Social Eating House, Poland Street, London
Gieves and Hawkes, Savile Row, London
We’d wanted to head away to the sunshine for the Easter weekend but with busy schedules, the weekend was suddenly upon us and we had no plans. We decided to make it a seriously foodie weekend. After visits to the new food critics’ favourite, Portland, and the original superstar hangout, Hakkasan, we headed to Soho for lunch at (what I think) is one of the best restaurants in town. Big words I know, but Social Eating House just delivers every single time. A cosy setting, with the most deliciously tasty food, and the friendliest maitre d’ to boot. We started with my favourite dish on the menu: Wild Mushrooms from a Bag. Firm, flavoursome mushrooms are sealed into a bag with stock, garlic (and some kind of magic potion that makes them the tastiest morsels I have ever eaten?), before being theatrically cut open at the table. The salt-baked Jerusalem artichoke was sublime. Paired with Iberico de Bellota ham and spring truffle, the flavours were perfectly balanced, a cornerstone of every dish. Cured Cornish mackerel was served with chicory, Fuji apple and walnuts and the prettiest plate of smoked salmon arrived with candy striped beetroots and quinoa. The ham, egg and chips is served a little differently at Social Eating House: smoked duck ham, a crispy truffle topped egg and perfect skinny chips. After a nosy down in the kitchen (the chefs aren’t held behind bars, just tucked away behind a wine cellar and chef’s table), we headed back to the bar for dessert – an Irish coffee sundae with Guinness sponge, whiskey jelly and salted caramel ice cream.
The next stop was Savile Row, for a special suit fitting at Gieves and Hawkes. We were whisked into the most beautiful private room, and after watching Shelton fit Carl’s suit to perfection, we were ever so kindly given a private tour of the workshop. Charming tailors that have been crafting garments for the likes of Gary Grant and Prince Charles for over 40 years are training up 18 year old apprentices to ensure the longevity of the art, and the cutter told us that, whilst some might find their craft old fashioned, bespoke tailoring will always be a personal and relevant luxury for the lucky ones. Having said our goodbyes, we wandered the shop floor, before reaching the galleried archive. Plumed helmets and exquisitely detailed military jackets sit alongside antique order books and royal appointments to form one of the most interesting design displays in London. Getting stuck in London has never been so delicious, interesting and inspiring…
Photos: Carl Waxberg