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Mar

28

Pamper your pooch at M Restaurants

Here at Square Meal, we always get asked for recommendations for dog-friendly pubs and restaurants - this is Britain, where dogs are man's best friend, after all.

This Easter, M Restaurant is taking the concept of being dog-friendly to the next level by hosting a 'pedigree pooch brunch party', complete with a canine Easter egg hunt, a behaviourist on hand to give training advice, and an artist to paint pets' ‘paw-traits’. Owners can enjoy a two-course meal (with a doggy bag for the pooches) during which they can meet like-minded dog lovers.

The event takes place on Saturday 28 March, and costs £25 (one dog per owner, please). To book, call M Restaurant on 020 3327 7770.

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M Restaurants

Mar

14

Counter Culture with Wright Brothers

Oysters... so easy to eat when they're being shucked and served in front of you, but something you don't bother with much at home? In a bid to stop you from missing out, Wright Brothers is launching a series of masterclasses focusing on preparing and enjoying British seafood.

From 14 March, Wright Brothers Soho will be hosting 'The World's Your Oyster', a fortnightly masterclass in the art of shucking and serving native oysters, both raw and cooked. You'll taste six types of raw oysters au naturel  followed by three cooked oysters and three dressed oysters - all washed down with Champagne, of course. You'll then be able to have a go at shucking your own oysters, and will be given tips on how to prepare the delicacy in your own kitchen by Wright Brothers' chefs.

From 19 May Wright Brothers Spitalfields will follow suit with the same masterclass once a fortnight.

The classes cost £60, including a Wright Brothers goodie bag complete with shucking knife. Group bookings are also available on request. To book a masterclass, contact the restaurants directly.
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Wright Brothers

Mar

19

Mark Hix and Anton Edelmann at Tramshed

Mark Hix counts Anton Edelmann as one of his mentors; the two chefs worked together nearly 20 years ago at The Grosvenor House hotel. This March, Hix has invited his friend to join him and a select number of guests at an intimate dinner at Tramshed Shoreditch as part of the restaurant's Kitchen Table series.

Hix, a fun and unaffected raconteur, will chat with Edelmann as the pair cook four courses together for their guests. Over dinner, they will tell anecdotes about the dishes they used to cook together, how the food landscape has changed in the intervening years, and other kitchen stories. The special meal will be held in Mark's Kitchen Library, an exclusive private room above the main dining room.

This event will take place on 19 March at Tramshed Shoreditch. Only 12 places are available, with tickets costing £175. To book your place, call 020 3641 8345 or email reservations@tramshedshoreditch.co.uk.

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Tramshed

Mar

24

Wine & Spice Evening at The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club has carved out a towering reputation for marrying exotic Indian cuisine with wine and the results can be simply stunning. If you like the idea of original and exciting food pairings, don't miss what promises to be a cracking evening on Friday 5 May.

Guests will be served a five-course menu created by exec-chef Vivek Singh with perfectly matched wines from the award-winning Seghesio Estate, Sonoma County, California, selected by the restaurant’s head sommelier, Laurent Chaniac. Both Chaniac and Camille Seghesio (grand-daughter of Edoardo and Angela Seghesio who founded the Seghesio Estate in 1895) will join guests for dinner to help explain the delicate relationship between spice and wine.

Tickets cost £96 per person. To book call 020 7222 2555 or email events@cinnamonclub.com

THE MENU

Tandoori swordfish with carom seeds
Arneis, 2005
---
Roomali wrapped loin of rabbit
Pinot Noir, Keyhole, Russian River, 2003
---
Slow braised lamb shoulder with dates, prunes and spices
Zinfandel, Sonoma County, 2004
---
Roast saddle of red deer with pickling spices
Zinfandel, Home Ranch, Alexander Valley, 2003
Zinfandel, Old Vines, Seghesio, Alexander Valley, 2002
---
Ginger toffee pudding with Columba cream and banana ice cream
Shot of Columba cream liqueur served over ice

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The Old Westminster Library, Great Smith Street,

Mar

18

Protégés cook with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

The inimitable Raymond Blanc is not just a celebrated chef in his own right; he's also played mentor to an impressive list of now-acclaimed protégés, including Ollie Dabbous, Michael Caines and Bruno Loubet.

