Flew from LAX to London on May 10th. We stayed in Convent Garden at Seven Dials at the Raddison Blu Edwardian Mercer St. Our last few trips we had stayed at the Hoxton Holborn and we liked this new location although it was very busy for most of the weekend. We appreciated Monmouth coffee right down the street especially that first afternoon when we arrived with some heavy jet lag.
First night we went back to Barrafina, Drury Lane, one of our favorite spots in London that serves excellent and delicious Spanish tapas and some big plates. It’s got a Michelin star now. It’s counter seating although they now also have an outdoor patio that must have been created during Covid. We ordered padron’s, ham croquetas, tortilla with prawn and piquillo pepper and grilled squid with chickpeas and pancetta. My only regret is that we didn’t get more or even better if we had had another meal there to get some of their charcoal oven dishes. We’ve been going for years and its never disappointed.
Next morning we trekked off to King’s Cross and saw a great David Hockney show. Got some good pizza to go for lunch from Homeslice located at Neal’s yard which was up the street. Friday night we were back to Neal’s Yard eating at another one of our favorite places, The Barbary. It’s a combination of Mediterranean, North African and middle eastern offerings and we have loved everything we’ve eaten there over the years. Friday night we got freshly made naan with two yoghurt dips-one with spinach and nuts and another with cod. Next was smoke labneh octopus, pata negra (amazing pork) and cauliflower Jaffa style. It’s all counter seating and we became great friends with our neighbors plus all the chefs and even got a round of shots on the house at the end of the meal. A really memorable evening filled with great food and fun company.
On our last day in London for lunch we went back to another favorite, Koya, located in soho and maker of amazing udon dishes. We had our usual, the hot udon with shrimp tempura. Saturday night we ended up canceling our Tandoor Chop House reservation and eating at our hotel restaurant-Monmouth Kitchen which is a Peruvian/Italian mashup that ended up being excellent. Got a salad, chicken skewers with a great Peruvian sauce and something else that I think was Italian. Surprisingly good and we needed something close and lighter fare. Next morning we were off Paris on the Eurostar. Never used cash, only cards or Apple Pay everywhere and some places even said they wouldn’t take cash. Great long weekend in one of my favorite cities.