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London’s Italian-restaurant scene is as vibrant as it is varied, and it’s impossible to write about the best Italian restaurants in London without including Bocconcino.  Housed around the back of Oxford Circus,  and seriously upgrading the Soho dining scene, this chic Italian restaurant and bar has a menu that transports you to every region of Italy, from Tuscany to  Rome to  Sicily and Florence though an extensive (and impressive menu) that includes classics like the silky Aubergine parmigiana, comforting seasonal minestrone vegetable soup and all your favourite pasta dishes like Carbonara  and seafood linguini. 

Bocconcino is heaven sent for those looking for a good meal in central London- Here classic dishes are perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. The seared scallops with Jerusalem artichoke puree, shimeji mushroom and  veal being  just one excellent example.  The Yellowtail tartare with avocado, orange and soy sauce is  also a delicious little number, zinging and bursting with flavour.  From the secondi, the slow cooked beef short rib falls off the bone and is served on a pile of the most delicious creamed truffle potato you’ll possibly ever taste. The freshly steamed broccoli is the perfect accompaniment for this,  perfect for  balancing out the unctuousness of the beef.  It would be remiss to not choose an Italian staple and pay homage to the classics, and for this we recommend the veal milanese served with rocket and cherry tomatoes-  a fine dish that delivers on flavour and comfort in equal measure.

If you still have room for dessert, you’ll be blown away by the lemon meringue tart – a wobbly wedge of deliciousness with just the right amount of lemony tang and creaminess. The Tiramisu is the showgirl of the pudding menu arriving in a daring metallic martini glass, looking absolutely stunning.
There is also an impressive wine list and a selection of delicious cocktails to complement your meal at Bocconciono. Two that stood out were the Catarrato – a silky smooth red from Sicily and the sun kissed white- the Cannonnau from Sardinia. If you have time,  after dinner, remember to sneak into the Sotto Bar which is  hidden beneath Bocconcino for a cheeky nightcap or indulge in one of the  reimagined classic cocktails with a distinctive Italian twist.

Whether you’re a seasoned food enthusiast or simply seeking a taste of Italy’s finest, Bocconcino Soho promises an unforgettable dining experience that will linger in your memory long after the last bite.

Leading beauty entrepreneur, Sherrille Riley, has launched her first
concept store, Beauty Edit Mayfair, the first and only beauty store that only stocks sustainable, conscious beauty brands. Dedication to reducing environmental impact is the ethos driving this business, and so naturally HOC were excited to sit down with Sherrille and hear all about her journey and vision for The Beauty Edit Mayfair.

Can you tell us briefly about the journey that led you to launch Beauty Edit Mayfair
At the age of 24, I was diagnosed with of severe endometriosis, which led me to extensive research about its causes. Through this research, I discovered the impact of our food choices, beauty products, and sanitary products on our overall health and well-being. This encouraged me to scrutinise my food choices, investigate the ingredients in my beauty products, and opt for healthier and more sustainable options. I strongly believe that many women are unaware of the long-term health implications of the chemicals found in their everyday products.

What sets Beauty Edit apart from other clean beauty offerings?
Beauty Edit Mayfair stands out by inspiring and educating our customers to make conscious choices in their daily beauty care routines. Our products not only deliver exceptional results but also contribute to their long-term well-being. We are also sustainably driven, encouraging customers to choose products that are made with recycled packaging.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in setting up and launching the brand?
The store renovation was a huge challenged as my vision was to weave together sustainability, luxury and install a sense of calmness in-store. Taking discarded items and breathing new life back into them and I can honestly say that this was a labour of love and lots of learning but I’m super happy and proud with what we have accomplished. Selecting which brands to stock. We have chosen incredible brands that uses natural ingredients and sustainable practices, and I want to ensure that everyone know about them.

For women who aspire to set up their own beauty brands, what advice would you give?
Follow your passion. While it can be incredibly hard work, pursuing your passion will ultimately lead to rewarding results. Ensure you have a clear sense of purpose, a well-defined vision of what you want to achieve, and a strategic plan outlining your setup costs, PR/marketing strategies, salaries, and other miscellaneous expenses for at least 1 to 2 years. This comprehensive planning will help you sustain both your business and yourself while you work towards building your dream.

How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
We aspire for our customers to feel a sense of empowerment and satisfaction in making conscientious choices. We want them to experience excitement and inspiration from the results, as they embark on a new era of clean beauty.

Our readers love to travel, which product from the Beauty Edit is an absolute must take when going away on holiday?
When heading on a holiday, I recommend packing the following essentials from the Beauty Edit store: Darling Sun is an Italian skincare sun-care brand that is designed to hydrate and protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays, ensuring your skin stays healthy and radiant in the sun. Muse Lip-care SPF is formulated to protect your lips from sun exposure, this lip-care product is a must for any traveller, ensuring your lips stay moisturised and safe from harmful UV rays.Ilapothecary Feminine Rollers a handbag friendly product is perfect for anxious travellers and help calm and promote overall well-being.

https://beautyeditmayfair.com/

With the glorious rays of summer now a distant memory, Park Corner Brasserie and Revery Bar- the new restaurant and bar that have just launched at The Hilton Park Lane – are a ray of sunlight. Park Corner Brasserie is a sprawling affair with plenty of seating, lots of natural light and a faultless food and cocktails menu proving that style and substance can co-exist. As you walk in, a scene of lime green decor and terracotta awash with natural light welcomes you.

