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FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 2009)...Let’s face it, we all enjoy a tipple over the Christmas period. And if you’d like that festive love affair with vino to be a bit lighter on the wallet this year, then the nice people at new wine merchants winedeal.co.uk have just the competition for you, as they are giving Square Meal readers the opportunity to win a specially selected six-bottle mixed case of wine. For info on how to win and other exclusive offers at winedeal.co.uk, read on.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... If you think the classiest food that can arrive on a cocktail stick is a cheese and pineapple canapé, think again. At Westbourne Grove newcomer Pix, the concept is for punters to work the buffet of tapas delights armed with little wooden sticks (referred to as 'pix' in Basque) and skewer whatever takes their fancy, from asparagus and foie gras with leek and white chocolate, to quail’s egg and black pudding with confit pepper.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Next time you find yourself slap bang in the middle of tourist London, bear in mind this little subterranean haven as you look to escape the hustle-bustle of street level. Located on Garrick Street, the Forge Wine Bar’s intimate, air-conditioned cellar plays it simple, with olive walls, kingfisher banquettes and user-friendly high stools at the zinc bar the back drop for a lengthy, value-conscious Europhile wine list and some top notch tapas.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009) The water may be long gone, but things still get steamy at this ex-Turkish baths turned café-bar and nightclub. Returned to its former glory, complete with Byzantine tiling and onion dome, the site’s an enjoyable spot for breakfast and lunch, but it’s the evening when it really comes to life. Pop along after work for an £8 cocktail and a wood-fired pizza, then stick around as things hot up with 1970s disco revival and exotic burlesque nights.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 2009)... Why be chilly when you can be Chile? On Friday 20 November, Square Meal readers are invited to join Wines of Chile and 18 top wine retailers for a special tasting evening at the stunning banqueting hall of Glaziers Hall in London Bridge. For just £15, you can sample any of the 120 superb wines while tucking into empanadas and swaying to the Latino sounds. To book call 01344 872229 or email [email protected].
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 2009)... If you’re after a little bit of festive fun, we reckon we’ve dug up the quirkiest offer you’ll find in London this Christmas. Tired of drinking bubbly out of a plain old Champagne flute? Well, at Mews of Mayfair, why not drink it out of a shoe? Throughout November and December, you can enjoy Piper-Heidsieck Champagne from a shoe-shaped, Louboutin-designed flute, featuring the French shoe designer’s famous red sole, at the Mayfair restaurant and bar. And if that doesn’t give you some festive cheer, nothing will.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Canary Wharf's offices may be feeling the crunch, but its restaurant scene is in rude health. A flurry of recent openings – from The Parlour to branches of Jamie's Italian, Canteen and Wahaca – have now been joined by E14's glittering prize: Roka. Sample favourites from the robata grill alongside innovative newcomers (think stuffed teriyaki chicken with roast ginger and aubergine). Just be sure to book ahead: it's already packed to the gills.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... If you’re an East Londoner with a hankering for quality local restaurants but a disinclination to travel, you’re in luck. In Old Street newcomer the Princess of Shoreditch you now have two accomplished sites rolled into one. Downstairs is a no-bookings gastropub with hearty pub grub – perfect for a drink with your mates – while upstairs is a date-friendly fine-dining restaurant sporting top-notch service.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Eastern sports fans should remain calm, this new restaurant at the Crowne Plaza hotel is to the world of cricket what the Bombay Bicycle Club is to the world of cycling - no more than a catchy name. But what it lacks in sporting terms, the site amply makes up for with its creditable Chinese food. Classics such as chicken and sweetcorn soup sit alongside decent dim sum and Szechuan-style specialities in the relaxing, chic surroundings.
GENERAL NEWS (November 2009)... Tourists have flocked to Spain’s Rioja wine region for hundreds of years, but it’s fair to assume that few of those will travelled through it in the suave comfort of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé. And what a way it is to take in the beauty of the Spanish countryside. Cruise the sun-soaked vineyards, the tiny Medieval hill towns, the old, new and universally stunning wineries, and pick up some first class bottles along the way.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 20009)... Like Des Lynam's style? Have a soft spot for Tom Selleck? Well, if you help champion the moustache this year you could end up as one very lucky lover of the hirsute. The Oxo Tower – where staff are growing sponsored ‘taches to raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity's fundraiser 'Movember' – is holding a raffle for those who donate. A main prize worth £1,500 is up for grabs, including a £200 voucher for Cecconi's.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 2009)... Lots of Chinese restaurants may give out free tea, but Royal China Club on Baker Street is offering free tea lessons until 4 December. Led by Hong Kong tea master Shek Kwai Sim, the lessons cover the variations between different Chinese teas as well as the blends that pair well with food. Free tea and Chinese pastries are also on offer. The lessons are for 12 people and spaces need to be booked in advance. For more information click here.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Since leaving Caprice Holdings two years ago, Mark Hix has gone on to become the toast of London town. His latest venture, Hix in Soho, has taken over the Brewer Street site briefly occupied by Japanese Aaya, and looks destined to be a big hit, with the Dorset-born chef’s trademark British cuisine the star. Dine on jellied ham hock with piccalilli, then beef flank with porter and oyster pie, and end with an autumn fruit crumble.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (November 2009)... Eating out at a Chinese or Thai restaurant, or even whipping up a stir-fry at home and not sure what to wash it down with? Well, the growing popularity of Alsace wines is partly down to their excellent pairing with Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisines. If you fancy putting it to the test, Square Meal has got 10 cases of Alsace wine to give away. To enter, send us an email with 'Alsace wine' in the subject line before 7 December.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Taking over the downstairs space at Mark’s Hix’s new Soho restaurant, this swish new bar gives punters the chance to see the Dorset-born chef’s trademark use of British ingredients on a cocktail menu. Expect drinks such as Spitfires over Kent (a Battle of Britain homage using wild morello cherry-infused Beefeater gin) coupled with patriotic bar snacks like pollock fish fingers with mushy peas.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... Notting Hill residents might not be too familiar with Geronimo Inns' gradual gentrification of London boozers, but at The Elgin, the group’s first venture in the trendy neighbourhood, you’ll find most of the ingredients that have made Geronimo pubs so popular around the capital. Unbranded, front room style interiors, a convivial atmosphere, chirpy service and good beers all compensate for a kitchen that hasn’t quite found its feet yet.
RECENTLY OPENED (November 2009)... The high standards at this new Trafalgar Square restaurant won’t come as a surprise to those in the know – the site’s mastermind Charles Boyd has been the doyen of City caterers over the past 25 years. Kitted out with white tablecloths and a sprinkling of old-school elegance, the grand room within The Northumberland events space features an all-day menu that ranges from tapas plates to modern European dishes.