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Why not make a long weekend of it? Our pick of the UK's best country house restaurants.
According to local reports, Albert Roux has submitted plans to turn a former Post Office on Brentwood High Street into a restaurant.
Foodies Festival, the UK's largest outdoor celebration of food and drink returns in 2014 with nine festivals.
Square Meal catches up with the Pollen Street chef ahead of the launch of his latest restaurant, City Social.
Congratulations to chef Nuno Mendes and the team at Chiltern Firehouse for becoming this season’s BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant.
Free food for marathon runners this weekend, plus the best spots for a bevvy or a bite along the route.
This weekend Thailand celebrates Songkran, their New Year festival. Here are some foodie ways to get involved in the capital.
Tony Conigliaro's 69 Colebrooke Row has launched a bar food menu for the first time in its five year history. Square Meal gets a taste...
This evening sees Dock Kitchen chef Stevie Parle open his Italian restaurant Rotorino in Dalston.
John Burton-Race is to open his first London restaurant for 12 years, with The New Angel in Notting Hill set to open on 7 May.
The group behind the Goodman and Burger & Lobster chains is to open a new restaurant on May 6 serving only king crab and steak.
We catch up with Mark Hix ahead of his new Hixter restaurant launch to find out what to expect and what's next for the chef.
Food and drinks to kick-start your weekend at The London Coffee Festival.
This Sunday sees the 160th annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities. Here’s our pick of the best pubs along the route.
Dock Kitchen chef Stevie Parle tells Square Meal all about his upcoming Dalston restaurant, Rotorino.
Our round-up of the past month’s hottest new restaurant openings, and what the critics had to say about them.
The past month has seen a stack of new openings across the country. Here’s our pick of the top new UK dining destinations.
Heston Blumenthal will close his three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray for six months this December and pop-up in Melbourne.
Mum's the word at these top London restaurants and bars that are laying out the red carpet this Mother's Day.
Skye Gyngell will launch her new restaurant Spring at Somerset House in September, with an ‘indoor garden’ focal point.
This new Broadway Market launch (with 50% off food until tomorrow) operates as a butcher by day and restaurant by night.
Brazilian-born Helena Rizzo has been named the 2014 Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. Here’s our lowdown on a name to watch...
The team behind Mayfair's Tamarind restaurant has launched this dining space described as a members' club, but without the membership.
Marcus Wareing has relaunched his restaurant at The Berkeley hotel, with the new name MARCUS and a more casual approach to service.
Caribbean dishes, including the namesake patties, are order of the day at this latest Covent Garden opening.
Camden BBQ restaurant Q Grill opens on soft-launch today, with 50% off food until 27 March.
To celebrate Mother's Day, we're giving you the chance to win a voucher for a fantastic afternoon tea for two at Soho’s luxury Sanctum hotel.
When new restaurant, bar and nightclub Mode opens in Notting Hill, it will be the first to change its style and theme every six months.
Hennessy are giving Square Meal readers the exclusive chance to win a lunch for two at Helene Dorroze at The Connaught and a bottle of travel retail limited edition Hennessy Privé.
Mikael Jonsson, of Michelin-starred Chiswick restaurant Hedone, has taken on a consultant role at Soho wine bar Antidote.
Casual British restaurant Tredwell’s will open on Upper St Martin’s Lane in July.
Marble Arch izakaya Kurobuta is set to be one of spring's most anticipated launches. We talked to chef Scott Hallsworth about his plans
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! There's no better craic to be had than in these top Irish pubs.
The Big Easy Bar.B.Q and Crabshack is in soft launch period at Covent Garden’s Maiden Lane, serving surf and turf galore
Check out at a glance which London areas are topping the charts with new restaurant and bar openings.
Heston Blumenthal announces plans for The Perfectionists’ Café, set to launch at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 in June 2014
Iberian tuna tartare topped with caviar and ponzu sauce is among the modern tapas dishes at this new venue.
This month's round-up of new openings and restaurant news from outside the M25.
Experience an exclusive whisky and food matching evening with Highland Park whisky at Duck & Waffle, exclusive to Square Meal readers.
When it comes to pancakes, we only want the flipping best. So here’s our selection of the hottest pre-Lent pancake action around town.
You might not have the whole Hollywood lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink like the stars.
Vietnamese noodle bar Salvation In Noodles is now open on Balls Pond Road, serving hot and cold noodles and sharing plates of street-food.
Indian and Portuguese influences are merged at Cyrus Todiwala's latest opening on Waterloo Road.