The Park Corner Brasserie experience is centred on purveying the very best, sustainably sourced seasonal British fare and preparing it well. Michelin star worthy plates are choreographed by Chefs Jean Didier and Anthony Marshall. Pedigree and dedication to zero waste underpins all operations at Park Corner Brasserie with a menu* that includes a delicious pumpkin and apple soup with cream cheese, apple and pumpkin seeds. The Hand-dived Orkney scallops with peanut chilli and apple are truly remarkable. Meat lovers will delight in the lamb two ways from the mains, a flavoursome dish of succulent lamb with a strong supporting cast of cauliflower puree, aubergine chutney and lamb sauce. The wild garlic orzo with shropshire blue, tenderstem broccoli is an excellent vegan option. All the dishes can be expertly paired with some excellent wines, with many English wines taking centre stage.

The puddings are also exquisite. The chocolate and toffee pudding with warm chocolate sauce is a British classic beautifully executed. Blackcurrant souffle vanilla ice cream is equally delicious. Park Corner Brasserie restaurant stands on its on gastronomic feet without the hotel, luring in elegant diners from far and wide in its own right. Be sure to enjoy a pre or post dinner cocktails at Revery beforehand and order one of the stunning handcrafted cocktails created by Head Bartender Giusepina De Filippis.

https://www.parkcornerbrasserie.com/location/park-corner-brasserie-london/

*Menu subject to change

Few places in the world are more elysian than the Florida Keys, flanked on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side by the Gulf of Mexico. Known as keys, this beguiling chain of islands stretches 126 miles south towards Cuba, and are the perfect holiday escape.

Highlights along the way include Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and the irrepressible Key West. With 5 Keys to choose from, it’s worth knowing which one will be right for your next Florida getaway. As you explore the keys, you’ll discover an intriguing collection of islands strung together like a shell necklace.

 If you’re an activity seeker, head to Key Largo and come face to face with an amazing array of fish while snorkelling, diving or fishing in the warm turquoise waters. Experience creeks and corals along highway one as you head to Islamorada with its world famous seafood . Fly and flop in Marathon where the pace is a little slower, or for a taste of the Caribbean pencil in the the Lower Keys for the best sunsets, scenery and snorkelling than you could wish for.

Photo credit: @wedreamoftravel

Key Largo

First up, Key Largo: sure, it’s strewn with kitsch, but don’t let that put you off. There are some truly spectacular spots for relaxing by, in, and beneath the water. Key Largo’s glorious beaches with their coconut palms and perennially warm waters, offer awesome swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. A trip to Key Largo is incomplete without an excursion at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park—the country’s first underwater park, which is a must-see for scuba enthusiasts. Grab your snorkels and get diving.

Image credit: Rob O’Neal

Stay:

Reefhouse Resort & Marina with its beachy location and capacious facilities is the perfect place to base yourself, and benefit from its advantageous proximity to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The rooms are airy and bright, many have balconies, book the ones with the bay front views if you can.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau

Eat:

The Keys is *the* perfect destination for seafood and Key Largo Conch House should be your first stop. The fare is simple but exceedingly fresh, and offers an alternative to the usual offering of fritters, fish, and fries found throughout the Keys. The emphasis is on healthy cooking, with the freshest possible seafood served with seasonal vegetables (or fries ). The must-try is a huge portion of conch, and lobster ceviche. For a more upscale experience head to Calusa restaurant and indulge in Caribbean-Creole cuisine with stunning bay views as a backdrop.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau.

Visit:

Although it seems obvious to state, your first stop has to be John Pennekamp State Park which is the first undersea park in the United States. It’s a truly spectacular place spanning 200 nautical miles of reefs which are 8 miles off shore, mangroves, and other precious marine habitats. Although the main draw is diving and snorkelling, gentler pursuits such as boat tours are also on offer. Any standout features or must-sees? Take a scuba trip to get close to Carysfort Reef, which not many dive trips visit. As it’s a water park, come prepared to spend your time on the water pursuit of your choice: kayaking, paddle boarding, diving or snorkelling. 

Photo credit: Bob Care / Florida Keys News Bureau

Key West

Perpetually in summer, Key West is all about kicking back. Everyone and everything here seems to go at its own easy pace. But it’s not all hammock time—the diving here is phenomenal, as is the food. Travellers keep coming back for the must-eats: Cuban sandwiches, Cuban coffee, and key-lime pie, along with outstanding seafood. No surprise, the weather, the food, and the scenery have lured lots of crowds, but you can escape them with a well-timed visit in early spring—or just get out on the water where you can stake out your own private spot in the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo credit: Timothy Pierce/ Key Lime Bike Tours

Stay:

Location, location, location makes the elegant Marquesa Hotel the number 1 pick for your stay in Key West. Located at the heart of the old town with its endless rows of bars and restaurants, it manages to be both close enough to the action and also insulated from the party crowds. Not only that, The Marquesa is a mere 15-minute walk to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and just 10 minutes away from Mallory Square with its signature night-time Sunset Celebration. Marquesa is a luxury bolt hole that harks back to a bygone era of old Hollywood glamour. A coastal theme permeates the deco inside the rooms and as well as the facade of the property. A stunning interior courtyard that is enconsed amongst lush vegetation and overlooks a pool adds to the languid mood and a feeling of being cocooned from the hustle and bustle.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau

Eat:

Key West is home of the best Cuban coffee outside of Cuba. Local favourite Cuban Coffee Queen is the perfect spot for you to kick start your day with the perfect morning cup of coffee. Go for one of their Cuban specialties, such as their café con leche. Their sandwich selection is pretty impressive too and offers a great grab and go option if you have a busy itinerary. Continue the Cuban theme and dine at iconic El Meson de Pepe which is located in the popular Old Town neighbourhood next to Mallory Square and has been serving authentic Cuban food and drinks for more than 3 decades. You’ll be hard pressed to choose what to eat from the extensive menu but we recommend Guacamole Cubano served with homemade plantain chips.

