WEG about Town

PUBLISHED: 10:53 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:44 14 April 2015




Mel Long, owner at LongHorn, a new American diner in Wanstead, shares her love for South Woodford, food, everything local and cleaning, and reveals she was once Miss Minx

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Mel Long and I own and manage LongHorn, a new American diner on Wanstead High Street. We opened in July 2014 and we serve a selection of burgers and BBQ dishes such as smoked beef and pork ribs. We’re famous for our quirky cocktails and have the finest bourbon, scotch and rye whiskies and craft American beers.

Where do you live and why?

I have always lived in South Woodford and am probably the proudest South Woodford-ian you will ever meet! With the restaurants, bars, shops and forest, where I walk my dog – there’s no better place!

Are you a lady who lunches?

I don’t get much time to be a lady of leisure and my chefs are always willing to rustle me up something tasty, but the Duke in Wanstead is a great place to eat and I love a Sunday lunch at Roka.

Hostess of being entertained?

I love entertaining and I’m an accomplished house party thrower. I also strangely enjoy cleaning up afterwards so I think I really am the hostess with the mostest!

Which is your favourite local boutique and why?

I’m not a very patient shopper, so I tend to do most of my shopping online, but when I need a quick wardrobe top-up the lovely Kelly at I Am So Fly in Loughton is always on hand to assist with choosing an outfit.

What is top on your bucket list?

I’ve wanted to travel across India by train since watching The Darjeeling Limited and one day I will do it!

Which beauty product do you swear by?

My skin care guru is Virginia Williams in South Woodford and she has got me hooked on Dermalogica products. I can’t live without their Active Moist.

How do you relax?

I meditate every day and watching David Attenborough documentaries.

Which local restaurant is top of your culinary list?

That would be LongHorn of course! I think I’m going to turn into a chicken wing; I love American food and our Porn Star Martinis are amazing!

Time for a local girly night out, where do you head?

Definitely Ninos in South Woodford for a girly meal and I tend to end up in Faces a lot!

Bootcamp or a run?

I run to the pub sometimes and I belong to Wanstead Health & Fitness, the trainers there are fantastic.

What was your last big splurge on?

These days I tend to just get excited about kitchen equipment and recently bought a grill for LongHorn!

What luxury could you simply not do without?

Trips to my incredible hairdressers at Zoology in Wanstead, I love them!

What is your favourite smell?

I’m Irish and every time I land in Ireland I love the smell of the fresh air.

Where is next on your vacation wish list?

I’m going to Vegas this summer for my sister’s birthday and Ibiza for closings.

Beach break or city break?

I love a city break and Prague is the most beautiful city I have ever been to. Dublin is also a favourite for a weekend session.

What makes you smile?

Chats with my Dad and my lovely Chihuahua, Riley makes me smile every day.

Do you have a claim to fame?

Apart from winning Miss Minx once when I was 21-years-old, I don’t have any claim to fame I’m afraid. My Mum, however is a famous doctor and I’m proud to be her daughter.

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