The team behind Soho's 10 Greek Street have opened their second restaurant - which has an equally imaginative name.
The Clink restaurant launches in Brixton Prison today, giving Londoners the opportunity to dine behind bars.
Big Apple Hot Dogs creator Abiye Cole takes street food off the streets at Cole & Sons deli on Caledonian Road.
Ollie Couillaud has left Wimbledon’s Lawn Bistro and taken on the role of executive chef at The Royal Academy.
Avenue restaurant in St James’s has relaunched with a new look, a new chef and a new American-inspired menu.
Craft Beer Rising is back and it’s bigger and better than ever with more than 400 beers on offer from over 75 breweries, running until Sunday.
The new restaurant from ex-Viajante chef Nuno Mendes is now open in Marylebone.
Inject a little Spanish sunshine into your winter with our pick of London's best tapas bars and restaurants.
Rebecca Mascarenhas will launch Italian restaurant Bibo in Putney on 6 March, adding to her credentials as one of London’s leading neighbourhood restaurateurs.
An all-day, casual British brasserie opens in London's latest swanky hotel, with 50% off food until 28 Feb.
Jason Atherton is backing a new restaurant in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, with Lee Westcott heading up the kitchen.
Michel Roux Jnr's Le Gavroche has re-opened after a refurb that sees the addition of a six-person private dining room.
Arjun Waney has launched his third Roka outlet, bringing the brand's signature robata grill, sushi and cocktails to Mayfair.
This Valentine's Day, we talk to the team behind Clos Maggiore to find out what makes a restaurant so romantic that it gets three proposals a week.
Our selection of special menus and bespoke cocktails around London this Fashion Week.
We caught up with international super-chef Joël Robuchon to talk Michelin stars, his love of London and what he’s got coming up in 2014.
Whether you’re looking to meet someone or simply have a night out with your mates, Valentine's isn't just for the couples.
Get inventive this Valentine's Day, with events ranging from special film screenings to balloon send-offs and Georgian banquets.
Pink Champagne and Valentine’s Day go together like Posh ‘n’ Becks; this year is no exception, with an array of glitzy releases.
Nuno Mendes is to leave Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel and open Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone.
Heston Blumenthal closes his Knightsbridge restaurant Dinner for a week due to an outbreak of norovirus, five years after the same problem at The Fat Duck.
Our picks of the top places to celebrate the Year of the Horse in London this weekend, including Yauatcha pictured above.
Having just opened his 27th restaurant, the legendary chef speaks to Square Meal about his influences, film roles and the proposed Nobu hotel in London.
Square Meal’s Guide to London’s Best Restaurants & Bars is out now – and our BMW Restaurant of the Year award goes to The Five Fields in Chelsea.
Spanish chef David Muñoz, who holds three Michelin stars at his restaurant DiverXo in Madrid, has announced plans to open a Mayfair restaurant in June.
Broadway Market is to gain a butcher and a restaurant in one, with the launch of Hill & Szrok in mid-March, appropriately set in a former slaughterhouse.
The Dock Kitchen chef has announced that his new Dalston restaurant will be called Sardine and serve southern Italian dishes.
Another all-day dining option is due to arrive in the West End in May when The Strand Dining Rooms opens slap-bang in the centre of town near Trafalgar Square.
Booking lines are now open for Gordon Ramsay’s London House, in Battersea. Click through for the phone number, and the chance to win a free lunch for two.
We talk to the Lancashire chef as he enters his fourth decade at Michelin-starred restaurant, Northcote.
Salvation in Noodles is bringing Vietnamese noodles and street food-style small plates to Dalston.
Hot dogs and on-the-bone food (from fried chicken to rib-eye steaks) by ex-Fat Duck chef Ross Clarke.
Stevie Parle, the chef behind Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove and presenter of Channel 4’s Spice Trip has announced that he is to open a new restaurant in Dalston in March.
The whole concept is based around tasting menus at this first London outing for Swiss chef Michael Riemenschneider.
Our selection of the best restaurants for fish and seafood in the capital, from long-standing institutions to great new openings.
Our selection of some of the finest new bars to arrive in London last year.
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley will close throughout January and February for major refurbishment, and reopen in March under the shortened name of Marcus.
Our pick of the most exciting new restaurant openings of the past year.
Iconic fish restaurant Kensington Place will launch a pop-up restaurant in February. Named FISHBone, it will be a ‘unique fish and seafood spin on the gourmet fast-food trend’ running throughout the month.
