7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day

I’ve never been Daddy’s little girl but I’ll still take any opportunity to spoil my parents. After all, it’s only fair after all they’ve done and are still doing for me.

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat the most important man in your life (sorry BF…).

There are billions of ways you can do that of course, but my favourite way to say thank you is with a nice meal out…

 

1. You can’t go wrong with a classic: Sunday roast at Pig & Butcher

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

A local favourite for all things British and nose-to-tail, The Pig & Butcher is Islington’s hot spot when it comes to Sunday roast and the perfect place to indulge in dad’s Sunday fave (and maybe a Bloody Mary or two…).

The Pig & Butcher, 80 Liverpool Rd, London N1 0QD

Menus + bookings

2. Too much month left at the end of the money? £10 steak at Flat Iron

Flat Iron | Best London restaurants for Father's Day | Cake + Whisky

Treating dad needn’t cost an arm and leg (+ steak dinner’s a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to spoiling the old man) and Flat Iron £10 steak ticks all the boxes: juicy steak cooked to perfection, for less money that you’d pay for pizza and a free ice cream cone to top it all… what more could you possibly want?

Flat Iron, several London locations

More info

3. Personalised Pies at Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Mr Fogg’s Tavern’s award-winning pies are becoming personal for Father’s Day. The Victorian inspired Pub, Gin Parlour and Salon in Covent Garden will be offering exclusive personalized pies for Dad. Perfect to make it a Father’s Day to remember!

Mr Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4EA

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Bookings + Personalised pie orders

4. Have your pie & eat it too: Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum

Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Hot and Chilli

The Athenaeum Gentlemen’s afternoon tea was designed with those who prefer savoury to sweet treats in mind. Think wild boar sausage rolls, mini steak and ale pies, cheddar and bacon scones… and single malt scotch from the whisky menu!

The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ

More info, menu + bookings

5. Football extravaganza at Bar Kick

Bar Kick | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Paul Winch-Furness

Does your dad live & breathe for the Euros football competition right now? Then he’ll love Bar Kick. Not only do they show live football, but there’s also table football tables, an extensive beer menu and a reasonably-priced Euros-inspired menu! The best place to cheer on Euros 2016-host France on Father’s Day!

Bar Kick, 127 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE

More info + bookings

6. Father’s Day Il Porco Feast at Bunga Bunga

Il Porco by House of Peroni and Bunga Bunga 8

This Father’s Day, spend your dough on Dad at Battersea’s hit Italian-inspired restaurant, bar and karaoke joint Bunga Bunga. On Sunday, 19th June enjoy Il Porco, one of London’s most authentic Italian hog roasts with all the trimmings. Grab your knife and pork this Father’s Day and tuck in!

Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 3BA

More info + bookings

7. Dad likes the finest things in life? Whisky + chocolate masterclass at Bart’s

Bart's Chocolate + Whisky Masterclass | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Celebrate the day with Dad by sampling top notch whiskies from around the globe and indulge in specialty chocolate pairings from Chelsea’s hidden cocktail bar Barts. Barts’ world-class bar team will provide guests with an hour and a half of tip top tuition about the fine art of whiskey and chocolate pairing, talking through the tasting notes of each variety of whiskey and explaining in detail how each distinctly pairs with the rich flavours of the chocolate.

Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DW

More info + bookings

 

How are you treating your dad this Father’s Day? Any fun plans?

7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day

Oldroyd | Islington, London

This whole “small plate” concept is one I can definitely get behind.

For people like me who struggle to pick only a few items out of a menu, it’s a godsend as it allows us to try a bit of everything, all in the name of sharing and being social.

Not that you need to be a big group to justify ordering the entire menu at OldroydCake + Whisky | Oldroyd restaurantWhich is rather a good thing as I wanted to order every single dish.

In my book, this is the sign of a really good restaurant indeed. Not that I was expecting anything else from Tom Oldroyd, formerly of the Polpo fame.
Cake + Whisky | OldroydWe started off the meal on a high indeed with Summer radishes, smoked cod’s roe & celery salt.

