VIA MEN'SMY SECRET

DAN ROOKWOOD: MY SECRET LONDON

20.02.13

Men’s Health style director, Dan Rookwood, shares his favourite places to eat, drink, sleep, shop and see.

Find out more about Dan’s life and style in the first of our London Lives menswear videos.

EAT

I love the Wolseley for a people-watching breakfast. The River Café in Hammersmith is great for a long lazy lunch on a summer’s afternoon. For dinner, I’m almost reluctant to give this secret away but there’s a tiny Italian restaurant in Richmond called Al Boccon di’vino. It’s £40 a head for the food and there’s no menu. They cook up about 10 different courses and walk around the room serving it up from the pan. Make sure you are hungry. The Italian mamma who runs the place is hilarious.

DRINK

I’m far fussier about where I get my coffee than which of London’s classic old pubs I drink my beer in. Soho is now full of great independent coffee shops (I hate chains) but my favourite is Flat White on Berwick St market. My favourite pub is The Pineapple in Kentish Town where I used to live, and my favourite bar is probably The Social on Little Portland St. That’s where my wife and I had our first date ten years ago so it’s special to us. If I have friends from Australia staying, I take them to the American Bar at The Savoy for cocktails.

SLEEP

I live in London so I can’t say I stay in town much, but one place my wife and I do love is a little boutique hotel right on the river at Richmond called The Bingham. We go for their set menu lunch on a Saturday – £25 for three courses is a bargain for food that good – and one time we stayed so long and had got a bit carried away with the wine we checked in afterwards. Where else? The newly refurbished St Pancras hotel is just an incredible building, I’d like to stay at Claridge’s after seeing their recent BBC series, and last year I did a photoshoot at Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green which is very cool and well priced.

SHOP

Oliver Spencer on Lambs Conduit Street because I just love everything he does; Thom Sweeney in Mayfair for tailoring; Present on Shoreditch High St as an ideal walk-in wardrobe and Dover St Market for the way they turn fashion into installation art.

SEE

I’m a huge advocate of Time Out London which keeps me up-to-date on the latest exhibitions and gigs. At the weekend my wife and I love to check out London’s varied markets – especially Broadway and Spitalfields for vintage clothes and housey stuff; Columbia Road for flowers and plants; and Borough Market for the food. Walking the dog amongst the deer in Richmond Park is tough to beat as well.