Gary, do you live in London?
I’ve lived in London for many, many years. At the moment I’m based just outside of London, in Kent, but I have lived all over London and spent the majority of my time in West Hampstead, although I am from the south of London originally. Each place I have lived is totally different.
What’s your favourite London restaurant?
My restaurant is in the City, but I have many favourite restaurants in the capital. In Greater London, Chapter One – a Michelin-starred restaurant with British produce and a slight French influence – is one of my favourites.
There are many places I love to eat at different times. Some of the Indian restaurants, such as The Painted Heron on Cheyne Walk, I like going to. I really like to sample and experience foods from different countries and see if they can influence my style of British food.
We’ve noticed lots of different food trends in London lately, from pop-ups to street food. What do you think will be the next trend?
We’ve seen a lot of modern British cooking, but something I think is really coming up is Middle Eastern cooking. We have seen a lot of Lebanese and Moroccan places that are having a bigger influence. This could be as the Middle East becomes more popular for holidaymakers. The great tagine dish will become very popular soon.
What would you recommend to first-time visitors to London?
It’s all food-related with me, so of course I’m going to recommend taking to the streets, taking a walk around a neighbourhood, enjoying some of our architecture – sometimes London is like walking around an open-air art gallery – and taking in some of the best local eateries. There are many more undiscovered great streets to explore. Soho has once again become one of the most fashionable places to be.
When you are away from London, what do you miss most?
When I’m travelling into London to go to the restaurant, I get off one stop early and walk across London Bridge to the City. I am approaching probably the most exciting city in the world. To my right is Tower Bridge, to my left is Westminster and Big Ben, slightly to my left is St Paul’s sitting there and I’m thinking “wow”.
From there, I walk to Leadenhall Market, where during lunchtime and the evening you will find some fantastic street food and a fantastic British pub. The story goes on as I continue my walk, and that’s the beauty of London: every path and every corner you turn there is something fresh and exciting for you to discover and enjoy.
- We spoke to Gary Rhodes as he showcased some fantastic British cuisine at VisitBritain’s Destination Britain travel event in Bangkok, Thailand. Gary Rhodes will be appearing at Taste of London festival this month.