Robbie Bargh runs Gorgeous Group and he describes himself as “a food and beverage conceptual creator – restaurant and bar specialist”. Robbie travels at least two weeks per month. At the moment he is working on projects as diverse as a new hotel in Singapore, a fast food concept in Accra, Ghana, a jazz café in Montreux, Switzerland, a sky bar and restaurant in Leeds and a Japanese bar b q in London. This is a man you want to follow on Twitter for new food & bar openings, especially ones that get service just right.
Where is your favourite place for breakfast and brunch in London?
I love Honey and Co just off Goodge Street. It’s tiny, run by a beautiful Israeli couple who used to work for Yotam Ottolenghi and have put their heart, soul and savings into this little space. It’s just fabulous. And the Lido Cafe in Brockwell Park too, I go there a lot. Downtown, I’d say Berner’s Tavern at the Edition Hotel near Tottenham Court Road and the Wolseley as well – always a great place for meetings. I go there for breakfast and stay all day.
Favourite spots for dinner?
The Dairy in Clapham is a great new place. It’s owned by an entrepreneurial couple, he used to be a chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. A great little find, open kitchen, cooks from the heart, amazing dishes. They can’t afford to pay for waiting staff so the chefs run the food. Beautiful cooking, lots of soul, they love hospitality.
I also love the Clove Club in Shoreditch, beautiful, very cool space, set menu, very hipster, but delivers. Dishoom in Shoreditch as well, I eat there once or twice a week – Shoreditch for breakfast, Covent Garden for dinner. And I’ll dip into Brixton Market once or twice a week, there are some great places there.
I went to a great little restaurant in Leeds a few weeks ago called the Arts Café, gosh it really blew me away. And the chef who owns that has also opened a new place called Shears Yard – I went there and thought the cooking was amazing.
For fast food in Accra, who you Ghana call?
Favourite restaurants abroad?
When I was in Canada last year I went to a fabulous restaurant in Ottawa called Supply And Demand – just incredible. Very simple. Ottawa is really just a large town/small city, so you get a lot of farmers and producers supplying restaurants directly, not through middle men, so I think you get a lot more love and passion for the food that way. The chefs are doing some incredible work there.My favourite cities to eat in are Istanbul, Portland and Los Angeles – try Gjelina in Venice Beach and Cooks County in West Hollywood, which was probably the best brunch I can remember in the last few years.
Favourite place to flop in the sun and switch off from work?
I’ve discovered La Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence, outside Nice. It’s a small boutique hotel, in the middle of nowhere relatively speaking – it’s about the pool and the food, and just a great place to relax and switch off. I also love the Maldives especially Soneva Fushi – if I could go there once a year I’d be happy.
Favourite city for the buzz?
To re-energise I think London has it all, even more so than New York. We have so many different villages, our culture is a lot more 360 so there’s much more interaction between food and fashion and art and music and drinks, more crossover. In New York there are amazing things going on but in London there’s a lot more substance to it.
Forget the guidebook stuff, what things would you tell tourists to do in London?
I spend a lot of time going round Brixton and I’d say go to the market there. Go to Mare street in Hackney too, go to Rita’s for the cooking. Head to the V&A museum, you could spend a whole day there, and then Regent’s Park. Walk a lot. Having said that you can see what London’s about if you take the tube, our mix of cultures and personalities and our amazing melting pot.
SoSingapore Hotel, opening later this year
Thanks Robbie! www.gorgeousgroup.com