Crunchy, peppery, smoky… So good it got the BF reaching for more (and he doesn’t even like cod roe!).
Cake + Whisky | OldroydBut the best was still to come. More specifically in the form of the Crab tagliarini provençal with brown crab rouille. 

A stellar dish and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten (and you know me, I do not say that lightly!)Cake + Whisky | OldroydLamb & almond meatballs with salsa romesco was the ultimate comfort food and the pickled garlic slices made for an interesting, refreshing twist on the old classic.  Cake + Whisky | OldroydLast (but not least) of the savoury dishes was the Grilled pork ribeye with borlotti beans, chard and hazelnut pistou.

The meat was cooked to perfection and the sweetness of the hazelnut pesto complemented it very well indeed! Cake + Whisky | OldroydAnd so did the zucchini friesCake + Whisky | OldroydWe moved onto pudding with the Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse with salted pistacchio praline and fresh raspberries. Cake + Whisky | OldroydBut most importantly, we finally got our (admitidely greedy) hands on the Stone fruit & brioche pain perdu, which I’d had my eyes on since the beginning of the meal. And there’s only one word to describe this dish: GLORIOUS!

That dessert alone could easily convince me to pass the doors for another meal at Oldroyd.

That is, if I’m ever organised enough to get a table… the rest of London seems to be well aware of how good a restaurant it is! So if you’re planning a visit, it might be safer to book a table

Oldroyd344 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0PD

Oldroyd | Islington, London

Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with Yelp

It seems pizza is always better when you get it from outside (as opposed from making it at home). Or is it just me? Either way, I was determined to get to the bottom of it (and hopefully learn a few tricks along the way)!

So last week, I joined a group of overexcited Yelpers (because PIZZA!) for a pizza masterclass at Pizza Rossa.
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpI was a bit early, so I walk around Leadenhall Market for a while and took in the views (did I ever tell you about this weird obsession of mine with The City’s buildings?) before heading to Pizza Rossa. “Passion by the slice” the sign said. Good sign (geddit?). I believe people who love what they do always do it better. Time to taste-test my theory (and my pizza-making skills, obviously!). Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpEverybody was handed glasses of wine (when in Italy, party like the Italians!) and we got stuck in. After being told about how Pizza Rossa all started out and being promised we were going to make the lightest pizza dough of all times, it was time to get our hands dirty!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAs for all good things, it started with flourCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpTrying really hard the urger to start a flour fight there! 
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAdding in some water

Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpSofar, so good. But then we added yeast, and that’s when it all got a bit lot more… sticky!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpResulting in me having to go halfsies with my partner, whose dough was too dry, for the two of us to have more managable balls of dough! From then on, our newly separated siamese pizza dough babies behaved (we were both really proud)!

All it took to finish the prep was a bit of oil and some salt. And a lot of arm workout! Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAnd then some more to roll it all out!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAfter this, there was A LOT of pizza (and the dough was indeed very light, which might have led me to eat even more than I intended to) and quite abit of wine too (the Italians sure know how to party!). And of course, that’s when my phone decided to stop working. Which might be for the best as you won’t be able to tell how many slices I’ve had…

I have no picture to prove how delicious everything was, but take my words on it and next time you’re in the City for lunch (or dinner, or anytime inbetween really!), just go get yourself a few slices (my favourite was the prosciutto & butternut squash one!)!

I, however, went home with my own little pizza dough ball (which wasn’t little at all!). So I had to make more pizza (oh no!). And I can tell you, making pizza with your fingers crossed (hoping for it to be as delicious as the ones I had the day before) is not easy!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpEither I was lucky or I’m some sort of pizza genius because the dough ended up being so fluffy and soft! Or maybe I was just taught really well! Rolling it was a bit challenging but really fun since air bubbles were desperately trying to kind their way out!

