Visit London Blog » Vinopolis Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 St Patrick’s Day 2014: Top 5 Irish Bars and Restaurants in London Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:00:35 +0000 On 17 March each year, London adopts a decidedly Irish attitude to celebrating the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick. In addition to the free St Patrick’s Day parade and Irish festival in Trafalgar Square (this year on Sunday 16 March) many London bars and restaurants take the opportunity to become Irish for a day.

There is usually a sharp rise in Guinness sales during the St Patrick’s Day weekend and the experience of having fun with friends over a beer is often referred to as “the craic”. When raising your glass, it is also polite to say “Sláinte” (pronounced “slawnt-yeh”). Here are our Top 5 Irish bars and restaurants in London for celebrating St Patrick’s Day 2014.

London’s top wine tasting attraction, Vinopolis, is hosting two St Patrick’s Day events in March. On Friday 14 March. a Celtic Céilí will take place under the railway arches. This will include dancing and a live céilí bands performing Celtic and Irish tunes; an ideal opportunity to try Irish dances such as Walls of Limerick and Waves of Tory. You can enjoy a wine tasting experience plus entry to the event (with free Irish whiskey cocktail) for £35 per person. For those who like to celebrate the Irish at a slower pace, there is also an Irish whiskey masterclass on Monday 17 March.

The Porterhouse is probably one of the biggest and most authentic Irish bars in London. This multi-level bar in Covent Garden is filled with an array of interesting beers, stouts, ales and porters, each lovingly hand-crafted in Dublin, then exported to London. There is also a basement bar where live music is performed on Sunday afternoons.

Waxy O’Connors
Another Central London bar that has strong connections with Ireland is Waxy O’Connor’s in Chinatown. This unique rabbit warren bar is popular with many London visitors due to its West End location and unusual décor. The bar will be hosting a week of Irish-themed, St Patrick’s Day events with drinks promotions, whiskey tastings, live music, St Patrick’s Day menu, live Six Nations rugby (France Vs Ireland producing probably the biggest crowd), plus a St Patrick’s Day parade party on Sunday 16 March.

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
Mayfair restaurant Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill is run by celebrity chef and Irishman, Richard Corrigan. On Monday 17 March, Richard himself will be hosting a special three-course menu (£60) from 12:30pm which will be accompanied by live Irish music. Bentley’s still stands in the same Victorian building where it first opened back in 1916, providing a traditional backdrop to this St Patrick’s Day feast.

The Irish bar group, O’Neill’s, has a number of pubs around London. O’Neill’s Soho is hosting a week of events in celebration of St Patrick’s Day starting on 12 March with two Irish bands playing until 3am. Other highlights of the week-long party include dancing, lots of Guinness, comedy hats, live football, live GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), live Six Nations rugby, and an all-day party on St Patrick’s Day itself.

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London Restaurant News: Where To Celebrate Burns Night in London Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:22:13 +0000 You may have heard of Burns Night, and you might have asked yourself “when is Burns Night” or even “what is Burns Night”. Robert Burns was an 18th century Scottish poet. One of his most famous poems, Auld Lang Syne, is most notably sung on New Year’s Eve. He is also sometimes referred to as Robbie Burns or Rabbie Burns.

Burns is regarded as Scotland’s national poet, and his birthday is therefore celebrated every year. Burns Night 2104 falls on 25 January with bars and restaurant across the UK marking the occasion by hosting a Burns Supper event. A Burns Supper will usually comprise of traditional Scottish food, Scottish music in the form of bagpipes, recitals of Burns’ Scottish poetry, and, of course, Scotch whisky.

Although London is not located in Scotland, many restaurants still observe Burns Night. Here are some of the most exciting Burns Night suppers in London to look forward to in 2014.

Albannach in Trafalgar Square is a well-known Scottish bar and restaurant. This Burns Night, Albannach (pictured above) will be hosting two sittings (6.30pm and 8.30pm) of a special six-course Burns Supper menu with coffee, handmade whisky truffle and three whisky tasters included. Various toasts will be made to Burns throughout the night. Tickets are £75 per person.

Min Jiang
For a Burns Night experience with a difference, it’s worth booking at Min Jiang Chinese restaurant (pictured above) overlooking Kensington Gardens. The Chinese Burns menu will include a flight of Dalmore whiskies and a few twists on traditional Scottish dishes such as char siew haggis puff, and sesame prawn and haggis toast. The price is £35 per person.

Burns Night seems like the ideal time to learn more about the famous Scottish tipple, whisky. Vinopolis, London’s wine tasting visitor attraction (pictured above), has arranged for whisky expert, Tom Forrest, to teach a masterclass alongside their three-course Burns Supper. This is a great option for large groups especially, because for every nine people booked a tenth can join the party for free. Please note, this event takes place on Friday 24 January.

