People: Interviews

James Lowe

Lyle’s, Flor

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florlondon.com

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After earning his chef stripes at The Fat Duck and St Johns, and following the successful pop up Ten Bells, James Lowe opened his own spot, Lyle’s, which now has one Michelin star. James took time before his new opening Flor –  new wine bar and bakery in Borough  – to tell us where he likes to eat.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

There are lots of really great restaurants in London right now. I don’t want to be too biased towards east London but Brawn and Rochelle Canteen are among my favourites. Both serve lovely food in a relaxed environment and Brawn has my favourite wine list in London.

Where do you go to celebrate?

I love The River Café; it has stood the test of time which is no easy feat. It continues to be one of the best restaurants in London showcasing all the best Italian ingredients available with no costs spared.

Can you recommend us a hidden gem that we might not know about?

I’m not so sure it’s hidden any more, but 40 Maltby Street is a real under-the-radar spot; the menu changes every week and it has one of the most interesting selections of natural wines in the city.

What’s your local?

I live in east London so consider myself very lucky with plenty of great options nearby. One I’m really excited about is Tata Eatery. After years of pop-ups, it’s finally opening in a permanent location near Old Street so I’ll be eating there a lot.

Which chef/s should we have our eye on right now?

Anna, our Head of Pastry at Flor and Lyle’s, is hugely talented – her knowledge of bread and pastry is vast, and she has such an eye for detail.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

I recently went up to the beautiful western coast of Argyll and Bute, Scotland and ate at Inver – the restaurant is set in a beautiful location and the food is excellent. I had the langoustines and pumpkin dish twice it was so good!

Favourite international restaurant

Septime, in Paris. The chef/owner Bertrand Grebaut is one of my favourite chefs; he’s classically trained but produces some beautifully modern food. Every meal there is inspirational, as is what they’ve achieved – they now have several places in Paris and one in the Normandy countryside that I’m keen to visit this summer.

Guilty food pleasure?

Not sure if this is a guilty pleasure but my mum used to make tomatoes on buttered toast – great bread, excellent butter and roast tomatoes – and it is still one of my go-tos when in need of something quick.

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