Renowned restaurant critic, journalist and editor Joe Warwick has written for The Guardian and Metro, and is currently on a quest to find London’s new signature dish in partnership with London Designer Outlet. Today he talks to The London Word about autumn sunshine, Soho sleaziness, spatially unaware tourists and stroppy commuters…
‘I’m currently at my desk at home in NW10. I’ve just had my first coffee and started working. I’ve been sleeping. Last night was a pork chop night, by which I mean I stayed in and had a pork chop!
Until recently I was lucky enough to spend over a decade living just off of the Portobello Road. I love the area: the market, the characters, the carnival. I won’t miss the tourist thrall on weekends though. Friday morning or very early on Saturday is the best time to do your shopping; it’s still where I get my fruit ‘n’ veg.
My most vivid London memory is probably a particularly messy carnival about 15 years ago. I remember being in the centre of a sound system selling beers from a supermarket cage with a wheelie bin. I may not have been totally sober!
Go out, stay up all night and watch the sunrise before you pass out.
My perfect London day out would involve autumn sunshine, a bike ride with my daughter, good coffee, soft boiled eggs and soldiers. A wander around Rough Trade records, then a nice late lunch followed by a walk in the park. Dinner out with my wife, probably somewhere Japanese, then maybe a few drinks in low-lit bar with good music. Alternatively, a good gig with lots of beer and whiskey chasers, with a mixed shawarma from Ranoush Juice on the Edgware Road, followed by a mint tea and a shisha, on the way home.
London’s history combined with its scale and diversity and the speed at which it reinvents itself makes it unique.
It might sound strange but much as I love summer, I prefer autumn. I love crisp bright autumn days and I love the food that comes into season then, from native oysters to all the game.
Soho has a unique energy and a pleasing sleaziness.
I want to explore the East End more. I’ve also never been to see a tennis match at Wimbledon. If anyone wants to send me some Centre Court tickets for this year, I’ll take them somewhere very nice for lunch!
The Chelsea Physic Garden is a great place for lunch in the summer.
London’s noise, the crowds, the price of things, spatially unaware tourists, the way people drive and stroppy commuters drive me mad.
My Dad is my biggest inspiration in life. He’s not here anymore and I’ve only recently started to appreciate what he achieved. That cliché about not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone is a cliché for a reason.
I’m working on a second edition of my guidebook, Where Chefs Eat, which will come out January 2015. I’m also trying to get Galley Slave, a restaurant fanzine I’ve been working on for about five years, finally published. I’m also judging a competition to find ‘London’s New Signature Dish’, which is supported by the newly opened London Designer Outlet in Wembley Park. We’re asking budding foodies to design a dish that best represents the diversity of London. Submit your original recipe and a picture to: email@example.com. I’m intrigued to see what ends up on my plate!
Happiness is… not having to worry about what you need to make you happy.’