Simms' city: Dabbous, Automat and masterpieces on Dover St

Our diarist Freya Simms shows us around her favourite London haunts…

Dabbous, 39 Whitfield St

Dabbous restaurant in London, opened by Ollie Dabbous

It took two months to get a table at this much feted and relatively new kid on the block.

The good news is that it was worth the wait. Based in Whitfield St, the ambiance is industrial chic meets New York’s Meatpacking district, with an intimate restaurant upstairs and a cavernous bar downstairs.

There is an excellent a la carte menu, but my regular dining partner – Andy aka The Tarnished Knight – and I opted for the tasting menu. 

Each course is a bite-sized nugget of deliciousness, but courses that stick in my mind are a coddled egg with wild mushrooms and smoked butter and the palate cleansing iced lovage. (One of my food crushes, Angela Hartnett, was holding court at a neighbouring table – always a good sign.)

The Ring Room at Richard Ogden

Claire and I had a meeting at Richard Ogden to see the newly restored Ring Room where wedding jeweller Andrew Prince resides, creating exquisite tiaras, buckles and corsages for blushing brides as well as the cast of ITV’s Downtown Abbey.

While we took notes on the enticing launch plan for the Ring Rooms (more news to come on that), we were happily encouraged to try on some wonderful baubles from costume and contemporary to important antique pieces.

The London Print Fair

Andy Warhol

Source: © Sims Reed Gallery.

Andy Warhol ‘Queen Elizabeth II’, Screenprint in colours, 1985.

It was then a hop, skip and a jump to meet my sister Louisa at the Royal Academy for the London Print Fair.  Having recently made the mammoth purchase of her first home she wanted to buy a piece of art worthy of it.

It’s a great fair that sells prints and works on paper from the old masters such as Rembrandt to today’s maestros like Hockney. Upcoming talent is represented too, and the prices reflect the variety; prints range from £10 to £100,000.

Despite having done more than my share of art fair rounds, the temptation to buy still reigned supreme and was I delighted when we left with a wonderful picture that now hangs proudly in my sister’s bedroom.

Breakfast at Automat

Automat on Dover St

Choosing the right venue for a breakfast meeting is a fine art.

Cecconis and The Wolseley are great if you are organised or have a highly efficient PA to book a table well in advance, and if it’s of equal importance for you  to bump into the great and the good. 

However, if the aim is to have a quiet meeting without distraction and a delicious breakfast to boot, then it has to be Automat.

I was there to meet the co-founder and editor of Country and Town House Magazine, Lucy Cleland, for a long overdue catch-up. 

Automat is perfectly situated in the heart of Mayfair at the discreet end of Dover Street and, wonderfully, only a 20 min stroll from my office.

Masterpiece exhibitor meetings at Mallett’s new Dover St residence

Mallett and Masterpiece London’s glorious new residence at Ely House

Just down the road is Mallett and Masterpiece London’s glorious new residence at Ely House, 37 Dover Street.

This was the location for the fair’s three days of exhibitor meetings where participants are invited to discuss the design of their stand, talk about the highlights they are going to sell at the event, and generally catch up with the organisers.

The Masterpiece Fair takes place from 27 June to 4 July. It was a treat to be in this already beautiful building, made even better from being packed to the rafters with fine antiques –  an excellent opportunity to meet up with some of the dealers too.

Time to sign off as I have to run to the Goedhuis Cru Classe Bordeaux tasting at the Saatchi gallery now – should be quite a night!

Freya Simms is managing director of Gong Muse a Strategic Communications agency for the art and luxury markets and winner of PRCA Agency Campaign of the year 2011.

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