An experienced food and travel writer and a born and bred Londoner, Fiona MacLean travels all over the world for her London Unattached blog, but her hometown is still her favourite city on earth. Here, she shares her insider tips on exploring London and eating at the city’s best restaurants for guests of The Chesterfield Mayfair.
Where in London is home for you?
Walworth – it’s a little pocket of London in between Kennington and Elephant & Castle. I’ve been here for three years now.”
You spend a lot of time travelling, what do you miss the most about London when you’re away?
My home! Seriously though, I know London very well and I guess what I miss the most is knowing exactly where I will find the restaurant with the dish I’m craving, the shop that will sell the perfect pair of shoes or even the park with the prettiest walk.
If you could live anywhere in the world other than London, where would you choose and why?
Edinburgh – I’m half Scottish and I love the architecture and style of Edinburgh. Or anywhere in Portugal because the people are so friendly.
Describe your perfect day in London?
A good brunch somewhere – or perhaps if it’s Sunday, Dim Sum at Hakkasan – a long walk around St James’s and Green Park, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre if the weather is good, or something at the Southbank if it’s not.”
Why do you think that autumn months are such a good time to visit the city?
Anything out of School Holiday season gets my vote. London parks are pretty in the autumn and we put up our Christmas decorations so early that you should get to see things all lit up by mid-November at the latest.
You’ve written extensively about London’s restaurant scene, what are your current favourite eateries?
For good British food, I’d go to Randall and Aubin – it’s good value and it has a fun vibe. Corrigan’s is technically Irish but still gets my vote. My current favourite Chinese is Hakkasan – and I like Duck and Rice too for a less formal option. For Japanese, Sakagura has an excellent selection of dishes and Sake. Honestly, my favourite is often where I last ate though! There are so many great places in London."
As a born and bred Londoner, do you have any local secrets that you’re willing to share?
Walk! Most of central London is walkable and you’ll see a lot more. If it’s too far, try a river boat – there are regular services up and down the Thames.
If you have friends visiting from out of town, where do you like to take them?
It depends on the friends – to the Royal Academy if they like art, to Fortnums for food or to try ‘pub food’ in a good old fashioned British pub!
Guests staying at The Chesterfield Mayfair are perfectly placed to work their way through London’s very best restaurants.
Image Credits: Lead image © iStock/extravagantni. The Chesterfield Mayfair © Red Carnation Hotels. London park © iStock/LiubovTerletksa.Gate at Green Park © iStock/gregobagel. Dim Sum © iStock/GMVozd. Fortnum & Mason © Fortnum & Mason.