I’ve been in London for over 10 years now, and I never get tired of trying out new spots for awesome food and drinks. Whilst it’s easy to get carried away with the popular places, they’re often over-crowded, and let’s face it, most of the time fall below our expectations. That’s why sometimes I just prefer to hide away from the crowd, and experience something a little more special and out of the ordinary.
One of my favourite areas in London is definitely Farringdon. This cozy neighbourhood is close to the city centre but with none of the busy traffic. And it’s bursting with outstanding, unique bistros and drinking spots.
If you live outside the city, fear not. Farringdon is easily accessible by Southeastern Railway, which will get you straight to the heart of the area and just a few steps away from discovering these 3 hidden gems.
Not many know the Michelin-star Club Gascon spin-off, Comptoir Gascon. This little bistro facing Smithfield Market is worth a visit, or two, or hundreds. Intimate, charming rustic interiors are the perfect background for the earthy south-western French cuisine served here. The menu is exciting and features sublime duck recipes, from duck ‘en terrine’, to succulent duck burgers, duck confit and even a whole BBQ’d duck magret. A personal favourite is the Crackling slow-cooked duck egg, chorizo & tarragon. Simultaneously light and hearty, every bite has a delicate balance with an amplitude of flavours and textures that will make your tastebuds sing and dance.
Whether you go for lunch or dinner, for business or for a relaxing meal with friends, Comptoir Gascon is the perfect place for a French-style foodie experience.
Address: 63 Charterhouse St, London EC1M 6HJ
The Piano Works
London’s only non–stop live music venue is another great hidden gem located just a few minutes away from Farringdon station. Located in an old Victorian warehouse, this intimate jazz bar is great fun whether you go with a date, friends or colleagues. The musicians take on-demand songs, so make sure you challenge them with your requests (write the songs on a napkin and pass it on to the pianist), then sit back and enjoy, or show off your dance moves repertoire. The cocktail list is just as unique as the place itself. So make sure you try some of their signature cocktails. My personal favourite is the rich but surprisingly refreshing Zombie (Appleton estate vx rum, morgan spiced rum, cointreau, apricot brandy, grenadine, fresh pineapple and orange juice, wray and nephew rum, angostura bitters and absinthe).
Address: 113-117 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3BX
Dans Le Noir?
Dans Le Noir? Is more than just a restaurant, it’s a unique human sensory dining experience. Hidden away from the main streets of Farringdon, this is the one and only restaurant where you dine in the absolute darkness. The surprise menu is beautifully designed to allow you to expand and challenge all your other senses, discovering a whole new foodie perspective. Dining at Dans Le Noir? Is a once in a lifetime experience I would recommend to anyone, it will completely make you re-evaluate your approach to eating.
Address: 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
What are your favourite London hidden gems?
I hope you’ll enjoy trying these extraordinary places, and of course, let me know how you liked them. Since you know I’m always hungry to try out new undiscovered spots, please tell me all about your favourite hidden gems in London.
Make sure you share your hidden gems on social media, by using the hashtag #SEhiddengems and tagging @thepetitecook and @Se_Railway on Instagram and Twitter. I can’t wait to see your hidden gems!
This post is sponsored by Southeastern Railway. All opinions are my own as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Petite Cook!