A Nordic breakfast at Aquavit, St James's
Unless you work around the area, St James's probably isn't somewhere most Londoners are really familiar with. The restaurants in particular are most suited for the suited up - but before that puts you off, there are some really rather good ones just waiting for you to discover. Case in point: Aquavit.
Aquavit first opened its doors in New York in 1987, becoming something of a Nordic fine-dining institution (gaining two Michelin stars along the way) and leading the wave of Scandinavian dining in the city. In 2008, they opened in Tokyo and most recently, set up home in London, in St James's Market. More about the contemporary and less of the white table cloth, the restaurant is a glistening, glossy, beautiful example of Nordic design, filled with Scandi craftmanship throughout that you won't be able to keep your eyes off.
I was invited along for breakfast - an opportunity I hastily jumped at - bringing Meryl along for a Friday treat. As she had to rush off to work at 9am, we set out alarms early, getting to Aquavit as it opened (perk to being the early bird: they catch the metaphorical worm that is empty restaurants where I can snap away at the interiors without a soul in sight!). The menu features both contemporary and traditional breakfast dishes, some being more adventurous than others (smoked eel benedict, anyone?). Pushing out the boat, Meryl went for the bold Grilled Kipper with Poached Eggs whilst I couldn't refuse the truly scrumptious Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs & Avocado (why try fix something that isn't broke, right?) which perfectly set us up for our respectively busy days ahead. Justifying them as Friday treats, we helped ourselves to a sweet Cinnamon Roll and more-ish Cardamom Bun as well. Scandi essentials, of course.
Whilst I can't give a verdict on the rest of the food or drink offering at Aquavit, I can say they've been well received by others. So, whether you're looking for a breakfast meeting spot, a fancy date bar or sophisticated dinner in a place that's pretty central without feeling like you're in central London, then Aquavit it is.
Yet another one to add to your lists!