Old Compton Street parties, urban distilleries and new restaurant openings

Old Compton Street parties, urban distilleries and new restaurant openings

Tempting dishes at the new Tamil Prince pub (The Tamil Prince)

Tempting dishes at the new Tamil Prince pub (The Tamil Prince)

COMPTON CALL

Where to eat on Soho’s Main Street

Old Compton Street: We know and love it for being the center of Soho, synonymous with the city’s LGBTQ+ community and cloudy nights. The surrounding streets are known to be lined with brilliant restaurants, but the high street? Not so much, although there are many restaurants worthy of your presence.

Most Sohoites know about Eat Tokyo, but if you don’t, get to know it ASAP. A haven of affordable bento boxes and sushi, the massive array of dishes at this fast-paced and never-not-busy spot has something for everyone, even if you’re not a fish fan. Meanwhile, across the street, at the Italian café Bar Termini, you’ll find squidgy focaccia sandwiches, cakes and pastries accompanied by great coffee and Negronis. A few doors up, the French-inspired brasserie Cafe Boheme does a full English if you can tackle the street again the next day, a satisfyingly oozy croque monsieur, and a pretty decent tuna niçoise if you’re after something a little lighter. The Cecconi’s next door is brilliant for sitting outside and watching the world go by as you devour the wood-fired fennel sausage pizza and pitchers of Negroni Sbagliato. Plus, you can get your hands on delicious tiramisu until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

If you’re feeling boujie, the decadent variations of eclairs at Maitre Choux make the perfect pudding, and at Malaysian restaurant Laxsa you’ll find all the classics, including bowls of laksa (obvs), coconut nasi lemak served with side dishes, and silky, roti. subtly spiced canai. Mr Ji for Asian tapas is a must-try: try the prawn bread toast with a steep peak of grated cheese. And of course, there’s always the award-winning fish and chips from Poppie’s down Wardour Street, which always hits the spot, especially with a generous helping of curry sauce. Hungry? We’ll see him leaving Admiral Duncan.

Old Compton Street (Phoebe Rutherford)

Old Compton Street (Phoebe Rutherford)

FRESH DISHES

The new hot spots across the capital

Hackney’s Tamila founder and former Roti King chef Prince Durairaj is serving up great South Indian food, cocktails and beer inspired by his childhood at this newly reopened pub in Islington.

Now open. 115 Hemingford Road, N1. thetamilprince. with

Tempting Dishes at The Tamil Prince (The Tamil Prince)

Tempting Dishes at The Tamil Prince (The Tamil Prince)

More pasta? Don’t mind if we do. You can now find extensions of this rapidly expanding Soho icon at the corner of Wigmore Street and Marylebone Lane, as well as King’s Cross and the city. Order the crab linguine.

Now open. 13-15 Marylebone Ln, W1. linastores.co.uk

Pass the dough at Lojas Lina (Lojas Lina)

Pass the dough at Lojas Lina (Lojas Lina)

rejoice! Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s much-loved, super-chic Middle Eastern restaurant is back nestled in a new and larger facility in Bloomsbury. Let’s take the shakshuka, stat.

Now open. 54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1. honeyandco.co.uk

A shot of pastry at Honey & Co (Patricia Niven)

A shot of pastry at Honey & Co (PatriciaNiven)

Remember Albion? It’s under new management with a dramatic makeover and a new name is back, serving up lovely dishes of seasonal and modern British cuisine from expert chef Robin Freeman. Now open.

2-4 Boundary Street, E2. frontier.london

Shiny Border Plaques (Caitlin Isola)

Shiny Border Plaques (Caitlin Isola)

URBAN SPIRIT

Douglas Blyde recommends a peek inside these London distilleries

In 2009, Sipsmith was London’s first copper pot distillery to open in nearly two centuries, compared to 24 distilleries here today. Debuting this month next to the Turkish pier in Kingston Upon Thames is Bone Idyll. Funded by clients elsewhere in the Good Life hospitality collection and featuring the brand of old master punks, the glassy space is the creation of local industry stars Sam and Alex Berry. You can attend a gin school here or sip vodka, gin and rum cocktails from the stills in your midst.

The Bone Idyll martini (Bone Idyll)

The Bone Idyll martini (Bone Idyll)

Launched in May, 58 and Co, which already boasted the acclaimed gin, offers immersive hour-long experiences in its vault at Acton Mews. Guests can create, distill and seal their own gin using a botanical blend from a mini copper still, leaving with a bottle of their creation. The masterclass includes four cocktails, necessary food, and a fascinating juniper-accented history lesson.

Finally, Park Royal’s Bimber, which means ‘moonlight’ in Polish, is a nod to the roots of third-generation distiller and founder Dariusz Plazewski. It is already famous to connoisseurs for the quality of its grain-to-glass malt whiskey, of which only one barrel is made per day. Detailed production tours are available with the Luke guide.

boneidyll.co.uk, 58andco.com, bimberdistillery.co.uk

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