Zebra on the plates of London

Mick Profile ShotA few weeks ago an email popped into our inbox from Mick Élysée, a Congolese born, London-based chef. Did we want to come and try out the menu for his new pop-up restaurant in East London? Well, there was really only one answer.

Safari FoodGetting decent African food in London can be something of a challenge, to say the very least. While Shaka Zulu in Camden does serve excellent grub, a restaurant of such scale doesn’t really convey the communal fun and intimacy of most meals that you’ll eat on safari in Africa. Arriving at the Marsden Bistro we joined long tables where Londoners and ex-pat Africans rubbed shoulders together. Mouth-watering venison steaks followed zebra and springbok burgers (the best zebra we’ve eaten since we were last in Windhoek) and a mighty nine courses later we rolled back out into the fading light.

Future pop-ups will be held once a month, with a choice of starter, main-course and pudding. Having sampled the lot, we’d recommend the salted fish dumpling and the venison steak. For details of Mick’s next safari lunch, visit his Facebook page.

Where would you go if you were flying to Africa tonight? Or, holidays worth going to work for.

A few years ago I used to work in a large office of safari experts, all passionate Africa lovers. Our favourite game on a quiet Friday afternoon was to plan our fantasy African adventure. We discussed the safaris that we’d sell our souls to get to, the remote beaches that our bones ached for, and the game reserves we lost afternoons dreaming of. We talked about lodges, camps, and game reserves that made coming to work worthwhile, if only because it meant each paycheque brought us closer to another African adventure.

Time and again, the same names came up, the places that were so magical we all adored them.  And here they are, our ultimate African experiences.