White and green table at Cabana Cafe
Food and drink

James Thompson’s guide to the best places to eat

January 20, 2020

We’ve teamed up content creator James Thompson, founder of Food Feels, to launch our very own #DCmoments Food Guides. Here James shares his passion for food and tips on finding the finest restaurants in all our destinations.
Portrait of James Thompson smiling

A real foodie

I’ve always been really passionate about food and the latest restaurant openings, so I created my @food feels Instagram account around five years ago to share this interest with others. It also allowed me to develop my love of photography and from small beginnings my online presence grew. What was once a hobby is now a full-time job.

Living the lifestyle

I’m originally from Sydney but have lived in London and travelled extensively with my work. Instagram has given me an amazing opportunity to share everything from street food to Michelin-starred dining around the world. Creating the #DCmoments Food Guides was a wonderful chance to try new places and I’m confident that everyone will discover somewhere to suit them from the wide selection of restaurants, cafés and coffee shops that I’ve included.

Real recommendations

There’s an incredible culinary scene out there but it’s still not easy to find the best places to eat so I believe guides like this are invaluable. We only feature places I’ve genuinely eaten at and they all have to be exceptional in some way to earn a place in the guides.

Caviar plate with edible flowers on top of it
Shop windows of vintage shops in a narrow street
Photograph of a pizza maker with a white cap

Passion for pizza

I adore getting to eat such a wide variety of food but I still have a real passion for pizza. In fact, I now have a portable pizza oven to create my own pizzas at home. The guide includes a couple of superb pizza places including Emma in Rome and Wolfgang Puck’s famous Spago restaurant in LA, which has famously served a smoked salmon and caviar pizza since the 1980s. This just had to be tried and trust me it’s a really memorable experience.

Close up shot on a salmon plate

Lasting impressions

I was delighted to sample 45 Park Lane’s Negroni trolley, where they make the classic cocktail to your liking. My drink of choice has always been a Negroni and I have to report it was truly delicious. If I’m pushed to pick just one place that left a lasting impression it would be the first restaurant we visited for the Paris guide and that’s Arpège. It’s a restaurant that’s notoriously difficult to get into as it’s considered one of the best restaurants in the world. The food was outstanding and we even got a tour of the kitchens where many famous chefs have worked. Another experience I’ll never forget is waking up to breakfast at Hotel Eden in Rome and having a magnificent view of the city as I dined – what a way to start the day!

Photograph of a negroni cocktail and mini burgers
Close up shot on Asparagus plate
Pink lighted sign on a green wall in a war

First time in LA

When working on the guides it was my first visit to Los Angeles so, in the same way I recommend to everyone when visiting somewhere new, I got in touch with lots of local Instagrammers and looked up food bloggers. I also know several chefs in LA and researched the area in detail. It turned out that LA gave us the most diverse selection of eateries, from typical tacos to high-end restaurants.

Photograph taken from above of several plates of crudites

Amazing hospitality

Getting to stay at all of Dorchester Collection’s hotels was a wonderful experience. Going to The Beverly Hills Hotel was like a dream come true and Hotel Eden in Rome was a real favourite too. I knew Hôtel Plaza Athénée very well via Instagram but to take my own photos there against a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower was a real ‘pinch myself’ moment. All of the hotels are breathtaking in their own right with plenty of photo opportunities.

View on the Eiffel Tower, from a Plaza Athenee balcony
Nice lunch table, with tomatoes and mozzarella
Exterior facade of the Pierluigi restaurant, with waiters in black uniforms

Give it a go

When I chat to people they’re always telling how they plan their holidays and weekends away around food. It’s such an important part of our lives and I hope these guides will help you make the most of your time in your chosen destinations. Trust me, I’ve done all the research so you can just sit back and enjoy some great recommendations. Whether you want a low-key café for delicious coffee, a city’s must-eat place or a romantic little bistro, these food guides have the answer.

#DCmoments Food Guides

Take a look at our #DCmoments Food Guides when planning your next trip.
Our concierge teams are also experts in their local culinary scene and will be more than happy to help you.


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