On The Hotlist: Top July Dining, Style & Travel

What could be better on a fine Summer’s Day than exploring a new country, discovering a cool restaurant or indulging in some much needed retail therapy? So sit back with a glass of something cold and enjoy our pick of the July dining, style trends and travel picks…

Culture Vulture

In London, the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter has just opened, with a magnificent colonnade entrance, the Sainsbury Gallery exhibition space and the Sackler Courtyard, the world’s first porcelain public courtyard, with 11,000 handmade tiles. REVEAL is a free public festival being held until 7 July to celebrate the opening of the new quarter designed by Amanda Levete Architects.

Tate Britain will be celebrating Summer with a whole host of free outdoor activities for adults and children. There’ll be art easels, space hoppers, artist-designed deckchairs and an outdoor bar with a vintage ice cream cart on the terrace lawn as well as Saturday jazz brunches. Finally, Hampton Court Flower Show is on from 4-9 July and if last year’s event is anything to go by, visitors are in for a treat! The world’s largest flower show has a huge selection of show gardens and exhibits to browse.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 - the largest flower show in the world, held every year in Surrey, England

Lifestyle File

If you’re a fan of coffee then you’ll be delighted to hear about the brilliant new Wacaco Mini Espresso Maker. Now there’s no need to ever go without your favourite pick-me-up as this handy device will brew up a superb coffee in a few minutes. Being the world’s most compact espresso maker that weighs only 350g, you can easily slip it into your bag to enjoy anywhere. For a holiday home where you’re short on space, on your morning commute or whilst glamping, it opens up a whole realm of possibilities. All you need is boiling water and Nespresso capsules thanks to the pump which does away with the need for batteries or electricity. A semi-automatic piston injectswater into the coffee adapter, ensuring optimal extraction pressure and a smooth, flavourful espresso. Paul is a serial coffee drinker and it has his full seal of approval ;-). It’s available from Steamer Trading Cookshop, which has a fantastic selection of gifts and useful homeware products. Retailing for £49.95, this little beauty is worth every penny.

Wacao Mini Espresso Machine from Steamer Trading Cookshop
We recently attended the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup at Cowdray, Sussex which runs until 23 July and is a great day out for all the family. Henley Royal Regatta is another unmissable fixture on the UK social and sporting scene and the Chinawhite VIP enclosure was the place to see and be seen this year with afternoon tea by Cutter and Squidge and a DJ set by Pete Tong.

Chinawhite VIP enclosure at Henley Royal Regatta
Back in London, The Westbury Mayfair has recently become a Luxury Collection Hotel and to celebrate the launch, they held a champagne reception and fashion show featuring Amanda Wakeley and Velsvoir. Guests enjoyed canapés created by Michelin starred Alyn Williams in the hotels’ penthouse suite and admired this gorgeous floral dress.

Fashion show at The Westbury London, UK
Have you ever dreamt of creating your own perfume? Thanks to Experimental Perfume Club that’s now possible with London’s first open-access perfume laboratory. At her micro-perfumery in London Fields, founder Emmanuelle Moeglin, a professionally trained fragrance specialist, guides you through a series of olfactory challenges in order to find the perfect blend for you.

Experimental Perfume Lab, London Fields
Having learnt how to describe perfume ingredients, I was let loose on a selection of 25 raw materials. My preferred notes were floral, fruity and green with a base of musc. Emmanuelle helped me to get the proportions right in order to create a subtle yet distinctive fragrance that is totally unique. I left with my own bottle of bespoke fragrance which I’ll be able to reorder as Experimental Perfume Club keeps your formula. As Emmanuelle says, scent is a story with a beginning that must draw you in with impact, a middle that must have imagination and emotion and an end that must stay with you long after you’ve walked away. This workshop will help you tell your own tale, and would make a great gift to yourself or a loved one.

