Visit London Blog » champagne Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:05:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Valentine’s Day Treats in London Fri, 31 Jan 2014 09:07:37 +0000 If you’re seeking a unique way to say ‘I love you’ to your special someone, here are a handful of Valentine’s Day treats to sweeten up your loved one.

Houses of Parliament Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea
Combine a love for British history with a love for British tradition this Valentine’s weekend. Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, then the next day continue on into the weekend with a guided tour around the Houses of Parliament. Follow this grand occasion with afternoon tea in the elegant Pugin Room, overlooking the River Thames. The tour will take you into both the Commons and Lords’ Chambers. Saturday 15 Feb. The tour and afternoon tea are priced at £41.50. This offer is also available on 1 Feb, 8 Feb, 22 Feb and 1 Mar.

Fortnum and Mason Hamper
Treat you loved one to a touch of class with the Be My Valentine hamper from the traditional London store, Fortnum & Mason. The hamper is filled with a Marc de Champagne box of fine chocolates, Amber Rose body lotion, luxury bath truffles, and a bottle of personalised Fortnum’s rosé Champagne. Hamper priced at £100.

Candy Cakes
Sweet treat experts Candy Cakes in Baker Street have a heart-obsessed selection of cupcakes available in a variety of flavours: two Chocolate Passion, two First Love, two Red Velvet Valentine, one Strawberry Love, one Caramel Kiss and one Mocca Chocca Love. Box of nine priced at £21.55.

Godminster Heart-Shaped Cheese
Not all Valentine’s Day idea need to be sweet treats. For something truly original, take a look at the heart-shaped Godminster cheese pictured above. It will be available at department stores Harrods and Selfridges in vintage organic cheddar and organic brie flavours.

Veuve Clicquot Rosé and Marshmallows
Take your Valentine to any Aubaine restaurant in London during February and you could treat them to the gentle effervescence of Veuve Clicquot Rosé paired with three light lemon meringue marshmallows (pictured above). The experience is priced at £15.

Other Valentines Day ideas:
The Lyttleton restaurant at the The Stafford by Kempinski in St James is laying on a special Valentine’s afternoon tea including Pacific oyster-caviar and Laurent-Perrier Champagne for £42.50 per person.

It’s Chocolate week at Barts in Chelsea from 6 to 14 February. Alongside a number of love potions and alcoholic aphrodisiac cocktails, there will be chocolate fountains, chocolate face painting, cupid style fancy dress, romantic two-person sharing cocktails served in giant teapots, and Barts home brewed and handmade rum filled chocolates.

Asian restaurant and bar, Bam-Bou in Fitzrovia, has invited psychic counsellor, Susie Johns, to offer lovers one-on-one readings on the 4, 11, 18 Feb. The 15-minute reading and a Love Potion cocktail are priced at £25 per person.

More Valentine’s Day ideas

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New Year’s Eve Dining in London Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:00:43 +0000 Before all the popping bottles of Champagne, the Thames fireworks, the clarion chimes of Big Ben, and the cries of “Happy New Year”, New Year’s Eve begins with just the right amount of drinking and dining to sustain our excitable levels of revelry. Here are 21 London restaurants that have a special meal planned for 31 December 2013.

For those who like dancing with their NYE dinner…

Strip Bar & Steak
The brand new Las Vegas-New York style bar and restaurant, Strip Bar & Steak (pictured above), at Malmaison London hotel in Farringdon is laying on a decadent five course New Year’s Eve menu for diners with exceptional taste and appetites. Once the Champagne & canapés have been dispensed with on arrival, it’ll be time to get stuck into appetisers such as oyster Rockefeller, mains including the signature aged prime USDA New York strip steak, whilst the pick of the desserts must surely be the chocolate peanut butter torte with whipped cream. There’ll be an opportunity to dance it all off though, as a live DJ will be playing until 2am. Tickets, £100 per person, email to book.

Dover Street
Mayfair’s Dover Street Restaurant & Jazz Bar has been celebrating New Year’s in London for over 25 years now so diners with a passion for live music will be assured of an exciting evening. To complement the three-course NYE menu, an early evening jazz trio will be followed by a full seven piece soul band who will be playing live hits from artists such as Sting, Seal, Lily Allen, Craig David, Beverley Knight and Gnarls Barkley. After the live music, the restaurant’s resident DJ will keep the party going until the early hours. Meal and show tickets are £95 per person, call +44 (0)207 629 9813 for reservations.