The pros at Pizza Rossa advised to follow several steps to bake your pizza. First you roll the dough out and bake it for about 4 minutes at a really high temperature (250 °C).
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpThen you add tomato sauce and bake it for another 4 min.Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAfter which you should get something looking a bit like this!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAll that’s left to do afterwards is to pile your toppings high and bake for a further 2-5 minutes (we went for red onions, red peppers, chorizo dice, basil and sausage leftovers. And LOADS of mozzarella!).Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAnd tadaaaah! Does that look like a majestic homemade pizza or what?

I definitely have Luca & Corrado from Pizza Rossa to thank for it! Now to see if I can do as well by myself…

Pizza Rossa, 4-12 Whittington Avenue London EC3V 1AB

*Want to join into the Yelp fun? Become a Yelper! We can even be Yelp-buddies and drink wine together at various event! What do you say?*

Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with Yelp

Wahaca | Mexican Market Eating | Islington

I initially didn’t plan to write a review of Wahaca (hence the terrible picture quality). We went there kind of by default on a Sunday evening when there simply wasn’t enough food in the fridge to cook dinner, and everything else in the neighbourhood seemed to have already closed.

But then, just like the first time I visited, the utter brilliance of it all hit be. I tend not to be the biggest fan of so-called “chain restaurants” (which I most often than not find a bit “meh”) but Wahaca is most definitely an exception to that rule. So I obviously HAD TO write about it. Also I fell in love with Frijoles, and that was in itself enough of a reason for a review!

I usually blame chains for lacking in originality and/or authenticity and lower-than-standard food quality. Wahaca however definitely can’t be fault on either of these points. Also, they do cracking little cocktails!
Cake + Whisky | WahacaThere were many treats on the cocktail list (Margaritaaaaaas! 🍸) but my eyes were drawn to the Rhubarb Mezcalita special… Cake + Whisky | WahacaAnd God, was I glad I went with it! It was perfectly balanced, which I always find somewhat tricky with rhubarb. Also tried the Hibiscus Mojito, which was refreshing but would have benefited from more hibiscus flavours to make it truly interesting. If I manage to get my hands on some hibiscus flowers, I might actually give it a go as it truly is an interesting flavour combination! Cake + Whisky | WahacaWith obligatory Guacamole (read “I’ll never EVER pass on an opportunity to get guacamole”), we had all we needed to survive the dreaded test of menu-picking.Which I must admit I didn’t get very involved in because 1. I wanted everything 2. I was much too busy scooping guacamole on tortilla chips.

Also, I must confess this was actually one of the best guacamoles I’ve eaten in restaurants sofar. I pretty much gobbled up the entire thing all to myself (#sorrynotsorry), so I don’t know how credible I still am saying this, but maybe a touch more lemon/lime juice would make it absolutely perfect to my eyes. Cake + Whisky | WahacaCake + Whisky | WahacaApparently I was right not to get involved in the whole menu-picking thing, as I was soon faced with quite literally ALL THE TACOS! 🙌Cake + Whisky | WahacaWe started off our little improvised feast with the Chicken Pipian, which paired really well with Wahaca’s own hot sauce. I had sort of mixed feelings about this one: on one hand, I absolutely loved the nuttiness brought by the pumpkin seeds as well as the crunchy red cabbage topping but found the chicken a bit dry…Cake + Whisky | WahacaFollowing up with the Pork Pibil, which was already pretty great by itself, but reached new highs when paired with the fruity hot sauce! Cake + Whisky | WahacaBut the dish to rule them all was the MSC Fish Tacos. Deliciously crispy panko-crumbed cod with the freshest slaw I’ve ever eaten, balanced out with creamy-hot chipotle mayo and tangy pickled cucumbers; there simply was no faulting them on anything. I can only urge you to get your hands on some!Cake + Whisky | WahacaMy one true love though? See that brown-ish paste on the right handside of the picture. Yes really. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s dream-material. Or Frijoles, as people who aren’t quite as obsessed with the magnificent butteriness of this rich blackbean stew call it.Cake + Whisky | WahacaRounding it all up with a slice of the Chocolate Tres Leche Cake. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will order this again as it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. From the description I was hoping for a slightly sticky, intensely caramel-flavoured cake but it rather had a sponge-y texture I found a bit dry… Now that I think of it, I come to wonder if the cake is made with chocolate or cocoa…

What: Fresh Mexican small plates (best excuse ever to taste everything!) that might very well surprise you!

