Michelle Francis

About Michelle Francis

Michelle is an ex-restauranteur and chef, a chatterer and a food lover. She currently runs London food walking tours in the neighbourhoods of Soho and Marylebone. Antipodean by birth, Londoner by love.

My Best Dessert Recipe

I don’t make dessert very often. My dental integrity and blood sugar levels would be far too compromised. I am a high functioning sugar-head with the self discipline of a Winnie the Pooh and a pot of honey. But I do love a good dessert and I think the trick […]

Best Dessert Recipe

Hoppers London - New London Restaurant Openings

Favorite New London Restaurant Openings

Already awash with wonderful and eclectic food options, it’s hard to fathom how London can keep producing new restaurants of such excellent quality. But she does. I guess some fall off the bottom of the stack to make room, or we just loosen our belts and purse strings and welcome […]

Aromatic Sticky Chicken RECIPE

Sometimes you just can’t be bothered.  The mid-week “WhatAreWe/I/GoingToHaveForDinnerTonight” script that just rolls around on endless loop until you finally give in and order pizza. Or boil an egg. Or eat the leftover crumble with too much icecream. Well this recipe is for just those moments.  Quick and easy and […]

Aromatic Sticky Chicken

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Whisky Mousse

This sneaky little vegan chocolate mousse will have friends and family squealing with incredulity. “I can’t believe it’s vegan!’ Yes, it is very scrummy. Putting aside the controversy over whether the phytoestrogens in tofu give blokes ‘man-boobs’ or not, this recipe is an excellent one to have up your sleeve […]

Going Off Piste.

But first a word of warning.   This blog is usually an enthusiastic nod to the pleasure of hedonistic pursuits. Fabulous morsels to nibble on. Dribbles down your chin. The odd sojourn into the wonderland of crisp luxe hotel sheets and Michelin plates of smears.   Not today. Today I […]


Jersey sunset

Eating Jersey

Hands up if you know Jersey has its own currency, Nope?   A ‘fiver’ in Jersey is very much like the English five pound note, except for one small, but critical detail. The queen is smiling. Yes, beaming from ear to ear. It’s somewhat alarming, but having spent a few […]

Lime and Basil Seed Friands recipe 2

RECIPE: Basil Seed and Lime Friands

My friend’s dog died recently. I have to declare that I’m not really a doggy person, but Frisco was a chilled and laid-back kind of sausage, and in his quietness, he let me grow quite fond of him. He wasn’t bouncy or brash or ballsy, but you always knew he […]

The Ivy Marylebone - review

The Ivy Café’s newest family member in charming Marylebone Lane doesn’t push any gastronomic boats out, but then it doesn’t need to. It’s elegant and comfortable and does a wicked Negoni Tasting Set. Weekend brunch in Marylebone is a notoriously staid affair. There’s rarely anything more controversial than somewhere serving […]

The Ivy Marylebone

Mark Jordan at One-o-one

A Taste of Jersey in London 1

TIME SENSITIVE POST No plans for the weekend? I have an idea. Try ‘fusion’ food. But this is not ‘fusion’ food as you might know it to be.  This is fusion food with a difference.   For two nights only Londoners will have the chance to taste the fusion of food that […]

My Top Five Eats of 2015

I don’t do new year’s resolutions. Too many direct debit payments to gyms and an avalanche of newsletters from obscure and esoteric clubs I’ve signed up to in the first blush of a new year, tell their own cautionary tales. I know now: Puppies aren’t just for Christmas and Resolutions aren’t just for […]

Lima Floral 2

Lima Floral

  I’m a sucker for a beautiful floor.  Polished concrete, shiny oak, cool marble, textured tiles, I love them all.  So the first thing that snared me at Lima Floral wasn’t the food, but the floors. The tiles are wonderful geometric shapes, a little reminiscent of art deco tiles of the 30s. […]

Côba and London New Food Trends

“My biggest tip here is: Do. Not. Share. This dish needs to be eaten in its entirety. By you alone.”   There’s no doubting the popularity of Middle Eastern and Peruvian food in London at the moment. But the latest cuisine-driven trend to tippy-toe up and surprise us, is Vietnamese. The fresh, […]


Brad McDonald Head Chef of The Lockhart

Eating American at The Lockhart

“American!”, ms scratchy went screechy. “You mean they do more than McDonalds?!” Yes, it seems, they do. It was a bit of a risk this.  My palms were sweaty, I wasn’t entirely sure it would end well.  She’d just got off a 24 hour long haul flight and we hadn’t […]

