Stephen Monaghan and Graeme Gaughan
Stephen Monaghan: Pollen Street Social
The last restaurant that genuinely blew me away was Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social in Mayfair. It’s what a fine-dining restaurant should be. It has none of the wankiness of many establishments of this calibre - you know the ones: those that make you feel like you should’ve donated a kidney for the privilege of pulling up at their tables. The Social is none of that - it’s convivial, relaxed, a fun place to dine out on exquisitely cooked local seasonal food.
Pollen Street Social, 8-10 Pollen Street, London W15 1NQ (020 7290 7600)
Graeme Gaughan: Kreuzberg
Mitte used to be the place in Berlin about 10 years ago, but it seems like all the really cool and original happenings are coming out of Kreuzberg these days. As with any truly creative place, ‘gentrification’ is never far behind, as cash will always seek cultural cachet, but it doesn’t seem to have altered Kreuzberg’s shabby-chic attitude. It has still got all of its eccentricities intact. The huge Turkish population means a good kebab is never far away but for coffee, Five Elephant, 101 Reichenberger Strasse roasts some of the best you’ll taste anywhere in the world.
'Berlin's Kreuzberg has still got all of its eccentricities intact'