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Boisdale of Canary Wharf
Calling all Elvis fans! Boisdale of Canary Wharf is hosting a Las Vegas-inspired celebration which, for £145 per person, includes a four-course meal, live entertainment from Suspiciously Elvis and his seven-piece orchestra (expect the likes of Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas and Suspicious Minds), plus blackjack, poker and roulette casino tables.

Searcy’s at The Gherkin
Searcy’s at The Gherkin A Night To Remember takes place on levels 38-40 of one of London’s most iconic buildings this New Year’s Eve, from 8pm until 2am. £250 tickets include Champagne on arrival and at midnight, plus canapés and food station, and unlimited drinks. The £300 VIP tickets are the same as above plus access to the VIP Lounge, Champagne all evening and a lobster and seafood bar. Menus can be viewed here. To book tickets call +44 (0)20 071 7215 or email

Babylon at the Rooftop Gardens

Babylon at The Roof Gardens
For those wanting to splash the cash and go for something truly magnificent, how about a unique four-course meal six floors up, on the roof at Babylon restaurant? Not only will you receive a glass of champagne on arrival, wine and beer during your meal, plus a mini bottle of bubbles when you make your way through to the private members club for the DJs and live music, but you’ll also be privy to your own fireworks display at midnight as well as breakfast canapés from 2am. £240 per person (£200 for club members).

OXO Tower brasserie and restaurant

OXO Tower Restaurant
If a restaurant with a view is what you yearn for, then OXO Tower, which overlooks the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral is hosting a special black tie masquerade ball. The impressive London backdrop is complemented by Champagne on arrival, a four-course dinner, and live music from Caroline Loftus and her four-piece band. Tickets are £175 per person.

Inamo St James
Even though Asian restaurant, Inamo St James (pictured above) is only moments from Trafalgar Square, there will be no need to drift away on New Year’s Eve because magic, music and fireworks will all be on the menu. As will a five-course meal which starts with uramaki canapés and fizz on arrival, and continues with lots of delicious Eastern cuisine. Whilst the NYE set menu is served from 7-11pm, The Magic Circle’s John Bulleid will roam from table to table, performing illusions and tricks. The London fireworks display will be shown on the restaurant’s big screen, before DJ Baz provides a funky midnight-4am set, even taking guests’ requests. Set menu is £45 per person. Contact or +44 (0)20 7104 2040 to book.

The Garrison
The much-loved Bermondsey gastropub, The Garrison is laying on ‘proper English country grub’ as part of their New Year’s Eve ‘Garris-tonbury’ party, which requires festival attire such as mucky wellington boots, floral tiaras, ripped jeans and grubby backpacks. Music will include some of the best live recordings from the last 100 years, plus a live musician playing memorable Glastonbury headliner hits.

Village East

Village East
A few more paces along trendy Bermondsey Street is the recently refurbished Village East where an Alice in Wonderland Trip Down The Rabbit Hole New Year’s Eve Party will take place. A three-course sharing menu will be served at 6.30pm and again at 8.30pm (diners will enjoy a secret cocktail when they arrive) before the restaurant is later turned into a Mad Hatters tea party with DJs and dancing until 4am. Fancy dress is encouraged.

Disappearing Dining Club
Secret, nomadic supper club, Disappearing Dining Club, returns to the Red Gallery in Shoreditch for an all-night dinner and party. Dinner dance tickets are £100 per person and include cocktails on arrival, canapés, a three-course dinner and then two large floors of raving to DJ-spun balearic disco, electronic and house music until 5am.

The Forbidden New Year’s Eve Spectacular – an intriguing name for a New Year’s party, if ever there were one – will take place at the Buddha-Bar in Knightsbridge. The event is being showcased as a ‘1950s East meets West extravaganza’, fusing inspiration from two 20th century movies: The Last Emperor and Moulin Rouge. There are two dining experiences available – Heavenly or Forbidden (£250 or £350) - which includes party entrance where you’ll find a casino, a hidden carnival, absinthe and Champagne cocktail trolleys, a French string quartet, a performance from Moulin Rouge’s Diamond Dog Dancers, a balloon drop and DJs.

Shaka Zulu
The flamboyant interior of South African mega restaurant Shaka Zulu in Camden is the setting for a five-course gala dinner. Arrive at 7.30pm for a canapé and Bellini reception, where fire eaters and other performers will entertain. The £99 Dinner & Drinking Table option includes your meal, plus entry to the Kings Club where UK soul queen Mica Paris will sing her hits before DJ Tempest spins house music on the decks.

