Visit London Blog » new restaurants Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Bar and Restaurant News: Horse Meat Burgers, Caribbean Covent Garden and a Potential Michelin Farmyard Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:00:14 +0000 London’s drinking and dining scene has been extremely busy of late. New bars and restaurants have been opening up all over London. One particular food craze and one specific area of London both seem to be flourishing at the moment.

Burger Crazy
The hunt for the best burgers in London continues: Tommi’s Burger Joint has opened a second restaurant on the King’s Road in Chelsea; StreetFeast regulars, Baba G’s will be dishing up their Bhangra Burger sliders at Apples & Pears on Brick Lane from 10 April; Psychic Burger will open their second outlet at The Old Queen’s Head in Angel on 24 April (with a menu that will feature a burger made from 100% ethically-sourced horse meat); and Patty & Bun open restaurant number two on Liverpool Street in the City of London on 23 April. In other burger related news, Honky Tonk Chelsea are creating a dessert burger for Easter made from a brioche bun and warm chocolate mousse; and Honest Burger recently teamed up with BrewDog bar to create a limited edition burger that required customers to show ID before ordering due to the alcoholic amber ale glaze on the burger.

Covent Garden is Blooming
Possibly London’s most prolific area for new bar and restaurant activity at the moment is Covent Garden in the West End. The American-inspired Big Easy now has a second London location where diners can enjoy their BBQ meats and seafood. Thai beer brand Singha has opened its first European restaurant Pacata in Covent Garden recently and Asian street food dominates the menu that was created by the first Michelin starred Ramen Chef. Following the recent Notting Hill opening of Boom Burger, Caribbean food now also has two new Covent Garden restaurants to boast: Jamaica Patty Company, headed by the twice-voted Caribbean Chef of the Year, and Dub Jam, a colourful BBQ and rum shack located in a former cloakroom. Dub Jam’s signature punch is pumped through the restaurant’s speakers to infuse the drink with authentic reggae sounds! On the Covent Garden horizon, keep an eye out for the new venture from popular Spanish restaurant, Barrafina (also of Soho) which opens in May.

Further New Bar and Restaurant Openings
One Kensington is the glamorous new hangout for lunch, dinner, cocktails and late supper overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens.

Chef Rainer Becker is back once again with yet more contemporary Japanese Robatayaki cuisine at Roka Mayfair.

Traditional Georgian cuisine served in the most splendid of Mayfair settings at Marani.

Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous goes rustic with his second London restaurant Barnyard, which is decorated to match its name.

Bravas is a new Spanish restaurant in St Katharine Docks, only minutes from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

Holborn Dining Room and Delicatessen sees high class British dishes set amongst historical elegance in the new, ultra-luxury, five-star Rosewood London hotel.

Find more bars and restaurants in London

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Holborn Dining Room, London House, Villandry and Bianco43 Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:00:01 +0000 There are a number of new bars and restaurants that have recently opened in London.

Holborn Dining Room
Holborn Dining Room and Delicatessen at the new Rosewood London hotel offers classic British cuisine in a historic setting. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served seven days a week. The Head Chefs have both previously worked at Quaglino’s, Le Pont De La Tour and The Wolseley, and the Bar Manager comes from Brasserie Zédel and The Ivy.

London House
Gordon Ramsay’s new venture is located in his home borough of Wandsworth. The recently-opened London House restaurant and bar in Battersea Square has a worldly menu, thanks to the international background of Head Chef Anna Haugh-Kelly.

Villandry St James
A 1913 Edwardian baroque building in St James is now the home of the new French Mediterranean restaurant Villandry. The restaurant sits conveniently between Piccadilly Circus and Pall Mall. It is split into two areas, one for formal dining and another for the Grand Café brasserie.

Are you hungry for Italian cuisine while exploring Central London? New restaurant Bianco43 is roughly 30 seconds’ walk from Trafalgar Square on Northumberland Avenue. The restaurant’s wood fired oven is Italian, so authentic Neapolitan pizzas will come to your rescue.

Other recently-opened London venues include the wine bar Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels; fairytale-inspired bar and restaurant, The Fable in Holborn; Turkish Mediterranean brasserie Kitchenette in Putney; Jackson + Rye, the New York-style restaurant in Soho; Brooklyn Bowl, the 800-capacity concert venue and bowling lanes at The O2 Arena; and Poncho 8 grab ‘n’ go Mexican restaurant in Sheldon Square, Paddington.