The owners of Salt Yard have consulted on this new venture run by three French brothers, one of whom was previously general manager at Dehesa. An ex-Bibendum chef is responsible for a menu of ‘French tapas’.
December ushered in some tantalising new openings - and it’s not just the big hitters that are getting their moment.
Following on from the Marylebone original, the second Tommi's Burger Joint site is to open in January 2014 on King's Road. The new site will also serve a special Icelandic beer, Viking, in a reference to the Icelandic heritage of founder Tomas Tómasson.
This celebration of all things porcine from Tom Ward and TV chef Allegra McEvedy (the team behind Leon) is now open in Exmouth Market.
The group behind Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Tamarind are to launch an all-day restaurant, bar and social space which is similar in style to London’s private members’ clubs, but require no membership.
Chef and restaurateur Cyrus Todiwala will open a new restaurant in Waterloo early next year. Named Assado and described as a ‘journey through Portuguese cuisine’, it is a new direction for the Mumbai-born chef, who is known in London for his Indian food.
A polenta-based restaurant is set to open in Soho later this month, serving a menu of dishes inspired by the grain.
The founder of Fitzrovia’s Koba and Nizuni has launched a new eatery in the City that will feed London’s appetite for Korean street food.
The fourth branch of Craft Beer Co. opens in the capital today, close to Clapham High Street. There are 20+ beers on tap, and more than double that in bottle.
Martin Morales, the man who brought Ceviche to Soho, has opened a Peruvian eatery in Shoreditch. The restaurant features a BBQ, pisco bar and a games room.
Honest, unshowy Gallic cooking from Franck Raymond, who was head chef at Covent Garden’s Mon Plaisir for 10 years.
King's Road boozer The Imperial Arms has swung open its doors with a shortened name and a seasonal, responsibly sourced menu.
Green’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in St James’s has put caviar back on the menu, due to increased demand, three years after it was taken off because the credit crunch and a struggling economy had driven down sales.
The latest opening from Simon Mullins and Ben Tish, the force behind Spanish and Italian restaurants Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern, will launch in Soho on 3 December. As the name hints, the menu heavily features cooking over charcoal, and food will be smoked on-site.
It’s Thanksgiving today, so to celebrate the season, we spoke to two big-name America-based chefs who have each made a piece of London their home: Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Boulud.
The latest opening from serial restaurateur Mark Hix is a portable bar he describes as ‘the smallest cocktail bar in the largest men's shoe-wear department in the world’. The bar is Hix’s second venture in Oxford Street department store, Selfridges; it joins his existing restaurant and Champagne bar on the ground floor.
London’s first schnitzel and spritz bar has arrived in Fitzrovia. Boopshi’s features an Austrian menu that majors in pork, chicken and rose-veal schnitzels, and all kind of takes on the classic spritz cocktail. Bratwurst, spätzle, oxtail and strudel will also feature.
Rainer Becker’s modern Japanese restaurant group Roka will open two new sites in London next year, doubling the number of branches in the capital. The first will open on North Audley Street, Mayfair in February followed by another at Aldwych in the summer.
Following the success of their original Chicken Shop in Kentish Town, the guys from the Soho House Group have launched another one-choice eatery celebrating the delights of roast chicken.
Raymond Blanc has announced plans to open three new gastropubs in London next year, in yet-to-be-announced locations. Blanc’s White Brasserie company has located the sites – all currently running as pubs – and is currently in negotiations to exchange licenses.
The Christmas lights are on, trees are going up - the Mince Pie Project is back. Now in its third year, the charity has become a foodie Christmas tradition, raising £30,000 last year alone by getting top chefs to make mince pies.
Booking lines opened this morning for Russell Norman’s latest venture, located in the former Marquis of Granby pub on Cambridge Circus. Bookings will be taken for lunch only, with dinner focused solely on walk-ins. Ape & Bird will open on Thursday 28 November.
Following a run in London Fields this summer, beer tasting and education company The Craft Beer Social Club will launch its next pop-up on Wednesday 27 November in Shoreditch, running until Saturday 21 December...
Square Meal’s 2013 tasting was bigger and better than ever before, with a buzzy crowd sampling more than 250 wines and food from 10 of London's best restaurants.
A new Big Easy is set to bring the good-time feel and Deep South food that’s made the Kings Road original so popular into the heart of the West End. It will not just be a replica, though. The Maiden Lane site is designed and built for barbecuing...