Experimental Perfume Laboratory
Talking of perfume, Lalique is such an iconic brand, known for its distinctive Art Deco style. They have launched a range of 3 women’s perfumes, Mon Premier Cristal, created by three women perfumers. We were fortunate to attend the launch of the collection at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington. Sensuel is a tender woody oriental, created by Karine Dubreuil-Sereni, whilst Lumière is a floral chypre designed by Alexandra Monet and Tendre is a delicate floral oriental by Sidonie Lancesseur.

Lalique Mon Premier Cristal perfume collection
And if you’re a fan of make-up and skincare then you’ll love the new Oud Milano store on Oxford Street. A one-stop shop for all your beauty needs, this innovative Italian brand features calligraphy-inspired Japanese make-up brushes, fragrances from Arabian oils and skin healing elixirs from the Levant. They’ll help you create a personalized make-up look that suits your skin colouring and personality – loved what they suggested for me!

Oud Milano London
Travel Tales

The New Forest in Dorset is beautiful at this time of year and if you’re lucky you will encounter wild ponies in the most unexpected of places…This lakeside pub in the village of Rockford Green being one of them!

The Alice Lisle, Rockwood Green, New Forest
If you’re heading on vacation soon then you might find our tips on how to prepare for your Summer holiday helpful. Spain is one of the most popular countries to visit right now, thanks to its stunning scenery, great food and reputation for safety. One part of Spain that’s not short on charm is Rioja, with a fascinating wine museum and annual Battle of the Wine. Another country that’s famous for its scenery is Scotland. Take a drive from Edinburgh past the iconic Forth Bridge to the university town of St Andrews, famous for its golf and seafood. Edinburgh itself has its fair share of culinary delights so get in quickly and enjoy a weekend in Scotland’s capital before or during the famous Festival Fringe in August. Finally, if you’re in Milan for business or pleasure, make sure to check out our guide to the best rooftop bars and outdoor dining in Milan.

Wining and Dining

Dukes Hotel is one of our favourite places to stay in London and with the opening of GBR it’s now a great place to dine too. Equally popular with guests and non-residents, GBR specialize in all-day dining and simple classics, created by talented Executive Chef Nigel Mendham. The atmosphere is informal with friendly and super-efficient service, and the walls are adorned with photos of famous people who have frequented Dukes over the years. We particularly enjoyed the Isle of Gigha halibut with clam chowder and foraged sea herbs as well as the Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding, horseradish cream and roasted beets. The dark chocolate mousse with hazelnut and bitter chocolate crumble is a real treat too.

GBR, Dukes London, UK
In the St James Quarter, Nordic restaurant Aquavit has a new Summer terrace that’s a great sun spot. Meanwhile, in the new Nova building in Victoria, Aster have launched a series of fundraising dinners for Hospitality Action. Iconic chefs will be in conversation with Richard Vines, chief food critic at Bloomberg. At the dinner that I attended, renowned chef Pierre Koffmann created a special menu with Aster’s Helena Puolakka and the result was very tasty indeed!

Pierre Koffmann dinner at Aster restaurant
Bottomless and brunch – two words that always fill us with pleasure ;-). We’ve long been fans of Mac & Wild Fitzrovia’s authentic Scottish cuisine and at their city outpost in Devonshire Square, you can enjoy bottomless brunch with a twist. Tuck into smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, or a Scottish breakfast of homecured bacon, homemade tattie scone, white pudding, mushroom, black pudding and Lorne sausage with scrambled eggs. Bottomless cocktails are a very reasonable £18 or if you’re feeling healthy you might prefer a green juice. Finish your meal with a superb broke millionaire’s shortbread with dark chocolate parfait, homemade shortbread, caramel mousse and cocoa soil.

Bar Boulud is a great place for casual dining in Knightsbridge and their Summer Provencal menu brings a taste of the Mediterranean to London. Located within the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel, it has recently been renovated and is looking very glam. I was lucky to meet Daniel Boulud himself at a lunch on the chef’s table with matched wines.

Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental London
Theo Randall at the Intercontinental is without a doubt one of London’s best Italian restaurants and their new La Dolce Vita weekend brunch is not to be missed. Your brunch will kick off with a chilled glass of Prosecco, which the charming waiting staff will keep constantly topped up. The array of Italian antipasti dishes on offer is the best that we have come across. There’s also a tempting selection of Italian meats, breads and cheeses. After this, you’ll be served a tasty pasta dish, followed by a choice of main courses including roasted sea bream or pancetta with porcini mushrooms and parmesan. Save room for a sharing dessert platter which includes lemon tart, panna cotta and more. If you have eyes bigger than your stomach (Paul, I’m looking at you) then you might even be able to fit in a crepe prepared in front of you.

Theo Randall brunch at the Intercontinental Park Lane
Blanchette East is one of those neighbourhood eateries that you’ll want to return to time and time again. A sister restaurant to the original Soho hotspot, it’s located on bustling Brick Lane. Combine a visit here with a walk around nearby Spitalfields or Columbia Road Flower Market. Brothers Maxime, Malik and Yannis Alary have named the restaurant after their mother and the decor takes inspiration from the Parisian Belle Epoque. The menu of modern French and North African sharing plates includes such delights as duck rillettes, baked Moroccan eggs with peppers and flat bread, perfectly cooked frites and a chocolate ganache with vanilla ice cream. The wine list features French, Spanish and Italian wines and they also rustle up fantastic cocktails. The set lunch menu is a bargainous £15 for 2 courses or £19.50 for 3 courses.

Blanchette East review
It’s great to see independent restaurants with young chefs thriving. At Jar Kitchen, a casual restaurant on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, the focus is on seasonal and sustainable cooking. Head Chef Paula Borreguero, formerly of 10 Greek Street, serves Modern British food with European influences. The farm-to-fork ethos ensures that ingredients are sourced as locally as possible and bread, yoghurt and pasta is made from scratch each morning. It’s particularly good fun on Saturdays when they offer bottomless brunch from 10 am, with unlimited Mimosas, Prosecco or Bloody Marys to accompany dishes such as kedgeree with quail’s egg and wild mushrooms with rocket, walnuts and flat bread. We were pleased to find Eteaket teas on the menu, having met this Scottish tea producer on our recent trip to Edinburgh. Owners Lucy Brown and Jenny Quintero have created a welcoming atmosphere paired with delicious food that will make you want to return time and time again.

Jar Kitchen, Covent Garden, UK
Chocolate is one of our guilty pleasures – well, Paul is half Swiss after all, though I’m not sure what my excuse is! So we were delighted to try out the new LAND Chocolate collection from Phil Landers. Having learnt his trade with master chocolatiers Paul A. Young and Mast Brothers, Phil has branched out on his own, creating delectable single origin and single bean bars. The chocolate beans come from Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, each with their own unique taste. Our favourite is the Honduras Dark bar but the Chuno Milk also had a rare complexity that we appreciated.

LAND Chocolate bars
Finally, the Jamaican Garden Terrace at Boisdale Canary Wharf is a real haven in this bustling area. Sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Grace Foods, it was recently launched by His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Surrounded by tropical palm trees, sipping on a rum punch and tucking into jerk chicken, you could almost believe you were in Jamaica! It’s open until end of August so definitely check it out if you’re in the area.

Which of these July dining, events and destinations would you most like to experience? Do you have any tips for hot new places that we should check out?

Boisdale Jamaica Terrace

  • Hayley Rubery

    Oh girl I shouldn’t have read this post whilst hungry! The restaurants all sound amazing!

    Hayley xo

    • Suze

      Sorry about that, I got hungry too writing about them!

  • love all these suggestions! the events look amazing and so does the food in this post.

    Hadas – luxury travel and fashion blogger @The Fashion Matters

    • Suze

      I’m glad that you found them useful, have a great day!

  • Hi Suze, I love all the suggestions here. Everything looks delicious! Hope you are having a lovely day! Gemma x

    • Suze

      Thank you Gemma, wishing you a lovely week ahead

  • Stephanie Rose

    This reminds me of my summers in London. I loved the museums there, but as your photos show, they are always changing. I’ve never eaten at Duke’s Hotel though, so would definitely give that a try upon my return.

