This week’s Londoner is Elsa Messi who after months of restaurant PR internships decided to switch to the editorial side and now ladies and gents, she writes for various magazines/websites but more importantly, she runs her restaurant blog Messi Palate.
So Elsa tell us where you live in London and why you decided to shack up there…
I’m right bang in the centre of London, Baker Street to be exact and love every minute of it. I have been living in London for 18 years and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I mean what’s not to love about the big smoke? London is pretty much THE capital of the world and it definitely has everything I need, want and crave. The restaurant/food scene is booming with new openings every second. I love being able to frolic to different areas, experiencing different scenes and the cultural diversity is pretty immense. I don’t understand why people always say ‘I want to live somewhere hot and on a beach’ – hell no, I much prefer pollution, the hustle and bustle of the city, tall buildings and quite frankly a place with so much character. London is kinda taking over the world in regards to food, films, bars and fashion and I dare anyone to say otherwise.
Oooo we agree, we agree. As your blog suggests you are BIG on food, where’s your favourite restaurant?
Ooo, I always get stuck when people ask me this question (which is a lot). I guess it depends on my mood, the occasion and what my stomach demands. I’m going to cheat and name a few if that’s OK.
Where the food has been truly mind-blowing I’d have to say Coya, Roganic, Opera Tavern, Bistrot Bruno Loubet and Hawksmoor. For burgers it has to be Patty and Bun, Honest Burgers, Byron, Mother Flipper and of course Meat Liquor. My favourite Michelins are Alain Ducaisse, Dinner and Tom Aikens SW3. For dim sum I adore Phoenix Palace in Baker Street, Lido in Chinatown, Yautchua and for Sushi I always seem to crave Sushi Tetsu in Farringdon, Wabi in Holborn and Roka. For street food my heart (or palate more like) goes to The Rib Man, Spinach & Agushi (a fab Ghanaian stall on Exmouth Market), the Wild Game Co and Pizza Pilgrims. For a memorable experience I can’t get enough of House of Wolf as I love experiential dining (you’ll have to check which chef has a residency at the time though), DSTRKT really impressed me too as did Duck & Waffle. I think I’ll stop now before I digress.
Now we are seriously hungry! Been a life long Londoner are there any secret tips you are willing to share?
If you truly want to get everything from this city move away from your comfort zone, don’t just stick to your area, and sometimes it’s good to stay away from the cliché restaurants or bars but find some hidden gems of your own instead by exploring . I definitely suggest going to Supperclubs instead of restaurants at times.
Some of my hidden gems include Lock 7 which is part cafe, part bike store and they do some badass bagels. The Sanderson’s Hotel afternoon tea party is worth checking out, and I freaking love Gay Hussar in Soho which is a stare-worthy Hungarian restaurant.
Who are your favourite bloggers? Any ones our readers should be reading?
I love LondONtheinside (obviously) but it’s no surprise that I tend to stick to food blogs. My favourites to read are ‘Cheese and Biscuits’, ‘Wilkes888’, ‘We Love Food Its All We Eat’, ‘The Critical Couple’ and the most hilarious one has got to be ‘Yugnich Eats’. The blogs with the best food photos are ‘The Londoner’, ‘London Food Freak’, ‘ The Skinny Bib’ and ‘Lela London’.
Why thank you, we love us too! And lastly tell us what your perfect day in the city would be…
My perfect day would be totally spontaneous and unpredictable but you can pretty much guarantee it would involve plenty of laughter with hilarious company, food, food, food, wine, wine, wine and nice weather.