Tayyab's - for the next two years every time anyone senior at all came to London I had to take them there.  And their admins always had to run their other dinner reservations elsewhere by me because I became known as the guy who knew where to eat.  Solo though I don't think its doable.

 

ETA: I used to live very close to that canal in Islington


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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:12 PM

I did Tayyab's solo. It wasn't ideal -- but it was possible. (You have to eat a lot, of course.)
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#12 Nancy S.

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

The Ledbury is my favorite in London. Reservations are quite popular there, though. Act fast if this is part of your plan. The Sportsman is my favorite outside London. We're returning in a few weeks to have the tasting menu again -- it's such a great experience. I also like The Bull and Last for a gastropub dinner. Sundays are quiz night and lots of fun.

#13 AaronS

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 07:46 PM

I think the sportsman is definitely worth the trouble, and very doable on a work night.  definitely better than anywhere I've been in the US.  



#14 Nancy S.

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:31 PM

Indeed, the Sportsman is worth the travel and, for me as well, better than US counterparts. Our pattern is to travel from Lille, post In de Wulf, to Whitsable. Also, if in the area, Crab and Winkle Way is quite fabulous!

#15 AaronS

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:11 PM

I used a london commuter train and had no trouble getting back after my meal.