Fortnum & Mason
On Saturday 25 January from 7pm, Fortnum & Mason  on Piccadilly will be the scene of a special Burns Supper. The traditional Scottish menu will include cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps & Ayrshire tatties (turnip and potato) with whisky sauce, all served with a wee dram of Highland single malt whisky. Speakers will provide renditions of various Rabbie Burns’ poems, including the Selkirk Toast. Tickets are £75 per person and include whisky and wine.

Perhaps London’s most Scottish home-away-from-home is Boisdale in Canary Wharf which boasts a whisky collection that extends into the hundreds. From 20 to 29 January, Boisdale will be celebrating Burns Night 2014, its own 25th anniversary and the referendum on Scottish independence later this year, with a special ‘Union Haggis’ menu. The symbolic unifying haggis will contain the heart of a Scottish lamb, the liver of an English lamb, the lungs from a Welsh lamb, and barley grown in Ireland. Guests can choose between three-, four-, and five-course Burns menus, each served with a 25ml noggin of The Macallan malt whisky.

Other London bars and restaurants celebrating Burns Night in 2014 include Blueprint Cafe, Searcys St Pancras Grand, Seven Park Place, Marco Grill Chelsea, and The Draft House Tower Bridge.

Other London bar and restaurant news

Brooklyn Bowl – A new 12-lane bowling alley, concert venue, restaurant and bar called Brooklyn Bowl opens at The O2 Arena this week.

House of Ho – Bobby Chinn’s new restaurant, The House of Ho has just started serving modern Vietnamese in Soho.

The Gilbert Scott – A new Brontë sister inspired afternoon tea will be launched on 29 January for two weeks at The Gilbert Scott to include special talks from artist, Charlotte Cory, and the Brontë Society Director, Ann Sumner.

Tom Aikens – Chef Aikens hopes to open a new central London restaurant in the near future. This will therefore see the closure of the Michelin star Tom Aikens restaurant in Chelsea at the end of January.

Marcus Wareing – Michelin star chef, Marcus Wareing, is closing his restaurant at The Berkeleythis week for a two-month refurbishment and rebranding exercise.

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London Bar and Restaurant News: Halloween Food, Cocktails and Events Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:01:25 +0000 As the witching hour cloaks the streets of London in darkness, a number of the city’s most well-known bars, restaurants and event spaces are turning frightfully ghoulish for Halloween this year.

The Artesian
The Aqui Estoy cocktail (pictured above), served at The Artesian bar in The Langham Hotel, combines Don Julio Blanco Mexican tequila, with smoky Mezcal, finished with cinnamon cuts and rose buds. The cocktail’s scary presentation, in a skull with the eyes having been filled with rice flowers, is worth its £16.50 price tag alone.

The sprawling Victorian railway arches which entomb wine tasting venue Vinopolis near Borough Market (pictured right) will be hosting a special Halloween cocktail making masterclass (31 Oct, £40).

From 17 to 31 Oct, the terrace at Bluebird will transform into an American-style pumpkin patch, and the venue will also be holding a pumpkin-carving master class for kids (29 Oct), serving serial-killer cocktails for adults, and an afternoon tea that replaces classic English scones with ghost cupcakes. In addition to various Halloween inspired dishes on the menu, there will also be a night of scary speed-dating; a Halloween themed evening dedicated to helping singletons find love amongst the cobwebs.

Planet Hollywood
Those with little terrors to entertain, head to Planet Hollywood in central London where Halloween will be celebrated on both 26 Oct and 31 Oct with a two-course, £14.95 offer for adults (£8.95 for kids) which includes ghoulish menu items like the pumpkin soup cauldron starter, Frankenburger mains and Death by Chocolate to finish you off. Free face painting will available for those that dare!

A Secret Location in South London
The Simon Drake Spooktacular (pictured above) is to be held at a secret, 200-year old, gothic Victorian mansion (1 Nov, £45-£85) and the price of the ticket includes a 2-course dinner, haunted cellar tours, fortune telling, wandering magicians, Simon Drake’s illusionist show and zombie dancing until 1am. Halloween fancy dress will be necessary.

The Andaz Hotel next to Liverpool Street Station is home of 1901 restaurant and its floating cocktail bar (not literally, of course). A few years ago, a Masonic Temple was discovered behind a secret door in the hotel and it is rumoured that Jack The Ripper was one of the Freemasons who used it. A cocktail named Jack’s Martini – fresh cucumber, tangy lime, elderflower cordial and Hendricks gin – has been especially created to mark this eerie fact for Halloween.

