The co-owner of the Nordic Bakery cafes shares her weekend haunts.
Weekends are very precious to me and I like to spend some me-time in London at the weekend. I find the city an inspiring place to be and it’s where I get a lot of my ideas.
I like to go weekend food shopping at Borough Market, below (8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL, 020 7407 1002).There are cheeses from all around the world – everything from Montgomery Cheddar, spectacular wheels of French Comté, fresh goat’s cheese through to Parmigiano Reggiano and charcuterie. I buy seafood from Furness Fish & Game, who have fresh deliveries of sustainable fish arriving every Friday and Saturday morning.
I’ll meet friends for drinks at the Rumpus Room rooftop bar at the Mondrian hotel (20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD, 020 3747 1000). I love its glass box structure and outdoor terrace with panoramic views – even more dramatic as the sun sets.
Then we’ll go to Village East for dinner (171-173 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UW, 020 7357 6082). It has a wonderful buzzy vibe and delicious seafood and salads- I love the seabass ceviche and pistachio-crusted hake.
I’ll have breakfast at the Dorset Street branch of Nordic Bakery (48 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NE, 020 7487 5877 ), which is in a residential area with a wonderful neighbourhood feel. I love the peace and quiet here: I don’t have to rush, so I’ll start with wild blueberry juice and coffee. People linger longer in the café at weekends, enjoying their cinnamon buns or oven pancakes. When I leave, I’ll take a berry pot with me – perfect for n on-the-go snack. The Atlas Gallery is my next stop – I adore some of the vintage photography. Atlas Gallery (49 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NF, 020 7244 4192 ), and adjoining Chiltern Street has a charming mix of independent boutiques and specialist shops and galleries – quite different from the chains that you now find on Marylebone High Street.
Some of my favourites are Mouki Mou, above (29 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PL, 020 7224 4010), or Prism (54 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7Q 020 7935 5407),where I might pick up a gift for a friend or a small accessory for my travels. Nordic Bakery often collaborates with other Scandinavian designers so I’ll often walk up Marylebone High Street to Skandium (86 Marylebone Street, London W1U 4QS, 020 7935 2077), to see the new collections.
When I’m there, I’ll always go to Daunt Books, above (83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW, 0207 244 2295). The bookstore on Marylebone High Street is a beautiful place tdating back to Edwardian times, with long oak galleries and skylights, and I can easily spend hours browsing there.
If the weather is good, I might wander through the Avenue Gardens in Regents Park (London NW1 4NR), with its tiered fountains, evergreen hedges and flower-filled bowls, and find a peaceful spot to relax. Just a few minutes walk from here, The Engineer is a lovely gastro pub on Primrose Hill (65 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 8JH, 0 20 7483 1890).
Or, if I’m feeling more decadent, I’ll head to Purl London, above (50-54 Blandford St, London W1U 7HX, 020 7935 0835), an atmospheric underground cocktail bar with lots of nooks and cosy corners. The cocktails are very imaginative and multi-sensory, each with its own story. Dinner will be at Novikov (50A Berkeley St, London W1J 8HA, +44 (0) 20 7399 4330), a spacious dining venue which has both an Asian and an Italian restaurant, and a cool bar downstairs .
Brunch is with friends at The Modern Pantry, above (47-48 St John’s Square, EC1V 4J, 0 20 7553 9210). I love how they have modernised this Georgian townhouse, keeping it simple and uncluttered, and chef Anna Hansen’s menu is very fresh and original.
Photo: Ben Westoby
Next, I’ll pop into White Cube (144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ, 020 7930 5373), one of the only galleries open on Sundays. Their largest largest branch is in Bermondsey, and as I always find something inspiring, I’ll take a notebook for my thoughts. The National Portrait Gallery (St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE, 020 7306 0055), is another favourite, and where I recently saw the Audrey Hepburn exhibition.
And the perfect end to the weekend? Coffee at Nordic Bakery’s Soho café (14a Golden Square, London W1F 9JG, 0203 230 1077), of course.