Selin Kiazim, former head chef at Peter Gordon’s Kopapa restaurant in Covent Garden, has opened a year-long pop-up restaurant and bar at TripSpace studio in a railway arch close to Haggerston station. Trip Kitchen & Bar has a strong Turkish influence, melding Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours.
The Pig Idea is a campaign focused on reversing the EU ban on feeding catering waste to pigs, founded by food waste expert Tristram Stuart and Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers. To promote this campaign they are hosting a one-off feast for five thousand people in Trafalgar Square today.
Clutch will become the latest in a line of chicken-related openings when it hatches in Hoxton before Christmas. The big idea is to take ethically sourced, happy hens from a free-range farm in Wiltshire and give them the deep-fried treatment, using groundnut oil to make things a touch healthier.
The third Wright Brothers restaurant, due to open before the end of November, is the most ambitious yet. Following in the footsteps of the original in Borough Market and the follow-up in Soho, this Spitalfields venture will contain a vast seawater tank in the middle of the dining area.
Concerns about the economy may linger, but November is shaping up to be another terrific month for grand openings and top chefs setting up shop outside London. Is confidence returning to the UK restaurant scene?
Goodman is to open a new lobster roll deli-style restaurant, to add to its popular steakhouse and Burger & Lobster chains. Although other menu items will be available, it is the rolls which will be the main draw. The restaurant will form part of a new development at 65 Duke Street in Mayfair due to open early next year.
It’s all about cocoa beans at this market venue inspired by the original Boucan in the Rabot Estate cocoa plantation on Saint Lucia.
Jason Atherton talks to Square Meal about his first Covent Garden venture – a restaurant in the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court building, due to launch in 2015.
Not content with launching a third branch of its Spanish mini-chain in Victoria’s Zig Zag complex (currently in development), the team behind Iberica is also looking at sites in Manchester.
Square Meal talks to Angela Harnett about her recently launched Shoreditch restaurant Merchant’s Tavern, and Mayfair venture Café Murano which opens next week.
Square Meal's editor Ben McCormack pays tribute to Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, who has died aged 54.
Square Meal catches up with one of London’s busiest restaurateurs to talk about his upcoming projects.
The rumours that Simon Rogan will take over the dining room at Claridge’s have been confirmed today, with the new restaurant launching next spring.
Homelessness charity StreetSmart’s annual fundraising campaign has launched, with more than 550 London and UK restaurants taking part.
We’ve been told that in just over a week, Claridge’s will announce who will fill the shoes of Gordon Ramsay, whose contract to run the hotel’s flagship restaurant ended in June. Square Meal examines the odds on the potential heirs to Ramsay’s throne – and to one of the hottest openings of 2014.
Aqua Shard, Retro Feasts, Pizza Pilgrims and more: Square Meal readers dish the dirt on the London dining scene…
The restaurant world changes at lightning speed. That’s a good thing when we discover hot new places set to become regular hangouts, but it’s tinged with sadness when we stop to remember treasured restaurants that have been consigned to the culinary history books. We invited 10 of the country’s top chefs and restaurateurs to wax nostalgic about the restaurants they miss most.
Find out what our readers thought of the capital’s dining debutants, and discover who has won autumn’s coveted Critic of the Quarter title and other fantastic prizes.
Aurelia’s two-floor site will be transformed into a swish Mexican offering by owner Arjun Waney. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant, which will launch on 21 October, will feature a counter serving freshly made tacos and a buzzy but luxurious vibe.
Angela Hartnett has been busy this year, adding Hampshire hotel restaurant Hartnett Holder & Co and Shoreditch collaboration Merchant’s Tavern to her portfolio, as well as continuing to run her flagship restaurant, Murano.
This November, Mark Hix will launch a second version of Tramshed in the City’s Devonshire Square.
Restaurateur David Moore has taken over the old Roganic site on Blandford Street for a pop-up running until April.
Fifteen restaurants – including nine London establishments – received their first Michelin star today, as the tyre manufacturer unveiled the 2014 issue of its coveted red book, with two more rising from one to two stars.
Who are the next culinary stars? Around Britain there are a number of young chefs who have bagged highly prized head-chef positions for the very first time – thanks to steely determination, a commitment to hard graft and bags of natural culinary talent. In a field with some stiff competition, here are five UK whizz kids to watch.
London may be experiencing an explosion in restaurant openings this month, but there are some eye-catching new arrivals outside the capital that are also well worth noting.
This October, Arbutus chef-patron Anthony Demetre will launch a 12-week pop-up in the City’s Tower 42.
