Gabrielle Sander

Correspondent

  • London, England, Europe

Gabrielle Sander is a London-based Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who has spent the last eight years or so eating, drinking, exploring, probing and pampering all in the name of work. She writes about luxury travel, food, restaurants, spa and beauty and has been published in The Arbuturian (where she also heads up the travel section), The Telegraph, News International’s Fabulous magazine, Running in Heels, Glass Magazine, Lovefood.com and more. Sander enjoys the simple things in life: Earl Grey tea, playing Scrabble, discovering the local dishes of a new destination — and attempting to whip them up back home — crunching through autumn leaves and sunrises in beautiful settings.

  • On February 16, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What are the best places for high tea in London?

    Copyright: Sketch Who doesn’t like to indulge in a feast of freshly brewed tea, dainty sandwiches, clotted cream-packed, jammy scones, and pretty little cakes? This traditional English pastime has evolved somewhat since its Victorian roots, and – no longer just the reserve of the elite - can be enjoyed in a variety of ways at a plethora of places throughout the city. Here are some of the best, to name but a few:
     
    The Modern Pantry: It may not boast the glitz of The Ritz, but The Modern Pantry knows a thing or two about serving up a delicious afternoon tea. In bright, contemporary-clean surroundings, the laid-back experience involves Great Taste Award-winning Newby teas, served in silver pots – or Caravan Coffee if one prefers – and three tiers of sandwiches, scones and cakes, offering interesting twists on the norm: think generous tea-smoked salmon, avocado and yuzu mayonnaise sandwiches, scones filled with clotted cream and gooseberry compote, and light lemony polenta cakes… worth the £5 upgrade to include the white peach bellini aperitif. £20 without bubbles.

    The Ritz: For all out, gilded opulence, The Ritz’s infamous afternoon tea is the choice for well-dressed traditionalists (jackets and ties are obligatory, gents). With 17 different loose teas to choose from, six flavours of precisely cut finger sandwiches, freshly baked fruit and plain scones, cakes and pastries, there’s plenty to keep one entertained all afternoon and filled for most of the evening. Due to its popularity, I recommend booking as early as possible. From £45 per person.

    Sketch: The playful, fairy tale surroundings of The Parlour at Sketch makes for a great afternoon tea escape. A selection of beautiful sandwiches, colourful cakes and deliciously light patisserie treats you’ll want to capture on camera before taking a bite. £34 per person.

    The Athenaeum: So good is the afternoon tea here, this 5-star, family-run Mayfair hotel scooped the prestigious Tea Guild Top London Afternoon Tea accolade for it in 2012. Ranging from £29.50 to £43.00, this typically English tea includes all the traditional ingredients: finger sandwiches, scones and various cakes. Sugar lovers should reserve the Regents Park Honey Tea: three tiers dedicated to the sweet stuff (honey roasted ham, Honeycomb Marquis, Lavender and Honey Macaroons, Honey Cheesecake…) with a jar to take away and enjoy at home.
     
  • On February 16, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What is London’s dining scene like?

    It’s safe to say London caters for all tastes and diets with its ever growing list of dining options. Traditional British pub grub, artesian sandwiches served up by the producers on a pop-up market stall, haute cuisine in equally high class surroundings, fish & chips from a paper cone… whatever your taste buds are craving, there’s a not too distant eatery that’ll satisfy.
     
    There are a host of award-winning restaurants worth researching and booking ahead, with the city boasting 54 Michelin Stars at last count. Then there are the trendsetters of circa 2011 who introduced the ‘no-bookings’ policy, resulting in queues around the block for tables – this is still prevalent and great for grabbing an early or impromptu bite. Early really is the operative word here.
     
    London also loves a pop-up restaurant and the supper club scene is equally well served. It’s well worth a little pre-trip online research to ensure your dining time and money is well spent in the city. Local food blogs and Twitter are great sources for the most up-to-date happenings (the capital's foodie folk are a friendly bunch and a tweeted request will likely attract more fantastic suggestions than you can possibly fit into one vacation).
  • On February 12, 2013
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  • On February 10, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What are the best activities to do in London?

