What’s My Weekend: Alex Zane

Writer and broadcaster Alex Zane shares his weekend plans


Friday night...

is a night I strive to keep free as my working week is normally incredibly busy with writing and interviews - I’ve just come from talking to the lovely actor Tom Hiddleston and on my way to speak to Idris Elba about his role as Nelson Mandela as I type this – so I like to relax on a Friday.


Dinner might be at the recently opened Social Eating House (58 Poland St, London W1F 7NR, 020 7993 3251, socialeatinghouse.com),above, it’s a fantastic restaurant and last time I was there I had possibly the greatest chocolate mousse of my life – and I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate mousse.

I spend a lot of time in Soho, which usually involves the rather splendid roof terrace at Century (61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 6LQ, 020 7534 3080, centuryclub.co.uk) that always has a great atmosphere and has recently had an excellent refit. They also do a very nice Aperol Spritz, which I’ve become slightly addicted to since trying one in Venice for the first time last year.

If I feel like leaving my spiritual home of W1, I might head to Shoreditch House (Ebor St, London E1 6AW, 020 7739 5040, shoreditchhouse.com), below. I love their cheeseburger and if you’re being a fan of ginger-based cocktails, I’m partial to their Soho Mule. I also like the fact that it has a swimming pool on the roof. I’m a big fan of swimming pools on roofs in the UK as most of the time, you never see anyone in them nor feel obliged to take a dip yourself which is great if – like me – you visit the gym as often as you go to Narnia.


I was staying at the Mondrian Hotel in LA recently and decided to take a swim. I got 10 metres from the pool, observed the quality of male torso on display there and decided against having a thoroughly emasculating experience - my muscles don’t so much ripple as struggle. Thanks to the UK weather, this has yet to happen to me here.

Saturday morning...

(I say morning it could well be 11.59, but that still counts ) I’ll maybe have a walk on Hampstead Heath, take in the view from atop Parliament Hill, look at the crazy people who are swimming in the ponds in mid-October, before grabbing a crepe from La Creperie De Hampstead (77 Hampstead High Street, NW3 1RE, 020 7445 6767). I hate queuing, but their milk chocolate, banana and rum crepes are so darn good they’re about the only thing I’ll stand in line for.

Hampstead Heath: Rex

Come the afternoon I’ll make my way into town, probably stopping at my favourite pub in Camden, The Crown And Goose(100 Arlington Rd, Camden, NW1 7HP, 020 7485 8008, crownandgoose.co,uk),below, for a drink or a bite to eat. They do amazing hoisin and plum spare ribs with smokey tomato sauce, and if you’re feeling adventurous, a rather special shot by the name of ‘The Godfather’ – but you have to ask for that, it doesn’t feature on any of their menus such is its mystery. Sadly it’s yet another pub which may soon close forever, how long she’ll remain is yet to be seen but there are plans afoot to turn her into flats.


I try and take in an exhibition or a museum on Saturday afternoon: I like the Tate Modern (Bankside London SE1 9TG

020 7887 8888, tate.org.uk - I'll stand looking at various sculptures, stroking my chin, pretending I understand modern art.


Having been told by a dietary specialist that I shouldn’t eat too much wheat – it's a long, graphic story so I’ll spare you the details – I can no longer enjoy pasta or pizza as I once did. This means come Saturday evening steak is now my food of choice and I’ll either head to the Hawksmoor in Seven Dials (11 Langley St, WC2H 9JG, 020 7420 9390, thehawksmoor.com) which does some fine steak and delicious beef dripping fries – and also has a dazzling cocktail menu. Try their exclusive Tokaji Smash made with Hungarian wine, it’s special - or Hix (66-70, Brewer Street, W1F 9UP, 020 7292 3518, hixsoho.co.uk) which not only has great steaks but some other excellent dishes in case I don’t fancy a steak (Unlikely).

Sunday is spent trying to write new material as I prepare to host the comedy club I’ve just opened at Century on Shaftsbury Avenue called Scoundrels, but come the afternoon I might pop out for a roast. The Red Lion and Sun (25 North Road, Highgate, London, N6 4BE, 020 8340 1780, redlionandsun.com), above, in Highgate Village or The Bull And Last (168 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1QS, 020 7267 3641, thebullandlast.co.uk) both do wonderful Sunday lunches. Then it’s home to do any prep for the following week, which this week involves getting ready for a trip to Paris with American Express to make a film about the French capital’s food scene.

Alex Zane is a writer and broadcaster. As the Amex Travel Insider, he is currently working on a series of films in Europe

Check out what he has been up to on youtube.com/AmericanExpressUK

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