Marcus Wareing’s Christmas guide to London

The British chef singles out his favourite festive-season shops, bars and restaurants

Marcus Wareing at Gentlemen’s Tonic, Mayfair
Marcus Wareing at Gentlemen’s Tonic, Mayfair | Image: Jude Edginton

“At Christmas, my wife Jane and I like to check into a fabulous hotel like the Bulgari. I’ll go to Gentlemen’s Tonic in Mayfair for a wet shave and a massage and then we’ll go shopping. I like Hackett for great jackets and proper jumpers, and Oliver Sweeney for shoes. I loathe department stores, but I’ll make an exception for Harrods, which always comes up trumps for presents. 

The pool at the Bulgari Hotel
The pool at the Bulgari Hotel
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“Then we’ll head back to the hotel, share a bottle of champagne and wallow in the bath before going out for the evening. We’ll have cocktails at The Connaught – I like sharp flavours so I’ll order a margarita with smoked salt or a good martini – and dinner at Zuma or Hakkasan Mayfair. I love both for their noisy atmosphere and great food. We’ll stagger home with our hearts thumping and feeling young again; my Chinawhite dancing days, when I’d stay out all night with Gordon [Ramsay], are behind me. 

Wareing recommends Gentlemen’s Tonic for a wet shave 
Wareing recommends Gentlemen’s Tonic for a wet shave 
The Connaught, where Wareing likes the margarita with smoked salt or a martini
The Connaught, where Wareing likes the margarita with smoked salt or a martini

“We’ll wake up with banging heads and have a hearty breakfast reading the papers. It’s a great day and night in the world’s best city. I love London – its 24-hour energy, its colour, the way you can dip in and out – I’ll never live anywhere else.”

The food at Zuma in Knightsbridge
The food at Zuma in Knightsbridge
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