Photo credit: El Meson de Pepe

Visit:

Literary types will know that Key West was the home of Ernest Hemingway for over 10 years and the home he lived in, now called Hemingway House in now one of Key West’s most popular attractions. The quirky tour takes you through largely preserved rooms filled with Hemingway memorabilia.

After the house tour you can take a leisurely stroll through the property’s verdant grounds, marvelling at the 53 polydactyl cats that reside on the property and finish off by popping into the gift shop that has numerous copies of every Hemingway title you can think of, including many special editions.

History buffs will love a vist to The historic Harry S. Truman Little White House where Truman spent 175 days of his presidency. The house is open 365 days a year and is a fascinating peek into how the Trumans lived, worked, and relaxed and has impressively been restored as it was in 1949.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau

If you’re keen to explore something beyond Key West, ferries and seaplanes can shuttle you approximately 70 miles from Key West to the Dry Tortugas, a small group of islands that were a a spectacular 19th-century military fort-now-turned-national park. Dry Tortugas is undeniably one of the world’s most spectacular private islands with a picture perfect beach overlooked by a stunning brick fortress. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can choose to plant yourself on the beach and not move until your boat or seaplane (the only possible modes of transportation) is ready to take you back to the mainland, or actually get up and explore. 

Dry Tortugas

Photo credit: Andy Newman/Florida Keys Bureau

Marathon

The island of Marathon is a true tropical paradise famous for water activities and rich history. Its most famous for the Old Seven Mile Bridge which is over a 100 years old and was the original railroad bridge that got turned into a mecca for people to gather and bike, cycle, and run, spot marine life (turtles, sharks, rays), or take in the stunning views. The Pigeon Key area, where Marathon is situated also has a historic and educational centre where guests can learn all about the fascinating history of the place.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau.

Stay:

The Med-luxe inspired Isla Bella Beach resort is the 5 star jewel in the crown resort located on Knights Key in Marathon, midway between Miami and Key West and it serves as a perfect location for exploring the Keys. It’s a stunning resort, part beach house, with sophisticated blue and white interiors with a strong Grecian influence . It ticks every singe box as far as resorts go: Every room has an ocean view, it has a nearly a mile-long private beach, five pools, a marina, waterfront restaurants, and an enormous spa. What more could you ask for.

Eat:

Everything you need food wise can be found on site: The Marketplace Café is where you can enjoy a quick coffee and pastry in the morning before heading out for your excursion and it also doubles up as a mini supermarket and deli where you can grab a bite when you’re feeling peckish. The Beach Bar is great for fresh seafood pre-dinner cocktails, and for a memorable dinner Mahina is the Hawaiian- inspired restaurant with breathtaking ocean views where you can enjoy fabulous fish dishes along with steak and chicken and veggie options.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau.

Visit:

After years of neglect, the old Seven Mile Bridge on the west end of Marathon reopened replete with a brand-new, 2.2-mile promenade that begins from Marathon and takes visitors on a breathtaking journey across the sparkling blue water, with endless views of the ocean. Whether you want a scenic walk, or a chance to spot sea life or simply to catch a sunset, the seven mile bridge has you covered.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau.

At the end of the old Seven Mile bridge you’ll find The historic 5- acre island of Pigeon Key. Most famous for being the home of workers who built the Overseas Railway from Miami to Key West. Today it’s a much loved historic site where visitors can take part in guided tours learning all about the fascinating history. You can make the most of the picturesque setting and enjoy a picnic, relax on the beachfront , snorkel or explore the area on your own before heading back to Marathon and perhaps catching one of the stunning purple-hued sunsets if you’re lucky enough to time your trip back.

Image sourced via Florida Keys News Bureau.

A six night visit to the Florida Keys with Purely America costs from £1,729 per person based on 2 adults sharing (for travel in November ‘23) including return flights from London Heathrow to Miami with British Airways; compact car hire for 7 days including all taxes, fees, insurance and unlimited mileage; accommodation on a room only basis including 2 nights at the Reefhouse Resort & Marina, Key Largo; 2 nights at Marquesa Hotel, Key West; 2 nights at Isla Bella Beach Resort, Marathon. Purelytravel.co.uk, 0844 80 444 80

Visit the Florida Keys website too for further information, www.fla-keys.co.uk

If you’re escaping the big smoke for a long weekend on the South Coast, this is our guide to the real Brighton. There’s more to this Sussex coastline gem than the beach.

Stay:

If you’re after a more bohemian experience of Brighton, then you must stay at Blanch House, one of Brighton’s oldest original boutique hotels, situated in a discreet Georgian terrace in fashionable and bohemian Kemp Town. A mere stone’s throw from the seafront and Brighton pier, situated on a quiet street, Blanch house is situated within easy access of everything. This charming hotel is cute and informal, with a bar, restaurant and just 12 rooms. Make sure you book the Perrier Jouet suite, unarguably best suite at this charming Regency townhouse,

Eat

For an intimate dining experience, book a table at English’s of Brighton, the oldest seafood restaurant in Brighton. A short wander through the infamous lanes and you’ll arrive at this iconic establishment where you have the choice of dining either inside or outside under the covered and heated terrace. Friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you navigate the menu that has traditional seafood and more contemporary dishes. Order the oysters here, they’re fresh, they are seasonal and they are served on ice with mignonette, tabasco sauces, lemon or ponzu, spring onion, wasabi sriracha. From the starters, go for the Fried basket: shrimp croquette, calamari, tempura soft shell crab, chilli, seaweed & lemon mayonnaise. From the mains, Fish of the day, chargrilled round courgette, preserved aubergines, olive crumb, nduja red pesto, dill is a must have. Enjoy this while sipping perfectly matched wine as you watch the world go by.

