People: Interviews

Sam Bompas

One half of culinary innovators Bompas and Parr

Details

What's your favourite London restaurant?

The Anchor and Hope was London’s first ‘gastro-pub’ before the term became bastardised, mixing social drinking with elevated food delivered with soigné nonchalance.

Where do you go to celebrate?

Right now this is XU. I went twice last week. They are the sultans of savour.

The American Bar at the Savoy hotel is always a joy. They’ve only had six head barmen or thereabouts since opening over a hundred years ago and played host to London’s ultimate party. In 1905 they flooded the hotel for a banquet where the guests sat on a gondola decked out with 4,000 venetian lanterns and 12,000 carnations. Dessert was served on the back of a baby elephant.

Can you recommend us somewhere we might not have been?

The Boot and Flogger is the only place in London able to serve alcohol without license and is very old fashioned. There’s panelling floor to ceiling and a warped wooden floor like the deck of a ship.

My favourite pub is still The Lord Clyde, directly between my studio and house and it’s a beauty. Every piece of copper is finely polished including the pipework above the urinals!

Who is your chef to watch right now?

At the moment I’m obsessed with the work that Max Halley is doing at Max’s Sandwich Shop in Crouch End. He is helping us all rediscover the sandwich.

What's your usual drink at the bar?

I’d normally go for a Hanky Panky. Though a timeless classic, combining the component elements of a martini with the Odin’s breath complexity of Fernet Branca, the name itself is ghastly. When you order one your drinking companions invariably think you’ve gone soft but it acts as a secret handshake with the bar staff.

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