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RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... A classy makeover at this Docklands restaurant and wine bar has added some smart flock wallpaper and subtly opulent contrasts to the trademark winemaking paraphernalia at the bar. The menu has also been ravamped, and now sets cosmopolitan dishes alongside steaks and British staples.
If you fancy a gourmet feast before the endless turkey dishes start, The First Dinner by Young Turks is a five-course meal, cooked by three up-and-coming London chefs, taking place at gallert Art Work Space on 19 December. Tickets are priced at £85 per person.
RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... Those of you who have whiled-away a weekend in Lewes or Brighton might be familiar with the foodie mecca that is Bill’s Produce Store. A combination of greengrocers, deli and restaurant, its simple, seasonal food and knockout breakfasts have ensured an army of fans in the south. A London branch has now opened in Covent Garden, and until 15 December customers will get a free glass of Bill's Hedgerow Fizz with all meals order after 5pm.
If you fancy taking in the crisp winter air this festive season without the need of a thick beer jacket, a host of restaurants and bars are running special outdoor Christmas spaces. From Bluebird’s Winter Garden Road and the glitzy annual spectacle that is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland to a skate-and-dine deal at Brompton Quarter Brasserie; don’t feel like you have to be huddled by a log fire to feel festive this Christmas.
RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... The popularity of fusion food might not be what it was a decade ago, but the demand for fusion trendsetter Peter Gordon’s cooking hasn’t faded. Fans should be cock-a-hoop, then, that Gordon (pictured) and the team behind Marylebone restaurant The Providores has opened a new casual restaurant, Kopapa, in Covent Garden. Expect the same superb breakfasts and a casual menu of Pacific Rim ingredients.
RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... After the sad demise of Aubergine, the former Fulham Road stalwart that provided the setting to memorable cooking from, first, a young Gordon Ramsay and then William Drabble, the Chelsea site has reinvented itself as 11 Park Walk, a classy Italian restaurant. Touting flexibility as a cornerstone to its offering, drop in for a bowl of pasta or settle down to a more lengthy evening meal of Mediterranean dishes.
This new Chelsea bistro has a superb wine list dealing in organic, natural and biodynamic wines, but there is much to be said for the simple British-cum-European bistro cooking and the quirky, relaxed interiors.
RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... Marking a first step outside SW1 for the company, this Marylebone newcomer arrives courtesy of Cubitt House, the people behind The Pantechnicon, The Orange and The Thomas Cubitt. Styled as a ‘neighbourhood pub and hotel’, it exudes the same smart, stripped-wood interiors as its sister sites, with a menu of pub classics and a great Sunday roast. And if it all gets too boozy, bed down in one of the eight boutique rooms upstairs.
RECENTLY OPENED (December 2010)... Since quietly opening its doors near High Street Kensington in November, Yashin Sushi has been garnering rave reviews for its elegant and sophisticated Japanese food. It’s no surprise, really; both kitchen masterminds are graduates of Yumi and the Nobu chain. So, perch at the sushi bar or take a full table, and enjoy dishes such as a rich, sweet shrimp topped with a slice of foie gras or seared salmon with tosu vinegar jelly.
If you think 2010 was a good year for restaurant openings, wait till you see what 2011 promises. Read on for our list of the big launches planned this year.