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Britain is no gastronomic desert! Interview with Hide, a Michelin-starred restaurant in London

When it comes to the UK, what comes to mind is the country with a long history.british royal family, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, it is a charming and comfortable British accent, it is Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, it is the Beatles, Adele, and Ed the red hair. But when it comes to "British cuisine", everyone will frown. Fish and chips sprinkled with wheat vinegar can be beaten with salty crispy chicken. The relationship between this culturally rich country and food is close to zero.  


However, the UK as a whole may be a food desert, but London is definitely a lush oasis dotted in the desert. In 2019, the Michelin Guide awarded a total of three three-star restaurants in London, ten two-star restaurants, and fifty-eight one-star restaurants. Among the restaurants that received one star for the first time, there is a restaurant that also won the honor of the 2019 British GQ Best Restaurant (British GQ 2019 Best Restaurant), and that is the restaurant in Green Park.Hide.


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)


Hide's chef, Ollie Dabbous, opened a star-seeking restaurant Dabbous before. After closing the business, he switched to the runway to cook at Hide. Less than half a year after opening, he successfully reached the star and won the GQ award. Ollie's skill is evident.


Pickled Raw Vegetables and Homemade Pickled Pork Neck with Lemon Mayonnaise


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)


Cold pine nut soup topped with white cherry radish and shredded peppercorns




Extracted egg yolk mixed with smoked cream and grilled mushrooms


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)


Chilean sea bass with lemon verbena, saffron rabe, fennel and pink grapefruit


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)


Burdock Root Dark Chocolate 


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)


Compared with other Michelin restaurants, Hide's biggest feature is the wine list that even three-star restaurants in the world can't match! Hide offers nearly a thousand kinds of wine for diners to choose from. Why does Hide have such an amazing wine list? This has to be Another world-class store thanks to Russian owner couple Yevgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana FokinaHedonism.

We all know that the top department store in London is Harrods (Harrods), and you can imagine the advanced level of Harrods Wine Shop. But is it really the most upscale Wine Shop in London? Many experts in the wine industry will tell you that Hedonism in Mayfair is the most prestigious wine & spirits store in London.  


Former Russian telecommunications tycoon Yevgeny fled to London in 2002 in order to avoid the Putin government. Here, he chose a completely different industry - Wine & Spirits, and hired former Harold's wine buyer Alistair Viner to help him open a new one Buy from wine and spirits store Hedonism.

Alistair, who has a precise vision, bought many top-notch goods. I remember the tens of thousands of wines, champagne, whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin when I first entered Hedonism. It was like walking into a wine museum. . The professionalism and friendliness of the clerks is even more impressive. They chat with you like friends and have no intention of selling. After all, the overseas buyers on the other end of the phone may be placing orders of tens of thousands of pounds.  

If you think that you don’t want to enter Hedonism without spending hundreds or thousands of pounds, you are wrong. There are more than 500 wines under 30 pounds, and the entry-level whiskey is cheaper than the supermarket. When Yevgeny's wife, Tatiana, agreed to my interview, I was really excited and curious how a rich man could create such a luxurious and professional brand.


(Yevgeny Chichvarkin, Ollie Dabbous, Tatiana Fokina) 

It was a Friday afternoon, and London was still gray and cloudy. I met Tatiana at Hide, and as soon as I went upstairs, I saw her sitting at a table in the corner. When she saw me, she immediately stood up with a shy face. But a very sincere smile. I originally thought that Russian ladies should be very cold, but when I saw Tatiana, who was wearing light makeup and wearing a simple black dress without a big diamond ring, I fell in love with her from the bottom of my heart.


In the interview, she talked about the process of creating the new British boutique Hedonism. Due to the success of Hedonism, she received many overseas invitations to open branches. However, they wanted to maintain the uniqueness of Hedonism, so the second project chose to open a restaurant. All of Hide's wines come from Hedonism. The two stores are within a ten-minute walk, and the shared wine cellar is the most convenient.

Tatiana said that there are many high-end restaurants that give her a sense of distance. What she wants to open is an friendly restaurant, where the meals should be exquisite and the atmosphere should be relaxed. I looked around Hide and saw business people in well-fitting suits, fashionable men and women in fashionable clothes, and tourists in casual clothes. Everyone was eating and chatting freely, and it was very lively. She went on to say that Hide is open for breakfast, you can come to eat croissants or scrambled eggs with truffles, just like Hedonism's wine, and the choices of customers range from low price to high price. She winked and said that no Michelin restaurant opened from breakfast.


After the interview, I was very happy to have a face-to-face chat with Tatiana, the spirit of a brand can best reflect the character of the creator. Tatiana is a straightforward and hard-working woman, and the boutiques she creates are comfortable and natural without any sense of distance. Before I left, I asked her which dish was the most recommended? She smiled and said that I don’t eat much but drink a lot. My favorite "dish" is the Cross Eyed Mary in Below Bar (the bar on the first basement floor of Hide), which is transparent and colorless. Bloody Mary, you must try it next time you have a chance, I promise you will fall in love with it too.


(Photo Credit: Hannah Lovell)

Lisa Huang's book "Slightly Drunken, London: Drinking Culture and Wine Stories, Overturning Your Imaginary Britons" fully reconcile travel, British culture, and wine knowledge with emotional brushstrokes, and share a glass of fragrant and charming wine with you . Book details, blog to order online


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