London according to Heinz Beck / 1

With the World's 50Best sponsored by S.Pellegrino&Acqua Panna fast approaching, the great chef guides us through his favourite spots in town

26-04-2014
Today we publish the first part of the article the

Today we publish the first part of the article the chef at La Pergola wrote for our Guida ai ristoranti di Identità Golose 2014, published by Mondadori, illustrating his favourite spots in London. Something useful for those who might be in London on April 28th, the day when the S.Pellegrino World's 50Best sponsored by S.Pellegrino&Acqua Panna will be announced. Beck arrived in London in September 2009 to manage the kitchen at Apsleys, the restaurant hosted inside The Lanesborough hotel, 1 Michelin star (photo credits Brambilla-Serrani)

Every time I land in London, I always recall a famous quote by writer Samuel Johnson: «When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford». I’ve always wanted to get to know the town better, and when I was offered the management of Apsleys, 5 years ago, I understood that the time had come. I was attracted by the idea of a pulsating metropolis, a totally multicultural one, an extraordinary crossing of religions and ethnic groups coming from all corners of the world, communicating in over three hundred languages. A real capital of finance and commerce, of arts and culture.

The gorgeous view that one can enjoy from the tables at the Oblix, on the 32nd floor of The Shard, the tallest skyscraper in Europe
The gorgeous view that one can enjoy from the tables at the Oblix, on the 32nd floor of The Shard, the tallest skyscraper in Europe
Those who visit London find a huge heritage of attractions, and not only cultural ones: as for the exceptional sceneries, enjoy the view from the 32nd floor on “The Shard” where Rainer Becker recently opened Oblix, a restaurant inspired by the classic New York grill. The restaurant is high enough to embrace the city, but at the same time not so much that you can’t notice the details of London’s hectic life. It doesn’t happen often, but every time I go, I can manage to notice something I had missed during my previous visits.

During my frequent visits to London I only focus on work, so I truly have only a little time left to visit town. However, I can say that by now I know the main gastronomic attractions that London can offer. For instance, a restaurant I like and enjoy going to, despite being allergic to oysters, is Wright Brothers in Southwark. It is only a few hundred metres away from the Oblix: a pleasant walk, you cross London Bridge and arrive in this paradise for seafood lovers. I like sitting by the counter and watching the chefs at work, their dedication for oysters, molluscs and other delicacies caught on the coasts of Cornwall and arriving very fresh at their final destination.

On Monday morning you could bump into Heinz Beck inside Borough Market, where one can find local and international delicacies

On Monday morning you could bump into Heinz Beck inside Borough Market, where one can find local and international delicacies

On Monday mornings, I enjoy wandering underneath and around the arches of the London Bridge railway, through the Borough Market, one of the largest and most ancient markets in London, in search for the best raw materials for Apsleys. It was initially conceived as a market exclusively dedicated to fruit and vegetables, but over time it became one of the largest grocery markets in the United Kingdom and here you can find all sorts of products coming from around the country as well as from other parts of the world, always of high quality.

Balthazar arrived in the heart of Covent Garden, directly from New York. This restaurant is inspired by the American original version and by traditional Parisian bistros and brasseries. Apart from the very wide choice and the freshness of the products offered, one can also count on a truly exceptional location: in fact, it is set inside The Flowers Cellar, a building that is part of the historic Theatre Museum and shares the spaces of the London Film Museum. Be sure to reserve a table long in advance.

Sometimes I happen to land in London very early on a Sunday morning: in that case I have an excellent breakfast at The Botanist enjoying the intriguing selection of fresh fruit and looking at the people walking by on Sloane Square...

1. to be continued


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