Archer Street
Mexican Day of the Dead tradition meets Soho’s basement vibe this Halloween with Archer Street’s Don Julio bar (pictured above) where brightly coloured ponchos, sombreros, and skulls of the dead provide the backdrop for sipping tequila cocktails, such as the devilish Highway To Hell.

Brunel Museum
Following last year’s incredible reviews from guests and the media, the Midnight Apothecary Halloween Extravaganza (pictured above) at the Brunel Museum will be a ticket-only event in 2013. Pumpkin-laden revelry will unfold on the beautifully dressed rooftop garden and will include special themed cocktails and free toasted marshmallows around the fire pit. Sat 26 Oct, 5.30–11pm (last orders 10pm), tickets are £5.

The Montagu
From 28th October to 2nd November, The Montagu restaurant will be offering an imaginatively themed Halloween Afternoon Tea (pictured above) which includes Black Liquorice Panna Cotta, Pumpkin Frangipane Cakes and sawn-off finger Cupcakes! The Halloween Afternoon Tea will be served from 3-6pm, £30 per person.

Check out some of the best Halloween

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Top Five London Halloween Events Tue, 08 Oct 2013 14:36:12 +0000 Scare yourself silly in London this Halloween by checking out one of the city’s spooky happenings.

1. Catch a Scary Movie

 The Halloween Movie Mash-up Weekend at the Portobello Pop-up Cinema

When: 25-27 October

What: Celebrate the best in musical and classic horror flicks at this three-day fright-fest that features Halloween-themed food and drink, sing and dance-a-longs, fashionably frightening dressing-up boxes, pumpkin carving and apple bobbing. Film screenings include Halloween, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Find out more here

2. Brave the London Dungeon 

Halloween 2013 at The London Dungeon

When: From now until 9 November

What: Halloween revellers can meet the fiendish Sweeney Todd and a supporting cast of historical characters at what the London Dungeon reckons is its biggest, best and boldest Halloween season yet. Expect a double-dose of Halloween scares and laughs including The London Dungeon’s own Halloween home brew and a ghastly trick or treat lolly for every guest.

Find out more here

3. Enjoy a Ghoulish Adventure on the London Eye

Halloween Witch Academy 2013 at EDF Energy London Eye

When: 26 October – 2 November

What: Families are invited to join the ghoulish fun at the London Eye‘s Witch Academy. On the Halloween Storytelling Capsule, kids can join the High Witch to take on the ghastly Grimly Grim (voiced by family favourite Harry Enfield) and help to foil his plans to steal the Crown Jewels. Every graduate of the Witch Academy will receive a special badge of honour and join the Witch Academy Alumni.

Find out more here

4. Get Spooked at London Zoo

Boo at the Zoo at ZSL London Zoo

When: 26 October – 3 November

What: London Zoo is set to come creeping to life with a string of Halloween-themed special events, including spooky storytelling, frightening face painting and menacing mask-making. Visitors can also enjoy special Halloween versions of the zoo’s popular animal talks, feeds and demonstrations.

Find out more here

5. Discover a World of Spirits at Vinopolis

Vinopolis Cocktail Making Masterclass – Halloween Special

When: 31 October

What: Wine tasting destination Vinopolis will be stirring up a selection of spine-tingling Halloween potions in their Cocktail Making Masterclass. Test your magic with one of the experts as they teach you the tricks of the trade in order to concoct just the right mix of hair-raising ingredients, leaving you with some fiendish cocktails to try on your friends at home.

Find out more here

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Visit London Blog Giveaway: Tickets to Vinopolis Colombia Fest Fri, 09 Jul 2010 09:00:32 +0000

Tuesday 20 July marks the bicentennial of Colombia’s Independence. And what better way to celebrate than a huge party at Vinopolis!

Colombia Fest at Vinopolis presents live music from world-renowned band Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, traditional Colombian dancing, a Colombian DJ and a special-guest appearance by Miss Great Britain, Tara Hoyos-Martinez (her parents are Colombian).

Meanwhile, there’ll be delicious food platters of empanadas and chorizo, accompanied by Colombian drinks: Sant Fe Rum, Nectar Aguardiente (a fiery aniseed spirit) and Colombia’s premium beer, Club Colombia.

Best of all, Vinopolis and Visit London are giving away three double-passes to Colombia Fest at Vinopolis on 20 July.

To enter, leave a comment below telling us how you’re celebrating summer in London and email

The deadline for entries is 11.59pm, Thursday 15  July. Winners will be notified by Vinopolis on Friday 16 July.

