Ellie Hewitt, London - United Kingdom - on 25/7/12
Ben Westbeech is having rather a busy year. Between his own name and his Breach alias, the London born and bred DJ and producer has appeared for Boiler Room, released a brand new album, DJ'd across the globe and, most recently, launched his very own record label, Naked with his first single on the imprint, You Won't Find Love Again, doing big things on the underground. It's fair to say, chill time is a pretty treasured commodity for Westbeech right now, so for the next in our series of city guides, we asked Ben to do an alternative guide to downtime in his home territory of London.
1. Trent Country Park - Cockfosters.
This is my favourite park in London. Not many Londoners know about it and I only found out a few years ago. It has Lakes, Woods with the most amazing trees, a country house and an obelisk! you have to see it for yourself. You can explore and get lost in the woods and having picnic there in the summer is next level vibes. Also great for dog walking if you have dogs. It has the most amazing views too. I like the energy you get from places like this. It's a wonderful place to think too, as you can get caught up in the madness of London sometimes.
2. Flat White - Soho
I love soho and this is THE place to go for coffee. I actually like to nip round to the hummingbird bakery and get a red velvet then order a flat white from here and enjoy the two things together before popping into Phonica or Sounds of the universe for a listen to whats new. If George Fitzgerald's working in Black Market I'll pop in and see him and listen to what's just arrived. I have a little routine when i go to soho and this is how i start! it's the little things in life that matter! But back to the coffee! It is just the best flat white in town and definitely the perfect accompaniment to a wander round Soho.
3. Barrafina - Soho
If you are into Tapas at all this is the spot. I am obsessed with Patta Negra (Imberico ham) and they serve it here. Everything they cook here is quality from the simple Tortillas to the Tiger Prawns, everything is to die for. The razor clams are a favourite too. You can't book so it's best to go around 6 to get a table. The wine list is next level with the best Iberico wines to accompany the tapas. My favourite is the La Rioja Alta, Gran Reserva 904 1995. It always amazes me how they manage to get such rich and and astounding flavours from the simplest dishes. My Dad thinks it's better than any Spanish Tapas he's had and he's had a few believe me! I also go there with Artwork who loves it too.
4. Ruby's - Stoke Newington/Dalston
This is a little speak easy vibe bar just round the corner from my house. Anyone who know's me know's that I love a negroni! and they make a mean one here. Only rivalled in my eyes by Spuntino, and possibly Justin Martin's girlfriend Patty! in Soho, another must visit spot. They have a small cocktail menu (5 cocktails) but every drink they do is quality and served in a clever, but not pretentious way. The Mohito is really good too. It is a great place to take people for a drink in that area and the atmosphere is really special.
5. The Pale Blue Door - Dalston
This pop up restaurant appears every few months and is one of the best and most fun dining experiences i've ever had. You are served in the most colourful and mysterious setting built by Tony Hornrecker (who i think is a theatre set designer) the food is wonderful and there a burlesque type show's in-between courses which are eyeopening and hilarious and are performed by Amantopet, a London drag performer. It is like being at a mad hatter's tea party crossed with a burlesque club that is also a restaurant if that makes any sense! It is a must see in London but you do have to book early and be on the mailing list. Go find it online….
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