Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
Trendy boutique hotel group Firmdale (Charlotte Street Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel) has opened its seventh outpost. The Haymarket Hotel is home to Brumus Restaurant & Bar which, unlike its siblings Oscar and Refuel, serves northern Italian food. 1 Suffolk Place, SW1. Tel: 020 7470 4000.
The Forge has taken over the Covent Garden site that was previously home to long-standing French restaurant L’Estaminet. Head chef Andy Barber was exec chef at The Bleeding Heart and his dishes include devilled lambs’ kidneys and Dover sole meuniere. There’s also a 500-strong wine list with over 25 available by the glass. The restaurant is a sibling to nearby Cafe du Jardin and Le Deuxieme, both popular for their reasonable prices and reliable food, so expect more of the same. 14 Garrick Street, WC2. Tel: 020 7379 1531.
Decked out with Philippe Starck chairs and glass chandeliers covered in black organza, Napket is a little more chi-chi than the average King’s Road cafe. The range of fancy sandwiches, soups and salads fits in with the surrounds but, given the image-conscious location, it’s surprising that the calorific house speciality is sponge cake, which comes in over 20 varieties from Nutella and espresso to pancetta and pumpkin seed. 342 Kings Road, SW3. Tel: 020 7352 9832.
Classic fish restaurant, Geales, has been refurbished and relaunched by Mark Fuller and Garry Hollihead, the pair behind Embassy. ‘The public is fed up with trendy fish places where you have to pay through the nose,’ Fuller tells us. ‘Geales is reasonably glam, but nothing too fancy. Guests can come in and have a plate of fish and chips for £10.95 or have a glass of Champagne, oysters and lobster salad for a whole lot more.’ A delivery service, Geales on Wheels, is planned for later in the year. 2 Farmer Street, W8. Tel: 020 7727 7528.
Aubaine, the French bistro and patisserie, has launched a second branch. Open from breakfast to dinner, there’s an appetising array of pastries, lunchtime tartines and a bistro-style menu served in the evening. There are a few alfresco tables, and a smaller downstairs bar from 5pm. As with its sister venue on the Brompton Road, the look blends countryside charm and contemporary chic. 4 Heddon Street, W1. Tel: 020 7440 2510.
Gary Rhodes has just opened his latest offering, Rhodes W1 Restaurant. Based in Marble Arch, the 42-seat venue has been styled by renowned interior designer Kelly Hoppen, in her first restaurant project. The look consists of antique French chairs, crystal chandeliers and rich contemporary furnishings. Meanwhile, the British/French menu offers starters such as warm scallops and langoustines, mains of salt-roast squab, and cherry trifle to finish. This is Rhodes’ second venture within The Cumberland Hotel, following on from the Rhodes W1 Brasserie, although it has its own separate street entrance. Great Cumberland Place, W1. Tel: 020 7479 3737.