This year, in a series of dinners, Blanc's one-time students are coming back to the restaurant to cook as peers. Each month from March to November will see one top chef sharing the kitchen with their former mentor and cooking up a special menu that features signature dishes from Le Manoir's 30-year tenure at the top of the culinary tree, plus plates reflecting the skills and passions of each guest chef.

Tickets to each Diner des Protégés cost £225, including a Champagne-and-canapé reception, dinner with matching wines, plus coffee and petits fours. To book your place, call 01844 277484 or visit Le Manoir's website.

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Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Mar

20

The Ritz’s Perrier-Jouët Champagne dinner

There can’t be many more luxurious ways to spend an evening than enjoying a five-course meal at The Ritz, with a different Perrier-Jouët Champagne to match each dish. So don’t miss out on this exclusive on Friday 20 March - tickets are selling out fast.

The evening, which takes place in the 18th-century William Kent House, located in the hotel’s sumptuous grounds, will start with a Champagne-and-canapé reception -think brioche pizza with celeriac and truffle, and pommes soufflé with caviar, both paired with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV.

Guests will then sit down to a magnificent dinner hosted by the Champagne house’s Chef du Cave, Hervé Deschamps. Courses will include native lobster with caviar and beetroot, paired with Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV. Save room for dessert - a mosaique of rhubarb, raspberry, Champagne jelly and buttermilk, matched with one of Perrier-Jouët’s most elegant Champagnes, the 2007 Belle Epoque Edition Première.

The Perrier-Jouët Champagne dinner takes place on Friday 20 March, from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £260.

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William Kent House, The Ritz

Mar

18

Sager + Wilde's Typing Room takeover

London’s East End hasn’t always been known for its standard-setting food and fine wines, but times are changing. Chef Lee Westcott’s Typing Room restaurant at the Town Hall Hotel has received many plaudits since opening last year, while wine-focused bar and restaurant Sager + Wilde showcases rare and unusual bottles in cool, unpretentious surroundings, and in doing so has opened up the world of wine to all drinkers. It seems only natural that the two venues should join forces for a one-off event.

That event is an eight-course tasting menu cooked by Westcott, with Californian wine pairings from the team at Sager + Wilde. Dishes will include mackerel with passion fruit and kohlrabi, and celeriac with foie gras, mustard and walnut, while wines will feature some of Sager + Wilde’s rarest finds - including bottles by Scholium Project, Pierre Breton, JJ Prum and Pierre Morey.

This unique event will take place on Wednesday 18 March, from 6-10.30pm. The special menu costs £150 per person, including all food, wine and service, and is available throughout the evening (alongside Westcott’s à la carte menu). To book a table, email reservations@typingroom.com.

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Typing Room at Town Hall Hotel

Mar

27

Italian wines at The Cinnamon Club's Wine & Spice dinner

Westminster big hitter The Cinnamon Club is on a mission to prove that spicy food can be a great match with top-quality wines. This Friday, the restaurant will prove its point with a boutique wine dinner combining exquisite, delicately spiced modern-Indian food and Italian wines from the north and north-east of the country.

Guests can enjoy a canapé and drinks reception from 6.30pm, followed by a four-course dinner, with each dish paired with an Italian wine. Dishes on the specially curated menu include grilled king scallops with dried shrimp and ginger raita (paired with a lightly perfumed 2010 Simon di Brazzan Malvasia from Friuli), and cardamom cheesecake with quince chutney (paired with a juicy, floral 2004 Picolit from Aquila del Torre).

Tickets cost £90, excluding service charge. To book, visit The Cinnamon Club's booking page.

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The Cinnamon Club

Mar

14

Gluten-free cookery masterclasses at Cantina del Ponte

Do you find cooking for your gluten-free friend or family member a bit daunting? Are you gluten-free and stuck in a rut? Or are you looking for gluten-free dishes that everyone will like? Then this hands-on masterclass is for you.