More London restaurant and bar news
London’s dining scene continues to impress and congratulations must go to the following venues for their recent achievements:

Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche restaurant will re-open on 17 February. A new kitchen and private dining room have been added to the restaurant.

Coq d’Argent restaurant is hosting a stargazing evening on 25 February with a demonstration from Bernard Karpinski of Modern Astronomy using the Skyliner-200P telescope recently added to the restaurant’s winter terrace.

During the weekend of 21-23 February, the Craft Beer Rising festival takes places at the Old Truman Brewery in East London. 60 breweries will be showcasing more than 200 beers alongside a program of music and street food.

More London restaurants

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Recently Opened Bars and Restaurants, and New Venues in 2014 Mon, 30 Dec 2013 10:46:42 +0000 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.

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Cafe Football, Riley’s Sports Bar, Ember Yard, Augustus Harris, Wright Brothers and BrewDog Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:00:42 +0000 You have to feel for football fanatics out there. Last week’s 2014 World Cup football draw was not particularly favourable for England fans, and a fair few other countries for that matter. But the timely arrival of two new sport-themed venues in London will be sure to cheer up soccer fans.

Cafe Football
A 140-seater restaurant called Cafe Football has just opened on The Street at Westfield Stratford City and the team who put it all in motion are none other than Manchester United Premier League football stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. All of the dishes on the menu – such as a traditional ‘Pot Noodle’ with a twist – will reference football in some way thanks to the sharp skills of executive chef Brendad Fyldes in collaboration with two Michelin star chef Michael Wignall.

Riley’s Sport Bar
Sport fans will be salivating about paying a visit to the new Riley’s Sport Bar on central London’s Haymarket which impressively features 34 screens, four projectors, and the largest sports screen in London. Want more stats? Of course you do! There’s 70 sports channels, seven pool tables, four bars, three ping pong tables and a whole lot of fun.

For those sports-averse people who’d rather leave the live action to their loved ones, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is only a few minutes’ stroll from Riley’s up Haymarket towards the West End. Until 8 January 2014, visitors can marvel at Carl Warner’s foodscape artwork exhibition, which includes iconic London attractions such as St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye and Tower Bridge made entirely from fruit and vegetables. Warner’s “Crockerville” (pictured above) – a festive Christmas village constructed from 2,000 cookies – is also part of the exhibit.

Ember Yard
In Soho’s thriving Berwick Street, the opening of Ember Yard is exciting foodies across the capital. This is the fourth London restaurant from the Salt Yard Group, who have so far delighted us with Opera Tavern, Salt Yard and Dehesa. As with the previous ventures, the menu will focus on Spanish and Italian cuisine, but here it will be cooked over charcoal. Many of the menu’s ingredients will be smoked on-site and flavours will be created using different types of wood.

Augustus Harris
Located in the same theatre district as Salt Yard Group’s Opera Tavern is the new cosy bàraco, Augustus Harris, where lovers of Italian wine and food can either people-watch from the copper bar area on the ground floor or head for relative solitude in the basement restaurant. Ideal for a pre-theatre meal.

Wright Brothers
Not all new bars and restaurants worth visiting are exclusive to central London, and east London is represented this week by Wright Brothers’ “sea-to-plate” dining experience, now on offer in Old Spitalfields Market, following the success of its sister restaurant in Borough Market. A big draw at this well regarded seafood wholesaler will be the seawater tanks at the centre of the restaurant, containing some 1,400 live crab, lobster and oysters.

Representing the best of the new launch venues in west London this week is another story of success for BrewDog. What began as a humble brewery in Scotland only a handful of years ago has since grown into 13 UK-wide bars, three of which reside here in London. BrewDog bar is for the serious beer fans, with a range of 40 draught beers, 20 of which are guest, to be enjoyed in various sizes. It’s also only stumbling distance from Westfield London shopping mall, although we recommend getting the Christmas shopping out of the way before you visit the bar.

More London Bar and Restaurant News

Ceviche founder Martin Morales has opened a second Peruvian restaurant, Andina, in a trendy part of Shoreditch.