Alternatively, you’re guaranteed a top tier seafood dinner at Riddle and Finn’s, with its prime spot on the pier and windows with views that look directly onto the sea. The extensive menu at this popular champagne and oyster bar includes mouthwatering dishes including Scottish rope grown mussels with spicy harissa and Brighton seared scallops with chilli tamarind, pork crackling and lemon mayo. From the mains, the squid and shellfish risotto is an absolute triumph.

For a brunchy treat, book a table at Rockwater, the beautiful beachside restaurant that offers exceptional but relaxed dining right along the beach. Split across three floors each offering a unique dinning experience, and the same stunning views, it’s a beachside dining experience like no other. It will be hard to resist daring cocktails like the solero which is their stunning concoction that fuses Bacardi Rum, Passionfruit, Mango, Orange, Coconut Cream, Vanilla. The menu is an eclectic mix of starters and larger plates, designed to be shared. It’s a seafood lover’s fantasy with dishes such as King Prawns, with avocado shells, radicchio, scallops in nori brown butter and miso cod loin (by far the best dish on the menu). For the ultimate sharer plate, the beef short rib is an impressive hunk of meat that’s cooked to perfection and served with pico di gallo, sour cream , avocado and tortilla. Enjoy all this and the good vibes in an airy, contemporary space that you never want to leave.

Visit:

A visit to Brighton is incomplete without going up into the sky to enjoy views on the Brighton i360, glass of English Sparkling Wine in hand with a stunning sunset as your perfect backdrop. A stone’s throw away from the i360 is the Brighton zipline, a bucket list experience of gliding 300 metres along Brighton beach,with the wind in your hair and the beach beneath your feet. For something a little less adrenaline fuelled, jump on Volk’s train which is the oldest working electric railway in the world on a scenic ride that takes you from Aquarium Station to Black Rock (Marina).

Get lost in the infamous lanes, and discover the North Laine and take in the eclectic mix of independent shops and cafes. Explore The Open Market which is home to local producers and purveyors of freshest fare. Sip on the finest coffee from one of the plethora of coffee shops that Brighton has to offer. Fun fact: Brighton is the UK’s coffee capital with the highest number of coffee shops per person.

For evening fun, you won’t be short of lively spots. In the mood for cocktails? Harbour hotel offers the best cocktails with a view. For a more chill evening, head to Bootlegger for a mellow night of jazz.

Relax:

Cramming in all that Brighton has to offer can be exhausting, so if you’re looking for something to do why not book a relaxing couples treatment. For the ultimate reboot, head to PURE Spa & Beauty , the newly rebranded spa at DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole- it truly is an oasis in the city that has impressive spa facilities that include treatment rooms, couples), steam and sauna and relaxing area.

Your shoulders lower as soon as you’re greeted by the friendly staff and offered the squishiest and comfiest of robes and slippers ready for your treatment. With a plethora of treatments to choose from, picking one can be hard. If in doubt go for the PURE Face & Body Sensation which is a A 90-minute targeted full body massage followed with a facial prescribed to your needs, using PURE Spa & Beauty’s own line is 100% natural, vegan range of oil based serums, cleansers and massage oils. This therapy is the perfect all-over body treatment.

Treatment starts with a calming foot ritual and consultation and the bespoke massage that follows is completely relaxing, and effortlessly soothes out and harmonises any physical and mental tensions. You’ll feel your tension worries dissipate as the therapist’s hands glide all over your body, encouraging lymphatic drainage, stimulating blood flow and restoring your energy and balance. Post treatment, a snooze in the relaxation area rounds off a perfect spa experience.

The best bit is that with the Hilton conveniently situated on the vibrant Brighton seafront, after your treatments you are mere steps away from Brighton Palace Pier, the Royal Pavilion, and the boutiques and bars of The Lanes are all within a half-mile for you to explore after your treatment.

https://www.visitbrighton.com/

Set on the golden shores in one of most idyllic spots of Morocco’s Atlantic coast is Taghazout Bay, a fishing village turned surfing and luxury travel destination.

FAIRMONT TAGHAZOUT BAY

A mere 30-minute drive away from Agadir and you find yourself in one of Morocco’s most spectacular locations. Nestled along this spectacular coastline with breathtaking sea view vistas and mountain views is Fairmont, Taghazout, the new luxury hotel on the Moroccan coast.

THE VIBE

From the stunning beach, to the hotels outstanding amenities with a slice of old Morocco this fantastical oasis is the stuff of luxury wellness reverie, where serenity combined with leisure offers peaceful yet unforgettable moments. If you’re after a chic (but immensely relaxing) and private sanctuary away from the bustle of Agadir, Fairmont Taghazout, bay is the smart option for heat-seeking sophisticates.

THE STORY

The first luxury resort to open in the former fishing village of Taghazout, Fairmont is a mere two years old, and is undoubtedly a big part of the renaissance of the area, accelerated no doubt by the emergence of speedy air links with the UK and Europe.