    Get a bird's eye view: The Shard, Renzo Piano's 95-storey pyramidal glass structure, opened to the public in February 2013. At 1,016 feet it's the second tallest building in Europe. Head to the viewing platform, camera in hand, for 360 degree, breathtaking views stretching 40 miles across the city.

    Walk along Regent's Canal: Take a stroll along the canal, starting at Camden Lock and ending at Little Venice: an approximately 2-mile flat route along the water, taking in parts of London Zoo, colourful canal boats and grand residences. At the end, you'll be rewarded with a choice of pubs to refuel with some hearty British fare. Rest your feet on the return journey by hopping on one of the London Waterbus traditional narrow canal boats.

    Pay a visit to London Zoo: Enough animal action - over 750 species from goldfish to gorillas spread across 15 hectares - to keep one entertained for half a day, easily. Highlights include Penguin Beach, the largest Penguin attraction in England. Pack a picnic to enjoy in Regent's Park after.

    Stroll the South Bank: A pretty place to walk in all seasons, start at Waterloo Bridge and head east towards Blackfriars, taking in the National Theatre, Gabriel's Wharf Market (jewellery, crafts, fashion), cafes, restaurants and stalls selling second hand and antique books; plus, of course, uninterrupted views of the Thames.

  • On February 9, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What are the best restaurants in London?

    With new places popping up all the time and pretty much every cuisine catered for, choosing where to book can be a daunting task for residents, let alone time-poor visitors. Here's a handful I can happily vouch for:CUT at 45 Park Lane: Wolfgang Puck's first European outpost arrived in London mid 2012. His haute cuisine twist on American steakhouse boasts impeccable service, beautifully-presented, melt in the mouth cuts of meat, an extensive list of American wines - the largest in the UK - and Damien Hirst's colorful, kaleidoscopic, Diamond Dust Psalm Series in its 16-piece entirety providing a visual treat. The fluffy buttermilk and blueberry pancakes and generous, artfully arranged exotic fruit platters make CUT a great place to breakfast too. Ceviche - There are numerous eateries hidden in the maze of Soho worthy of your tastebuds' attention, Peruvian restaurant Ceviche is one of them. A cheerfully decorated, buzzing little place serving up a bulging menu of exciting, flavor-packed small plates - the net-fresh seabass Don Ceviche and meaty Carapulcra are among its highlights. They do a mean alcohol-free Makaha Cooler cocktail too. Polpo - Another popular Soho haunt, this one specialising in Venetian-style cuisine. The bare brick walks and abundance of dark woods, makes it a cosy candlelit place come nightfall. The small space fills up fast - bear that in mind in the evening when Polpo's no bookings policy is in place - the collective din of happy eaters contributing to a great atmosphere. Be sure to sample the meatballs.Paramount - From the outside, Centre Point isn't the prettiest building, but 385 feet up on the 32nd floor is a restaurant worth reserving for its outstanding views of the city, alone. A great way to start the day for breakfast and get your bearings before a day of sightseeing, and at night, when London is in its all-twinkling glory and the chefs serve up modern European cuisine. Stop by the Viewing Gallery for floor-to-ceiling, 360 degree visual access to the city's iconic sights. Michael Nadra, Primrose Hill - a relative newcomer to North London, this restaurant is worth venturing a little off the beaten track to get to. Part Grade II listed horse tunnel, with bare-brick, low ceilings and a courtyard garden among its charms, it's easy to while way an evening in its cosy ambience. The Martini Bar serves up all manner of moreish mixes, and a menu of British, European and Asian flavours stays true to the seasons, ensuring very happy diners indeed. One of my favourites, for sure. 
  • On February 9, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What are the best restaurants in London?

