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Floridita’s Rum Shack, Soho

Rum Shack

I finally went to Cuba last year, after talking about it for what felt like most of my adult life. What a place. The combination of people, music and architecture managed to exceed my very high expectations. Even the food was surprisingly good. Another surprise was that Cuba unearthed my taste for rum.

Sushinho, The City


You always learn interesting things doing this job. For example, I never knew that there was a large Japanese population in Brazil.

Coq d'Argent, The City

Coq D'Argent

The Silver Rooster would be a good name for a gastropub. But, to make a mark in the City of London in the '90s, you needed a foreign moniker (preferably French) and a clever pun. So the restaurant at the top of No 1 Poultry was named Coq d'Argent. Too witty for words

YO! Sushi, St Paul's

Ramen At YO

In the late '90s, a British entrepreneur pulled off the very clever trick of adapting the sushi conveyor belt restaurant that is popular throughout Asia, for the UK market. The combination of fast food convenience with a healthy and fashionable twist, and an interior colour scheme that would not have looked out of place at EasyJet, proved an instant hit.

Cinnamon Kitchen, Devonshire Square

Cinnamon Kitchen 2013

When I started working in the City in the '90s, the form for Friday night was to go to the local pub and sink a dozen pints before heading off for a cheap Indian meal, usually down Brick Lane. Nearly every restaurant offered a mix of floral wallpaper, equally colourful curries, faux black tie service, '70s disco, and most importantly, a venue to continue drinking.

Banca Ristorante Italiano, Mayfair


Italy is my favourite country in Europe. Possibly the world. The combination of its coastline and countryside, history and art, food and wine, all shrouded in seven shades of sunshine and Italian charm, is what sets it apart.

The Grill on the Market, Smithfield Market

Grill On The Market

Every Londoner knows about Smithfield’s carnivorous heritage. With the 800 year-old meat market at its heart, and a history enriched by a reputation for hosting the greatest cloth fairs, lavish jousting tournaments and even the odd execution of heretic.