DF Mexico, London, UK
Inspired by their travels across Mexico and the United States, Wahaca co-founders Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby have reunited to create DF Mexico in London's East End. Named after the shorthand for Distrito Federal, the local term for Mexico City, the space was designed by London-based architecture and design firm Softroom, who have created a sleek modern diner with liberal use of industrial materials such as blackened steel, concrete, worn leather and formica. Green planters and graphic stripes liven up the predominantly monochrome room, which serves up modern Mexican and American diner food from ancho mushroom or steak and cheese DIY tacos to NYC-style tortas with hearty brioche buns and smashed avocado. Beers are, of course, a mixture of imported Mexican brews and varieties from London's burgeoning craft beer scene, and while the official line is that the restaurant is an experimental 18-month residency, we wouldn't be surprised if this blueprint's success paves the way for future editions.
Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane London, E1 6QL; Tel: 44.20 3617 6639; www.dfmexico.co.uk
(Writer: David Paw)
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Eurostar Ticket Hall, St Pancras International, London, UK.
Since designer Christopher Jenner's recent intervention, the Eurostar ticket hall in London's St Pancras International has been transformed from a point of departure to a destination in itself. Fusing traditional handcraftsmanship with contemporary technology, the undulating forms of the Corian service desks are highlighted with sinuous lines of European Oak, which sits alongside artisanal elements such as bespoke blown glass lighting fixtures and a 30m hand-drawn stainless steel illustration. Jenner's artful choice of materials creates an interior that is as traditionally sumptuous as it is fresh and futuristic.
St Pancras International, Pancras Road, London N1C 4QP; Tel: 44.84 3218 6186; www.eurostar.com
(Writer: Megan Logue)
Michael Franke/Eurostar Ticket Hall
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Bill & Coo, Mykonos, Greece
Already a haven from the bustling crowds of Mykonos Town, the luxury boutique hotel Bill & Coo has just emerged from a makeover that saw Greek architects K-studio redesign some of its 35 bedroom suites. Using their signature warm, crafted aesthetic, the studio took the local architectural vernacular and building techniques as inspiration, incorporating natural materials such as granite stone and oak to create a soothing atmosphere. Lighting comes courtesy of local design firm IFI Group, while chic CEA Design fittings are installed in bathrooms. The hotel retains its excellent service and award-winning alfresco restaurant, which features a contemporary Greek menu from chef Athinagoras Kostakos, specialising in locally sourced meat and seafood.
Megali Ammos, Mykonos, 84600; Tel: 30.22 8902 6292; www.bill-coo-hotel.com; www.k-studio.gr; rates from €260
(Writer: David Paw)
ME, Ibiza, Spain
Following the successful launch of ME by Meliá's London property last year, the resort arm of the group has now expanded to include a beachside sanctuary located on a bay near Santa Eulalia in Ibiza. Designed by Spanish architect, Alvaro Sans, the airy hotel features an all-white interior interspersed with neutral tones and minimal furnishings. There is a ground floor restaurant called Salt & Sea, which serves up a fresh Mediterranean menu, but it's the brand's signature rooftop we are most excited about; indulgent Bali beds, spa treatments, fresh seafood and enticing cocktails are more than enough reason to kick back and relish the all encompassing views of the Balearic Sea and beyond. And if that isn't enough to entice you, reserving the hotel's private jet to personally deliver you to the island might.
Urbanización S'Argamassa, Ibiza - Santa Eulalia del Río 07840, Spain; Tel: 34.97 133 0051; www.me-by-melia.com; rates from €325
(Writer: Shari Sharpe)
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Hixter, London, UK
The latest addition to chef Mark Hix's growing restaurant empire does not stray far from his winning formula, which sees a pared-back menu offering mostly chicken and steak. This time located south of the river, in a former Victorian metal factory, the restaurant's simple interiors highlight the building's original warehouse details and act as a muted backdrop for the collection of British art, which includes neon signage by Tracey Emin and standout pieces by Gary Webb, Gavin Turk and Tim Noble to name a few. Meanwhile, washroom entertainment - in the form of an erotic moving video - comes courtesy of Gerry Fox. Downstairs, Mark's Bar, the second outpost of the chef's Soho offering, provides a small selection of snacks such as chips and curry sauce or salt 'n' vinegar onion rings, which can be washed down with a creative cocktail or two. We recommend Mark's Mister Nice - a whiskey tipple with sherry and orange bitters.
16 Great Guildford Street, London, SE1 0HS; Tel: 44.20 7921 9508; www.hixterbankside.co.uk
(Writer: Lauren Ho)
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