Don’t want to chance it? Buy yourself a ticket today at

Tickets cost £29 in advance or £35 on the door.

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Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Bar Launch at Vinopolis Thu, 25 Mar 2010 10:56:22 +0000 The Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Bar Champagne bottles Event space at Vinopolis Event space at Vinopolis Laithwaites, the wine shop at Vinopolis Barrel

Last night I went to Vinopolis for the launch of their new Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Bar. I dutifully drank my way through Champagne brand Nicolas Feuillatte‘s Brut Reserve Particulière, Brut Vintage and Rosé Vintage, all of which I’d happily and somewhat drunkenly recommend.

The bar is a large and luxurious space decorated with wenge wood and veneered oak, plus some big comfy chairs to recline in should the bubbles go to your head. It can be visited on a Vinopolis wine tour (either as part of the Celebration Tour or by purchasing an upgrade.)

The launch party was also a chance to take a peek at the rest of Vinopolis and appreciate just how big it is. Their event space was particularly impressive.

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Celebrate the New Laithwaites Shop Opening in SE1 with a Glass of Champagne Fri, 19 Feb 2010 10:00:09 +0000 Laithwaites Wine opens a new flagship store in Southwark today, and you’re invited down for a celebratory glass of bubbly!

Join the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Jeff Hook along with staff from Laithwaites, Vinopolis, Borough Market Stallholders and other customers for a glass of champagne at the new shop in Vinopolis from 4pm.

Even more exciting is the wine lucky dip Laithwaites are offering on Saturday 20 February (tomorrow).

Between 10am and 10pm, Laithwaites are offering you the chance to buy one of 500 mystery bottles of wine for £5.

Among the wines up for grabs in this lucky dip are Lafite, Haut-Brion, Mouton, and other established classics and New World discoveries. All the bottles are worth over a fiver; you have to leave it up to chance to determine how much more than that you get for your cash!

As well as the lucky dip, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for tasting wines from Laithwaites extensive range, at one of the world’s longest wine tasting tables in the new store.  

Get there early to bag one of the 500 mystery bottles!

Opening of the Laithwaites Store: today from 4pm
Wine Lucky Dip – tomorrow: 10am-10pm
Where to find Laithwaites new store: Vinopolis, No.1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU

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Visit London Asks: What Are You Doing to Celebrate Australia Day in London? Mon, 25 Jan 2010 11:02:48 +0000

Tomorrow, 26 January, is Australia Day: the national day of Australia. The day commemorates the day the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788.

With its thriving Aussie community, many places in London will be holding parties and events to celebrate Australia day.

For starters, there are Australia Day celebrations at the Walkabout Inn in Islington, The One Tun on Goodge Street, the Clapham Grand, at various branches of Belushi’s and, slightly incongruously, at Waxy O’Connors (one of London’s biggest Irish pubs) tomorrow night.

At Jetlag near Great Portland Street, they’re holding an Aussie film marathon, with classic movies Puberty Blues, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding and the ever-brilliant Strictly Ballroom. Add to this the food accompaniment of kangaroo steak with garlic and lime jumbo prawns and ice-cold James Boag’s lager and we think you’ve got the makings of a fantastic Australia Day celebration.

Vinopolis are also celebrating Australia Day with a special tasting of all things Australian tomorrow. In addition to Australian sparkling wine, Victoria Bitter and Australian Bombay Sapphire cocktails, there’ll be a selection of tasty treats to soak up the alcohol: Jumbuck’s pies and Tim Tam biscuits with rum.

This is just a taster of all the fun and frolics planned for tomorrow night in London. What are your plans for celebrating Australia Day?

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Vinopolis celebrates its 10th birthday with Oz Clarke and 1,000s of free tickets! Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:51:16 +0000 London's Vinopolis releases birthday balloons

Azure blue skies, shocking pink ribbons and a thousand purple balloons provided the colouful backdrop for Vinopolis’  10th birthday celebrations today.

TV wine expert Oz Clarke was the velvety-voiced star turn.  He treated the crowd to reminiscences about being Dom Jolleyed in SE1 and succumbing to the allure of the Green Fairy during  a Vinopoils absinthe tasting. He also joked that Vinopolis really wanted his Big Wine Adventure  chum James May to appear instead of him!

Oz, Rupert Ellwood (MD of Vinopolis) and the Mayor of Southwark cut the celebratory pink ribbon, the nets opened and the purple balloons gently spilled over the London skyline, each carrying a pair of complimentary Vinopolis Grapevine tickets. Catch one if you can as it’s a really good tour. There’s also a mystery prize for whoever finds the balloon that travels the furthest from Vinopolis!

Check the Vinopolis website for more special birthday events.

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