You’re having the best time. No really, you are. You’re having the time of your bloody life. Well, you’ve been doing much better since your mate told you to “get a grip” and banned you from Céline Dion’s discography anyway. Sometimes when you’re heart-deep in a break-up, all you want to do is show the world (read: your ex) that you’re living your best life. After all, if you’re not posting pictures where you look like you’re having more fun than Flipper on a Slip ‘N’ Slide, how are they going to know that you obviously don’t miss them?
These are the places to do just that. And you know what, you’ll probably end up having a great time.
You need glitz. You need glamour. You need beautiful people. You need Gloria. As far as fun restaurants go: this Shoreditch trattoria is the funnest. And who gives a shit if that isn’t a word. You need another negroni, stat. You need to be filmed eating carbonara direct from a pecorino wheel. This fresh 50GB of iCloud storage isn’t gonna fill itself pal. It’s also a good thing Gloria specialises in mirrored surfaces because you look fan-tas-tic. An Aperol spritz boomerang here, a chocolate profiterole video there. Is this real life? No. Is it your best life? Oh yes.
Rooftop views over London? Check. Open-air fire pit that’s asking to be cavorted in front of after a couple of margaritas? Check. An obnoxiously good looking taco and a DJ who doesn’t appear to do much apart from look really, really good? Check and check. This is Decimo, a Mexican-influenced shag-pit of a restaurant situated on the top floor of The Standard hotel in King’s Cross. If you can’t confidently show off and show yourself off in this place, then you can’t do it anywhere.
You want a party atmosphere. No, you need a party atmosphere. And everyone knows there ain’t no party like a pizza party. And that means Circolo Popolare. It’s from the same people as Gloria and just like its loud, proud, and Aperol-fuelled sister, this is where you come to have a good time. And to make sure everyone knows about it, duh. You’ll want to drink up every part of this Disney-ish trattoria in Fitzrovia, from the thousands of bottles of booze lining the walls, to the metre-long pizzas, and all of it, makes for excellent fun on both sides of the screen.
Sexy Fish is a real mood. The mood being ‘I’m fucking fantastic and about to spend enough money to get an alarmed text from Monzo’. This seriously flash Asian restaurant and late night bar in Mayfair has some pretty bang average food, but the kind of setting that’ll make your ex think you’ve moved onto a better life with a family of rich, gold-wielding mermaids. Come here in the evening to laugh at the DJ and inevitably refer to yourself as NO 1 SEXY FISHHH on the internet after your fourth cocktail.
The River Café is an elusive restaurant. It’s highly thought of, high-priced, and next to the Thames in Hammersmith. You save this spot for a special occasion. You know, the occasion where you need the help of a world famous Italian restaurant to flaunt yourself on social media. The one where you bring a friend along to take ‘candid’ riverside shots of you nibbling a £21 pizzetta (the only thing you order) like a displaced Fyre Festival influencer whose fee is jealous social media views and replays from your ex-partner. This is that occasion.
We’re not going to lie to you. Brat is a cool restaurant. But in that effortless way that makes your enemies feel like they’ve just been left in the dust of James Dean’s Porsche. Not only does this Shoreditch spot manage to perform some kind of grill voodoo to create the best fish dish in London, they make it all look easy. Head here to channel the restaurant equivalent of finding the perfect pair of worn Levi’s - you know, ‘by accident’.
These days, you only know two things for sure. One: Dua Lipa is officially your spirit animal. Two: unless you’re going to keep mumbling “I got new rules, I count ’em” in public for the next year then Bob Bob Ricard is going to have to be your other. This Soho spot has a big, glitzy energy that’s basically the restaurant equivalent of listening to Gloria Gaynor in your underwear. It’s pretty much impossible to leave here without pushing the “press for champagne” button one too many times, and making everyone who isn’t there wish that they were.
After years and years of weekends symbiotically lying on the sofa eating pizza, you’re alone. But you’re better than that now. Or, rather, you need to look like you’re better than that. You need to look like you’re into the finer things in life. Things like buy-jow-lee. Oh, apparently it’s pronounced bow-jers-lay? But it’s spelled Beaujolais? Fuck it, whatever. The point is, sit at the bar in Noble Rot, admire your glass of red twinkling in the candlelight, capture the moment, and caption it with something like: ‘a delightful little 2013’. Job. Is. A. Good’un.
Ever wished you had the songwriting talents of Adele so you could publicly shame your ex whilst looking smoking hot? Fuck that, who needs talent, when you’ve got a bucket of Taiwanese beer and Bao Borough’s karaoke room. Not only do we want the KTV room’s disco mode to be the new filter for every story we post, but the small plates here are excellent. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself serenading their banging 40-day aged beef by the end of the night.
People like shiny things. People get jealous of shiny things. People think, why is that not MY shiny thing? And that’s exactly what will happen once the glistening peking duck at Imperial Treasure arrives at your table. This is, without a doubt, the best looking and best tasting food performance in London. The bird, brown and shiny like Ray Winstone in the summer, is wheeled out and artfully carved tableside, before being served with pancakes and all the usual bits. You’ll be salivating. The other tables will be salivating. And the person watching from the other side of their screen will be too.
It’s a tale as old as time. Well, as old as your middle school playground memories - when in doubt, use ice cream to provoke envy. And few places in London do better ice cream than Milk Train in Covent Garden. Sure, we’re not entirely on board with their wall of fake flowers, but everything from their kitsch train carriage setting to their At The Movies is the kind of whimsical aesthetic that goes with your new whimsical, entirely fictitious, care-free life. Just don’t get involved in their OTT candyfloss creations - they’re about as subtle as a 2014 Facebook poke.
Well well well. What do we have here then? Looks like your ex has started posting pictures of art at The Barbican. Two can play that game sunshine. When you want to give the impression, err, illusion that you’re a cultured-as-fuck grown up, head for Peckham’s casual all-day wine bar Levan. Excellent wine, check. Excellent sharing plates, check. A cool, laidback look, check. Bonus points if you manage to get your lovely face, the comté fries, and a Bowie record cover all in one shot.
You know that jealous feeling you get when you see fun happening without you on social media? The tight uncontrollable knotting of your stomach as you watch someone munch chicken masala skins and run around a leather-clad bar swigging espresso martinis. The clamminess of your fingers as you tap through to watch them playing pool and filling up from the whisky vending machine. The swipe down but immediate tap to watch again as you see a majestic looking lamb chop twirled. Well, don’t be that person watching. Be that person at Brigadiers instead.
Arguably the most aptly named bar for when you’re trying to casually show someone that your life is 100% better since they stopped being in it. This tiny Shoreditch basement bar has excellent bartenders that can make a mean cocktail, and the kind of broody lighting that would make even The Predator look like a keeper. Although they keep a few tables for walk-ins, this place is popular, so book ahead.