London’s first Korean anju restaurant On The Bab has opened in Old Street. Watch out for the Somaek, the Korean cousin of the Jägerbomb.

If you yearn for Korean alcohol, Holborn’s Kimchee restaurant has just launched its basement Kimchee Bar where Soju, Hakushu, Baekseju and Umeshu are all served alongside Korean beers.

Steam & Rye is a new one-stop destination venue from London entrepreneur Nick House (Mahiki, Whisky Mist and Bodo Schloss) and British model Kelly Brook. With a nod to the glamour and decadence of the Great Gatsby era, the restaurant serves up steaks and BBQ ribs. Its cocktail bar is headed up by one of the UK’s top bartenders Andy Mil.

Chef Mark Hix branches out into the City of London again with Hixter, a new restaurant in Liverpool Street which takes the same simple approach to menu choices as its sister restaurant, Tramshed, offering only chicken and steak.

The Brasilian barbecue trendy continues to gather pace ahead of the World Cup and the Olympics with the arrival of new restaurant Cabana which has just opened up on Angel’s Upper Street.

New Fitzrovia restaurant Boopshi’s serves authentic Austrian schnitzels (although they are made with organic British rose veal). Worth noting: Prosecco is on tap and the restaurant has its own amber ale brewed by the local Camden Town Brewery.

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Pop-up Winter Cabin, Hot Tub Cinema, Sing-a-long Afternoon Tea; New Openings Tue, 26 Nov 2013 09:28:22 +0000 The UK’s supermarkets have filled their aisles with mountains of chocolate assortment boxes, while department stores are vying for our attention with outlandish window displays and celebrity-strewn television commercials. Meanwhile, London’s drinking and dining scene is also getting seasonal.

There are a multitude of Christmas bar and restaurant offers to explore in London, but here are three interesting twists on the festive theme that I’d specifically like to share:

York & Albany’s Winter Cabin
The cosy, toe-warming festive hideaway pictured above is the pop-up Winter Cabin at Gordon Ramsay’s Camden Town restaurant, York & Albany, near Regent’s Park. It can hold between four and 12 guests and can be booked for two-hour sessions (£30 per hour), from 1pm-10pm every day until January 1 2014. The traditional décor crafted from tweed, holly and oak wood panels gives it a quintessential British Christmas feel. You can also enjoy seasonal snacks and winter cocktails.

Hot Tub Cinema Winter Warmers
Taking their unique style of film appreciation indoors for the winter months, Hot Tub Cinema are screening a range of classic festive movies – including The Goonies, Home Alone, Elf, and Die Hard – from the end of November into December. They’re also introducing two new kooky concepts this season: Hot Tub Karaoke and Hot Tub Speed Dating. £32 single ticket, £192 private hot tub (maximum 7 people).

Sing-a-long Afternoon Tea
For those with a penchant for West End musicals, this is one afternoon tea you will not want to miss. All of the requisite afternoon tea features are there – freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries, tea and a superb location in the London Marriott Hotel County Hall adjacent to the London Eye – but at a moderately priced £38, this afternoon tea also includes unlimited bubbly and sing-a-long musical theatre with renditions from Cats, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, West Side Story and Chicago. This event takes place on Saturday 7 December. Song sheets provided; booking essential.

Upcoming Bar and Restaurant Openings

Outside the realm of fake snow and communal cheer, London’s bar and restaurant industry has welcomed a number of new faces that I’d like to introduce to you.

Sixtyone restaurant (pictured above) near Marble Arch is a partnership between Searcy’s (St Pancras Grand, Gin Joint at the Barbican) and Chef Arnaud Stevens, formerly of 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin) and Maze Grill. Stevens’ modern menu features many British ingredients and is available for lunch and dinner. Also worth noting is the 200-strong wine list, 20 of which are by the glass. And on Monday evenings, you can even bring your own wine and expect to pay no corkage. Note the location: this is Christmas shopping territory.

The speculation is finally over. Now that Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant has vacated the premises at Claridge’s in Mayfair, his heir apparent has been chosen: Simon Rogan (pictured above). Rogan currently has a brace of Michelin stars to his name for his L’Enclume restaurant in Cumbria. Rogan’s new restaurant, as yet unnamed, will open in Spring 2014.