At Fairmont Taghazout, you don’t have to choose between luxurious wellness and culture – get the best of both worlds and fuse your much needed break with programmes that will nurture your mind and body. Whether you start the day with early morning yoga on the rooftop terrace, catch the surf in the afternoon or sip sundowners against a backdrop of the Atlantic ocean, this is the new luxury hotel on the Moroccan coast to know.

Facing the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Fairmont is sultry, seductive, and almost otherworldly, and provides the perfect escape for luxury seeking travellers whether you’re an aspiring yogi, or a burnt out professional hoping to switch off, or couple after a relaxing romantic break

STAY IN STYLE

Fairmont Taghazout offers 146 sundrenched rooms, suites and villas, all facing the sparkling sea. The property’s sienna hued walls blend into the local landscape and the hotel is sprawled across acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, stretching along along the sun-baked coastline. The decor is exquisite, with light coloured furnishing and wide expansive spaces creating a spacious and inviting feel in the lobby and communal areas.

The understated, luxury design extends across the hotel’s rooms, all of which are capacious and flooded with natural light. All rooms have their own private balcony with views that are as breathtaking as you can imagine. Bathrooms are cavernous with vast walk-in showers and large standalone bath. Plump for a room in the buildings closest to the beach, they’re worth it for the sea views and the sight of camels lolloping along the beach. Undoubtedly, this sprawling resort cuts a striking figure in this unassuming enclave, for decades recognized as Morocco’s surfing capital.

DESTINATION DINING

Your day at Taghazout begins with breakfast at The Commons where giant pastries and an impressive buffet menu awaits. There is also a live cooking station where the chef can whip you up perfectly poached eggs or indeed a breakfast dish of your liking.

A must try is a local dish called m’semen which is a kind of Moroccan pancake that is served warmed and topped with amlou, a tasty spread made of almond paste, argan oil and locally sourced honey.

Sitting adjacent to the hotel’s main pool is Beef & Reef restaurant, the resort’s surf and turf option where the signature beef and reef burger will stun you by virtue of its sheer size. The crab salad is by far the stand out dish here, a delicious wobbly creation of crab encased in mango jelly, passion fruit coulis, nori.

Beef & Reef fully capitalises on its privileged position overlooking the beach so your lunchtime meal will be punctuated by the sight of horses galloping through surf, people playing beach football or intrepid surfers taking on the waves.

Morimoto is the hotel’s main restaurant which comes alive at night time when the beautiful people descend in droves to gorge on the impressive Japanese menu with Moroccan influence.

This outpost is Chef Moromito’s first restaurant in the African continent. Inspired plates include braised black cod with sweet ginger soy and the Crab spring rolls with fig chilli sauce are also divine. Oenophiles will relish the restaurant’s impressive wine list with the local rose being a stellar choice to accompany most dishes on the menu.

The latest and most exciting addition to the impressive roster of restaurants at Taghazout Bay is the newly opened Tapa wine bar. Situated on a prime rooftop position with breathtaking views of the Atlantic, Tapa takes fusion cuisine to the next level combining Iberian, Moroccan, Italian Turkish, and Lebanese influence. Diners can indulge in dishes including crispy bruschetta with burrata, red onions and anchovies, the mouthwatering moutabal with pistachio or the unforgettable polpo alla gallega with baby potatoes.

TAILORED WELLNESS

With 1800 m2 sized spa, Fairmont Hotel Spa is a destination in its own right. Created in a unique and authentic style it is the largest within the destination with breathtaking ocean vistas and transportive treatments to rejuvenate guests. You can’t visit this spa without experiencing the traditional hammam which is a rigorous affair that involves an invigorating exfoliation followed by a generous basting of oil that will leave you with a baby soft skin.

In addition to the hamman, the facility also has massage rooms, a gym, and for the committed yogis, classes are held in the nearby gardens. Moroccan traditions and products including local oils are at the heart of each spa treatment.

ECO

Fairmont Taghazout is a zero plastic use resort which is a true testament to their commitment to sustainability. The honey that is eaten in the resort is locally sourced and bought from local cooperatives. All 146 rooms have automated aircon and lighting is kept soft to minimise energy use. They’ve also spearheaded a programme called planet 21 whose mission is to keep the local beaches clean.

A stay at Fairmont Taghazout is a real immersion into the soul of Morocco, from its selection of globally-influenced restaurants to authentic, insider experiences in and around Taghazout bay.

J WELLNESS SPA

For the ultimate reboot, head to J wellness Spa, the newly rebranded spa at St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel.

J Wellness Spa truly is an oasis in the city with impressive spa facilities that include treatment rooms, a couple’s suite, steam sauna and relaxation area. Discreetly tucked away in stunning St James’s court it’s the ultimate wellness luxury bolt hole that cleverly fuses ancient Indian rituals with modern British luxury sensibilities.

There’s an extensive menu of pampering, detoxing and holistic treatments and spa treatments for you to choose from at J Wellness spa. Your shoulders lower as soon as you’re greeted by the friendly staff and offered the squishiest and comfiest of robes and slippers ready for your treatment.

With a plethora of treatments to choose from, picking one can be hard. If in doubt go for the new Healing Therapies, which offer a remedy whatever your wellness needs: For a reboot, go for the Svastha which uses the best Indian wellness techniques to rid you of any sluggishness and give you a new lease of life. For targeted pain relief, Nidra is a full body treatment that will dissipate all your aches and pain. For a complete detox, Shodhana combines exfoliation and massage to purge all those built up toxins.

