Pop up’s, chains, stand alone and one offs are all types of restaurants, but in our Instagrammable age it is difficult to decipher how good our next foodie hotspot will be.
Some part of me wishes I ventured into the effervescent world of food blogging, however with a shoddy track record of yo-yo dieting, being vegetarian and a little too obsessed with my waistline I thought best not. In culture today, food has become more important and glamorous than ever, it is no longer just about feeding a rumbling stomach, yet being seen and being cool.
For me, there is nothing more fun than scouring the internet (mainly Instagram) to find new and exciting restaurants to visit, choosing my food prior to arrival and ensuring my outfit is surrounding appropriate. From small boutique style bistro’s to luxury Michelin starred restaurants, here is my guide on how to win at restaurant hopping every time.
Tip 1 – View The Vibe, usually if the restaurant is new the hype of good marketing should have a que around the block, or a fully booked reservation log at least a week ahead, there is nothing more disappointing than putting on your Sunday best and arriving to a restaurant that frequents only the staff and you. Annoyingly waiting longer than expected to get a reservation is often worth it, check peoples posts and see how busy the background is, if it looks like everyone is squashed in like sardines then you have hit the jackpot!
In London specifically, Thursday evening and Friday lunchtimes are the most popular, so if you can get an easy booking in these time slots then steer clear!
Tip 2 – Ignore the menu, a tuna tartar garnished with avocado and coriander can sound great wherever you are, but the presentation, portion sizes and accompaniments are the overall winners. This is where images are hugely favoured, food bloggers are incessant on capturing each dish so you are near enough guaranteed to see just about everything you could potentially be ordering, (note – watch the restaurants tagged feed, this will give you access to everyone posting at the restaurant at breakfast, lunch and dinner, the main profiles can very often be deceiving.
Tip 3 – Location, location, location – this is something I struggle with as I rarely explore anything out of the square mile of Mayfair, however ensure to Google Map with the satellite setting where the restaurant is located. It may look as if it is central and easy to get to, but also be smack bang in front of a busy highway or A-road, erghh the absolute worst! Trying to kick back and enjoy a glass of champagne with horns honking and supercar engines roaring is never fun. The same goes if you are looking for a terrace, check out what is below, finding peace and tranquillity is hard to come by!
These all may seem a little too time consuming and completely remove any excitement and anticipation but if you are a true foodie like me, then its sure-fire way of ensuring maximum tastiness upon arrival!