Finnish nutritionist and gluten-free specialist Stephanie Seege has teamed up with Cantina del Ponte's head chef Marco Goldin to lead two cookery classes dedicated to cooking delicious and out-of-the-ordinary gluten-free dishes. These are restaurant-standard dishes that you will be able to whip up at home - and they're guaranteed to find favour with everyone, not just those following a gluten-free diet.

The classes take place over two Saturdays and tackle a different set of recipes each time, starting with posh snacks and pastries before moving on to a crash course in homemade gluten-free pasta. All the dishes have an Italian slant and all are certain to wow.

The masterclasses cost £115 each and include lunch and a signed copy of Seege's book, Soulflavours. To book your place, contact the restaurant.

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Cantina del Ponte

Mar

14

Counter Culture with Wright Brothers

Oysters... so easy to eat when they're being shucked and served in front of you, but something you don't bother with much at home? In a bid to stop you from missing out, Wright Brothers is launching a series of masterclasses focusing on preparing and enjoying British seafood.

From 14 March, Wright Brothers Soho will be hosting 'The World's Your Oyster', a fortnightly masterclass in the art of shucking and serving native oysters, both raw and cooked. You'll taste six types of raw oysters au naturel  followed by three cooked oysters and three dressed oysters - all washed down with Champagne, of course. You'll then be able to have a go at shucking your own oysters, and will be given tips on how to prepare the delicacy in your own kitchen by Wright Brothers' chefs.

From 19 May Wright Brothers Spitalfields will follow suit with the same masterclass once a fortnight.

The classes cost £60, including a Wright Brothers goodie bag complete with shucking knife. Group bookings are also available on request. To book a masterclass, contact the restaurants directly.
more»

Wright Brothers

Mar

16

Taste Domaine David Duband's Premiers and Grands Crus at Umu

Burgundy bigwig David Duband produced his first vintage in 1991. Nearly a generation later, this prestigious winemaker’s wines are renowned as some of the best Burgundies around, and are served in many of the world’s finest restaurants.

Top Mayfair restaurant Umu is paying homage to Domaine David Duband with a seven-course wine dinner, featuring five Premiers Crus and two Grands Crus from the winemaker’s sensational cellar. The decadent menu will be themed around Kyoto-style dishes, from eel kabayaki to pigeon in black-truffle sauce, all of which will match the wines perfectly.

This event will take place on 16 March, from 7pm. Tickets cost £280. To book a place, call 020 7499 8881 or email the restaurant.

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Umu

Mar

19

French cuisine at The Balcon this spring

The French have been Europe's self-styled arbiters of taste for centuries, and the tradition of the Goût de France - a special meal every spring to celebrate all that's to be enjoyed about French culinary tradition - has been going since 1912. This year, on 19 March, The Balcon restaurant in the Sofitel St James's hotel will celebrate the Goût de France with a special seven-course menu.

Executive chef Vincent Ménager has put together the menu, which kicks off with a Champagne-and-canapé reception, before taking guests on a culinary tour of L'Hexagone. Dishes will include starters such as a delicious salad of cockles, clams and fennel salad, and oeufs en meurette, followed by loin of Scottish venison. The meal will, of course, feature a cheese course, and a spectacular dessert of rhubarb-and-white-chocolate soufflé will round off proceedings. Each course will be paired with a matching French wine from The Balcon's cellar.

The Goût de France menu costs £120. To book, call 020 7389 7820, email the restaurant, or visit the hotel's website.

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The Balcon

Mar

18

Protégés cook with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

The inimitable Raymond Blanc is not just a celebrated chef in his own right; he's also played mentor to an impressive list of now-acclaimed protégés, including Ollie Dabbous, Michael Caines and Bruno Loubet.

This year, in a series of dinners, Blanc's one-time students are coming back to the restaurant to cook as peers. Each month from March to November will see one top chef sharing the kitchen with their former mentor and cooking up a special menu that features signature dishes from Le Manoir's 30-year tenure at the top of the culinary tree, plus plates reflecting the skills and passions of each guest chef.