How much: About £40 for 2 people (with drinks)

Tip: If you have the chance to put your hands on the Rhubarb Mezcalita, go for it, it’s GREAT! I’d also advice you to get a double portion of Frijoles (one per person might seem a bit excessive, but I’d rather skip dessert than share those!). Actually, that’s probably what I’ll do next time!

Where: Wahaca, 68-69 Upper Street, London N1 0NY

Wahaca | Mexican Market Eating | Islington

Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake | Salt beef or smoked salmon? | London

Beigel Bake on Brick Lane is a London institution that’s been around for as long as I can remember. It’s open 24/7 and there is always, ALWAYS a line. Not really surprising considering the value for money those guys offer!

It’s all made on site (watching the bakers make the bagels will keep you busy while you queue!), very generous (I swear there was half a pack of cream cheese in my bagel!), and stupidly cheap too!

Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonIt might look a bit dodgy, but do not run away!
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonDecisions, decisions… (I wanted everything!)
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonThat time I manage to click a perfectly non-blurry picture… of the brown paper bag! #failCake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonCake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonThe smoked salmon + cream cheese: fresh, slightly sour cream cheese and the most melty salmon; a real beauty! And look at the bagel dough! Very springy, but still soft and pillowy…
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonBut the kind of all bagels is without a doubt Beigel Bake’s Salt Beef! Generous chunk of meat, just teased by the spicy taste of American mustard… it doesn’t get much better!Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonAnd a picture of Shoreditch, just because!

What: Beigels in all their glorious forms. But it would be a mistale not to get the -massive- salt beef. Or the -ridiculously indulgent- smoked salmon with cream cheese!

Tip: When you’re there, you might as well grab 6 plain bagels to put in your freezer and use for emergency breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner… You know what I mean!

How much: Ridiculously cheap: plain beigels are £0.30 a pop; smoked salmon + cream cheese will set you back 1.60 and London’s best salt beef beigels are a bit over £3.

Where: Brick Lane Beigel Bake, 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB

Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake | Salt beef or smoked salmon? | London

Where to eat in London – Tramontana Brindisa, Shoreditch

I think I might have just stumbled upon the BEST sangria in London. (Until I’m proven otherwise, that will be my official statement. But you’re very welcome to prove me wrong any time, I have plenty of time that just opened up for sangria tasting!)

sndguerin-brindisa-1

A friend of mine had been visiting and was more than a little bit into Spanish food as she was just back from a work-trip to sunny Spain. So, where to head but to Brindisa, one of London’s top players in terms of Spanish food?

We started off with a pitcher of what I’ve since refered to as London’s best sangria. It was really fruity, and unlike many other version, light enough to drink it like if it was juice. And obviously something we needed to browse the menu and pick what we wanted to eat! It took us a while as there were so many we had our eyes on… But the beauty of tapas is that you don’t really have to choose and can just order the whole lot, so it’s kind of what we went for…

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Getting the ball rolling with the obligatory Padron peppers. Brindisa’s were perfectly cooked and sprinkled with just enough Maldon salt flakes to balance out the sweetness of the peppers. But then I’m not sure I’m the best one to judge padron peppers, as I love those little things and will judge you if you don’t order them every opportunity you have. Don’t take any chance, just order them! 😉

sndguerin-brindisa-3We also got a plate of charcuterie (which I don’t have any picture of as I was far too busy fighting for the last slice of chorizo… very un-British of me, I know!), along with some patatas bravas. The charcuterie was absolutely top-notch, with decadent amounts of fat running through it and excellent value at £12 for a massive plate (it was enough for 5 people to feast on without any of us fighting too much for the last bits!).

sndguerin-brindisa-4We added in some veggies with sauteed broccoli (meh) and this little wonder: Spinach, raisins & pine nuts. I wouldn’t have bet on raisins with spinach, but I was quite wrong there and will be trying to make some version of this dish very soon (I’m thinking cranberries…)!

