I always start my day with some exercise to get my mind in gear. I run in Hyde Park I like the fact that it has such a sense of space in the center of London. The park holds strong childhood memories too. I'd go there with my friends when I was 8 or 9 and we'd get thrown out of the fountains by a friendly policeman. Then I head to the Wolseley (www.thewolseley.com) for breakfast. It's so bustling and the menu is so varied that you can eat virtually anything you fancy. I usually like porridge and a poached egg with grilled tomatoes.
From there, it's only a short stroll across Piccadilly to the Royal Institution of Great Britain (www.rigb.org), which is an extraordinary listed building really rich in history. It has the world's most important scientific lecture theater, where Michael Faraday presented his ideas on electricity. More crucially for me, James Dewar, who invented the thermos flask (but neglected to patent it), gave a speech there on how to contain liquid nitrogen that was included in Mrs. Marshall's The Book of Ices a great influence on me. I like to mooch around the Institution's library.
After that, I might stop at the department store Fortnum & Mason (www.fortnumandmason.com) to pick up some Jing tea. The quality is exceptional: it's bought direct from small estates, including the original family estate, which makes an incredible Lapsang Souchong smoked over pine cones. I'll also pick up some Amedei chocolate, particularly their Porcelana. I've visited Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri, who make it in Tuscany, and was so impressed by their craftsmanship. It's the best and probably the most expensive chocolate in the world.
Lunch has to be dim sum at the Royal China Club on Baker Street (tel: (44-20) 7486 3898). Absolute gems include pork dumplings with XO sauce that spills out as you cut into them, char siu buns, and lobster and spring-onion dumplings. I like the sheer buzz there.
Then maybe some more shopping. I always like to look in Books for Cooks in Notting Hill (www.booksforcooks.com) and also hunt around the antiquarian bookshops close to Portobello Road. My best find was an Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking, with extraordinary illustrations, published around 1900 fascinating. There are copious pages dedicated to mock-turtle soup, for example. All very useful for my new Mad Hatter's tea dish at the Fat Duck. It has freeze-dried mock-turtle soup stock wrapped in gold leaf in the shape of a fob watch the customer dips it into the tea and watches it dissolve.
I also enjoy shopping for music, and I've been visiting Rough Trade (www.roughtrade.com) since I was 15; my first purchase was a flexidisc by Joy Division. These days I mostly buy world music, diverse stuff from Nitin Sawhney to Ethiopian jazz compilations. The store's staff are really knowledgeable.
In the evening, there's nowhere better to chill out than the Shochu Lounge in the basement of Roka on Charlotte Street (www.rokarestaurant.com). It's quite a decadent, cosy place, not overtly trendy. I'll eat at Roka too, and generally leave it to the chefs to create a menu, though I'm partial to the tartare of wagyu beef with quail's egg. I'm not usually into desserts, but they're irresistible at Roka. After that? Well, these days, I'm not such a late-night person, so I'll generally turn in by midnight.
With reporting by Sudi Pigott
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