Nic Fiddian-Green, sculptor
Up from Surrey
We’ve been going to Clarke’s, on Kensington High Street (020-7221 9225; www.sallyclarke.com) for a long time. Another gem of a restaurant is Ikeda, a family-run Japanese place just off Bond Street (020-7629 2730). It’s unassuming, but the sushi and tempura are terrific. For a proper cup of coffee, the place to go is Pimlico’s Tomtom Coffee House (020-7730 1771; www.tomtom.co.uk), which serves the only stuff in town worth drinking. I always like to visit Eddie at Redwood & Feller on Rochester Row (020-7828 9519; www.redwoodandfeller.co.uk). He once made me an overcoat with pockets big enough for a sketchbook and I’ve been going ever since.
Teresa Dent, GWCT chief executive
Up from Hampshire
I love London’s parks (www.royalparks.org.uk): St James’s Park, Green Park and Hyde Park form a wonderful ribbon from Westminster to Notting Hill, each with its own character. Jewels though they are, the number of crows and magpies is depressing. I’d love to alert the capital’s park-keepers to the benefits of Larsen traps. My favourite discovery is The Silk Society on Berwick Street (020-7287 1881; www.thesilksociety.com). It’s a dressmaker’s heaven, full of wonderful fabrics.
Up from Berkshire
My top London restaurant is The Wolseley (020-7499 6996; www.thewolseley.com), for its vibrant atmosphere, excellent food and superb service, all in a converted car showroom. The Butcher’s Hook on the Fulham Road (020-7385 4654; www.thebutchershook.co.uk) is a proper pub that serves proper beer. My wife [Kate Reardon, editor of Tatler] has a flat in Notting Hill, but if I’m feeling extravagant there’s The Berkeley in Knightsbridge (020-7235 6000;www.theberkeley.co.uk). I’ve been a Chelsea FC supporter for 40-plus years, so I escape to Stamford Bridge (0871 984 1955; www.chelseafc.com) to let off a bit of steam.
Barney White-Spunner, Countryside Alliance (CA) executive chairman
Up from Dorset
Since I’ve been commuting from Dorset to the CA, I’ve become very fond of Kennington, which has a lovely village atmosphere. Kennington Tandoori (020-7735 9247; www.kenningtontandoori.com) does the most delicious Indian food, and is supporting our ‘Game to Eat’ campaign. I can often be found nosing around in Hatchards on Piccadilly (020-7439 9921; www.hatchards.co.uk), which still has such a remarkable range of books. The Household Cavalry Museum (020-7930 3070; www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk) is excellent, and I never tire of the British Museum (020-7323 8299; www.britishmuseum.org)
Otis Ferry, joint master of the South Shropshire
Down from Shropshire
I can never help visiting Farlows on Pall Mall (020-7484 1000; www.farlows.co.uk)-being in there is the closest substitute to being on the river for the frustrated fisherman. Polpo on Beak Street (020-7734 4479; www.polpo.co.uk) is great for delicious light snacks (or huge feasts), and I challenge anyone to find better cocktails than those served in the upstairs bar at 5, Hertford Street (www.5hertfordstreet.co.uk). My favourite landmark would have to be the Houses of Parliament (www.parliament.uk), but for all the wrong reasons.
Patrick Gale, novelist
Up from Cornwall
My latest discovery is The Riding House Café (020-7927 0840; www.ridinghousecafe.co.uk) on Great Titchfield Street, where I always order the squid-and-chorizo salad with chips on the side. I invariably go into Lina Stores (020-7437 6482; www.linastores.co.uk) on Brewer Street just to buy sausages, or pumpkin ravioli, and end up with a great bag of Italian goodies. Other favourites are Liberty’s haberdashery department (020-7734 1234; www.liberty.co.uk) and the sheet-music section in Foyles on Charing Cross Road (020-7437 5660; www.foyles.co.uk), where I’ve been known to buy mad things such as Brahms quintets, just in case we ever acquire sufficiently talented neighbours in Cornwall. And my love of Kensington Gardens (www.royalparks.org.uk) has never wavered-I associate it with boyhood visits to the Proms and happy, slightly irresponsible walks with my psychotic first lurcher.
Andrew Balding, racehorse trainer
Up from Hampshire
My favourite pub is The Sydney Arms on Sydney Street in Chelsea (020-7352 7924; www.sydneyarmschelsea.com). Location-wise, it’s very handy, and it’s the only London pub I know that has At The Races and Racing UK, so you can watch all the action on the big screens. I love looking in the window at Theo Fennell on the Fulham Road (020-7591 5000; www.theofennell.com), and we usually drive into town past the Natural History Museum (020-7942 5000;www.nhm.ac.uk).
Clarissa Dickson-Wright, chef and campaigner
Down from Edinburgh
Invariably, I stay at The Goring (020-7396 9000; www.thegoring.com)-it’s just so comfortable. The best meal I’ve eaten in London for a long time was at Racine on Brompton Road (020-7584 4477; www.racine-restaurant.com). Superb bone marrow and the most delicious brains. There’s also a little Chinese restaurant called Hung’s on Wardour Street in Soho (020-7287 6580) that I go to quite a lot. I love Selfridges food hall (0800 123 400; www.selfridges.com) and Burlington Arcade (020-7493 1764; www.burlington-arcade co.uk) for presents.
Rodger McPhail, wildlife artist
Down from Lancashire
The London restaurant I know best is Pescatori Mayfair on Dover Street (020-7493 2652; www.pescatori.co.uk). I was first taken there 40 years ago as a young hopeful-the old Tryon Gallery was just over the road. If I’m feeling really lavish, I’ll go to Rules in Covent Garden (020-7836 5314; www.rules.co.uk)-London’s oldest restaurant. One of my sons is working at the London Graphic Centre (020-7759 4500; www.londongraphics.co.uk), which is an excellent place to buy pencils. And the Royal Albert Hall (0845 401 5034; www.royalalberthall.com) has a lovely sort of cosiness. It’s magnificent, but built to a human scale.