Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... With the weather outside so freezing, and the fireside rather appealing, look no further than the Plateau Club Room, a fourth-floor pop up that comes complete with faux fireplace, sofas and picturesque views of the Canary Wharf ice rink. Hunker down under a tartan rug, order a Smirnoff Black cocktail – perhaps the Wharf Man (vodka, Galliano & fresh orange juice) – and drown the January blues. But hurry, as the pop-up closes at the end of the month.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... Carrying a few holiday pounds? Well, Boot Camp at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green is just the excuse to knuckle down to some exercise and shed that excess weight. The pub is putting on a complimentary training session every Saturday morning throughout January. Kicking off with a power smoothie followed by a workout, each attendee will also receive a £20 voucher to spend in the pub’s dining room afterwards.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... If you’re fed up with the freezing weather and need a new year pick-me-up, the good people at Luxury Holidays Direct have just the remedy. Until 26 March, Square Meal readers can escape to Mauritius for the discounted price of £899 per person – a whopping £340 cheaper than usual. Enjoy the four-star Indian Resort & Spa on an all-inclusive basis, with return flights, airport taxes and private transfers thrown-in as well.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... Think BYO restaurants are limited to ethnic buffets and hidden-gem cafés? Think again. Throughout January top-end Marble Arch restaurant Texture is allowing guests to bring their own wine to complement chef Aggi Sverrisson’s modern European cooking. A good opportunity to shave a bob or two off the bill but best suited to small groups – the offer is limited to one bottle per table free, after which a £25 corkage fee will apply.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... Want to put both the Roof Gardens at Kensington and your own generosity to the test? On 25 January the Gardens’ Babylon restaurant is dispensing with prices and letting diners choose what to pay for their food. During both lunch and dinner cough up as much or as little as you think the food and service (but not the booze) is worth, and help – or don't help, as the case may be – raise money for Virgin Group’s partner charities.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... British film fans among you might get a little depressed this time of year by the self-congratulatory American back-slapping that goes on with the Oscars and the Golden Globes. So good on The Dorchester hotel for supporting the Orange British Academy Film Awards. And you too can join in – the hotel is hosting a one-off BAFTA Afternoon Tea event, complete with glammed-up models and BAFTA-themed goody bags.
GENERAL NEWS (January 2010)... The BMW Square Meal Restaurant of the Year not only recognises all-round excellence, but is also a barometer of diners' priorities. Thus the 2009 shortlist not only included high-performance venues such as L'Anima, but also impressive and good-value young contenders including Terroirs. The crown, however, goes to Arbutus. Still true to its values since becoming the BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant in 2006, this restaurant is to be applauded for its consistent delivery of affordable luxury.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... But we hae meat, and we can eat, sae let the Lord be thankit. If you recognise those two verses of grace, chances are you’re fully aware that Burns Night is fast approaching. Held annually on 25 January in honour of poet Robert Burns, the night has become a celebration of Scottish national identity. But kilt-wearing expats needn't go without their haggis and wee dram of whisky – there’s plenty of London restaurants putting on festivities.
Beefs, bellyaching and bugbears seem to be part and parcel of dining out – especially in these cash-strapped times. Our survey spells out what’s niggling readers the most
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... Think the circus is just for kids? Think again. Hot on the heels of performance-led Supperclub and Proud Cabaret comes stylish Covent Garden newcomer Circus. The line-up changes regularly, but might include hoop trapeze artists or fire-eating ballet dancers swirling by your table as you tuck into stateside classics, and everyone is encouraged to get up and boogie after dinner. Just not too much clowning around, please.
On the occasion of Square Meal’s 20th birthday, we chart some of the highs and lows, headlines and scandals that have defined the London restaurant scene over the past two decades
From crunch lunches to pop-up eateries, it’s been a fascinating year on the capital’s restaurant scene. Tania Ballantine spots the trends and takes London’s foodie pulse
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... Those of you who visited Kensington’s Ambassade de l'Ile during its short lifespan might well miss the expert French cooking, although not the insanely high prices or bizarre decor (remember the purple shag-pile carpets?). In its new incarnation as Bistro K, the interior has been suitably toned down and the menu re-envisioned to a supposed brasserie offering. Prices are still on the expensive side, but is it worth it?
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... Few restaurants will polarise opinion like Notting Hill newcomer Supperclub. Imported from Amsterdam, where it was set-up in 1992 before going global, guests eat on reclined white beds while cabaret performers put on themed acts. Then, as the early hours approach, the place transforms into a nightclub. It feels eerily like you’ve been transported back to the mid-‘90s for an evening, but in these sober times that might be just the tonic.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (February 2010)... Doubtless as many cold-hearted critics out there will turn their noses up at Valentines Day as loved-up darlings will eagerly await it. But so long as your other half expects a treat, come 14 February you’ll need to deliver. Instead of getting sucked into the quick-fix vortex of the local gastropub, why not make Valentine’s Day a bit special? Dotted around the countless set menus and gimmicks on offer are a few more unique offerings.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... Wary of Greeks bearing gifts? Well, there’s no need to be suspicious of Taste of Greece, a celebration of the country’s cuisine taking place in selected London restaurants from February to December. Organised by the Greek National Tourism Organisation to showcase the country’s rich, sunny food, diners at participating restaurants can choose from authentic Greek menus and even win a trip to Greece itself.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (January 2010)... Few of you will be unaware of the devastation 12 January’s earthquake has brought upon Haiti. With a death-toll reaching 200,000, and a quarter of million more now homeless, the country is in desperate need of aid and charity. To help raise money, Le Bouchon Breton is hosting a fundraiser dinner on 8 February, with chefs such as John Burton Race, Chris Galvin, Atul Kochar and Herbert Berger behind the stove.
The first restaurant venture from MasterChef presenter & upmarket greengrocer Gregg Wallace, this Putney site looks set to become the public face of his fruit & veg business Secretts Direct. The company’s high-spec produce is naturally at the heart of the concept, whether you are shopping for green stuff, eating in or ordering a takeaway. Expect a simple, well-crafted menu & gutsy, unfussy cooking, with stringent adherence to seasonality.
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... A stone’s throw away from cult Whitechapel eatery Tayyabs, and sporting an ex-Tayyabs man at the helm, it was only a matter of time before people started benchmarking newcomer Needoo Grill against its more established neighbour. Happily, it’s up to the comparison. Superb value Indian and Pakistani food – from kebabs through to curries – BYO wine and a comfortable, if unspectacular, interior all make for a winning formula.
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... All aboard please: the second site for mid-market Indian Bangalore Express – masterminded by the same man behind Chelsea favourite The Painted Heron – has arrived near the Monument, sporting the same cheery selection of express meals, salads, tapas and healthy options. The quirky, bunk-seating of its sibling site is sadly missing, but a lively downstairs dining room and ground-floor cocktail bar make up for the loss.
RECENTLY OPENED (January 2010)... Ale-swigging Clapham-ites should dust off their drinking pants and be prepared for a hefty ride. A selection of 17 drafts awaits the eager beer fan at Northcote Road newcomer The Draft House – from New Zealand beer Speights through to local brews like Junction Ale. Mercifully, they can all be ordered in third-of-a-pint sample sizes and there’s plenty of good brasserie food to soak them up, plus a nice wine list for the oenophiles.