To say that there has been a flurry of activity on London’s drinking and dining scene over the past few weeks would be an understatement. Perhaps the anticipation of the festive season and the good cheer accompanying it has something to do with the multitude of new bar and restaurant openings across London. Below are just some of the most exciting prospects to add to your ‘to do’ list.
And while we’re on the topic of all things festive, a quick mention must go out for the Taste of Christmas event which takes place in the Tobacco Dock from 21-24 November. Avid foodies will want to go along to catch many top chefs – such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Michel Roux Jr and Gizzi Erskine – and London restaurants – such as Tramshed and the newly-Michelin-adorned Ametsa with Arzak Instruction – offering cooking demonstrations and tastings, alongside a Christmas food market.
One Canada Square
One Canada Square restaurant (pictured above) recently opened in Canary Wharf and is the newest member of the ETM family (you may have previously enjoyed The Gun in Docklands or Chiswell Street Dining Rooms in Moorgate). Style is of utmost importance here, which is why renowned architects David Collins Studio were brought in to design the restaurant. The architects also designed Claridge’s, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu. The 100-seater restaurant and bar will be open for breakfast, business lunches, post-work cocktails and dinner as well as leisurely Saturday brunches and evening meals.
Style is also high on the priority list for the new hip, trendy bar and restaurant in Bloomsbury called Hudson’s House. As you can see from the photo above, the interior references both the modern and the traditional with a hint of Prohibition era New York (a growing trend across all parts of London lately). Classic cocktails and British fare grace the menu and this venue will work as well as a brunch destination as it will a late night hangout.
N.A.C. (North Audley Cantine)
This quaint little bistrot and cocktail lounge (pictured above) in Mayfair has just opened, touting a sharing ethos on its traditional French menu. Those in the know say the desserts are incredible so make sure you leave a little room for profitéroles with salted caramel and ice cream.
Momentus is an appropriate name for this new bar in Marylebone’s Cumberland Hotel next to Oxford Street. The décor is rich and inviting with lavish chandeliers, plush mauve fabrics and contemporary furniture. Tapas-style sharing dishes are served, even into the late hours, and most importantly, there are six different types of Moët champagnes on the menu, as well as Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot.
Also newly opened in London:
Tirage is a new City of London concept specialises in Champagne and informal dining, offering 120 sparkling wines and Champagnes (15–18 by the glass) alongside a French-Peruvian dining menu.
Strip Bar & Steak is an intriguing name for a new London venue, if ever there were one. Obviously one for the meat-eaters out there, as well as wine lovers (the epic wine list features over 100 wines by the glass or carafe).
Burger & Lobster continues its run of fine form with a new restaurant now open in the Harvey Nichols department store in Knightsbridge.
Rextail is Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov’s latest restaurant in Mayfair, this time specialising in fish, meat and game dishes.
Simmons is a new drinking den on Camden High Street with a retro vibe courtesy of old school comics, music, board games, classic cocktails and a rather funky skull-shaped disco ball.
The Magazine is the first permanent restaurant venture by the founders of Pret A Diner with prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid providing the plans for the Serpentine Sackler Gallery eatery.
VQ offers 24-hour dining. This round-the-clock cafe and diner can be found near the British Museum.
Winter Hideaway Tanqueray Tea Light Lounge at Carom has snuck into Soho recently and this snug space beneath candlelit lanterns provides a romantic setting for gobbling up festive chai teas, gin cocktails and snacks. The lounge will run until 28 February 2014.