Gaucho Piccadilly New Year's Eve

Gaucho Piccadilly
Gaucho’s Argentinian restaurant in Piccadilly will be hosting a live Milonga show, as world-class dancers perform the sensuous Tango Argentino. Meanwhile, you can tuck into pumpkin and goats cheese bisque with black truffle oil; lobster and mozzarella empanada with seared scallops and coconut crispy shrimp; Aji Molido Churrasco de Ancho with Mediterranean pickled salad and fries with thyme; plus white chocolate and Malbec mousse with Drambuie chocolate sauce. Oh, and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for two (£185 per person).

Vista Rooftop Bar, Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Hotel
With a prime location on Trafalgar Square, The Trafalgar Hotel should prove a popular dining option. Downstairs in the Rockwell Room, there’s a relatively inexpensive six course meal for £65 which includes beef fillet with pan fried foie gras, celeriac puree, baby vegetables and red wine jus. For those who want to party on a budget, the bowl food menu (from £5) at the Rockwell Pop Party looks good value for money, although tickets to the party itself are priced at £40 per person. To make the most of the night, buy a ticket to the Vista Prelude Party (£149) which gets you up on the roof (pictured above) to enjoy views over Trafalgar Square, the London Eye and Big Ben, in addition to party entry, a bottle of Pommery Pop Champagne, and a limited edition celebratory PopKake.

And if you’re after a quieter New Year’s Eve dinner…

If it’s the excited buzz of central London that really gets your New Year’s Eve going, then Covent Garden piazza is right at the heart of the fun. Long-standing piazza restaurant, Tuttons (pictured above) will provide the calm before the storm with its decadent interior and indulgent three course NYE menu which includes wholesome favourites such as scallops, rib eye steak and Champagne mousse. There’s even the option to hire your own private dining room downstairs with personal waiter service for a more intimate celebration. Three courses and a glass of fizz only £49.95. Book by emailing

The Orange
Normally the festive season is associated with the colours white, green and red, but for New Year’s Eve 2013, there’s no reason you can’t invite orange to the party either. The Orange public house and hotel (pictured above) tucked quietly away near Sloane Square is offering exceptional value for money this NYE with a three course menu preceded by a glass of NV Billecart-Salmon brut reserve Champagne for only £50 per person.

Boyd’s Brasserie
The glamorous Boyd’s Brasserie is one of London’s most centrally located restaurants and is only a quick saunter to the water’s edge for the fireworks at the London Eye; or equally, to Trafalgar Square. We recommend the lavish six course New Year’s menu for £135 per person which comes with matching wines.

Tom Aikens Restaurant
The Michelin-starred Tom Aikens Restaurant in South Kensington has a three-course menu (£80) or six-course menu (£130) available for dining away from the crowds. Signature dishes such as roast scallop with braised oxtail, truffle and parsnip or beef short rib with fermented grains, beef tendon lovage will feature.

Mexican restaurant, Mestizo in Camden allegedly holds the largest collection of tequilas in the UK which could spell a night to remember, or to forget. Either way, a three-course Mexican meal including welcome drink, live mariachis, and glass of champagne for £60 per person should start the festivities off with the right spirit, so to speak.

Vertigo 42
There is something uniquely grand about sipping Laurent-Perrier Champagne on the last day of the year, while peering down from 42 floors above London, quietly tucking into Maldon rock oysters; ricotta dumplings with spiced tomato relish; and gateau opera chocolate and coffee cake, all lovingly prepared by a Michelin starred chef. For £150 per person, this fantasy could be your reality at Vertigo 42 courtesy of chef Anthony Demetre.

Chino Latino
Chino Latino restaurant at the Plaza on the River hotel is offering a 10-course ‘tasting’ feast – inspired by Peruvian, Mexican and Japanese trends – for £79 per person. Expect to see Kampachi sashimi, Himalayan salt block, red pepper rocoto dressing; Wagyu beef taquitos, aji panca, red onion, jalapeño, avocado; and Chilean seabass, smoked chipotle miso, tenderstem broccoli on the sizable menu.

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London Bar and Restaurant News: PipsDish, Shimmy, Upstairs at Nancy’s, Purl Pop-Up Thu, 17 Oct 2013 09:00:42 +0000 To counteract London’s autumnal climate, a number of exciting new bars, restaurants and pubs are springing up, providing cosy interiors, heart-warming fare and entertaining distractions to keep the cold at bay.