The signature treatments are equally good, and the Indian aromatherapy massage is a great option for ultimate relaxation. The treatment is a 60-minute targeted full body massage that includes a choice of signature oil blends to suit your need: energising, relaxing and detoxifying options.

Treatment starts with a calming foot ritual and consultation and the bespoke massage that follows is completely relaxing, and effortlessly soothes out and harmonises any physical and mental tensions. You’ll feel your tension and worries dissipate as the therapist’s hands glide all over your body, encouraging lymphatic drainage, stimulating blood flow and restoring your energy and balance. The treatment does more than pamper, preen and polish, you’ll glide out looking like you’ve been given a new lease of life.

Post treatment, a snooze in the relaxation area rounds off a perfect spa experience.

Nutfield Priory

The Priory is an utterly timeless icon of the Surrey hotel scene with copious amounts of old-school charm.

Why Go:

With stunning décor, high ceilinged expansive rooms, and a luxurious spa, this sophisticated country house hotel in Surrey is an oasis of tranquility. This exquisite hotel has 60 bedrooms, 15 of which are discretely designed, lofty feature bedrooms, with opulent artwork, and original features. The suites are particularly remarkable, named after famous writers, they are as magnificent as their surroundings, replete with ultra comfy four-poster beds and plush interiors. Stay in the Byron Suite which is located in the tower is spread across 3 floors and is undoubtedly the crown jewel. Not to be outdone, the outside is equally sublime with a stunning outdoor terrace that looks out onto the verdant Surrey field.

The Vibe:

As soon as you arrive, you’re struck by its quiet luxury, sense of timelessness and British style.

Situated at the end of a long driveway, The Priory, is a world of gothic architecture, beautiful panelling, fine art and dazzling chandeliers. At the heart of the communal areas is a cosy library filled with an extensive collection of books where you can while the hours away and also doubles up as the perfect sundowner spot to enjoy the Surrey sunset.

The Story:

A bit of a grande dame, The Nutfield Priory is a Victorian mansion that has been around since 1872 majestically occupying 12 acres on Nutfield ridge. Part of a wonderful collection of 21 luxury hotels around the country, this boutique hotel is a four star hotel and spa with a 2 AA rosette restaurant. Every detail of the building has been reinstated, draped in rich fabrics and regal antiques touches inspired by Neo-Gothic design.

https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/NutfieldPriory

From the best rooftops to the prettiest terraces we’ve rounded up some of the best summer dining spots in London.

POCKETSQUARE

Cocktail Connoisseurs assemble, there’s a sexy spot in the city that’s about to become your new favourite spot for sipping top notch tipples. Head to Aldgate East and go all the way up to PocketSquare Skyline Bar and terrace which is located on the 9th floor of the Hyatt Place London City East and perch against the railings, cocktail in hand and take in sweeping views of London.

This charming oasis has an impressive selection of inventive, abstract handcrafted cocktails that use the finest spirits and the most interesting ingredients. We loved the Robberbaron, a heady mix of Hepple gin, benedictine, spiced wine reduction and everleaf forest, inspired by Robin Hood’s escapades and the lush estate of Sherwood Forest. For something a little more playful, Hunny is a sweet concoction that combines Toki, Beesou, Bee Pollen chutney and honey (ofcourse) and is presented in the cutest vanity box like contraption. We also loved the Kushty, which also happens to be the best seller, it cleverly combines Hendricks, mint lassie, pineapple and fair passion fruit and makes for a tropical inspired delight. The Halcyon everleaf marine, lemon & bergamot and chamomile syrup is another great choice and pairs well with most of the dishes.

Should you be feeling peckish , the food here is also excellent with a menu that offers lip smacking selections including deliciously creamy saffron and taleggio arancini, and slow cooked beef meatballs with parmesan oregano and tomato sauce. Those with an appetite will love the flatbreads, with the fennel sausage with nduja and burrata guaranteed to be a winning choice. Their fritto misto is also excellent and the watermelon and saffron and pecorino salad is another standout option, cleverly combining compressed cucumber, red chicory, black olives and is glazed with a delicious balsamic beetroot dressing.

PocketSquare is the perfect Friday night spot for gazing out onto the metropolitan sprawl and soundtracking your cocktail sipping with clinking glasses, friendly chatter and the house DJ spinning into the night.

FERN

Fern, which is located in East Croydon and serving modern European cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most exciting restaurant openings in South London recent times. Located opposite East Croydon train station on the ground floor of Ten Degrees, the world’s tallest modular skyscraper, it’s a great addition to the Croydon dining scene and easily accessible for both local diners and visitors from far and wide.

Fern is an all day bar and restaurant serving an impressive array of cocktails and sharing dishes. The vibe is relaxed and informal. The decor which is heavy on the exposed brickwork, wooden fixtures and tall windows is evocative of a cool downtown New York eatery.

Dishes are delivered from the kitchen, tapas style as and when they’re ready, and the food does not disappoint. The menu is cleverly divided into distinct segments: plant, sea and land for easy navigation. From the appetisers ,the glistening and perfectly roasted padron peppers set you up beautifully for your culinary journey. However it’s the baked sweet potato with crispy onion feta and truffle aioli that will steal your heart with its stunning combination of flavours.