Tickets to each Diner des Protégés cost £225, including a Champagne-and-canapé reception, dinner with matching wines, plus coffee and petits fours. To book your place, call 01844 277484 or visit Le Manoir's website.

more»

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Mar

18

‘The Domino Effect’ at Café Royal

This month, avant-garde Spanish chef Paco Roncero (executive chef at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant La Terraza del Casino in Madrid's Casino) is teaming up with Cafe Royal's executive chef Andrew Turner to serve a seven-course tasting menu in the hotel's newly launched Domino Room restaurant. It's the first in a series of high-profile international chef collaborations to be hosted by the venue in 2015 as part of the its 150th birthday celebrations.

The menu will feature dishes such as a sweet-savoury take on chocolate 'filipino' biscuits, with foie gras and cardamom; squid risotto laced with curry oils; and Dover sole meunière - rest assured that nothing on the menu will be as straightforward as it sounds.

Roncero's Domino Effect menu will be available in the restaurant alongside the à la carte offering from 18 March until 11 April; it costs from £90. To book, call the restaurant on 020 7406 3371 or email thedominoeffect@clubcaferoyal.com. Seating times are from 6.30-9.30pm.

Look out for further special menus as part of The Domino Effect series via Café Royal's Facebook page.

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Domino at Hotel Café Royal

Mar

19

Mark Hix and Anton Edelmann at Tramshed

Mark Hix counts Anton Edelmann as one of his mentors; the two chefs worked together nearly 20 years ago at The Grosvenor House hotel. This March, Hix has invited his friend to join him and a select number of guests at an intimate dinner at Tramshed Shoreditch as part of the restaurant's Kitchen Table series.

Hix, a fun and unaffected raconteur, will chat with Edelmann as the pair cook four courses together for their guests. Over dinner, they will tell anecdotes about the dishes they used to cook together, how the food landscape has changed in the intervening years, and other kitchen stories. The special meal will be held in Mark's Kitchen Library, an exclusive private room above the main dining room.

This event will take place on 19 March at Tramshed Shoreditch. Only 12 places are available, with tickets costing £175. To book your place, call 020 3641 8345 or email reservations@tramshedshoreditch.co.uk.

more»

Tramshed

Mar

20

The Ritz’s Perrier-Jouët Champagne dinner

There can’t be many more luxurious ways to spend an evening than enjoying a five-course meal at The Ritz, with a different Perrier-Jouët Champagne to match each dish. So don’t miss out on this exclusive on Friday 20 March - tickets are selling out fast.

The evening, which takes place in the 18th-century William Kent House, located in the hotel’s sumptuous grounds, will start with a Champagne-and-canapé reception -think brioche pizza with celeriac and truffle, and pommes soufflé with caviar, both paired with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV.

Guests will then sit down to a magnificent dinner hosted by the Champagne house’s Chef du Cave, Hervé Deschamps. Courses will include native lobster with caviar and beetroot, paired with Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV. Save room for dessert - a mosaique of rhubarb, raspberry, Champagne jelly and buttermilk, matched with one of Perrier-Jouët’s most elegant Champagnes, the 2007 Belle Epoque Edition Première.

The Perrier-Jouët Champagne dinner takes place on Friday 20 March, from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £260.

more»

William Kent House, The Ritz

Mar

21

Luton Hoo Hotel's inaugural winemaker dinner

On Saturday 21 March, Luton Hoo Hotel will launch the first of four winemaker dinners for 2015 - this one introducing the wines of one of New Zealand’s leading wine companies, Lawson’s Dry Hills.

Hosted by Lawson’s Dry Hills’ Nick Adams, the event will comprise a three-course meal including courses such as hand-dived scallops with cauliflower purée and spiced confit chicken, and herb-crusted loin of lamb with wild-garlic rösti and samphire. Each dish will be paired with one of Lawson’s wines. After the meal, Adams will give a talk about his experiences in the wine trade, and answer questions about the wines.

Tickets to this event cost £75. Call 01582 698888 to book tickets.

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Luton Hoo Hotel

Mar

11

Milk Tea Bread

Incredibly, tourist favourite Borough Market will have been trading for 1,000 years this year, and to celebrate such longevity, it’s organised a series of food-related cultural events from March until September. The programme kicks off with events organiser Toast, which will host a series of debates called Milk Tea Bread, designed to take a closer look at the staple foodstuffs we take for granted.

