London Insider: Stevie Parle on his month ahead in the capital
14th June 2017
British chef and restaurateur Stevie Parle is the chef-owner of gourmet hotspots Dock Kitchen, Craft London, Rotorino and Palatino. Here, he reveals some of his top London haunts.
I help run a little restaurant called Sardine, part of the Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art; I love checking out their exhibitions. The Victoria Miro gallery is next door, and I’m also going to see Alice Neel soon.
An item you want to buy and where?
My long-time collaborator Tom Dixon has recently launched a whole load of cushions and blankets in great new colours. I’m going to pick up a few from his shop underneath Dock Kitchen.
A walk you are looking forward to doing?
I love to walk in Hackney Marshes – it’s an amazing retreat in the city that feels like a genuine patch of wildness.
A new book you want to read?
I’m looking forward to getting some time to properly read Richard Turner’s book Prime. It’s a cookery book but there’s a lot of chat – I’m sure there’s a lot I can learn about wonderful British beef from the de facto king of the stuff.
Which bars will you be visiting?
I think some of the best bars are to be found in Dinerama, Street Feasts’ mega night market in Shoreditch. Just watch out not to get carried away at House of Bamboo…
We’re spoilt for choice in London now. I think the coffee here is up there with the best in the world, as seen with brands like Workshop and Shoreditch Grind, as well as incredible one-offs like Prufrock. I’m happy to be anywhere that serves coffee roasted by Square Mile or some of the other small expert speciality roasters in London.
Which new restaurants?
I’m really excited for the opening of XU, the posher new place from the guys at Bao. It’s the small plates I love at Bao most, rather than the baos (steamed buns), like the beef with aged white soy and the guinea fowl rice – so I’m super pumped to see what they do in a more restaurant-y environment. Their current places are awesome but mostly focused on steamed buns. They’ve got JKS behind them, who are the restaurant group behind some of London’s best places.
Any in-the-know shops you might go to?
I love Labour and Wait for home stuff, because everything feels such great quality. I’ve never been so excited to buy a metal bucket in my life, but all the enamelware is great! We were inspired to source the brilliant enamel spatterware we use at Rotorino from there, as well as the café at Craft London.
Where do you like to get fit?
I use the gym at Shoreditch House. Everything works well and you don’t have to enter the world of strip lights and pumping music I think most gyms to be...
Your favourite hidden spot in London?
Hmmm… hidden spots don’t stay hidden long if you put them in a magazine! But I’m always happy at Towpath Café on the canal in Dalston.
Which play might you be seeing?
Apparently it’s really full on, but I like the idea of Trainspotting in The Vaults at Waterloo. Trainspotting isn’t an obvious play to make but I’ve heard it’s great.
Your favourite London brand and why?
I buy a lot of clothes from Oliver Spencer. They’re just exactly what I feel comfortable in – smart but with their roots in workwear and solid design. They have great textures and the deconstructed cut and general style is right up my street. Oliver has a few shops around town now – I think everything is still designed at the back of the shop on Lambs Conduit Street. In fact, Lambs Conduit is a thoroughly brilliant street for menswear, and you can drink incredible wine at Noble Rot once you’ve done your shopping.