Birthday cake at The Berkeley Café
For: cool cutlery
Legendary French pastry chef Cedric Grolet’s impeccable cakes and pastries may be made in a polished stainless steel and white stone pastry ‘lab’ but on a special birthday they’re enjoyed to best effect in the chic Rémi Tessier-designed Berkeley Café – with a glass of pink champagne, naturally.
Particularly satisfying is the gold pastry knife specially created in France. The serrated blade looks like a steak knife but is in fact designed specially to cut cleanly into crisp buttery pastry.
Honourable mention to the cream boucle upholstery, rattan dining chairs and dinky table lamps.
Cocktails at Side Hustle
For: Leather-clad walls
A bar and restaurant with Mexican-inspired offerings in the former police station at Bow Street Magistrates Court, now Nomad London hotel.
Designed by New York’s Roman and Williams, the bar has a 1920s America feel, with cocktails delivered to ivy green and mahogany booths. Leather wall coverings add a flirty flourish lit by warm, blown-glass pendant globes: the sultry stars of the show.
EPR Architects’ rescue of the Victorian buildings won a Riba London Award and is now in the running for the Riba Stirling Prize, UK architecture’s top gong, due to be announced in October.
Breakfast at Laurel’s on the Roof
For: Pattern on pattern
Just a few minutes’ walk from the City but aeons away in vibe, the Goddard Littlefair-designed rooftop bar at Mondrian Shoreditch is where Hollywood hedonism meets east London cool.
Navy-and-white tiles and striped banquettes sit alongside pool loungers for that laid-back, Laurel Canyon style it references.
A real holiday hideaway high above the city. Stays from £299 include breakfast on the rooftop, after 12pm the space becomes members only.
Visit in September to catch sight of an inflatable bronze rocket installation by artist Jack Irving, created to celebrate the hotel’s first birthday, as well as a display of Irving-designed outfits worn by Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton.