Why I live in Marylebone: Seoul Bird’s Judy Joo shares her local faves in central London’s foodie enclave

·4-min read
 (Judy Joo)
(Judy Joo)

When I was moving over from the States all the relocation agents were trying to get us to move to more established ex-pat neighbourhoods such as Chelsea and Sloane Square, but I fell in love with Marylebone.

I love the fact it has a village feel but is in the centre of town. It’s right by Oxford Street but I don’t get any of the noise.

And it’s a gastronomic playground — being a chef, everything I need is located at my fingertips.

Where to eat and drink in Marylebone

I love Workshop Coffee, Shreeji, a super cute magazine store that serves coffee in the back area, The Monocle Café and How Matcha, a brand new place I’m going to for my matcha lattes.

Marylebone High Street (Daniel Lynch)
Marylebone High Street (Daniel Lynch)

I really love Opso, a Greek restaurant where they do homemade cheeses, schnitzel at Fischer’s, Locanda Locatelli for Italian, Royal China on Baker Street, Ohisama Sushi, Zoilo, a really cute Argentinian place where you can sit outside, Le Relais de Venise, an old standby if I’m in the mood for steak frites, Trishna for south Indian food and the Ottolenghi, which has just opened on Marylebone Lane.

For a drink, hanging out at Chiltern Firehouse bar is fun, or cocktails at Purl. Kol is a cool new restaurant with a mezcal bar, Nobu has a great outdoor terrace and there are some brilliant pubs, too: the Angel in the Fields and the Coach Makers Arms, a real Guinness pub.

Where I work out

I play tennis in Portman Square and I go to Kobox on Baker Street. I’ve also been to BXR a few times and I was a member at Third Space.

Green spaces in Marylebone

Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill are close but I also have keys for Manchester Square and Portman Square. You just have to live in the area and pay a subscription. Because I don’t have outside space in my flat I wanted to have a garden of some kind.

A concert in Portman Square (PA)
A concert in Portman Square (PA)

For a culture fix

There are a lot of events in the private squares. I just saw opera in Manchester Square and Cavendish Square has been taken over by Underbelly Festival so it’s full of cabaret. The Wallace Collection is the biggest museum nearby and for films there’s the Everyman on Baker Street and Selfridges’ new cinema.

Grocery shopping

I moved to Marylebone for the food stores — La Fromagerie, The Ginger Pig, Rococo Chocolates. La Petite Poissonnerie is a great fishmonger and Pierre Marcolini serves all my macaron needs.

The farmers’ market has the most delightful produce, I go every weekend. If I need something really high end I pop into Selfridges, and I go to Green Valley in the Middle Eastern enclave around Edgware Road for spices.

I also frequent the Marks & Spencer flagship on Oxford Street and the big Waitrose on Marylebone High Street.


Getting around

I can walk almost everywhere I want to go, but I take the Tube at Bond Street to get to my Seoul Bird locations — Central Line to Westfield and Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf.

Dream street

The big, huge mansion blocks on Manchester Square are so pretty.

Something you only see in Marylebone

It’s known as an American ghetto. You hear American accents (including mine) everywhere you go.

What’s the catch?

There are so many new developments under construction, leading to an influx of people. The carpark behind Waitrose is being turned into a new housing complex — it’s going to become very crowded.

In three words

Hip, gastronomic, community.

La Petite Poissonerie (Daniel Lynch)
La Petite Poissonerie (Daniel Lynch)

What it costs to live in Marylebone


Average house: £4,023,100

Average flat: £1,653,352


Average house (per month):£5,050

Average flat (per month): £3,344

Schools in Marylebone

St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Hampden Gurney CofE Primary School and Christ Church Bentinck CofE Primary School are all state primaries ranked outstanding by Ofsted. Ark King Solomon Academy offers “outstanding” primary and secondary education and the St Marylebone CofE School is another outstanding secondary.

There are also several private schools in the area.

Judy Joo is on Cooking with Stars on ITV

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