Connaught Village Magazine

4 I recently spent a lovely day in ConnaughtVillage, nestled just a short walk from tourist hotspots such as Marble Arch, Lancaster Gate and Hyde Park. The ‘village’ is a collection of streets lined with pretty boutiques and shops denoting timeless charm and a strong sense of community. A perfect oasis in the heart of London, you can spend an afternoon there, meeting a friend for an artisan coffee in Markus Coffee,Assal Patisserie or Abasto, enjoying a drink in the sun outside the Duke of Kendal, or getting your nails done at Fé Hair and Beauty.You can also make a long, leisurely day of it; beginning with breakfast in the sunshine followed by shopping at the plethora of boutiques. LUNCH Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants, from Italian at Stuzzico to Persian at Pardis, there is something for every palate.The casual setting and Argentinian sharing plates at Casa Malevo also make the perfect lunch. For something lighter, pop into Le Pain Quotidien for a savoury pastry or Colbeh to nibble on a Persian mezze platter. DINNER Bombay Palace is well worth a visit; its moreish thali is one of the best Indian dishes I have ever eaten. For something different, Kurobuta serves up a medley of classic Japanese dishes alongside modern innovations: think pork scratchings with yuzu kosho dip andWagyu beef sliders.Traditional Iraqi stews and grilled meats from Al Maskoof Iraqi and Le Chef Masgouf will tantalise your tastebuds, or if you are looking for something more local, head to Salt & Honey for fresh fish from Billingsgate Market. EXPERIENCE The thing that makes ConnaughtVillage extra special is that you can meet most of the founders of the shops and get their expert advice. I loved IMAGES FROM LEFT: MARION AYONOTE, CONNAUGHT STREET, ME+EM, CONNAUGHT STREET, KENDAL STREET, ELIZA JANE HOWELL, LUCY CHOI 5 wine tasting at Connaught Cellars and was impressed that the owner hosted the evening himself. I learnt so much about the different varieties, especially some British wines that have now become my wine rack essentials. Buchanans Cheesemonger supplies cheese to many prestigious restaurants and locals. I was given a wonderful masterclass of taste sensations and his knowledge was incredibly extensive. FASHION Find yourself a new pair of summer sandals from Lucy Choi and Marion Ayonote or a unique ensemble from Kokoro, ME+EM, Viola or The Place London (for women) founded by ex-chief executive of Browns, Simon Burstein. Discover vintage gems fromThe Dresser, occasion wear from Eliza Jane Howell and fine jewellery from De Roemer. If you are getting married, pop in to wedding dress specialist RitvaWestenius. For the sartorial man, I spied great boutiques such as The Place London (for men). INTERIORS & GIFTS Mooch around specialist art galleries and dealers, appreciating collections of South Asian Art, rare jewellery, antiques, clocks and watches from William Mansell and contemporary Middle Eastern Art at The Park Gallery. If you are staying nearby or live in the area and want to find a few new home accessories, head to Mud Australia for a unique collection of porcelain in summer pastels, a favourite among high-profile chefs and celebrities. You can even pick up a matching summer bouquet at Prewett Miller Flowers. A little bird told me that several new occupiers will be joining the village community shortly and if they are of the same calibre as the existing occupiers, I for one will be making the return trip. F : E T G T ,