Rest your weary arms and legs, London. Take a break. Put down that heavy shopping. Treat yourself to some of the finest food central London has to offer. You deserve it. Look how much you achieved today. Well, look how much you WILL achieve once you actually poke your head out of Oxford Circus and head along Oxford Street on the hunt for gifts. The surrounding suburbs of Soho, Fitzrovia, Marylebone, and Mayfair are filled with great bars and restaurants, providing shelter from the rain and a menu full of reasons to be satisfied with life. Just make sure not to be disappointed and book ahead of time.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Cristiano Betta.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Japanese
Shopping on Oxford Street, one of the world's greatest retail destinations, can work up a serious appetite. Aqua Kyoto, its entrance on Argyll Street just by Oxford Circus tube, is perhaps the most elegant spot in the area in which to satisfy it. Shoppers wanting a quick pit-stop can drop in without a reservation for sushi and yakitori at the open sushi counter or - weather permitting - a beautiful bento box on the roof terrace. Diners wanting to schedule in a meal as part of a day's retail therapy meanwhile can book to enjoy the great value lunch menu or an a la carte feats after the shops shut. Sunday is given over to Infinity Brunch, offering unlimited Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Afternoon Tea at the Montague
Bloomsbury / Restaurant / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
This elegant hideaway is just steps from The Brunswick Shopping Centre and The British Museum, not far from Oxford Street. With an 'Award of Excellence' for Afternoon Tea, respect is paid to this popular tradition while offering some intriguing variations. The traditional afternoon tea in London menu includes a selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream, an array of tempting pastries and accompanied by a choice of traditional, flavoured, aromatic, fruit and green teas, fine coffees and hot chocolate. Perhaps add a glass of champagne to enjoy in the Conservatory or al fresco on the Wood Deck in the warmer months for extra sparkle. Take some time out!
Roux at The Landau
Marylebone / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Marylebone - Yet more celebrity TV chefs making it on the London restaurant scene. Michel Roux Jr has set up in the original ballroom of the Langham Hotel, mixing modern Orientalism with the romance of Victoriana, while the cuisine entices shoppers, hotel guests, and foodies alike with the finest contemporary European dishes, the best of British seasonal ingredients and a few intriguing twists.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Dirty Bones Carnaby, in Soho's Carnaby on the top floor of Kingly Court, serves a menu of American comfort food classics with a twist such as: The Mac Daddy Burger (6oz house burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac 'n' cheese, Dirty Bones barbecue sauce and Dirty Bones pickles). Diners can enjoy a new weekend brunch menu with indulgent dishes such as: the Benedict Burger (6oz house burger, topped with poached egg and black treacle bacon, smothered in Dirty Bones hollandaise sauce).
Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson
Fitzrovia / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
You're invited to tumble down the rabbit hole and enjoy the wonderful world of the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea, a collaboration with design collective Luna & Curious, who crafted bespoke crockery for the service. Menus are hidden inside vintage books, and napkins wrapped with riddles, ranging from classics such as dainty sandwiches and home baked savoury and sweet scones to whimsical culinary treats including strawberries and cream homemade marshmallow mushrooms; a Tick Tock traditional Victoria sponge clock, and Jelly Wonderland, where the most delicious fruit jellies made in Victorian jelly moulds are presented on a lavish cake trolley.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Ma' Plucker brings the best of the deep south to Soho with its home-cooked delights, including three of mamma's secret chicken recipes: fried, rotisserie and pulled. Other delicious options also available, such as Ma's Southern style chicken and biscuits, chicken fried steak, crack & cheese (deep-fried mac and cheese) and more. For dessert, guests can either get stuck into a home-made sweet 'n' salty popcorn, or cornflake and caramel sundae, or, enjoy a slice of all-American pie.
Mayfair / Restaurant / Cuisine: Thai
Mayfair - Using authentic Thai ingredients flown in fresh from Thailand each day, Thai Square creates a range of exquisite dishes with that all-important kick of chilli (you can ask for less spice but stop being a scaredy cat and embrace variety). The ambience in the restaurant is designed to create a warm, friendly Thai atmosphere using modern Thai décor and traditional Thai artefacts.
Marylebone / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Turkish
At Sofra on St. Christopher's Place, just off Oxford Street, you can pop in for anything from a bistro bite to a full Turkish feast from noon to midnight. The best way to enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine is to order lots of different things to share with friends. Although Sofra food may refer back to a Turkish heritage, it also looks forward, to international developments in food styles Especially those influenced by the Orient and to trends in healthier eating.
Percy & Founders
Fitzrovia / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Percy & Founders restaurant in Fitzrovia is an exciting social destination offering Londoners everything from a morning coffee or breakfast, through to lunch, dinner and evening cocktails. The bar and restaurant welcomes both reservations and casual walk-ins. The chef has created a seasonally changing all-day restaurant menu of simple British and modern European fare. This would be a good place start your shopping date with Oxford Street.
Venue Managers: think you should be here?
Click here to send a message to the Fluid editorial team.