Taking in history, science and politics, the debates will be an entertaining and informative way of learning about where and how our food - firstly milk (11 March), then tea (18 March), then bread (25 March) is produced. Participants in the debates will include Steve Hook, dairy farmer and star of British documentary The Moo Man; self-styled tea evangelist Nick Kilby, founder of Tea Pigs; and master baker Aidan Chapman, a ’dough anarchist’ at Borough’s Bread Ahead bakery.

Tickets cost £15 including refreshments. To book tickets, visit the Toast website.

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Borough Market

Mar

28

Pamper your pooch at M Restaurants

Here at Square Meal, we always get asked for recommendations for dog-friendly pubs and restaurants - this is Britain, where dogs are man's best friend, after all.

This Easter, M Restaurant is taking the concept of being dog-friendly to the next level by hosting a 'pedigree pooch brunch party', complete with a canine Easter egg hunt, a behaviourist on hand to give training advice, and an artist to paint pets' ‘paw-traits’. Owners can enjoy a two-course meal (with a doggy bag for the pooches) during which they can meet like-minded dog lovers.

The event takes place on Saturday 28 March, and costs £25 (one dog per owner, please). To book, call M Restaurant on 020 3327 7770.

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M Restaurants

Mar

29

Dishoom's Holi Celebration

Last year, when Indian mini-chain Dishoom announced the date of its annual Holi festival - a joyful and fun-filled tradition where Hindus celebrate the arrival of spring by throwing brightly coloured powder at each other - tickets sold out in just one day. So put 9 March in your diary if you want to buy tickets for this year’s event, as that morning at 9.30am the tickets will be released.

This year’s festival - which will take place on 29 March from 2-4.30pm opposite Dishoom King’s Cross (on Lewis Cubitt Square, just off Stable Street) - promises to be more fun than ever, with street-food traders such as Pizza Pilgrims, Horn OK Please, Rotli Crew and Lily Vanilli setting up shop alongside the powder party, plus complimentary Indian soft drinks, sweets and lively music, and plenty of other activities. The event will end with a traditional - and colourful - Holi powder fight. Here’s how it went down last year.

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £8 for children, including entry, powder, sweets and soft drinks. Book tickets via dishoom.com/holi from 9.30am on 9 March.

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Lewis Cubitt Square (opposite Dishoom King's Cross)

Mar

13

Film & Fizz at One Aldwych

People are generally unpleasantly surprised by the huge expense of cinema tickets in London. So check out this great-value deal from luxury City hotel One Aldwych, which is offering a three-course set dinner, a glass of Champagne and a latest-release movie in its private screening room for just £55 per person. Want to know more? Of course you do.

During the hotel's Film & Fizz season, you'll be able to watch Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated films including The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, Whiplash and Still Alice in style. You'll be greeted with a flute of Lallier Grand Réserve Champagne, then settle into the intimacy of the venue's private screening room to watch your chosen film; following the movie, you'll enjoy a three-course set meal in the hotel's Axis restaurant.

Film & Fizz runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from 10 April until 11 July. The package costs £55 per person, and excludes service charge. For the full film line-up, visit the hotel's website.

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One Aldwych Hotel, 1 Aldwych

Mar

21

Christoffer Hruskova takes over Verden's kitchen

Former head chef and co-owner of Clerkenwell’s North Road restaurant, Christoffer Hruskova – who cites Copenhagen’s world-beating restaurant Noma as an inspiration – is about to set up kitchen at Verden in Clapton.

Danish Hruskova is preparing to bring a taste of the south coast and New Forest to east London, through his use of foraged ingredients including nettles, wild garlic and elderberries. These elements combine to form a limited edition dinner menu from 21 March to 5 April.

