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18 April 2014

Restaurants & Bars

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Blog Reviews from The List

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Trying out quirky places to eat, drink and be merry in London - follow @matthew1hickman or sign up for email updates below


  1. Published : Tuesday, 27th August 2013

    Coal Vaults | Coal Vaults

    Restaurants are opening left, right and centre at the moment (Chop Shop, Le Coq, Smokehouse, Gin Joint and many more), and Team List managed to grab a table for the first soft opening night at Coal Vaults on Wardour Street. This restaurant & bar is situated in an underground space that was used for storing coal in the early 19th Century, and focuses on tapas style British food, with matching cocktails. As it was a soft opening, we had 50% off the food bill, and a free glass of champagne to start us off. There were a few teething problems - no aircon, lingering paint smell, broken dishwasher - that will no doubt be fixed shortly. We were very well looked after anyway, and it's all part of the fun of opening night!...

  2. Published : Tuesday, 9th July 2013

    French House | French House

    The evening started well as I met my friend Andy (picking up only his second List point so far) at The French House pub for a quick drink. It is a Soho classic (which I must admit I have somehow missed) that is frequented by many recognisable faces, though we didn't spot any on this occasion. We were joined by List Leader Natalie and Molly, and crammed in to the outdoor space. You bizarrely have to be fastened in by a bouncer type who controls the outdoor barrier lock in system The French House is extremely popular as it sticks to its strict social policy - no music, no machines, no television and no mobile phones. Beers are served in French portions and Breton Cider is handed out in bottles. Food is served at the bar and upstairs, and is available until 4. They recently got some celebrities together to film a Live at the French DVD to raise money for the local Soho Parish School, just as Soho Food Feast did...

  3. Published : Sunday, 23rd June 2013

    Babylon | Babylon

    I was lucky enough to be treated to lunch at Babylon in the Kensington Roof Gardens complex by an extremely generous parent of one of my violin pupils. Babylon is situated on the 7th floor and has lovely views over London and the gardens below. The prices aren't astronomical considering the location, and there is a very reasonably priced lunch menu. We worked our way through 2 excellent courses and coffee which came with a cute complimentary box of chocolates. The drinks menu is interesting - the Sunbeam cocktail with Proseco, Peach Liqueur and Sunflower Tea Tincture stood out. There also 4 bottled aged cocktails to choose from...

  4. Published : Sunday, 5th May 2013

    ZTH | Zetter Townhouse

    Our final stop was Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Lounge - a Tony Corigliano (69 Colebrooke Row) bar with Bruno Loubet food attached to a hotel in a Georgian Townhouse in St. John's Square. Olly had been earlier that week and needed sleep so headed home, leaving the three of us to push on the discreet front door (you will only see the ZTH marking when you get right up to it). Inside is a mad living room with bookcases, an open fire and artwork all over the walls. We waited by a bookshelf to be seated where Libby got attached to some scientific tomes. Once seated, we went for some house cocktails - Cath's Milk Collins (gin with milk syrup and more) was interesting, and Libby's Flintlock (with gunpowder tea tincture pyrotechnics) was complexed and strong! I went for The Richmond, a drinkable Manhattan with an apple honey twist. It's a cosy, well-lit bar that would be perfect for a date, though they do slightly try to spoil the atmosphere with a bizarre club-beat infused swing soundtrack that doesn't quite fit...

  5. Published : Tuesday, 16th April 2013

    Brew Wharf | Brew Wharf

    We moved on and had a quick drink at 3 of London Bridge's best pubs - Brew Wharf, The Rake and The Wheatsheaf. If you are not a beer fan - skip ahead. Brew Wharf is tucked down a cobbled side street near Borough Market, and has a wide selection of Meantime beer alongside a couple of its own home brewed beers. Sit outside with the wonderful umbrella art installation, if the weather allows! Wine Wharf is next door of that doesn't take your fancy...

  6. Published : Tuesday, 9th April 2013

    Monikers | Monikers

    We decided to stay nearby so we popped into Monikers, a new school-themed restaurant and bar that has recently opened. It was pretty quiet, but I would imagine it won't be long before this place is packed, as they have put a huge amount of effort into the décor, as well as the food and drink. The menus are presented as old text books with doodles all over them...

  7. Published : Sunday, 10th March 2013

    Mark's Bar at Hix | Mark's Bar at Hix

    We headed off in search of a bar and decided to see if we could get in to Mark's Bar tucked away underneath Hix restaurant on Brewer Street. It's not advertised on the street itself so walk through the giant restaurant door and you'll see a neon sign pointing down the stairs. We had to wait for about 40 minutes to get downstairs which wasn't ideal but it did give us time to peruse the inventive cocktail menu and make up our minds before heading to the bar. There are queues because they don't let it get at all crowded downstairs which is great once you make it in and gives it a member's club...