PipsDish Covent Garden
After serving food in a disused north London Citroën Garage for two years, Philip Dundas – ex-BBC producer turned food writer and pop-up cook – now has a new restaurant in the West End. This “home from home” restaurant (pictured above) combines the magical atmosphere of the Garage pop-up with Philip’s no-bookings, no-menu, eat-what-you’re-given approach and a wine selection chosen by a Master of Wine.

Upstairs at Nancy's
Upstairs at Nancy’s
Located atop Shoreditch’s most recently revived public house, this new bar peddles the products of London’s best brewers, distillers, vintners and cocktail barrellers. Expect Borough Wines, Kamm & Sons, Butler’s, Boodles, Sipsmith, The Botanist, Five Points, Partizan and The Kernal.

West London now has a new, much needed, late night dance floor. Shimmy (hidden behind the door pictured above) encourages playfulness and eccentricity, with an enchanted wardrobe staircase, Scrabble tiled bar and “Magic Far Away Tree” theme. Optical illusions and quirky Victorian trinkets are complemented by stylish exposed brickwork and staff dressed in Gatsby-eque, flapper or bow-tie attire. And we won’t even dare to mention what happens in the toilets!

The White Hart
This Victorian Goliath at the river’s edge in Barnes has been through a huge transformation of late. The new Head Chef is BBC MasterChef finalist Tom Whitaker, the new restaurant boasts its own smokery and there are balconies on each of its three floors. Look out for future master classes, wine tastings and supplier evenings.

Also keep a look out in October and early November for…

Momentus – a fitting name for the new Moet Champagne bar at The Cumberland Hotel, opening in October.

PurlPurl at The Bedford is the first long-term pop-up (pictured right) from Marylebone-based cocktail specialists Purl, who are setting up in Balham’s Bedford pub from 5 November until the end of April. Expect aroma, fogs, airs, foams, food, bespoke serviceware and liquid nitrogen.

Rumble at the Deli is a new London event, held at Tom Conran’s Notting Hill hangout, Tom’s Deli. Two chefs go head to head each night to see who can create the best three course meal from ingredients selected fresh from the local market each morning. Launching on 7 November, big name chefs taking part include Pratap Chahal (Le Manoir, Chez Bruce, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s), and Tom Starker (Heston’s Dinner).

The House of Peroni will celebrate the New Wave of Italian Style and Creativity. Opening on 6 November, punters can expect a luxurious cinema space, two bars with cocktails created by Gerry Calabrese, a video installation by critically acclaimed video artist Quayola and a new House menu created by the Michelin-starred Costardi brothers.

More bars and restaurants in London

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Win! Day 12: Two Nights at The Cavendish Hotel Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:00:04 +0000

Live the champagne lifestyle at four-star hotel The Cavendish in London.

Enter our competition to win a two-night stay at the luxury hotel, along with a free bottle of bubbly on arrival.

Chill out in your air-conditioned Executive Room with king-sized bed and little extras including a Bose iPod dock, Nespresso coffee machine and a Samsung LCD flatscreen TV. 

Then explore the local area of Piccadilly where your neighbours include Fortnum & Mason, The Wolseley, The Royal Academy of Arts and Burlington Arcade.

Enter now to win a luxury hotel stay in London

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Dinner at The Door Oyster Bar & Grill Thu, 29 Sep 2011 15:39:24 +0000

The Door Oyster Bar & Grill is a new addition to the City’s dining scene. Situated just a few minutes’ walk from Bank Tube station, The Door offers a meaty menu in decadent surroundings. Madelene and I visited for dinner:


“As the name suggests, the restaurant’s main specialities are oysters and grilled meat.

“I had the lobster salad starter which was very light and set me in good stead for the large amount of meat I was about to consume.  For my main course, I sampled the Wagyu beef – which is a breed of cattle known for its marbled appearance and tenderness, and it didn’t disappoint: a beautiful steak which melted with every bite.  I asked whether the steak needed mustard and the waiter passionately stated “don’t kill it twice,” so sans-mustard it was!

“There was a good selection of side dishes, including creamed spinach which was simply delicious.  We had to share a dessert as we were both too full to go it alone, but managed to consume a dark chocolate mousse with a light orange biscuit and accompanying dessert wine.”


“I took the seafood option at The Door, and tried my first oysters as a pre-starter, which can be ordered and enjoyed at the bar with a glass of champagne if you’re not staying for dinner.

