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barrafina dean street

Ready-made Sunday: Dominique Ansel’s favourite West End spots

Cronut creator and Europe’s most famous baker on where he likes to hang out at the weekend

By Isabelle Aron

Need to get out of a weekend rut? If you’ve spent too many weekends watching box sets, and want some inspiration for places to explore, we’ve got you covered. Here, we chat to Dominique Ansel about his ideal Sunday in the West End – from shops to cafés to parks, that’s your weekend sorted.

RECOMMENDED: Things to do this weekend

9am: Breakfast

Restaurants Bakeries Seven Dials

I love the mornings in Covent Garden when you can wander the quiet streets and alleyways. I pop into St John Bakery in Neal’s Yard for a custard-filled doughnut, then grab a cup of coffee at Jacob the Angel just a few steps away.

11am: Shop

Shopping Bookshops Covent Garden

Stepping into travel bookshop Stanfords transports you from the middle of London to anywhere in the world, just by flicking through the pages of its thousands of books, maps and guides. There’s nothing more inspiring than learning about the world through other cultures and cuisines.


1: Tapas and wine

Restaurants Spanish Covent Garden

I never miss a chance to go to Barrafina. I grab a seat at the counter and a glass of wine or sherry. I always start off with the pan con tomate – garlic-rubbed toast topped with juicy ripe tomatoes drizzled with fragrant olive oil and white pepper to finish. Perfection.

3pm: Park

Things to do Event spaces Soho

Then I take a stroll through Soho Square Gardens. One of the things I love most about London is all the quiet green squares and little parks you stumble upon, allowing you to have a mini getaway from the busy streets around you.

Sir John Soane's Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum
@ Jonathan Perugia

4pm: Gallery

Museums History Holborn

Sir John Soane’s Museum is unlike any other museum I’ve been to. You get an amazing insight into British art and architectural history and entering the house is like walking into a time machine. You’ll find incredible relics in every corner.

6pm: Steak and chips

Restaurants British Seven Dials

Hawksmoor is always reliable. The steaks are amazing but the best part is choosing from all the different sides to go with your meat – Tunworth mash, creamed spinach and triple-cooked chips are my favourites. 

Find more things to do in the West End

West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue
Ben Rowe

West End area guide

Things to do

London’s West End is the beating heart of central London. It’s the place where shoppers rack up serious debt on Oxford Street, theatre nuts coo over the latest plays and musicals and tourists flock to soak up the delights of Covent Garden and its surroundings.


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