Dubbed ‘exceptional’ by Verden co-founder Ed Wyand, Hruskova’s creations for Verden will include veal sweetbread, nettles, spicy leaves and cheese whey (£10) and lamb belly with turnips, wild garlic and unripe elderberries (£14.50). If you’re always on the lookout for new flavours and innovative dishes, set a course for Clapton this month.
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Verden

Apr

2

Craft100 festival

Go craft beer-crazy this Easter weekend at the Craft100 festival

Did you give up booze for Lent and are looking for a way to leap happily off the wagon in style this Easter Bank Holiday? Then the Craft100 festival, taking place at Craft Beer Co. in Clapham, might be your ticket to a particularly memorable long weekend.

The pub is hosting the largest beer festival of its kind from 2-5 April, featuring 80 cask ales from some of the UK’s finest independent breweries, as well as 20 keg beers. These include hand-made craft beers from the likes of Scandinavian brands Evil Twin and Dugges, and beers from London-based breweries such as Kernel and Beavertown. Plus, the Liberty Cheesesteak Company will be on hand with its hit Philly cheesesteak sandwiches - perfect for soaking up all that beer.

Entry to the event is free and there is no need to book. There are no tokens; all you need to do is buy a commemorative glass, then start sampling the beers. Happy Easter!

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Craft Beer Co. Covent Garden

Feb

28

Create your own gin at BUMP Caves

Calling all gin junkies: dive bar and distillery BUMP Caves has launched another series of their popular and irreverent masterclasses - this one a hands-on session themed around the process of distilling gin, with plenty of creative and sampling opportunities thrown in.

Master distiller Max Charter will lead these bespoke evenings, using the bar’s Rotary evaporator to teach you how to distil your own gin from base neutral grain spirit - you’ll then be able to create your own unique gin recipe from a choice of 10 botanicals.

Charter will also demonstrate how to put together three gin cocktails - including the bar’s signature drink, the BUMPed G&T - which you’ll be able to try, alongside charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon and cheese from Neal’s Yard. And nobody goes home empty-handed: the goodie bag includes a bottle of your own gin creation, plus a bottle of BUMP Caves’ Victory Gin.

The first of these masterclasses will take place on February 28 from 6-8pm, and they will run once a month from then on until May. Tickets cost £95 and can be booked via the bar’s events website. See the website for future dates.

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Bump Caves

May

3

Wine Tasting at New Zealand House

Bob Campbell MW is probably New Zealand's most well-known wine buff and critic - the Down Under equivalent of Jancis Robinson. This May, he will host an intimate wine masterclass featuring some of his country's top wines, with food by fellow New Zealander Anna Hansen's The Modern Pantry. The one-day course will showcase all that is great about this beautiful country.

The course covers the history of winemaking, with a focus on modern techniques that encourage sustainable viticulture and organic winemaking, plus developments that have increased the profile of New Zealand wines, such as the screw-top revolution. Guests will be able to sample new vintages and regional styles, including a Kalex Riesling from Central Otago, the 1994 Dog Point Section, from Marlborough, a Coopers Creek Sauvignon Blanc from Hawke’s Bay, and many more. The course includes a light lunch from The Modern Pantry.

There are only 45 places available on this course, which takes place on Sunday 3 May from 10am-4.30pm. Tickets cost £150 and can be booked via The New Zealand Wine Cellar.

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New Zealand House

Feb

17

Rev JW Simpson's Spirited Sermons

Now that you've completed the obligatory January detox, it's time to jump back down from the wagon and repent. And what better way to welcome booze back into your life than with Fitzrovia bar Rev JW Simpson's spirited masterclasses?

The spring sessions will see experts preaching the good word about premium spirits and boutique brands, from super-strength Irish poitin (which was illegal until 1997) to luscious Caribbean rums; there will also be niche-interest classes focusing on pre-1860 Cognacs (which differ tremendously in flavour to modern-day Cognacs) and Xtabentún, a Mexican, anise-tinged liqueur. Whichever masterclass you plump for, you can guarantee plenty of tasting time, plus the opportunity to shake your own cocktails using the spirits of the evening.

Spirited Sermons take place every Tuesday evening from 6pm throughout 2015. Masterclasses cost £25, including three cocktails and the booking fee. To see the full line-up and reserve your place, click here.

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Reverend JW Simpson
» All Events

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