Earlier this year I made the rather impulsive decision to move from Zone 5 to Zone 1 as part of an “If I’m going to live in London I’m going to bloody well live in London” decision. So I moved – to Marylebone. Not only was I slap bang in the middle of London, this change had the added benefit of getting an “ooh, fancy,” reaction every time I told people where I lived. While the flat itself was about as fancy as a Primark dress at a film premiere, it was still a film premiere and I could lie about the dress. Every time I stepped out of the front door and turned onto Marylebone High Street with its European boutiques and cafés I felt like I was in my own little movie.
So while I was living there I explored the surroundings, shopped my heart out, chose between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park as my running grounds and ate out a lot. I lived there for six months and I think I cooked at home twice. There are many many places to talk about (and I will, you have permission to tweet profanities at me if I don’t) but here are five of my favourite foods a la Mary
1. A salmon and cream cheese bagel from Bonne Bouche.
They lay on that salmon on a fresh delicious bagel. Alternatively they do good eggs – benedict, florentine, royale – whatever you fancy.
2. Steak frites from Le Relais de Venise.
People must eat this. No really. You have no choice. First comes a walnut salad then half your steak-frites meal, followed by the other half, nice and hot.
3. Deep fried pickles at Meat Liquor.
I know. I just lowered the tone but god these babies are so damn good they’ll be worth the half hour queue you’ll be standing in get at them. Have them with a cocktail in a jar. The chilli cheese fries also rocked my life.
4. Chilli martini at The Marylebone. Ok it’s not food but at 2 for 1 cocktails every night from 6 -9 and all day Sunday dinner becomes a little bit secondary.
5. Granola at The Providores and Tapa Room.
Granola? Really? I can totally get that from M&S, no? Well yes, but this is where the cool kids go to eat granola. It’s another one of those places where unless you get there at the right time you’re going to have to spend a bit of time queueing for a seat. But it’s worth it. From a basil and rocket waffle to sardines, the Tapa room at the Providores is where Maryleboneans do brunch. And the granola mix is really just a little bit special.