Simmons Camden
Having already made a name for itself in King’s Cross, Simmons bar (pictured above) has now opened a bar in Camden. The venue is already a hit with locals thanks to its era-skipping interior design, late night shenanigans, cocktail creations, weekend DJs – and skull-shaped disco ball.

As new bars and clubs in London go, this must win a prize for the best view. Zinc (pictured above) sits on the 31st floor of Centre Point (that tall grey building at the end of Oxford Street) and you are now free to enjoy its vista, as well as its classy cocktails, opulent furnishings and house music DJs every Friday and Saturday night. Make sure you look the part.

More London bar and restaurant news:

  • New Soho night club, Mason House, takes up where Movida left off, in the vaults below the London Palladium, offering multiple levels, VIP areas, and table service.
  • Angela Hartnett, the Michelin Star chef behind Murano restaurant in Mayfair – has launched her second venture, Café Murano in St James, which focuses on Northern Italian cuisine.
  • The superbly inventive Boxpark in Shoreditch has just launched another food outlet. Bunnychow will serve up the eponymous South African dish, a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry.
  • New Zealander Peter Gordon – the supposed godfather of fusion cuisine – is hosting a special dinner at The Providores on 2 and 3 December which will highlight some of the best dishes from his previous menus at The Sugar Club, the 1990s restaurant that made a name for the chef. The six course menu will be matched with New Zealand wines.
  • 34 restaurant in Mayfair has opened its new private room, The Emin Room, so-called because the artwork therein was created exclusively by artist Tracey Emin.
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London Bar and Restaurant News: One Canada Square, Hudson’s House, Momentus, N.A.C and more Tue, 12 Nov 2013 09:02:29 +0000 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.

Hudson’s House
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.

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Drakes Tabanco, Far Rockaway, Chicken Shop, VQ and Olympic Studios Fri, 25 Oct 2013 13:00:17 +0000 The London drinking and dining scene continues to excite and thrill with new concepts and old favourites opening permanent residencies all over the bar and restaurant map. Here are the most enticing London prospects to have launched in recent weeks.

Drakes Tabanco, Fitzrovia

Drakes Tabanco
Fitzrovia is still commanding the attention of eager drinkers and diners in London, vying for attention alongside vanguard areas such as Soho, Shoreditch and Covent Garden. The latest addition to its richly diverse portfolio comes in the form of new sherry and tapas tavern, Drakes Tabanco (pictured above). If you’ve previously succumbed to the Iberian delights of Copita and Barrica, you’ll be enthused to learn that the same team has put together this strikingly authentic outlet for sampling sherry wines straight from the barrel. Keep an eye out for the special sherry matching tasting menu.

Chicken Shop, Tooting

Chicken Shop
Continuing in the same vein of “if you liked that, then you’ll also like this”, those of you who’ve had the pleasure of dining at Dean Street Townhouse, Dirty Burger, Electric Diner, or Pizza East will soon be draining your Oyster card’s pay-as-you-go credit for a trip into deepest south London where, on 30 October, Chicken Shop, will be opening its doors. Soho House group – mother to the aforementioned restaurants – is dribbling its popular brand of style all over whole, half and quartered free-range rotisserie chickens (pictured above). Be prepared to get friendly; this is communal dining.

Far Rockaway, Shoreditch

Far Rockaway
This wouldn’t be a regular restaurant and bar blog if it didn’t include at least one new venue in Shoreditch and sure enough, east London’s beating heart of nightlife has not let us down (will it ever?!). New bar and New York style hangout, Far Rockaway (pictured above), has the taste and colourful diversity of a Knickerbocker Glory (a dessert which is served at the establishment) and is not for anyone who is averse to draught cocktails, local beers, Street Art or diner style fare. And yes, those are skateboards covering the ceiling.

Olympic Studios

Olympic Studios
This famous recording studio (pictured above) – once graced by the talents of Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Led Zeppelin – is now strutting its stuff in south west London as a multifaceted beast of pure hedonism, comprising of equal parts luxury cinema, private members’ club and, café/dining room serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a seasonal British slant. Rockin’!

VQ 24-hour dining, West End

Not content with just feeding the hungry mouths of Chelsea all the way around the clock, VQ café & diner (pictured above) is now on 24-hour call in London’s West End too. Fancy burgers at 2am, breakfast at 9pm, or apple crumble with custard washed down with champagne, wine, beer or cocktails before lunch? Then have we found the right venue for you!


