ask Alexandre about
vegetarian • café • cocktail bars • boutiques • breakfast and brunch • fashion • parks
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a software engineer for a tech/printing company called MOO. I really like puzzles and really *love* hip working spaces, so tech felt like a good place to start my career. Even better yet, it'd be good to do something meaningful with my time in the future, and knowing how to code and run a business seem pretty essential to doing that these days.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
I feel like Lorde and Lana Del Rey would be a good combination: a little bit of agony and a little bit of "fuck, yeah!" to get me through.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
I'm not a TV person, but when I watch it, I like children's cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and cooking shows like Chef's Table and Barefoot Contessa.
Name some spots in London that are good for a Tinder date.
Callooh Callay isn't bad, nor is The Strongroom - both in Shoreditch. Once I went on a Tinder date in Berners Tavern in central London, this beautiful, glamorous and expensive restaurant with tons of paintings and prints hanging from every inch of the wall. That was potentially a bit over the top, but the date went really well so it may have been worth it!
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Right now I am really into Ganni, Scotch & Soda and Bellerose. That all may change by next month, though.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Leicester Square - my brain can't handle all of the commotion!
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I used to live in southwest London and go to uni in South Kensington. I miss being able to go to the cafe at the Victoria & Albert museum (which was across the road) and lay outside, lazily dreaming while a nice, old person played the piano.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in London and where did you get it?
Do cocktails count as dishes? Twice I've gotten a giant watermelon-flavored cocktail - served in a watermelon - from Eclipse, this bar in southwest London. Both times only two people drank it -- I don't learn from my mistakes.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in London that you particularly like?
Found on Ravey Street in Shoreditch is my absolute favourite.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in London? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Ellory (right by London Fields) was probably the most expensive (and one of the best) places I've been to. My partner and I got pretty much everything on the menu (and several things twice).
What restaurant in London looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Mangia Bene on Chapel Market in Angel - don't let the Italian flag facade fool you.
Where can you get the best cocktail in London? Which one do you like?
The Heaven & Hell in Found is my personal favourite.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in London?
The Breakfast Club: why are people standing outside for that food? As an American, I can tell you that their food is really sub-par.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in London?
Honestly, I don't think people appreciate Pret a Manger enough. I know it's a chain, but it's the *best* chain. Their vegetarian/vegan options are awesome, their coffee is decent and they are everywhere. Pret is my train-ride food of choice.
What are the London spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Especially if you have never been to England before, going to Hampstead Heath and spending time in the park and in the neighbourhoods nearby will give you a healthy dose of immaculate, traditional Britishness. To counter-balance the old-school Britishness, one also must travel to Dalston or other east neighbourhoods to see the modern and artistic new London.
Tomorrow’s your last day in London. How do you spend it?
I would cry for the first thirty minutes and spend thirty minutes more thinking about how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to live here at all. After that, I would buy a disposable camera and use it whilst I got coffee at Ground Control, brunch at Dishoom, and then took the overground to Hackney Wick, where I would have some beers at Crate and walk all the way back to central London via the canal, stopping at bars and cafes along the way. I'd then travel to Ravey Street in Shoreditch, where'd I'd alternate between Home and Found, treating myself one last time to many a delicious tequila-based cocktail.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
One of the best places I've been is Lisbon. It's so beautiful, so cheap, so walkable and has such nice weather. Plus, you get a great butt from walking up and up all of the steep hills.