Wednesday, 11 February 2009

BOOK - Time Out's Little Black Book of London

time out guide little black book
Time Out’s The Little Black Book of London, is the insider’s must-have directory to living in the capital. The guide is packed with information and contacts for everything from quirky ideas for a night out to the most fashionable shops to where to find the finest birthday cake. The guide reveals hidden treasures across the capital – even offering surprises for those who have lived and worked in London all their life.

The Style PA's resident Londoner, Davida, went out to see if some of the hot spots featured in the book are worthy of their mention.

The Pineapple

Sausage Sundays, Quiz Mondays and Cheese Thursday’s; All in one pub?

Yes yes yes! If you enjoy an eclectic mix of good ole’ English ale, thick red velvet upholstery and weekly pub quizzes united lovingly with the taste of the orient (Thai) menu and the Moroccan style conservatory out back, then, like me, this is the place for you.

This pub literally has all you could ask for, and then even more heaped on top. The last Saturday of every month is great for a girl’s night out with their famous ‘cocktail Saturdays’ and any man worth his weight in sausages could not refuse the chance to indulge in FREE sausages on a Thursday afternoon, between 3pm and 6pm. N.B – If conversation is getting slow, and you’ve finished your Thai prawn crackers see how many Pineapples you can count – I’m on 10!

Lemon Monkey
lemon monkey city food deli
Us Londoners all know that Stoke Newington, whilst having no tube station (huff puff) is the one of the coolest cats in town for pubs, restaurants and cafés, and the Lemon Monkey, my friends is no exception. Part Deli, part café this place serves exquisite cappuccinos in big old 70’s style cups, an amazing selection of cheese and soft chewy sweet banana’s, which if your wondering if that goes with coffee – oh yes it does!

Le Mercury

Amor, Amor, Amor…the place screams romance and lurve. Candle lit twosome tables, fairy lights adorning the windows, French waiters, cocktails, champagne, steak… the list is endless on why this place is literally the hottest place for couples. Want to know what makes It even better? All choices in each course are the same price so you know you can afford it. Now, I’m not one to endorse the act of polygamy, but if you are a serial dater than this place is perfecto. You can wine and dine your lover and be safe in the knowledge that it won’t cost more than fifty of your English pounds for two people to enjoy a 3 course meal with booze – a bonus in my (little black) book!

The Duke of Cambridge

pub organic food city
It’s hard deciding where to eat when you have such a wealth of choice in a place like Angel, however I strongly recommend this little gem just off the main high street. Everything and I mean everything, from the entire food and drink selection down to the tampon machine in the toilets, is organic - and what they do… they do well.

A vast bar and restaurant area houses beautiful big wooden tables (for that true rustic 'could be eating in a forest type feel'), and a fantastic atmosphere – I think it’s that feeling everyone has when they know that fundamentally they are doing something good – like eating wholesome organic food as opposed to a McDonald’s.

I ordered vegetarian chilli and a glass of house red, both excellent, and my brother enjoyed a steak and ale pie which he said he had already had 3 times but kept coming back for more, surely a good sign. Don’t be put off by the price and remember it’s more expensive than usual because of how the produce is sourced – when I left I felt like I should become like Barbara Good and embark upon the whole self-sufficiency thing, then remembered I wanted a new pair of shoes and a holiday!

Davida's verdict on the little black book...

An excellent book, that fits neatly into your hand bag, like its name sake. Full of really good places to go and see and all helpfully laid out in geographical sections for you to navigate yourself around. My only criticism is that I assumed there would be a London underground map somewhere in it, usually the middle pages is where I look. This would be really helpful to readers as they could see how to get to the wonderful locations mentioned. Some bus routes may be useful too.

All in all a thoroughly good book to have, for those who think they know London inside out and for those who have never set foot in our gracious capital before. I’m glad I have my copy.

The Little Black Book of London costs £7.99 and is available from and all good bookshops now.

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