My perfect day

The

Michael McGrath, general manager of The Providores and Tapa Room, describes his perfect Marylebone day

Interview: Clare Finney


Breakfast
I love breakfasts. I think they’re fantastic. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to do breakfast here at The Providores when we opened 16 years ago—and to be honest, if I had a choice, I would still have my breakfast here. It is such a great vibe. If I want to be healthy, I’ll go for poached eggs and avocado, but if I want to be outrageous, I’ll opt for the full Tapa Room fry-up, with smoked streaky bacon, buttered field mushrooms, slow-roasted tomatoes, eggs, the works.

A breath of fresh air
I like wandering to the top of the high street, where the church is. They’ve a market there on Saturdays, called Cabbages & Frocks. When the weather’s nice, Marylebone High Street is just beautiful.

A new outfit
Sunspel’s new season is fantastic, really diverse, with all the t-shirts in incredible colours like graphite and sage, as well as woollens, coats and cards. They’ve just launched two scents—I very nearly bought one when I was at their launch party, but decided I shouldn’t really be making that decision on two glasses of champagne.

Window shopping
Margaret Howell on Wigmore Street. It has everything: china, crockery, coffee tables, and the full range of menswear and womenswear. I love browsing there. The materials are consistently beautiful and it’s the kind of fashion that is all of its own: it’s perfect, and it’s hers.

Culture
Wigmore Hall is amazing. The atmosphere is just so cool, and they get such extraordinary people to play there. Then of course, around the corner you have the Wallace Collection—if I want to browse a bit of culture, that is the place I go.

Pre-dinner drink
31 Below. I like the atmosphere there, particularly downstairs. As for my tipple of choice, you can’t beat a negroni. They remind me of hotter climes and distant places.

Eating out
For something casual but really tasty and nice, The Real Greek (pictured above). We went there the other night having been turned away from everywhere else because it was so busy, and we had such pleasant, basic, rustic food. The waiters were sweet, the atmosphere was human, it wasn’t overpriced. I really liked it. For something a bit more special though, I’d say Fucina on Paddington Street. The dishes are fresh and delicious and the wine is just lovely. Some people were terribly rude about the roof when it first opened, but I think it’s beautiful.

Eating in
The Ginger Pig would be a great place to go for a really nice cut of meat. Or some sausages. I really like their sausages. As for vegetables, well to be honest, Waitrose has a great organic range. It’s good for all sorts of things, and if I have been in the restaurant all day and I just don’t want to cook ANYTHING, their new sushi bar is delicious. They do all sorts of different styles, it isn’t horribly expensive, and it’s fresh every day.

Anything else?
Go and have a fabulous haircut by Philippe at Atherton Cox on New Cavendish Street. I have been seeing Philippe for 16 years now, and he is absolutely brilliant. He makes you feel great.