sndguerin-brindisa-6Then came some sliiiiiiightly naughtier vegetables in the form of Berenjenas Fritas (that is fried aubergine with chesnut honey and pine nuts, for those of you who speak Spanish as well as I do!). And yet, they ARE as lush and delicious as they look, thanks to very thin batter and all that glistening honey!

sndguerin-brindisa-7After a lot of negociation, I managed to convince my friends that ordering the Galician-style octopus was a good move. I might have been a bit over-enthusiastic though, as it was a nice dish, but not as life-changing as I would have expected it to be. However, the salsa verde was a nice addition and helped lifting up the dish and making it fresher than it usually is. And that smoked paprika? Oh my. I need to get my hands on a box of that magic spice when I next go to the Borough Market! (Brindisa has a store there, where you can buy any- and everything you need to cook up a Spanish feast at home!).

sndguerin-brindisa-5Last but not least, we got some Croquetas del Dia (gooey little balls of happiness, as far as I’m concerned, which I have no picture of for obvious reasons. aka I was putting my mouth on fire to eat my fair share when it was still hot!)  and Grilled chorizo on toast, which was every bit as good as the one they serve in rolls at their Borough market stall, and gone far too quickly!

Add to all of this delicousness the fact that the staff was lovely (and a few more jugs of that excellent sangria), and I’ll leave smilling from ear to ear (and very full). Which is pretty much what happened at Brindisa.

Tramontana Brindisa – 152 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AT

Where to eat in London – Tramontana Brindisa, Shoreditch

The Diner – Islington

Brunch is probably my favourite meal of all. Which is kind of weird because I used to HATE eggs as a kid. Luckily, I’m back on track (not liking eggs, what a weird idea!), and I’m trying to catch up in terms of egg-eating!

So if you ever wake up next to me on a weekend (you lucky chap!), I can already tell you that the first words that will come out of my mouth will be “I want breakfast”. And by that, I obviously mean eggs in one form or another.

So just imagine how happy I was when I found out that the perfect brunch venue was just a few steps away from my own door! Let me introduce you to The Diner!

sndguerin-the-diner-islington-6

I kind of fell in love with the massive “Diner” sign and am strongly considering building something similar for my own living room. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

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We had to wait a bit for our table, but luckily we found ways to stay entertained… Shooting pool and cocktail day-dreaming, what more could we possibly ask for?

Once we were seated, it only took us a few minutes to decide what we wanted… But that might be related to the fact that we were kind of familiar with the menu, since we had been there the evening before (oops)!!

sndguerin-the-diner-islington-3

He made the best choice with The LumberJack Breakfast. Two fried eggs, crispy bacon, maple syrup and a stack of delicious pancakes! This is dream breakfast material for sure!

sndguerin-the-diner-islington-4Seriously, look at how fluffy these pancakes are! (tip: DO replace the regular pancakes with blueberry ones, and order side hashbrowns (more on that later) for optimal dream breakfast. You can thank me later.)

sndguerin-the-diner-islington-5 I couldn’t find anything I was a 100% happy with in the menu (especially since I swore not to have garlic butter fries two days in a row…), so I kind of built-my-own. I looked a bit sad, and I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, but it was okay (especially when mixed with elements from the previous dish…). But there was one clear winner on this plate… Yup, the hashbrowns!

sndguerin-the-diner-islington-9I mean, look at them, they’re so golden and crispy, it’s impossible not to fall for them!! And with eggs+bacon+maple syrup, it’s heaven. I have noother way to describe it.

We had considered getting sides but somehow forgot when we ordered. I have no idea how this happened. Don’t do the same mistake, do get those garlic butter fries (I’m still not quite over them, and I had them a week ago!). Or the Tater Tots. Or bring all your friends and get ’em all, and then some more! Sounds like the best option, doesn’t it? 

When you’re at it, if you could get me that Diner sign, you’d be a total legend! 

The Diner – Islington