Natalie Smith’s resume reads like a menu of New Zealand’s best creative dishes and being a young thing, she’s wasted no time in moving forward to sniff out what else is on offer in this wide world. With experience in writing, PR and advertising to name just a few disciplines, she’s hit London running. We asked her to share her favourite spots so far.
Favourite London Spots
There are endless amazing places to visit, eat and party in London. I’ve picked out a few favourite local spots that I’ve visited over the past few weeks, otherwise I’d be here for ever!
Oysters, mini foie gras burgers, beautiful steak, chocolate tart and lovely Aperol spritz – Bistrotheque serves traditional French bistro food in a really cool environment. It’s tucked down a side street in Hackney, the staff are lovely and it’s nice and casual and easy.
On Sunday mornings, Shrimpy’s, which is housed in an old filling station, serves brunch. With a resident Mariachi band playing both traditional tunes and covers of pop songs like ‘Don’t You Want Me’ by the Human League. There’s no better way to cure a hangover than eating Chilaquiles and drinking margaritas out of crystal.
The Horniman Museum
This place is so beautiful. It’s a natural history museum in South London, with a little aquarium to boot. My favourite exhibition is the collection of musical instruments from ancient times to modern day. It’s surrounded by gorgeous gardens and you have to have tea and a scone with cream and jam in the conservatory.
This ‘subterranean cocktail den’ is downstairs on Kingsland Road. It’s tiny, dark, unpretentious and has a really impressive cocktail list that changes with the seasons. They make the best Negroni I’ve ever had, hands down.
Burger & Lobster
This place only serves three dishes. A burger, a lobster or a lobster burger. It’s so, so good. Casual, delicious and fun.
This is my local café in Dalston. It’s run by two French guys who make really good coffee and have a cheap, healthy and ever changing seasonal menu. Recently I’ve had zucchini gratin and a beautiful Jerusalem artichoke soup. Their fresh juices are also really good, and the cosy space is full of interesting pieces they’ve collected from vintage sales – neon taxidermied birds, industrial café chairs, beautiful glass jars.
This Shoreditch café is right next to Leila’s Shop, which stocks carefully selected pantry essentials. The café is a simple, wooden space with the best sage buttered eggs, hot chocolate and apple juice. It’s such a nice place to have weekend brunch with a girlfriend, heading to the Columbia Road flower market afterwards.