The roasted tenderstem broccoli with cumin, mixed seeds and tahini is an elevated take on a staple that works beautifully and is sure to tickle tastebuds. From the ‘sea’ part of the menu, baked scallops with chorizo emulsion, garlic and herb crum and lemon is a vibrant dish that bravely takes on scallops and does so exceedingly well. The chargrilled tiger prawns with romesco and lime are bursting with flavour and will delight seafood lovers . The braised short rib with carrot puree, chipotle and crispy onions is by far one of the standout dishes, its creamy melt- in- your mouth fare that delivers on flavour in spades.

Wash down these dishes with their enchanting cocktails. You’ll be spoilt for choice but we promise you that you’ll love the Jasmine, a vibrant concoction that blends Tanqueray, jasmine, lychee lime and soda. For a super refreshing option, we also recommend the passion fruit spritz from their spritz selection, which combines passion fruit liqueur lime and bubbles. Oh, and it’s a very pretty looking libation too.

Round off your evening with something from the pudding menu, the Basque vanilla cheesecake is a good choice, beautifully blending blueberry, maple and caramelised white chocolate. The Lemon panna cotta which is a wobbly delight of turmeric, lemon curd berry gel and basil is also a great option for rounding off an impressive dining experience.

AVIARY

As far as rooftop locations go, Aviary London with its breathtaking 10th floor location atop the Montcalm Hotel is hard to beat. A light and airy dining room complete with floor to ceiling walls overlooks a stunning terrace. If you didn’t know, Aviary recently launched its bottomless brunch in partnership with Whispering Angel which means free flowing rose, alongside prosecco, beer and cocktails is the star of the show. The vibe is city slicker meets casual glam and the dining experience is pretty casual with a buffet style set up when it comes to the food.

A busy grazing station proffers up every type of brunch dish that you can imagine. Giant king prawns catch your eye immediately alongside an extensive charcuterie selection and cheeseboard. Hummus and babaganoush make an appearance together with toasted flatbread. You’re spoilt for choice with the delicious salad selection that includes a delectable chicory, orange, fennel and green olive creation. This is alongside bagels with toppings including truffled chicken mayonnaise.

For the sweet toothed, the baked goods station overflowing with every pastry imaginable, together with freshly made waffles and pancakes that come with a selection of nut butters, nutella and honey and maple syrup will be hard to resist. For the calorie watches, there is the option of healthy granola with yoghurt and fruit.

If you’re lucky enough to find space, head out onto the terrace for sweeping views of London’s iconic skyline and groove to the DJ as he spins the decks for a spectacular weekend soiree.

Peckham Arches

Just two minutes from Rye Lane nestled beneath the arches of Peckham Rye station, Peckham Arches is the ultimate South London spot for outdoor dining with 600 capacity space to accommodate bustling crowds. Expect chilled vibes, rustic setting, delicious wood fired pizzas and pumping music to take you from day to night. The choice of pizzas and drink is huge, but it’s the large open fire kitchen where everything is cooked on a charcoal grill that has made this all weather terrace a draw for foodies.

You’ll be hard pressed to choose from an inventive menu that offers a variety of thrilling delights. From the bites, there is the nocellara olives and scene stealing courgette fries. From the pizza we were impressed by the classic douple pepperoni, chorizo and peppers and nduja and chilli tomato base options. We also loved the Funghi, Roaster Aubergine & Kale,and Parma & Asparagus on their signature parmesan and garlic cream base.

The drinks menu is extensive with options to satisfy everyone, There is a diverse range of boh draught and bottle beers and several options for wine drinkers. There’s a choice of traditional cocktails alongside the latin inspired concoctions such as the Passion Fruit Mezcalita, picante and the Skylarking Margarita. It doesn’t end there, across the road is Peckham Arches’ sister bar Skylarking where pizza lovers can indulge quite probably the best homemade wood fired sourdough pizza south of the river.

Coco Canary Wharf

A new restaurant has opened its doors in Canary Wharf. This new joint is brought to you by the same team behind Coco Grill and Lounge and Coco Asia, offering a unique alcohol free experience alongside their Anatolian cuisine menu. It is located on a prime spot on West India quay along the bustling river facing terrace with incredible views of Canary Wharf. Coco Canary Wharf is an instagrammer’s dream thanks to the plush seating, glimmering fixtures, bright neon lights, dark furnishings, and dishes presented amongst an impressive plume of smoke. With both indoors and all weather outdoor seating, you have the option of dining indoors before moving out to the shisha terrace fro post dining

Coco Canaray wharf whips up a huge selection of mouth watering dishes. From the starters, which include the outstanding king prawn puri cooked in Asian spices and served in fried bread to the fiery cauliflower in Korean spicy sauce, there’s plenty to satiate your appetite.

From the grill, the wagyu rib eye steak (which can be accessorised with 24k gold if you’re feeling flush) is a statement dish to try. For a more modest option, the lamb shish with tzatziki and chilli sauce will certainly not disappoint. It’s the coco korai curry which can be ordered as vegetarian, lamb or chicken curry that is the real standout dish at Coco Canary wharf, perfect with either paratha or chapati to mop up all the juices. If that’s not enough for you, there’s a robust dessert menu with delectable choices including lotus cheesecake or the pistachio flavoured baklava that comes with coconut ice cream.

Despite being an alcoholic free venue, Coco Canary Wharf proffers an impressive drinks menu that has wine alternatives, milkshakes and mocktails including a sweet and sour strawberry dakari that’s worth ordering for the theatrical bubble alone.