Modern Pantry, Finsbury Square - Review 1

Sister restaurant to the much loved Modern Pantry of Clerkenwell, this younger sibling is sassy and glamorous and all grown up. Good food from the Antipodes is not well represented in London. Peter Gordon from Providores led the Antipodean push into London with Marylebone stalwart, Providores back in 2001. More […]

Modern Pantry Finsbury Park

Portland Restaurant - Review

Every now and then a particular dish pings ferociously into the stormy eye of the capital’s culinary zeitgeist.  In 2014, it was *those* crab donuts at Chiltern Firehouse flooding instagram and Twitter feeds, knocking out any news of the Ebola crisis or Lindsay Lohan’s exploits.    Earlier this year *that* green matcha […]

RECIPE: Honeycomb Icecream

“Homemade Honeycomb Icecream : a heady creamy mix with kicks of fizzy honeycomb flakes”   I can eat good homemade icecream any time of the year. My tummy is not weather sensitive and my sweet tooth will happily make friends with a bowl of luscious creamy blobs whether the sun […]

Waffle_On_watch house

Waffle On at the Watch House

New Bermondsey collaboration by Watch House Coffee and Waffle On waffle-wranglers is a love match orchestrated by the angels. Watch House has been pumping out perfect shots of caffeinated joy for just over a year from the teensy, but gorgeous 19th century ‘Watch House’ in Bermondsey. They also do a very […]

RECIPE: Chickpeas in Coconut Milk 2

“You’re not much of a celebrity, are you?”.   I’m smidgingly besotted by India. If I could only travel to one more country in my entire lifetime it would be that enigmatic, perplexing, intoxicating country. I’ve visited her half a dozen times and spent a total of about two and […]

Chickpeas in Coconut Milk - recipe

Morden and Lea

Morden & Lea - Review 2

“Is this wonderful restaurant in the wrong part of town?”   The food at Morden & Lea is vibrant, bouncy, seasonal British fare. It’s well prepared, well priced and well presented. I would definitely recommend trying it out if you find yourself in the midst of the dragons and throngs […]

Social Wine and Tapas - Review

Jason Atherton has insomnia. Well I don’t know this for sure, but it’s all I can think by way of explaining how he can possibly have the energy and time to launch and manage the number of eateries in his rapidly bulging portfolio.   Latest up is his new Social […]

Social Wine and Tapas

When Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express Grows Up

“Asma Khan’s food is more aromatically spiced that the ‘hot hot hot’ spicing many British palates have come to believe is Indian fare. It’s layered and complex and sophisticated.” Asma Khan is utterly delightful. Warm and gregarious. Witty and charismatic. Her energy is so contagious that you just want to […]

Pictures Restaurant - Review

Shepherd’s Bush has a lot going on for foodies. The wonderful Damas Gate middle eastern supermarket has anything you’d ever need to whip up a lavish middle eastern banquet. There’s the famous Shepherd’s Bush Market and also an outlet of Abu Zaad - one of my favorite Damascan restaurants in […]

Pictures Restaurant

Rose wine at Portland restaurant

Is Pink the New White? The Rise of Rosé

Hands up if you’ve ever been embarrassed to admit you like your wine, pink. Come on now, be honest. Thought so.   Until recently rosés were served with a sneer and a shooter of judgement; dismissed as a girly tipple for the ‘little lady’ or worse, the effeminate man. But […]

Bar Termini - Review

Marco Arrigo has opinions. On all sorts of things, I imagine, but the ones he holds on coffee are intractable, unyielding and often controversial. I like an opinion. Prefer a super-sized one to none at all. Marco and I got on. In ‘Bar Termini’, his wee 1950s-esque Italian-styled café at […]

Bar Termini Coffee Shots

Northbank Restaurant Review

Northbank Restaurant - Review 1

“I love a tasting menu. Maybe it’s just the greedy girl in me, but I want to try everything.” Most Londoners and visitors to London have heard of Southbank. They’ve got a vague concept of where it is and what to expect once they get there. The Tate. The National. […]

Spring Restaurant - Review 2

“Spring is light and breezy, embracing all the loveliness of a period building without slavishly bowing to heritage or giving over to historical heaviness.” Too girly.  When London’s Spring restaurant first opened at the end of 2014 it attracted a fair whack of criticism. Not especially about the menu, the […]

Spring Restaurant_Remoulade

Recipe_Dried Blood Orange

Pimp Your Blood Oranges

There’s something almost prehistoric about the way blood oranges look. I love the look of blood oranges.  They taste amazing of course, but there’s something almost prehistoric about the way they look.  All our rules around visual appearance tell us they shouldn’t really be this weirdo combination of red and orange. […]