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Oh, Those London Nights

If there are two things Deana Saukam knows, it’s travel and food. Having made a name for herself as a partner in the qui and East Side King empires, Saukam has spent the past few years traveling and dining at some of the best restaurants in the world. (And gaining an impressive Instagram following in the process.)

Now, Saukam is about to embark on the next phase of her career. With two books underway and a reality television series about her life in the works, Austin’s golden gal is ready to go global. In between trips to Paris and Portland, Saukam landed in London to join Austin photographer Knoxy Knox on an epic culinary adventure. Fortunately for us, they let TRIBEZA tag along.

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HOW TO GET THERE

British Airways | Nonstop routes available daily

British Airways flies a daily, direct route between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Since its launch in 2013, the route’s popularity has soared. Due to an increase in demand, the airline announced that beginning February 2016, it will be servicing passengers using the luxe Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

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WHERE TO STAY

The Hoxton

Shoreditch: 81 Great Eastern Street London EC2A 3HU

Holborn: 199 - 206 High Holborn London WC1V 7BD

Whether you want to stay in the heart of London or in the hip East End, The Hoxton has you covered with locations in both Holborn and Shoreditch. Explains Deana, “It’s super hip and has great service,” explains Deana, who chose to stay in The Hoxton Shoreditch for its proximity to new restaurants and walkability to the rest of London.

To start the morning, Deana suggests grabbing a bag of the hotel’s complimentary granola and a spot in the lobby. With its cozy exposed brick and deep-seated leather furniture, the room may encourage more napping than touring, but Deana says to resist the urge. “There is mega people watching … Shoreditch is so happening.”

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SKETCH

9 Conduit Street | London W1S 2XG

This may not be your traditional English cuppa, but the afternoon tea service at Sketch is not to be missed. Begin in The Gallery, a luxurious pink room featuring an installation of more than 200 drawings by British artist David Shrigley. (His delightfully absurd ceramics also appear on the tables.)

The room, which was created by interior designer India Mahdavi, features plush banquettes, tiled floors and a backlit bar that offers specialty cocktails like the Benoit Bulleit (a take on an Old Fashioned) and the Far From Vanilla (a vanilla gin-based cocktail.) The design pays homage to the building’s storied history; it previously housed Christian Dior’s London-based atelier and also served as the headquarters of the Royal Society of British Architects in the early 20th Century.

For tea service, enjoy an assortment of homemade finger sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and jam, pastries and tea (£41). Deana suggests opting for the decadent Champagne Afternoon Tea (£ 54-65), which includes a magnum of Champagne. The treats, made in house by Chef Pierre Gagnaire were so delightful, says Deana, that she ordered a second round for the table. “We re-upped on the treats,” she laughs.

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The Champagne Afternoon Tea at Sketch comes with three options: Pommery Brut Silver; Moussé Fils Rosé; or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.

THE SHRUB & SHUTTER

336 Coldharbour Lane | London SW9 8QH

Though it’s barely been open for a year, The Shrub & Shutter has quickly built a reputation as one of the best craft cocktail bars in Europe. (The U.K.’s Condé Nast Traveller recently gave the bar a prestigious Gold Standard 2015 award.)

If you’re staying in Central or East London, the trip to Shrub & Shutter’s Brixton neighborhood may seem like a bit of a hike. But, says Deana, it’s well worth it. “They are known for their innovative cocktails,” she explains, “[working with] things like Vegemite bitters.”

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SOM SAA POP-UP AT CLIMPSON’S ARCH HACKNEY

374 Helmsley Place | London E8 3SB

Culinary pop-ups and “pocket restaurants” are all the rage in London, but Climpson’s Arch in Hackney is home to one of the most lauded: Som Saa. What was supposed to be a “winter residency” has stretched on for more than a year and a half. Som Saa serves some of the most celebrated Thai cuisine in Europe, garnering rave reviews from diners and critics alike. “This is super authentic Thai,” says photographer Knoxy Knox.

Though Som Saa will end its residency this fall, the owners recently announced they had raised over £700,000 for a brick-and-mortar restaurant, giving everyone a chance to try Chef Andy Oliver’s nam dtok pla thort (Thai deep fried sea bass with Isaan herbs and roasted rice powder) or gai yaang (grilled chicken leg with jaew dipping sauce).

Climpson’s Arch, which is part of the locally-owned Climpson’s and Sons coffee roasters, will likely host another pocket restaurant after Som Saa makes its departure, so check climpsonsarch.com for more information. And if you’re the mood for locally-roasted coffee (which, let’s face it, what Austinite would pass up a good cup of joe?), walk over to the Climpson & Sons cafe. In addition to coffee, the restaurant also offers a breakfast and lunch menu featuring locally-sourced dishes.

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THE LAST TUESDAY SOCIETY

11 Mare Street | London E8 4RP

After a decadent dinner, Deana suggests unwinding at The Last Tuesday Society, a part cocktail lounge, part curiousity shop. Order an Old Fashioned (the bitters aids in digestion) and head downstairs to take in such oddities as taxidermied sea creatures and eerily lifelike mannequins. The most disturbing piece in the collection? “An actual human skeleton in a coffin,” says Deana.

In addition to craft cocktails, The Last Tuesday Society hosts special events like cocktail making classes, movie nights and, naturally, taxidermy lectures.

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SHAPES

117 Wallis Road | London E9 5LN

Austin may have her honky-tonks, but when it comes to grime music, London is the capital of cool. Grime music, which began as a musical subgenre with roots in electronica, hip hop and garage in the early aughts, has grown exponentially over the past 15 years.

One of the best places to experience this grime is Shapes, an event space housed in a warehouse on the banks of the Thames River. Though the lineup changes daily (check the Shapes Facebook page for the most up-to-date listings), Deana says the hip hop battle she caught was one the highlights of her trip.

CREDITS

Photography by Knoxy Knox

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