Here’s an idea.
We’re all wishing we could visit the places we love, but are separated from them by time and physical distancing.
How about every time you wish you could go to your favourite restaurant, bar, club, pub, hotel or cafe, you instead find them on Google or Facebook and write a review.
We’re in hospitality, and whenever our team receives a positive review (especially one with a comment) it really reminds us why we are here and that we’re doing an important job. We play a huge part in people’s lives and that’s easy to forget at a time like this.
Let’s all help to keep the morale high and remember what we love about hospitality, the teams at your own favourite places could really do with the boost right now while they wait to re-open their doors for you.
I’m personally going to write five reviews for places I love, every day, until this is all over.
I never used to write reviews (even though I love receiving positive ones!), I just thought I didn’t have the time, or it didn’t occur to me. I think now though that it’s so important that we all show support to the places we hope are still there when lock down is over. I’ll post my review below each day.
I use Google reviews mostly, as I think they are the most useful for directing other people to great venues, but use whatever you think is most effective - just not Tripadvisor ;)
Help us pull through, and write a review.
Please share widely so that we can all have a chance to thank our favourite places for being there.
Perfect service, perfect menu. The yakitori are unbeatable, and the restaurant deftly straddles the difficult line between neighbourhood restaurant and a great place to go on a Saturday night. Shiso lemonade is a work of genius. My short google review here.
Go here for the food and you'll be floored by the excellent and super friendly service. Go for the brilliant coffee and the menu will blow your mind. All around excellent place to be. My short google review here.
100% my favourite Vietnamese restaurant in London, and Vietnamese food is my favourite thing to eat. Fish soup, Veg Bun Bo Hue, it's all delicious. 2nd Fave (but possibly even more frequently visited) is BunBunBun Dalston. My short google review here.
First things first, the dumplings are DELICIOUS. Go for these alone. But if you're interested in the other things that make a neighbourhood restaurant worth visiting then you'll find friendly and relaxed service in spades, and a casual and sociable crowd. HoMoMo are also doing takeaway and delivery through the Covid Crisis, the champs. My short google review here.
The pub we all wish was around the corner. Pop in here any night for an authentic and warm vibe and well kept beer. Great neighbourhood feeling, and a lot of conviviality between the excellent staff and the crowd. My short google review here.
An institution. The Shacklewell has done more than any other venue in the area to progress and showcase live bands and young artists. Always open and off the main road, it’s equally a great spot to grab a drink from friendly staff, or to see a gig most nights. 10/10 recommend. My short google review here.
Genuinely interesting and 💯 delicious food. I often stop here for a t/a coffee and breakfast sandwich in the mornings, but wish I could make it later in the day sometimes because their lunch offerings are incredible. Still open for takeaway and delivery through the lockdown, independently run, innovative and energetic. This is exactly what a great neighbourhood cafe should be. My short google review here.
Always busy, always great. I rarely go to a restaurant just for the food, usually it has more to do with how I feel when I’m there, the atmosphere, the service, the crowd. And I always feel like I’ve walked into a 1970s restaurant comedy, with stupidly delicious food when I’m in Mangal 2. The best around for dinner with friends before going out. My short google review here.
Brillliant out of the way spot to grab a really well made beer in Dalston. I love finding spots in Dalston that you’d need to know about in order to find, and this is right up there with the best of them. These guys are also running a wonderful initiative with their buy a beer for the NHS scheme, where your donations online will be matched by the brewery. Unlike many places you can drink in Dalston, this is one that brews its own beer, which not only means it tastes as good as beer possibly can, but that you can still order 40ft to have at home while we’re all in lockdown. Love it. Go there. My short google review here.
A restaurant like no other. A single platter with delicious Ethiopian curries, and Injera, all vegetarian (possibly even vegan?), cheap as chips and family run. Always busy. Always great. My short google review here.
Going to the Rio is just a beautiful experience. This is the complete opposite of going to a chain cinema. The building is an Art Deco wonder, recently repainted, the service is personal, and the films are arthouse, Indy, or the best of the mainstream. I've been told there used to be seven cinemas on the high street between the Rio and Church Street and Rio is the last standing - long live the Rio!. My short google review here.
Love this venue. Really top pub, with a huge gig room out the back. Loads of interesting programming and run by the Jaguar Shoes gang. Independent, and doing wicked things for the community through the Covid Crisis. Look them up and order a food box now, and put The Victoria on your list of places to go once this is all over. My short google review here.
Fantastic New York style pizza, open really late, and staff do a great job of keeping track of a hungry and tipsy crowd while still being professional and fun. Drinks selection is ace - they serve frozen drinks which is always a massive bonus, and above all the pizza is the best! My short google review here.
I love being here. On a Tuesday, when live jazz is playing this is such a timeless bar to be in. Drinks are really well made, and you can usually grab a table for two. Things get more boisterous on the weekends, great for a group, it's always busy and DJs play disco and party hits. My short google review here.
Best pub around for Sunday lunch with friends, and banging garden when the weather is good. This is a pub where the regulars sit at the counter, and the staff know people's names, but everyone is welcome. Great pub. My short google review here.
The perfect sized venue for an intimate gig, or a private party. Programming is brave and diverse, and I've seen gigs here that I wouldn't have even been able to get tickets for at bigger venues. Staff do a great job of looking after the multi level venue, and drinks are always fresh and well made. My short google review here.
Family run Italian restaurant that's comfortable and fun. Baracca is my guilty secret. You can definitely find "better" Italian restaurants around, but you won't find anything with the same level of welcome, friendliness, and repeat custom. If you have a favourite table the staff will remember and try and seat you there. Plastic grapes, chianti and red sauce - Baracca has a place in my heart. My short google review here.
Carl Clarke is a man who understands the importance of music and lighting. I've been a fan since he ran Disco Bistro years ago (we had a memorable staff Xmas dinner there), so I was pretty happy when Chick 'n' Sours opened in Haggerston a few years later. Brilliant atmosphere, and 100% recommend the Sichuan aubergine. My short google review here.
I cannot wait to get back in here and order everything. Obviously finishing with the apricot souffle. I come here to celebrate, and love bringing friends here, but equally great for a solo breakfast. Opulent atmosphere and on point service. My short google review here.
The best lighting, and sound system in the area. The people who run this bar care about all the little (but most important) things that make a bar a place you want to come back to again and again. Terrific sushi and snacks. My short google review here.