Zuaya

Latin food has grown in popularity over the last few years and firmly established itself as a favourite in London’s dining scene. From ceviche, to tacos to Mexican street food, you’re never faraway from a taste of Latin America. Skating up the scene is Zuaya where you don’t have to choose between the different latin specialties, thanks to a menu that cleverly fuses the very Brazilian, Mexican and Peruvian dishes.

Situated just off Kensington High St, diners have the option of dining indoors or the stunning outside terrace. Unsurprisingly, tapas is the name of the game at Zuaya. The flavours are bold and flavourful, with impressive starters including tuna avocado tacos and garlic prawns with lime and chilli to tickle the taste buds. The meat tapas are also very good, the wild rice, shitake mushroom and confit duck is magnificent. From the salad and vegetables menu, the tomato, avocado and pomegranate salad together with the equally impressive patatas bravas are also not to be missed. They also make a mean cocktail at Zuaya with several latin inspired specialties including classics such as Cuba Libre, Caiprinha and a classic Puerto Rico Pina Colada that packs a delicious punch.

The Stafford

Nothing says British Summer Time quite like the perpetual search for the perfect outdoor dining spot to soak up those summer rays, cocktail in hand, praying that it doesn’t rain. One such spot can be found nestled in St James’s place, a stone’s throw away from Green Park, in the majestic Stafford Hotel London’s American Bar.

A few short steps through the stylish lobby and you find yourself in the Hotel’s cobbled courtyard, home to the American bar which is truly one of the Londons’ loveliest secluded alfresco spot. It’s genuinely a hidden gem where you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Food and drink at this secretive spot is an utter delight. The enviable cocktail menu is purveyed by the legendary Bar Director Benoit Provost. Start your evening with a cocktail from the specially curated summer menu that has some very cleverly named concoctions including Adios Amor, which is a mix of Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, White Mint, Citrus, Champagne Chocolate, Mango, Jalapeño, Apricot Citrus Sherbet, Agave Syrup or for a truly summery cocktail got for the Tropical storm which is made up of Bayou Reserve Rum, Pistachio, Briottet Creme Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, Citrus, Champagne d’Abricot Liqueur, Citrus, and Orange Blossom Honey.

Dining in the American bar is a relaxed affair, with an extensive menu of plates that are perfect for sharing. The menu is a mix of British and elevated take on American classics. There’s plenty of meat and seafood so carnivores will be delighted. Start with the jambalaya glazed prawns coated in a delicious lime yogurt or the cute mini sausages in American hot sauce from the smaller plates. Then from the large plates go for the grass fed rib eye steak, a plump and juicy cut of meat that comes replete with giant onion rings, bearnaise sauce and gravy. Homemade warm doughnuts drizzled with hazelnut chocolate sauce.

On weekdays, don’t miss the excellent new BBQ menu menu, purveyed by Lisa Goodwin-Allen featuring dramatic Kamado grills for some thrilling open- fire cooking. . The menu has mouth watering creations including Lamb pastrami with potato flatbread,cucumber and mint yoghurt or the succulent salmon with fennel salad and citrus creme fraiche. More exotic dishes include Tandoori monkfish kebab with slaw and flatbread and Curried cauliflower steak with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Spiced rum-glazed BBQ pineapple provides the perfect sweet treat to complete the summer dining experience.

The best bit? An exciting new cocktail list is also available alongside the BBQ menus. The specially curated barbeque menu is available weekdays from 12pm to a leisurely 3pm.

The vibe

A stay at Mama Shelter is unforgettable. From the idiosyncratic decor in the reception and main restaurant to the retro style bedrooms, it’s unapologetically kitch, cosy, and maximalist to the core. The fun begins as soon as you step into the big brash open-plan ground-floor, where every lampshade shape imaginable, mismatched chairs, bold prints, masks and retro arcade machines all vie for your attention. Lovers of lavish interior design will be entranced.

Love is in the air

Book the overnight ‘Sexy mama package’ for a fun filled cheeky romantic escape in central London. You and your other half will be treated to cocktails upon arrival, a late check-out until 2 pm, breakfast and the infamous Sexy Mama box (wink wink). Make the most of your stay and check Mama’s events page to see what’s on before your stay and truly maximise your stay with a fun-filled dinner before retiring to one of the charming 194 retro rooms where you can watch plenty of free movies including some adult options if you’re in a naughty mood. 

Location, location,location

Only hop and skip from Cambridge Heath Station and Bethnal Green Underground, Mama’s location couldn’t be any better for experiencing the very best that east London has to offer. A mere 10 minute stroll away is the famous Columbia Road flower market where you can pick up some gorgeous blooms and continue the romantic theme. A brisk half mile walk and you’re smack in the middle of Shoreditch High St and all its delights. Walk the opposite direction and you’ll find yourself in Victoria park for more serene reverie. It’s also less than five miles away from iconic attractions such as Tower Bridge, Tate Modern and The London Eye.

Food and Drink

The extensive menu at Mama, doesn’t disappoint. Delectable starters such as the mushroom arancini on dolcelatte sauce and the seafood Fritto misto will tickle the taste buds before moving on to the mains. The Sizzled whole seabass served with patatas bravas, grilled green olives and a roast romero pepper dressing is the scene stealer. If down and dirty is more your vibe, Mama’s southern fried chicken burger is comfort food at its best. For a dramatic end to dinner order the Flambe pecan pie served with marmalade ice cream and look on as the waiter flames it with Grand Marnier liquor. Retire to the glorious courtyard after dinner and cozy up over one of Mama’s signature cocktails, (we loved the Hula Hula) before retiring to your boudoir to continue the fun…

https://mamashelter.com/london-shoreditch/