London during the festive season: it’s a bubbling cauldron of parties and indulgent champagne catch-ups. It’s therefore probably not the most prolific of seasons for new bar and restaurant openings in London, you’d assume. But London has other ideas, and shows no intention of slowing down at this time of the year.
December has been as busy as any other month this year for new drinking and dining venues in London. The Rum Kitchen (pictured above) opened in Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street in Soho, bringing the all-day Caribbean food and drink of its sister restaurant in Notting Hill to the shoppers and visitors of Soho; the New York-esque restaurant, Jackson+Rye, launched its breakfast, brunch and hard shakes menu in the area; whilst finishing off a trio of foreign-inspired Soho eateries, Blanchette, is now proffering a quintessentially Parisian experience in central London’s most exciting neighbourhood.
Further afield, although not much further than Soho just across the road in Fitzrovia, Gangsters Tequila Paradise (pictured above) is a new graffiti-covered, downtown LA noir cocktail bar near Oxford Circus, created by the same team behind the popular London Cocktail Club bars; whilst in Hackney, Oslo, is now open for food, drinks and live music, all in Nordic fashion. Family friendly restaurant, Wildflower Cafe (pictured below), is now serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and tea made with responsibly sourced seasonal ingredients in Notting Hill; and Honest Burger has just opened its fifth restaurant in Kings Cross, following successes in Camden, Brixton, Soho and Notting Hill.
London did lose one old favourite this month in the form of Michelin-starred restaurant, Apsleys, when The Lanesborough hotel in Belgravia closed for extensive renovation, not to reopen until the autumn of 2014.
And 2014 is already shaping up to be yet another exciting year for new bars and restaurants in London. Aside from the tantalising news about the former Metropolitan police headquarters at Great Scotland Yard becoming a £100m super luxury hotel (no doubt providing space for a delicious restaurant or three), 2014 will begin with a number of ‘must try’ eating and drinking destinations.
In January, the Great Court Restaurant will open on the mezzanine floor of the Reading Room at the British Museum under the glass roof of, as the name suggests, the Great Court (pictured above). Polpetto will return to Soho after almost two years away; and also in Soho, Vietnamese restaurant, House of Ho, will open on Old Compton Street. Lanes of London will launch on the prestigious Park Lane, combining old-fashioned British heritage with the diverse cultural identity of modern day London (so expect Indian, Vietnamese and Lebanese alongside British cuisine on the menu). My personal favourite, Boom Burger will find its first permanent residence following a string of excellent pop-up occasions and street food performances (note: I have previously claimed this (pictured below) to be “the best burger I’ve ever tasted in London.”)
In February, the Gordon family of Gordon’s Wine Bar will open a coffee company and dining room called Villiers on the street of the same name; Rainer Becker will open a Mayfair branch of his contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant, Roka; the Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack will bring a little American flavour to the West End; and Gordon Ramsay will finally open his London House restaurant and lounge in Battersea Square.
Incidentally, congratulations should also go out to Gordon Ramsay following the 2013 annual Diner’s Choice award recently. Three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, was proclaimed number one in the Top 100 Best Restaurants in the UK, according to user reviews.
There are plenty more new launch bars and restaurants planned for London in 2014, almost too many to share with you right now. Look out for more bar and restaurant news soon.
In the meantime, discover more London bars and restaurants on the Visit London website.