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FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... Summer’s rock oysters are nice enough, but any afficiando worth his Tabasco knows that the Colchester native is the true king of the mollusc world. The native season kicks off on 1 September and lasts through to the end of April – hence the old rule that oysters should only be eaten in months with ‘r’ in. The first batches of UK-grown natives hit the capital’s restaurants yesterday: find out where to get your fix.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... Want to sample some juicy Pinot Noirs and top-notch Sauvignon Blancs this month? To celebrate Chile’s bicentenary – it was on 18 September 1810 that the country was declared an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy – Wines of Chile is holding a special tasting at Vintners Hall, near Cannon Street station. Taking place from 6-9pm on 17 September, £25 will let you sample from over 180 of the country’s best bottles.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... Want a meal genuinely cooked by Gordon Ramsay? Now's your chance. As part of the 2010 London Restaurant Festival, the three Michelin-starred chef is cooking a meal for 10 people in a capsule on the London Eye. And to raise money for homeless charity Streetsmart, the meal is being auctioned off. Read on to find out how to bid, but you better have deep pockets, as last year the event went for a hefty £23,000.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... If it wasn’t enough just knowing we’ve got seven months of native oyster season in front of us, seafood fans can also take heart in news of a swanky new place to find their favourite molluscs. A recent refurb at Rowley Leigh’s Le Café Anglais has seen the addition of a new crustacea bar. Sit back in the art-deco surrounds and tuck into the likes of a dozen oysters or dressed crab and langoustines with mayo.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... After briefly popping into the media spotlight last year, underground restaurants have slipped back into… well, the underground. However, popular Blackheath pop-up the Savoy Truffle Supperclub is sticking its head above the parapet for a five-night stint in mid October as part of the London Restaurant Festival. Taking place in a secret north London location, expect a seasonal five-course menu and some assured cooking.
LONDON RESTAURANT AND BAR NEWS (September 2010)... Back in the dusty sands of time, some of you might recall The Savoy hotel closing for a refurbishment, taking with it the Gordon Ramsay-run Savoy Grill (then headed up by best buddy Marcus Wareing). When the hotel reopens on 10 October, a refurbed Grill – still under Ramsay control but minus Wareing – will be the star of the show, accompanied by the new River Restaurant. Booking lines open today; be the first to secure a table.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... Revered among those in the know as one of the world’s best pastry chefs, former French Laundry and Claridges star Claire Clark has opened her first London venture – a two-month pop-up at the Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols. Expect weird and wonderful treats with a big dollop of childhood nostalgia, such as her legendary bubblegum marshmallow Pavlova, as well as a a knockout afternoon tea priced at £35.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2020)... For some reason, many of us overlook the idea of Champagne as a food accompaniment. Maybe we assume – erroneously – that it won’t stand up against a robust dish; maybe we’re worried about the price. Either way, JW Steakhouse is giving customers the perfect chance to sip Champagne throughout the meal by offering some stunning vintages at retail prices every Thursday from October to December. Veuve Clicquot at £32? Krug 1996 at £158? Read on to find out more.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... Taking over from what were formerly the Waterside Café and the Balcony Bistro, the Barbican is today launching two new restaurants to tempt diners to the famous modernist complex. The new ground-floor Foodhall will pick up where the former Café left off, dealing in deli items on the waterside terrace. Upstairs at the Lounge, expect more sophisticated international food such as small plates of, say, braised pork belly with roasted pear.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... Three years after relaunching Notting Hill institution Geales, the brains behind the swanky fish-and-chip restaurant have added a second site in Chelsea, which opens its doors today. Pitching residence in the former site of the short-lived Tom Aikens venture Tom’s Place, the new site promises all the same ritzy interiors and dressed-up, sustainably minded seafood – think beer-battered pollock and chips – as its sibling site.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... You’ll struggle to spend a better £12 next Thursday: starting at 7pm, Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante in Aldgate is holding a special sherry tasting evening, where guests get to sample six bottles, each paired with a tapas dish, for just £12. Sip a 12-year-old Pedro Ximénez, tuck into a plate of chipirones fritos (deep-fried baby squid) and boost your knowledge of sunny Iberian food and drink; all for just over a tenner.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... Love rum? Who doesn’t? But if you want to learn more about the popular Caribbean spirit beyond its compatibility with a night out, get yourself along to UK RumFest – a two-day celebration of rum. From tastings through to seminars and cocktail masterclasses, you’re guaranteed to leave with a lot more knowledge on the complexity and diversity of rum, and have a great day out to boot. Read on to find out how Square Meal readers can buy tickets for the exclusive price of £15.
LONDON RESTAURANT AND BAR NEWS (September 2010)... Need something to look forward to now the summer’s behind us and the nights are drawing in? Christmas, you say? Pah! The London restaurant scene promises more goodies than the contents of Santa’s sack. This autumn and winter will see a whole host of exciting new launches, from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’s to Pollen Street Social from Jason Atherton. To get the lowdown on who’s opening where and when, read on.
It's been a long-time coming, but Eight Over Eight’s pan-Asian-grub-loving clientele can rejoice in the news that the swanky King’s Road restaurant has finally reopened, 11 months after it was forced to close following a fire. To find out what we can expect from the relaunched site, and for news of his imminent new robata-grill bar Glo Glo’s, we caught up with owner Will Ricker for a quick Q&A. Read on to see his answers in full.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... Quirky and accomplished in equal measures, King's Cross newcomer Drink, Shop & Do has arrived to add a little bit of charm to a once-seedy neighbourhood. While it sports a well-constructed drinks list, the bar’s real USP is built around its daily evening events, such as paper plane-making classes, and the fact that everything in the venue – from the 1960s Avon Lady sets, to the gaily painted furniture and retro gifts – is for sale.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2010)... What’s a ‘natural wine bar’, we hear you ask? It’s one that serves only natural wines – unfiltered wines free from additives and pesticides, which use only natural yeasts – and Bar Battu claims to be the City’s first such venue. Due to officially launch on 4 October, word has reached us on the grapevine that it is running a soft opening until 1 October, with the wine-friendly food set to be half price throughout that time.
FOOD AND DRINK EVENT (September 2010)... Now in its seventh year, the Square Meal Around the World Wine Tasting is firmly established as a key date in the City’s social calendar in the run-up to Christmas. Priced at £45 per person, this unmissable evening event on Wednesday 24 November gives you an opportunity to sample more than 200 fine wines and speciality foods in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere – the perfect setting for entertaining clients or enjoying a night out with friends.
If you’ve gone shopping at Chapel Market this summer, you may have noticed a tasty newcomer in the shape of the Delhi Grill barbecue stall. Now, having established a reputation for home-cooked lunchtime wraps, a self-styled Indian dhaba – a canteen-style restaurant – has opened to the rear of the stall. With a pithy but well-executed menu of slow-cooked food, alongside stylised interiors, locals should be very happy.
Arguably the biggest hotel opening of the year, The Dorchester’s new Coworth Park, a 70-room five-star hotel set in 240 acres of Ascot countryside, opened on Monday. And at the heart of the site is a new restaurant from chef John Campbell, formerly the holder of two Michelin stars at the Vineyard at Stockcross. Just an hour in the car from central London, expect some very serious food from one of the country’s most forward-thinking chefs.
Work in Covent Garden or Soho and regularly get deli belly? Then you’re in luck, as three upmarket delis are due to land in central London over the next few months. A flagship central London branch of Ottolenghi is due to open early next year on Warwick Street, but not before popular Sussex café Bill's Produce Store opens a first London branch in St Martin's Courtyard and the delightful Italian grocer and deli Lina Stores relaunches on Brewer Street.