Visit London Blog » texture Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hotel News: New DoubleTree by Hilton, Hotel Xanadu, The Churchill Bar and World’s First Cinema Suite Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:00:14 +0000

The latest news from the London hotel scene, including openings, refurbishments and more.

New Openings

The new DoubleTree by Hilton London – Marble Arch hotel has opened just in time for anyone planning a Christmas shopping trip to London. Situated behind Marble Arch Tube station, the 121-bedroom hotel is just a few steps from the shops of Oxford Street. If the hotel looks familiar, that’s because it was formerly the Best Western Premier Mostyn Hotel and is also home to the famous Texture restaurant and champagne bar.

Hotel Xanadu opened this month, offering boutique accommodation from £150 a night in Bond Street – Bond Street Ealing, that is! The stylish hotel’s West London location makes it an easy journey to and from Heathrow Airport, and to attractions including Kew Gardens, Richmond Park and Wembley Stadium. There’s also a restaurant, Koobla, offering Asian cuisine.

Drink, Dine, Play

The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel is opening a new venue, The Churchill Bar and Terrace at the end of November. As the name suggests, the bar pays homage to Winston Churchill, including a life-sized bronze statue. The bar will serve classic cocktails, liquors, spirits and fine cigars, and has an outside heated terrace. Opens 29 November.

Get into the festive spirit at the Andaz Liverpool Street’s Andaz Lounge, which is installing a jukebox next month. Guests can choose a Christmas song for 50p, with proceeds going to London homeless charity Providence Row. Available from 1 to 28 December.

Film fans can indulge at 51 Buckingham Gate’s new Cinema Suite, a huge two-bedroom suite with décor inspired by iconic movie stars and an 85-inch plasma screen TV and 3D sound system. If you fancy a bit of A-list treatment, the suite is available from £5,100.

Extra, Extra

Free, unlimited Wi-Fi is now available at Guoman’s luxury hotels including The Tower, The Cumberland, The Royal Horseguards and The Charing Cross Hotel.

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Iceland in London: Texture Restaurant Tue, 30 Nov 2010 11:00:52 +0000

On the advice of our Twitter followers, we chose Michelin-starred restaurant Texture for a representation of Iceland in London. Food bloggers Keith and Lolli from were keen to try some Icelandic cuisine and volunteered to road-test the restaurant for us:

There were several reasons why we were exceptionally excited about dining at Texture, brainchild of sommelier Xavier Rousset (Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons) and Icelandic chef Agnar Sverrisson.

First, we love to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants (which foodie doesn’t?) Second, prior to dining at Texture, we were not overly familiar with Icelandic cuisine, bar the penchant for salmon and seafood, so we were eager to learn more. And finally, we couldn’t resist the restaurant’s accompanying champagne bar!

We had a choice of the Ã  la carte menu, tasting menu or the Scandinavian fish menu. We opted for the fish menu and weren’t disappointed. Xavier Rousset’s selections for the wine list were well-organised and had an abundance of choice. We selected a 2007 Laurent Tribut Chablis, which was a perfect pairing for the impending seafood feast.

Our starters consisted of smoked gravlax loch salmon coated in dill, with dollops of horseradish mustard, cucumber emulsion, cucumber snow and rye bread.  The next course was Scottish scallops, mussels, and root vegetable broth. The main dish was an Icelandic lightly salted cod, prawn and barley risotto, with shellfish sauce.

While we were eating, we noticed Agnar Sverrisson greeting a number of diners. Keith took a few minutes to ask him a few questions about his Icelandic influences (while I cowered in the corner like a shy toddler. I am terrible with famous people). Agnar was cordial, pleasant and very forthright about the fact that he is not in any way trying to create an Icelandic culinary experience.

Texture’s amazing feat was that by the end of the meal we were pleasantly satisfied plus knew that we had enjoyed a truly tasty, innovative and unusual meal. The fact that the food is by most standards healthy shouldn’t detract from the fact that this was a truly darn exciting meal.

If you were expecting a hearty dish of putrescent shark (hakarl) or puffin in milk sauce, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Agnar has gone in an entirely different direction. There were moments where the Icelandic influence was obvious. For instance skyr quenelles (yoghurt-like cheese) served with warm crusty brown bread on wooden boards, or the sourcing of the cod and other seafood from Iceland.

Almost regrettably, we neared the end of meal and finished our coffees in the bar with a generous plate of petit fours; macaroons, pistachio madeleines, cardamom truffles and Fisherman’s Friend meringue lollipops.

Read more of Keith and Lolli’s foodie adventures at

Have you been to Texture? Do you know of any other Icelandic experiences in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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