“The waiter brought over a huge oyster-shaped dish filled with ice and three varieties of oysters to sample: Mourne Rock, Kumomoto and Blackwater wild. Each oyster was bigger and tasted stronger than the one before. They were accompanied by a vinegary dressing and the salty sharp flavour really was the taste of the sea (which a friend told me is how good oysters should be).

“Next up was a starter of soft, pan-seared scallops , followed by a rich lobster and truffle risotto, beautifully speckled with little chunks of lobster in each mouthful. It was too rich to finish it all, but delicious all the same.

“The service was excellent and our friendly waiter was happy to advise on the wine list, choice of steak and provide a bit of encouragement when we debated whether to have a dessert!

“The Door Oyster Bar & Grill is a great place for a romantic meal or if you’re treating yourself to a cheeky glass of champagne. With the top steak priced at £42, this is a place I would have to reserve for a special occasion, although there are cheaper options on the menu too.”

The Door Oyster Bar & Grill, 33 Cornhill, EC3V 3ND

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Win! A Champagne Experience on the London Eye Plus a River Cruise Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:00:54 +0000

Here’s your chance to win a romantic trip on one of London’s best landmarks, the London Eye.

With the Royal Wedding getting everyone in the mood for romance in London, why not enter our competition to win a Champagne Experience on the London Eye, followed by a romantic river cruise on the Thames?

The Champagne Experience offers spectacular views of London together with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne. Relax and take in famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral

The London Eye River Cruise is a unique 40-minute circular sightseeing cruise on the River Thames. On board, you can enjoy fascinating commentary presented by specialist guides that really bring the city to life.

Enter now to win a Champagne Experience on the London Eye and a romatic river cruise

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Ice Skating in London Mon, 27 Dec 2010 09:00:09 +0000

Littleblom shared this great photo of the ice rink at Somerset house with our Flickr group.

If you’ve stuffed yourself with mince pies and had your fill of Christmas telly, book a skating session at one of London’s ice rinks now.

Don’t forget your camera – share your photos of London with us by entering our Only in London Flickr photo competition. Add them to our Flickr group and tag them onlyinlondon2010 and you could win a night for two at the Thistle Marble Arch with champagne and top price tickets to Jersey Boys.

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London Photo of the Week: Cycling Santas Thu, 23 Dec 2010 12:00:21 +0000

Quick! Follow that reindeer! Even Santa knows that cycling in London is a great way to get around. shared this photo with the Visit London Flickr group.

If you’ve taken a great photo of London, enter our Only in London Flickr photo competition and you could win top price tickets to Jersey Boys and a night for two at the Thistle Marble Arch with a bottle of champagne! Don’t forget to tag your entry onlyinlondon2010.

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Win! Day 19: Dinner for Two in Tate Modern’s Exclusive Seventh-Floor Restaurant Sun, 19 Dec 2010 10:00:37 +0000

Look at that wonderful view!

Now imagine sitting there, with a glass of chilled champagne in your hand, anticipating a wonderful meal for two, enjoying the sparkling London skyline…

That’s what’s on offer for one lucky winner today! Enter this competition, and you and a guest can enjoy dinner for two in Tate Modern’s seventh-floor restaurant, plus a complimentary glass of champers before you begin.

Enter Day 19: Dinner for two in the Tate Modern Restaurant here

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Champagne Sunday Brunch at the Landmark London Tue, 02 Nov 2010 12:00:23 +0000 Fruit tartlets Halloween carrot cake Selection of desserts

On Sunday, I went to the beautiful Landmark London hotel to sample its champagne brunch.

Brunch, to me, usually means pancakes or bagels but the Landmark have turned it into a three-course meal.

Served beneath the beneath the hotel’s beautiful glass atrium, you help yourself to whatever you fancy – and there’s a lot on offer.

I enjoyed food from the starter (or Full English breakfast) section, as much of a roast dinner as I could manage and a selection of desserts from the mouthwatering display: The desserts on offer included a chocolate fountain, Halloween cupcakes, fresh fruit and mini éclairs. Yes, I was very full afterwards!

Also available were blueberry pancakes, seafood, cold cuts of meat and cottage pie.

Alongside your food, you can enjoy unlimited champagne. There was also a cellist and pianist playing laid back music to accompany the meal.

At £75, the brunch isn’t cheap but you do get a lot of food for your money and it’s a lovely way to treat yourself (or someone else) on a Sunday. Plus, you probably won’t need to eat again for the rest of the day!

Champagne Sunday brunch at the Landmark London. £75 per person including unlimited food and champagne. Every Sunday 12.30-3pm. Reservation essential

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