House of Crab

IMG_1948When you’re in the West End of London town and feeling peckish at lunchtime, it’s hard to escape the pull of the ubiquitous fast food chains for a re-fuel: Mayfair, home of the £20 cocktail is especially challenging.

Crossing New Bond Street through streams of Bentleys and revving Maseratis I sought sustenance and respite from the main drag. On Grosvenor Street I spied a couple of brightly painted tables and chairs sitting outside a cute wooden facade.  An entrance gaily thrown open to the street dared me to walk past without investigating.

I walked in to more cheery furniture and a whitewashed bar at the back, behind which a young bearded man industriously attended to business.

“Are you a pop-up?” I asked, “Specialising in Crab by any chance?”

He grinned and gave me the lowdown.  Open since early this year they are indeed that, and plan on staying in Mayfair for the duration of 2016, business depending. “Sit down! Sit down!” he insisted handing me a menu.

Continue reading “House of Crab”


The comfort of strangers

IMG_0254One of my favourite things to do is to take myself out for dinner.  The venue is crucial. One has to feel at ease – dining alone is not for the faint hearted after all. But, if you should happen upon the right place, it’s heavenly.

I switch my phone to silent, log out of various ‘social’ media websites – utterly stultifying to one’s creativity – then sit back and enjoy my own company.

Most restaurants don’t excel at entertaining sole diners; they’d much rather you were there with 20 of your nearest and dearest or at the very least your other half.  It’s rare to find an establishment that says ‘We love you no matter what’.

Carluccio’s in Paddington Street is just such a place. I wandered in tired from a day treading the boards and glanced around.  At one of the softly spotlit tables sat an elderly lady, elegant with coiffed grey hair, a glass of chilled rose to one side.  A couple of feet away another solitary diner, young and dark haired placed his phone on the table, looking up as the waitress put a plate of steak and frites before his dinner-ready face.

Continue reading “The comfort of strangers”