Unfortunately, summer is over. As I write this, the sun is shining and her rays are still warm - however the nights are drawing in. My evening runs along the Thames have turned into a hop, skip and jump over the puddles in darkness, and even scarier, Christmas commercials on television are upon us.
I do adore the seasons but from a petrol head's point of view, all the classic cars and supercars are being garaged for winter and, from a fashion point of view, the major pieces for autumn/winter 2010-11 have been chosen or bought. So, what is there to do? Well, another huge passion of mine is eating! So I thought I'd turn food critic this week and tell you about a handful of my favourite restaurants.
There are many reasons why I moved to SW London, but I'm not going to lie, a part of the draw was to be closer to Eight Over Eight (!), my favourite restaurant. Its Asian fusion/pan menu is just stunning, cleverly mixing Thai/Chinese and Sushi dishes. It's a hugely stylish restaurant, but without any pretentiousness, and the bar is very intimate - I can't recommend it enough.
Where in London, or the world in fact, can you eat a tea cup full of sherbet, while drinking tea with a beer on the side, sitting on vintage or modern designed furniture (that you can buy), simultaneously competing in a colouring in contest, listening to the best Eighties music? One place - Drink, Shop and Do in North London. From afternoon teas to drinking and dancing until 11.30pm while eating pic 'n' mix - it has it all.
My favourite and probably the most romantic thing to do at the moment is to take an autumn/winter drive (cars had to be in here somewhere!) from London through the beautiful Sussex countryside and end up at a restaurant in Brighton called Fishy Fishy, co-owned by Dermot O'Leary and his two friends Paul and James. It's a beautiful, relaxed, informal and cosy restaurant that in my opinion serves the best seafood I have ever tasted in the UK. Its philosophy is simple, as well as its menu - whatever they catch that day is then prepared and on the Specials Board. It's always different and always delicious. They serve locally sourced produce wherever they can and do their bit to support sustainable fishing - what a brilliant idea, and no better way to spend those winter evenings.
So, if you're feeling peckish, head to any or all of three of these - maybe I'll see you in there?