    With new places popping up all the time and pretty much every cuisine catered for, choosing where to book can be a daunting task for residents, let alone time-poor visitors. Here's a handful I can happily vouch for:CUT at 45 Park Lane: Wolfgang Puck's first European outpost arrived in London mid 2012. His haute cuisine twist on American steakhouse boasts impeccable service, beautifully-presented, melt in the mouth cuts of meat, an extensive list of American wines - the largest in the UK - and Damien Hirst's colorful, kaleidoscopic, Diamond Dust Psalm Series in its 16-piece entirety providing a visual treat. The fluffy buttermilk and blueberry pancakes and generous, artfully arranged exotic fruit platters make CUT a great place to breakfast too. Ceviche - There are numerous eateries hidden in the maze of Soho worthy of your tastebuds' attention, Peruvian restaurant Ceviche is one of them. A cheerfully decorated, buzzing little place serving up a bulging menu of exciting, flavor-packed small plates - the net-fresh seabass Don Ceviche and meaty Carapulcra are among its highlights. They do a mean alcohol-free Makaha Cooler cocktail too. Polpo - Another popular Soho haunt, this one specialising in Venetian-style cuisine. The bare brick walks and abundance of dark woods, makes it a cosy candlelit place come nightfall. The small space fills up fast - bear that in mind in the evening when Polpo's no bookings policy is in place - the collective din of happy eaters contributing to a great atmosphere. Be sure to sample the meatballs.Paramount - From the outside, Centre Point isn't the prettiest building, but 385 feet up on the 32nd floor is a restaurant worth reserving for its outstanding views of the city, alone. A great way to start the day for breakfast and get your bearings before a day of sightseeing, and at night, when London is in its all-twinkling glory and the chefs serve up modern European cuisine. Stop by the Viewing Gallery for floor-to-ceiling, 360 degree visual access to the city's iconic sights. Michael Nadra, Primrose Hill - a relative newcomer to North London, this restaurant is worth venturing a little off the beaten track to get to. Part Grade II listed horse tunnel, with bare-brick, low ceilings and a courtyard garden among its charms, it's easy to while way an evening in its cosy ambience. The Martini Bar serves up all manner of moreish mixes, and a menu of British, European and Asian flavours stays true to the seasons, ensuring very happy diners indeed. One of my favourites, for sure. 
  • On February 9, 2013
    Gabrielle Sander answered the question: Gabrielle Sander

    What are the best bars in London?

    London is brimming with fantastic drinking holes, so where does one start? May I introduce you to a handful of personal favorites:

    The Zetter Townhouse - Stepping foot inside this award-winning East Central London cocktail lounge is like stumbling into the study of an eccentric explorer, with all manner of curios dotted around, from a taxidermy kangaroo and Victorian dressed cat, to maps, old books and tobacco tins. Expert molecular mixologist Tony Conigliaro is the mastermind behind the original cocktails served up here, with recipes inspired by the area's distillery roots, and bitters, tinctures, herbal remedies and homemade cordials among the ingredients. The warming Byrrh Harvard is a highlight, with the delicate Rose Petal Gimlet following at a close second.

    Bar 45 - For tea-infused cocktails in amber and chocolate brown leather surroundings, under the watchful eyes of candid photographs of the A-list, Bar 45 - housed in 45 Park Lane - is a recommended nightspot. Aside from an impressive line-up of signature cocktails - the Earl Grey tea-infused Duke of Earl is a personal favourite - the wine list boasts the largest selection of American bins in the United Kingdom.

    Experimental Cocktail Club - A small speakeasy-type bar on Gerrard Street, in the heart of Chinatown. Finding this place can be tricky for first timers, but it's worth the effort. The laid back ambience inside is a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of nearby Leicester Square, it’s like stepping back in time to a glamorous era gone by; perfect for pre-dinner cocktails or a post-theatre nightcap. To guarantee a spot on one of the velvet-clad seats, booking (by email) is essential.

    Sketch: The Parlour - For an early evening tipple in opulent, theatrical surroundings, The Parlour at London hotspot Sketch is a Mayfair must stop. A great place to grab a light bite or colorful afternoon tea by day, but come 6pm it's all about the cocktails. At 9pm it switches to members only, so you really do need to get there early.
     
    Degò – A laidback Italian wine bar, two minutes walk from Oxford Circus. A great little spot to rest up after a hard day’s retail therapy, enjoy a glass of wine or champagne, from a large selection of boutique old world wineries, and work your way though one of the hot or cold meat and cheese platters, in stripped back, red and black, contemporary surroundings. 
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