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Published February 8th 2012
When you're out shopping in the West End, when it is time for lunch, to rest the legs, you'll need somewhere that will fill the stomach leaving you energised ready for the next burst. Well here's the definite list of top 5 places to eat in and around Oxford Street that will do just that.
This funky little Italian can be found just behind Topshop, off Oxford St and Great Portland. Its contemporary setting makes for a fresh, young vibe. What sets Vapiano apart is the fact they make your food in front of you whilst you wait at the counter. Kind of takeaway come restaurant, you can actually do either, but watch as each little dish of fresh joy is concocted right before your eyes. This up-to-date vibe is backed up by the long, wooden tables, bright red walls and even the way they lay your parmesan in one line across the top of your pasta, sprinkled with a hint of black pepper either side of the dish.
Literally the name says it all...it is the mother of all mash stores. It specialises in either pie and mash or sausages and mash. But it is done exactly how you wish. The choices are simple, even for the hearty blokes. Pick you flavour of sausage or flavour of pie. Pick the way you like your mash, and whether you like it slightly bashed or lathered into a creamier mash. Then pick your favourite gravy. Done. Simple. Finished. Well actually you won't want to ever be finished as the plate, although large in portion by anybody's standards, goes way too quickly as you tuck away into the hearty feast.
To be honest with you, Marks and Spencer's is an obvious choice. But they have added something a little special. Because now at certain food halls, you can get yourself a simply delicious, fresh, straight off the bone roast ham or salt beef sandwich. Laid in thick mounds onto cleanly sliced, newly baked slices, well to be fair more like chunks, of bread, it is divine for a grab and go. Spread with a lather of piccalilli and you will not be left unsatisfied, especially at a snip of a price. They have even introduced roast beef can be turned into an absolute extravaganza of a sandwich with Yorky's and gravy thrown in there for a glorious harmony of a mix.
4. La Pain Quotidien
These little bakery come cafe-restaurants can be found spotted over London, with one nestled just before the start of Carnaby Street, on Great Marlborough. They give you a unique rustic feel, obviously French, but in the heart of the bustling city. Their organic food can be bought to take away, sit in and they even have home-made products to buy for later such as preserves, granola, and the artisan bread straight from the oven.
Their menu is kept simple suiting both on a cold winter's day when you need to warm the soul and on hot, blue sky ridden day when you need to sit down outside and refresh the body. Their homemade limeade with mint is especially good for the latter.