More New Openings

Topolski – this new cafe-cum-art-exhibition by day, bar by night, on the South Bank opens on 1 November and will be flaunting a concise all-day menu that takes its cue from a range of European cuisines.

The Sign of The Don – from the team behind The Bleeding Heart, this new bistro and bar near Bank Station launches on 3 November, offering a more relaxed vibe, a huge range of wines by the glass, and modern British dishes that occasionally veer alluringly close Spanish and Portuguese cuisine.

Zumbura, Clapham

Zumbura – this new Clapham restaurant (pictured above) launches on 6 November and will focus on the traditional cuisine of the north Indian region of Purab.

Benito’s Hat – the fresh burritos (pictured below) , tacos, soups and salads of this popular Mexican fast food chain hit the burgeoning Farringdon dining scene in early November, this time with added salsa bar.

Benito's Hat, Farringdon

For more drinking and dining inspiration in London, check out our Restaurants and Bars section

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London Bar and Restaurant News: London Restaurant Festival, London Cocktail Week, Chotto Matte, Merchant’s Tavern, The Doll’s House Fri, 27 Sep 2013 11:23:46 +0000 The London drinking and dining scene continues to grow this month with a number of new venues opening, and there are a few key calendar fillers that aim to inspire and entertain.

The annual city-wide celebration of dining out, the London Restaurant Festival, will once again challenge chefs from 350 of London’s top restaurants to conjure up special menus as inclusive, affordable tasters for all to enjoy. Running from 3 to 21 October, the festival will also provide a number of tours and trails, discussions and site-specific events that will include some familiar faces.

Not to be outshone by the world of food, the bar industry’s equally exciting London Cocktail Week begins on 7 October. Highlights this year include brand-lead pop-ups in Seven Dials, cocktail soirées and late-night after parties, expert seminars, events and master classes, and £4 cocktails at all participating bars on the Cocktail Tours (for those with the requisite wristband).

Also, the free Cheese and Wine Festival returns for its autumn event at the Southbank Centre from 11 to 13 October.

The most enticing new additions to the thriving bar and restaurant map of London include the following:

ChottoMatte Credit Oliver Rudkin

Chotto Matte
Offering four distinct areas over three floors, the new Chotto Matte Japanese restaurant and bar (above) in Soho is home to a lounge, a sushi bar, a robata grill and a 180-seater restaurant. The restaurateur behind the European development of Nobu Europe, Ping Pong and Hakkasan has created this vast project that blurs the boundaries between modern and traditional aesthetics. Expect Japanese-Peruvian cuisine (aka Nikkei) and colourful cocktails, alongside late-night dining, live music and DJ sets.

Merchant’s Tavern
Merchant’s Tavern – the new Shoreditch venture in a Victorian warehouse and former apothecary – does for the restaurant scene what the Travelling Wilburys did for music, bringing together an A team of big name talents: namely Chef Neil Borthwick (formerly of Michel Bras and The Square), Angela Hartnett (of Murano) and Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton-Malone, the founders of the popular Canteen chain. Opening on 1 October, this update on the classic tavern creates a modern European menu that is determined by the seasons.


Karim Sethi of the Sethi family – owners of London’s Trishna, Bubbledogs and The Pearson Room restaurants – has opened Gymkhana restaurant and bar (above) in the heart of Mayfair. Here the aesthetic is drawn from prevalent sports at India’s Gymkhana such as cricket, polo and equestrian as well as expressions of tradition and opulence through the use of crests and ornate detailing. The modern Indian menu focuses on the tandoor oven and sigri charcoal grill with signature dishes including club-style nashtas (Indian all-day snack fare) such as duck egg and white crab bhurji. Dishes such as Achari roe deer chops, pickling spices, clove smoke, mustard mooli are served roasted from the tandoor.

AD12 at T42
AD12 at T42, a 12-week pop-up restaurant from acclaimed Michelin starred chef Anthony Demetre – he of Arbutus, Wild Honey and Les Deux Salons notoriety – opens on 1 October in the high rise building Tower 42. Demetre is the first of many renowned chefs who will be taking up short-term residencies at the location. Demetre’s accessible modern bistro menu will reflect the signature style at his London restaurants.


