The Providores & Tapa Room, Marylebone

Chef Peter Gordon started cooking in his homeland of New Zealand, then in Australia before moving to London in 1989 to share his eclectic fusion cuisine with the Brits. He has won many accolades since with his restaurants The Sugar Club (Notting Hill and Soho) and The Providores & Tapa Room in Marylebone. The Providores has become a breakfast favourite for me, providing a friendly space for weekday meetings and weekend catch-ups with friends.

The Providores & Tapa Room

Earlier this week I joined a group of keen foodies at The Providores for a morning of menu trialling. The current breakfast menu features dishes like Grilled chorizo with sweet potato and miso hash, a soft boiled egg, garlic labne and star anise cashew nut praline and The Providores iconic Turkish eggs with whipped yoghurt and hot chilli butter.

In the mood for something sweet I opted for French toast with roasted pineapple, mango, Oxford honey mascarpone, smoked streaky bacon and blueberries, accompanied by Volcano coffee and freshly squeezed fruit juice. The ingredients were perfectly compiled on the plate, a contrast of tropical fruit, salty bacon, soft and sugary french toast and whipped mascarpone. It was indulgent and delicious, an entirely new take on the usual french toast recipe. As I was enjoying my hearty breakfast I heard murmurs of admiration from the nextdoor table, who were tucking into the Turkish eggs… and promised myself I’d have that dish on my next visit.

More information and book a table at The Providores & Tapa Room here.

Picture Restaurant, Marylebone

Marylebone is one of my favourite pockets of London, particularly good for a Saturday morning wander around the shops and lunch with girlfriends. The new Picture restaurant fits in to this neighbourhood perfectly, satisfying stylish visitors with delicious gourmet lunches and indulgent dinners.

Picture Restaurant, MarylebonePicture Restaurant, Marylebone

I went along with my brother to try out the seasonal lunch menu. It was a surprisingly sunny day and the modern dining room glimmered in the daylight. I always prefer eating out at lunchtime, the service is more observant, I’m generally hungrier and best of all, the light is normally perfect for food photography. At Picture the waiters were particularly lovely, checking our progress without crowding us.

Picture Restaurant, Marylebone

We had various menus to choose from, a very reasonable, set lunch (two courses for £22, three for £25), the six course summer menu (£40) or the a la carte which advises four courses, one from each section (vegetables, fish, meat and sweet). Spotting a few of my favourite ingredients on the a la carte list, we decided to go for that, and between us managed to try eight inventive dishes. The cocktail offerings, alcoholic and virgin, change dependent on season, we couldn’t resist trying the Fresh watermelon martini and Strawberry and mint lemonade, both wonderfully refreshing.

Picture Restaurant, MarylebonePicture Restaurant, Marylebone

In the kitchen two Michelin-trained chefs, Alan Christie and Colin Kelly use their expertise to create innovative and unique recipes from just a few ingredients. I particularly noticed their skill in the vegetable section of the meal, where simple produce was elevated into nuanced and special plates of food. The charred spiced cauliflower with sea purslane, peas and shallots was a subtle dish with a lovely variety of textures. Lingurian beef heart tomato with grilled bread, feta and rouille was a clever take on a tomato salad, topped with salty cheese and a creamy sauce.

Picture Restaurant, Marylebone

Service was quick and before long it was time for course two. Cod with corn and chorizo was a light dish, carefully paired flavours that nicely complemented eachother. The ravioli of caramelised onion was a pasta lovers dream, perfect parcels coated in an irresistably buttery sauce.

Picture Restaurant, Marylebone

For main course I tried the Roast young chicken with Portobello mushrooms and curly kale. Compared to previous courses it was a little bland, a large portion that I thought could have benefitted from a more delicate piece of meat, with crisped up skin. The 28 day beef was luscious and velvety, rich in flavour thanks to the bone marrow crumb and red wine sauce.

Picture Restaurant, Marylebone

Desserts mimicked the sunshine outside. English strawberries with granola and iced mascarpone parfait was a version of a summertime breakfast, super sweet strawberries paired with crunchy oats and creamy indulgent parfait. For cocoa fans the Dark chocolate mousse was also a hit, with a happy salt caramel crumble surprise when you delve your spoon in.

With welcoming staff, a smart contemporary dining room and food worth far more than the price, I predict Picture Restaurant Marylebone will soon be a neighbourhood favourite.

More information and book a table here.

The Landmark London Hotel, Marylebone

The Landmark London Hotel is truly deserving of its name. This grand hotel is stationed on the busy Marylebone Road, an iconic venue for Londoners and tourists. The building, which dates back to 1899 and was once a Victorian railway hotel, retains much of its old world charm and glamour.

When we checked in on a Sunday evening, an Indian wedding was in full swing in the hotel, beautifully dressed guests could be seen flitting between rooms. It is a glorious place to commemorate a special event. With a broad smile, the man at reception informed us we had been upgraded to a Marylebone Suite.

This hotel feels intimate and exclusive but actually has a total of 300 rooms, making it one of the largest luxury hotels in London. Every facility you could need can be found on site from the tranquil spa and energising health club to the eleven prestigious meeting and conference rooms, which are flexible to suit your exact requirements.

Our suite was a delight, spacious and luxurious. After exploring every detail and gadget in our room, I realised that our quarters (60 square metres) were bigger that my entire flat. I made sure I used every space… relaxed on the sofa in the comfortable living area whilst picking at the plate of chocolates, soaked in the lovely bathtub (with the delicious Molton Brown toiletries) in the marble bathroom and read my book tucked into the gigantic bed. Though old-fashioned in style, the rooms at Landmark don’t feel tired or outdated.

There is little need to leave the room with two digital TVs, an iHome system to play music and a Nespresso coffee machine. I relished the luxury of lying in bed idly sipping my cappuccino late into the morning, it was such a treat. When hunger demanded, we freshened up and sauntered down to the buffet, which I’d already be warned was a feast for all of the senses.

Breakfast was also my first sighting of the opulent Winter Garden, the main restaurant in the central courtyard of the hotel. With a glass roof, this dining area is brilliantly illuminated by natural light in the mornings, and I suspect is magically atmospheric at night. With impressively tall palm trees in the restaurant, it felt more like a summer garden than a winter one. We indulged with a selection of perfectly baked French pastries, pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup, fruit and coffee. Buffet breakfasts can be drab and underwhelming but at Landmark they pull out all the stops presenting an array of goodies that would perk up anyone’s appetite.

Leaving The Landmark London, I couldn’t believe I’d only just got to know this classic British hotel despite living in London my entire life. Centrally located and close by to the city’s major stations, this hotel is ideal for city breaks but also makes a lovely venue for weekend brunch or afternoon tea with friends.

More information and book a room at The Landmark London here.