London is a fantastic City in so many ways - but the attribute I find most endearing is just how many districts have such unique identities. This both allows you to tailor your evening shenanigans by area, while simultaneously avoiding particular parts that don't appeal to you. And if there's one activity that can follow the theme and culture of a district to a tee, it's the restaurant scene. I'm sure most will agree that deciding to dine between Brixton, Mayfair, Shoreditch, The City and Marylebone relies quite heavily on the type of night you plan on having (as well as your convenience or budget).
Of all the places London has to offer, my favourite area is Marylebone. Despite sharing borders with some fantastic restaurant districts (Fitzrovia, Soho and Mayfair), this quaint little village-esque region houses some bucket-list spots for anyone who takes food seriously. You can find the best of burgers at Patty & Bun, MEATliquor, Bobo Social and The Joint; Goodman Restaurant Group deliver some serious steak and seafood with the aptly named ‘Beast’; Legendary steak spot Le Relais De Venise L’Entrecote continues to impress; The Proviodores tops any Sunday Brunch list; Trishna serves up all the delights of it’s super-sister, Gymkhana, but without the reservation wait; Michelin Stars Galore with SIXTYone, Roux at The Landau, L’Autre Pied, Trishna and Texture; Celebrity spotting at Chiltern Firehouse; London’s Best Butcher, The Ginger Pig is the Mecca of meat; La Fromagerie is the every cheese lover’s fantasy; The Marylebone Famer’s Market is a splendid weekend morning activity; and Le Vieux Comptior is the perfect spot for wine nerds.
Remarkably, the last four (The Ginger Pig, La Fromagerie, The Marylebone Farmer’s Market and Le Vieux Comptoir) all sit on a street no longer than 50 metres – Moxon Street. If, like me, your love of food borders on the insane, Moxon Street might be the most incredible place in Town. Aubaine, now in its 18th month, is Moxon Street’s newest resident and has to seriously impress if it is to stand out there, let alone in Marylebone and London.
Aubaine began life as a traditional French bakery & patisserie, and soon evolved to an all-day dining concept - serving authentic French and Modern European cuisine, and cocktails. There are currently no fewer than ten locations across London including Mayfair, Selfridges, Broadgate Circle (newest), Brompton Road, Heddon Street and of course Moxon Street.
Though French in spirit, Aubaine has plenty of dishes for those after a more familiar meal. These French and modern dishes conspire to create a menu that is packed with recognizable dishes, as well as French classics. I opted to start with the Paprika & chilli dusted squid, fresh chilli, spring onion & lime aioli £9 – a delicate and light dish with evidently fresh ingredients, topped up with a fiery tickle (perfect for those who like a bit of spice). This was followed by a signature dish - Aubaine beef fillet burger (120g), fries & Aubaine ‘slaw £18 - a very pleasing ‘posh burger’ that doubles as a great metaphor for Aubaine’s style and ethos – contemporary dishes with a modern twist. Cocktails are both classic and signature and all very well made. The wine list contains an impressive depth of French wine (unsurprisingly), with a couple of New World vintages and plenty available both by the glass and bottle.
Other dishes that caught my attention were the Confit salmon salad, wasabi yoghurt, baby gem, soya, green & broad beans £11; Salmon tartare, broccoli mousse, lemon coulis, parsley cress, crostini £9; Beef Carpaccio, Truffle Vinaigrette £14.50; Pan- fried sea bass, roasted artichoke purée, sauce vierge £17; and Chicken paillarde with pistachio, pesto, kalamata olive, sundried tomatoes and roquette £13.
A feature of Marylebone I found so endearing is the tranquillity – this is transformed into Aubaine’s atmosphere – a calm and warm environment that it fit for virtually any occasion. The discrete nature of Aubaine’s geography acts as a tourist blocker – allowing for locals and Londoners to fill the space. The décor was a unique blend of modern wine bars, patisseries, bakeries, and cafés – culminating in an interesting finish that’s perfect backdrop for any occasion. It can’t come as much of a surprise that I’m quite fond of Marylebone and, in Particular, Moxon Street. And Aubaine fits the atmosphere, vibe and culture of Marylebone perfectly.
MORE ON AUBAINE MARYLEBONE
Venue page and info here