The Doll’s House
If a 12-week pop-up is not quite long enough for you, the year-long pop-up concept Doll’s House (above) should provide plenty of entertainment. The three-storey building it is housed in is due for demolition in a year’s time so this semi-permanent venue will be inviting street food vendors to guest edit its kitchen for one week at a time, meaning no two experiences will ever be the same. Although technically a members’ club, this concept welcomes all, and there is no charge to join (all that is asked of you is a small token gift to help make the venue more homely). In summer, keep an eye out for the lovely little roof terrace overlooking Hoxton Square.

More New Openings
100 Hoxton cocktail bar and restaurant in Shoreditch offers Asian-inspired innovative cuisine and superb cocktails.

Diciannove, a brand new restaurant, cicchetti bar and deli, replaces Refettorio restaurant in the Grade II-listed surroundings of the Crown Plaza London.

Augustine Kitchen is a new 60-seater French restaurant from Franck Raymond, formerly head chef at London institution Mon Plaisir in Covent Garden.

Urban Meadow, the new destination cafe and bar, merges city chic with a calm rural influence, and is but a short stroll from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

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Georgia in London: Colchis Georgian Restaurant and Bar Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:28:35 +0000

Giorgi Sulkhanishvili has just helped to launch Colchis Georgian restaurant and bar in Notting Hill. We chatted to him about Georgian food and culture for our World in London series.

How has it been going since you opened Colchis?

Quite busy. We get a mixture of people who know Georgia, expats from the former Soviet Union and locals who have travelled to Russia. Georgian cuisine is quite big in Russia so most people who’ve been to Russia have probably tried Georgian cuisine there.

Also we have a very nice bar so we have people who come for a drink, opened minded locals who want to try new things.

Why did you decide to open a Georgian restaurant in London?
There are a few already existing but there was nothing that had an offering of this kind. It’s a more sophisticated offering here, a wide range of flavours of Georgia and a different ambiance.

What does the name Colchis mean?

It was the name of Georgia in 2000BC, from the legend of Jason and the Argonauts. It’s quite recognisable for Georgians and Russians. For locals it sounds quite mysterious. It’s quite pronounceable. Georgian words are not normally pronounceable!

What are the key dishes and ingredients?

It’s traditional Georgian food. Quite simple flavours. Things like bean soup, ghomi (similar to polenta), spinach with walnuts. We have ajap sandali, like a ragu with aubergine, pepper, tomatoes, potatoes. We have anchovies with fried ghomi and tkemali sauce.

Georgian food is a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern with an influence of India because it’s on the spice trade routes.

How about the drinks?

We have Georgian wine. Georgia is famous for its wine production. It’s the oldest wine growing country in the world. It’s the part of the world where viticulture began in 8000BC.

I have a winery in Georgia. I am a very small producer. I am passionate about including small producers that are not stocked in supermarkets.

Apart from Colchis where would you go for a taste of Georgian culture in London?

Georgian theatre and cinema come here. There’s a British-Georgian friendship society. Whoever is interested, they can always find something related to Georgia happening in London.

Do you know of more Georgian culture in London? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below.

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Stylish New Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts Wed, 19 Jan 2011 14:00:56 +0000

A new restaurant opens today at the Royal Academy of Arts, run by restaurateur Oliver Peyton with décor by designer Tom Dixon. The Royal Academy refreshment rooms, which first opened in 1885, have been given a stylish makeover.

The interior is stunning, particularly Dixon’s gold-coloured lights. But the main attraction is the artwork on show, including sculptures from the Royal Academy collection and original wall murals by Fred Appleyard, Harold Speed, Gilbert Spencer and Leonard Rosoman.

The restaurant is open on Friday and Saturday evenings, making it an attractive option for West End diners, not just visitors to the gallery. And Peyton says he has an “aspiration to open every night”.

On the menu, you’ll find seasonal British dishes such as roasted sea bass, pheasant and venison, as well as afternoon teas and smaller tapas-style dishes.

The arty theme even extends to the wine: Peyton is working with artists to create bespoke wine labels, and hopes that soon “all the wine available by the glass will be by artists working at the Royal Academy”.

London’s museum restaurants are really going up in the world. Let us know your favourites in the comments below.

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