When he launched his Netflix travel–food documentary series Somebody Feed Phil, the Emmy–winning creator of Everybody Loves Raymond traded award ceremonies for chef’s tables and food festivals (he’s headlining this October’s Devour! The Food Film Fest in Wolfville, Nova Scotia). We asked the L.A.–based writer and producer for his top spots in London, one of his favourite cities. “It took me a long time to visit because I always heard the food wasn’t good,” he says, noting the culinary scene began to flourish in the 1990s. “When I did go, I realized the city is full of incredible things – and since many children’s books and movies are set there (like Mary Poppins) it felt warm and familiar to me.”
Markets, museums and martinis.
Phil’s 5 spots in London
Borough Market —I go with my family to this 1,000–year–old food market every time we visit and each of us has our favourite stall. Mine is Kappacasein, which has the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich, or what Brits call a toastie.
One Aldwych Hotel —The location is fantastic. If you like the theatre, which I do, it’s right in the middle of the West End. The hotel itself is small, but the rooms are so beautifully appointed. It’s just a lovely place to stay.
Churchill War Rooms —At so many museums you just see artifacts set up in a building, but these are the actual underground rooms where Churchill defended Britain and helped save democracy from Hitler – and they are preserved as he left them.
Dukes Bar —This is where Ian Fleming got the idea for James Bond’s drink. They serve the most powerful martini in the world, which is completely undiluted. I start to feel it after two sips.
Rovi —I grew up with meat as the centrepiece of a meal: chicken, fish, beef, lamb, pork – that’s dinner. But chef Yotam Ottolenghi works with vegetables with such artistry and variety that you don’t miss meat at all.
Make sure to review government entry requirements prior to travel.
For more from Phil on food and Devour! The Food Film Fest, click here.