A home away from home: Formula E star Mitch Evans shares his love for London’s restaurant culture
The New Zealand-born driver tells Tempus why London is his favourite city and shares the joys of Australasian-influenced coffee shops
Mitch Evans, one of Formula E’s rising stars, lets his racing achievements speak for themselves. Having found his passion for karting aged six, the Jaguar racer went on to be the youngest driver ever to win the New Zealand Grand Prix just 10 years later.
Followed by a string of successes, including yet another victory as youngest driver to stand on the podium, this time in third place at a 2013 GP2 race in Sepang, Malaysia, Evans established his racing abilities early on.
Having won his first Formula E race in the 2019 Rome E-Prix, Evans is fast becoming one of the series’ shining stars. While he lives in Monaco, Evans frequently visits the UK, pegging London as one of his favourite spots to dine.
Here, the racer tells Tempus about his favourite London haunts and the Australasian coffee shops which make the city a home away from home.
Mitch, what is it that you love about London?
I love London. I think it's probably my favourite city in the world for many reasons.
The restaurant culture and the social aspect of it is incredible. It’s always got a really good vibe and buzz about the city. It reminds me a little bit of places like New York where everything in terms of industry is there. Whether it’s fashion, food, sports, you name it, it’s all there. I just love it for its diversity and how multicultural it is.
I think it's just a fascinating place, it holds a lot of history. I think that's one of the biggest things you notice, coming from a place like my home country New Zealand, as we don’t have a huge amount of history, and you learn a lot about England and the royal family and the history behind the country.
How do you kill time in the city?
I normally try and do some fitness at Hyde Park, which sounds a bit cliche, but I go for a run or a solid walk around there.
I try and get a morning coffee because I love my coffee. I've sort of come to a point in my life where I can't really live without it. Down in the south of France, I've got my own machine because they really don't know how to do coffee down there. But in the UK it's been a massive Australasian influence in terms of cafes and coffee shops which is incredible and does make you feel a bit like you're at home.
I try to be as social as possible in the UK. I love eating out because I appreciate very good food, whether it's in cafes or just a chilled lunch somewhere with some friends.
You mention the Australasian coffee scene in London, tell me a bit more about that.
There's a lot of Kiwi and Australian influence in London now. I would say that the style of the cafes and coffee is basically exactly the same between both countries. There’s many places I like to go to and you keep finding these places popping up. When I stay in London I stay quite central and I mainly go to Pavilion Road where The Roasting Party is.
For breakfast or lunch I love Granger and Co which is just incredible food, healthy and a good vibe. It’s really similar to back home, there's a lot more options back in New Zealand and Oz but you start to really see this shift in the way that the UK, especially London, is taking and it's having a massive influence on that which is great.
What are your other favourite places to eat in London?
I love going to one of the Soho Houses for lunch, on one of the roof tops if it’s good weather. It's very hard to beat because it’s a good vibe there. In terms of go-tos, if I’m on my own or just catching up with someone very casually, those places never disappoint.
What about your favourite nightlife pics?
Drink-wise, Soho House is always a good option. I also like going to Annabel’s for a drink which is nice but more high end, you need to dress up a bit more which is fine if you’re in the right mood.
Food-wise, there’s so many options in London, it’s nuts. I love my Japanese so I like Japanese fusion places. I like, again a bit cliche, places like Zuma and Novikov.
With Zuma, I just love high quality food. I love Japanese, I love the atmosphere, the vibe, but mainly I go there for the food. I like to go to those places where you know you're going to get a really delicious meal.
I also like going to the Chiltern Firehouse which is more like the Soho House vibe. I’m not set into one type of scene. I just like a good environment, good food and I’m a happy guy.