Hix Selfridges

Here’s to the ladies who lunch,
Everybody laugh….

(Sondheim, Company)


I find it hard not to hum sardonic lyrics when I climb the stairs to Hix Selfridges.

Here’s to the ladies who lunch
Sitting and planning a brunch, on their own behalf… 

Rather than showtunes, here the soundtrack is wedge heels clopping up spiral stairs towards the adjoining champagne bar, the rustle of canary yellow shopping bags, the trill of mobile phones and some spirited debate on the merits of one £700 clutch bag over another.

Part of the appeal of Hix  for many must be that it looks over the accessories floor of this shiny department store. You don’t even have to halt your shopping spree to eat (or drink).

Selfridges on Oxford Street is a gleaming place, dotted with ladies with tight faces, fat wallets and pilates taut tummies. Looking around the blonde hued, Conran designed restaurant, I occasionally find it useful to use the patrons as a visual prick of ‘ yes, yes, this is what I don’t want to be’.

So why do I go back?

Because it’s a convenient place for brunch or lunch if you’re in central London. Because here you can carry on a conversation without shouting. Because there’s wine in generously portioned carafes. And because the food comes from Mark Hix. 

To me, a restaurant with a Hix logo ticks all the predictably proper boxes. You know the food will be seasonal. It showcases some of the best of British produce. It’s comforting. And the price tags are relatively friendly (particularly in comparison to what’s on display in Prada below you).

At Hix it is perfectly possible to embark on a civilised feast for £15.

There are lovely options like smushed avocado on toast with silken threads of  Cardigan Bay spider crab and chilli to keep you entertained if you don’t feel like sharing.

And while the menu isn’t designed as small sharing plates, when I go with female companion this is what I bully them into splitting.

The first element is a sexy paste of broad beans, slicked with olive oil.

It’s Cinderella to the ugly stepsister of hummous. The flavour is sweet, and the freshly podded beans that dot the top giving a good pop of flavour.  The puddles of oil give a peppery punch. It’s the kind of dish that makes you feel like you’re outdoors in the sunshine, even when you’re lit from above and below by fluroescents.  It feels good to eat it, especially when smeared on charred flatbread.

What’s an exceptional companion is a serving of the De Beauvoir Smoked Salmon. Six slices, as thick as sashimi and long as mascara wand come languidly draped across the plate. There are tickles of smoke, salt and sweetness all playing along.

It’s served with slices of Corrigan’s Soda Bread; which is a veritable hymn to nutty, sturdy carbohydrates.

Pair the beans and the salmon together two together with a carafe of pink wine and it’s a perfect minor feast. (As long as you can get hold of your wine- the floor staff  have an annoying habit of parking it in a central cooler and then taking their time to refill your glass. Surely they appreciate that shopping and talking is thirsty work?)

Yet there’s plenty of charm available on the floor. If you gently let it slip that it’s a special occasion for your friend,  don’t be surprised if you find a birthday greeting written in dark chocolate on your circle of apricot and almond tart.

Up here you’ll find an alternate universe to the hustle and bustle of Oxford street and the daily grind.  It’s too easy to linger over coffee debate the merits of yoga over power plate, a patent wedge over a stiletto, and titter away until your tongue lolls heavy in your mouth.

It’s also terrifyingly easy to slip into an image of what you fear most. Ladies who lunch. Planning a brunch, on their own behalf.

But as long as there’s food this good I’m ok with occasionally slipping to the dark side.

See my write up of Hix Soho here
See my write up of Hix at the Albemarle here

Hix Selfridges
400 Oxford Street, London,
(Entrance via Duke Street)
Tube: Bond Street
T: 020 7499 5400

Hix Restaurant & Champagne Bar on Urbanspoon

  1. Happy birthday is written so neatly, I could not write so neatly even with a regular pen and paper

  2. Everything looks delicious and I love the personalized birthday plate. Lovely. If that plus loads of money and a taut tummy make me a lady who lunches, I guess I could deal…if I really had to!

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