    • Suze

      We’re so lucky here with the museums, and the restaurants are always changing too! Dukes is one of my favourites for its GBR eatery and also their legendary picnics in the park!

  • These are some great suggestions they all sound so good

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • Suze

      I’m glad that you enjoyed reading them, Candice!

  • Oh my goodness what a bumper roundup for July! The Lalique perfumes look and sound so stunning and Bar Boulud sounds like a perfect summer treat. I’m a big fan of Mac and Wild too – it must be my scottish roots!

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura

    • Suze

      I can’t wait to wear the Lalique perfumes, they all smell amazing. Bar Boulud is lovely and I can see why you like Mac and Wild!

  • Oh my goodness! The Wacaco Mini Espresso Maker is perfect for me!!! I have a Nespresso machine and have so many pods that can be used with this mini espresso maker. I can bring this on road trips and camping. Yay yay!

    • Suze

      I can’t recommend the espresso maker highly enough – it’s so handy and lots of friends have bought one now.

  • Natasha

    What a great list! But I think the make your own purfume looks like the most interesting to me. I’d love to experiment and get the perfect scent!! Sometimes I really don’t enjoy some of the pre-blended scents that are out there.

    • Suze

      I love the bespoke perfume, now I just need to find a name for my creation 😉

  • Claire Summers

    Oh this has made me miss home so much. seeing the picture of the pub and the London bikes too. I do love England, Hopefully it won’t be too long until I return!

    • Suze

      It’s all very British isn’t it! I hope that you get to make a return trip before long

  • Patricia Steffy

    Looks like July is going to be a pretty spectacular month. I’m not sure what I would want to do more: see the wild donkeys in Dorset or tour the new V&A exhibit (and the Tate has always thrilled me). Of course, I wouldn’t mind trying dinner at Theo Randall at the Intercontinental (Italian food is my favorite). So many things to do!

    • Suze

      We’re so lucky with the museums here aren’t we! As for Theo Randall, it’s a great treat and particularly good for groups as there’s so much choice

  • Veronica P.

    I am not a coffee person, but … what? A portable coffee machine? Say goodbye to all that low quality coffee. Wacaco Mini Espresso Maker is so amazing!

    • Suze

      It’s really clever isn’t it! Have to say that we’re loving it, so handy and easy to use

  • Paige Brown

    This is quite the list. There’s truly something for everyone! I’m going to London for the first time next year and I think the Experimental Perfume Club is going to be a must-try for me! It just sounds so fun and I’ll hopefully walk away with the perfect scent!

    • Suze

      I’m glad you found it a helpful round up, Paige! You’ll love the Experimental Perfume Club, it’s definitely one of a kind

  • Wow I have never seen anything like the Wacaco Mini Espresso Maker. That looks so amazing. My July will be filled with work pretty much everyday . I hope I get to spend a summer i England it seems so nice. I would love to check out The New Forest in Dorset 🙂

    • Suze

      The espresso maker is pretty unique, they should sell it abroad too as I reckon it would go down a storm. Hope you get to visit the UK and the New Forest!

  • What a great round up! Making your own perfume sounds like so much fun!

    Ash | http://www.liakadatravel.com

    • Suze

      That was definitely one of my highlights, Ash!

  • Great July Hotlist – I think I might invest in a Wacaco Mini Espresso maker what a fun gadget for coffee lovers 🙂

    Miriam xx

    • Suze

      For a little gadget it packs a big punch! Love the fact that it doesn’t take up room in the kitchen too

  • Beautiful round up, Suze. You are so lucky to be able to participate in all these events.

    • Suze

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Anda, and I feel very lucky!

  • The La Dolce Vita brunch at Theo Randall looks fabulous and how fun that you got to create your own perfume! Love your dress in the first picture Suze – it’s beautiful!

  • Lucy

    The Westbury in Mayfair is a favourite and fashion and champagne sounds wonderful. The new forest is so beautiful and the ponies such a lovely tradition. Looks like an amazing month Lucy x

  • Dukes Hotel looks amazing!