This October, the owners of City stalwart The Don (pictured) will launch a larger, more informal sibling to the restaurant right next door.
Odette’s chef Bryn Williams will open a new restaurant in his native north Wales this November.
Trinity chef Adam Byatt has been scouring south London in search of suitable premises for a second branch of Bistro Union – but so far, the ‘right’ site has proved elusive.
Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café – one of September’s most anticipated new openings – has lost its celebrity stardust after international superstar and erstwhile backer David Beckham pulled out of the partnership at the 11th hour.
Street-food taco star Breddo’s – a fixture at some of the capital’s most popular markets and pop-up events – has taken over from Lucky Chip Slider Bar at The Player.
As part of our Be the Critic competition, we have been giving away fabulous prizes to readers leaving restaurant reviews. Find out who has won prizes so far and which treats are still up for grabs.
September means back to school for the nation’s pupils, undergraduates and teachers, a return to Parliament for MPs, and an end to the silly season for the nation’s newspapers. With the country returning to the capital with its sleeves rolled up, this month is also a busy time for new restaurant openings in London. This September is no exception, with 30 restaurants – one for every day of the month – launching in London.
Swiss chef Bjorn van der Horst is returning to London to head up the kitchens at Rosewood London, formerly the Chancery Court hotel.
Restaurateur Alan Yau is to relaunch his company’s latest acquisition – The Endurance pub on Soho’s Berwick Street – as a ‘Chinese gastropub’.
Tapas bar Barrafina’s second branch is set to launch in Covent Garden next January, boasting a larger dining space than the Soho original (pictured), with some bookable tables.
Ceviche’s owner, Martin Morales (pictured), has revealed that he is finalising plans for his second as-yet-unnamed London venture – and Shoreditch diners can expect much more than a carbon copy of the Soho original.
Grillshack – Richard Caring's all-day grill, which is due to open in Soho this September – is planning a few technological tricks to wow diners.
David Collins – undoubtedly the biggest name in the restaurant design world – has died after a short illness. The 54-year-old had been diagnosed with skin cancer three weeks ago; his death, which took place in the early hours of this morning, was due to complications caused by the cancer.
Chef Tom Aikens (pictured) will launch a new restaurant in Putney later this year, called Kitchenette.
You’ve dined at and dissected newcomers including Oblix, Balthazar and Restaurant Story (pictured) – now find out what others made of the London newcomers…
It’s been more than a year since Polpetto closed its doors above The French House pub on Soho’s Dean Street. After keeping Londoners waiting while they searched for the perfect site, Russell Norman and his team have finally revealed that Polpetto 2.0 will relaunch on nearby Berwick Street this November.
Manchester United footballers Ryan Giggs (pictured holding trophy) and Gary Neville will launch the first of a chain of hotels and cafés this autumn.
Here we go again! Based on the expertise from our UK reviewers as well as your comments, we now reveal our Top 50 list of out-of-London restaurants for 2013.
Congratulations to Raymond Blanc and his team at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which has been named BMW Square Meal Best UK Restaurant for 2013.
You’ve debated the merits of Balthazar, salivated over Brasserie Chavot and marvelled at Jason Atherton’s two new ventures – as well as giving us the low-down on hundreds of other restaurants in the capital and around the UK. Now it’s time for us to dish out some prizes.
Former Quince chef Silvena Rowe is rumoured to be planning to launch a chain of restaurants in Dubai.
The Marylebone site of Simon Rogan’s London restaurant Roganic will close this month as planned – and for the time being, the chef is focusing his energies on his two new Manchester ventures, both located in the city’s Midland Hotel, and his two-Michelin-starred Cumbrian flagship L’Enclume.
Although no one has signed on the dotted line, it seems almost certain that Jason Atherton will take over the restaurant in Tower 42 when Gary Rhodes packs his bags in September after 10 years at Rhodes Twenty Four.
Word has it that Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is considering a London spin-off of her Las Vegas steakhouse SHe.
Loved the restaurant? Now you can give the recipes a whirl. The Square Meal team road-test the best new cookery books from Britain’s top chefs.
Tom Kerridge, chef/owner of The Hand & Flowers in Marlow, plans to expand the bar area of his two-Michelin-starred gastropub later this year.
Three top chefs and restaurateurs – Russell Norman, Simon Rogan (pictured) and Aiden Byrne – have been tempted to the small screen by the BBC, filming two new series to be broadcast next year.
Sophisticated cocktail, beer bomb or retro spirit – what does your choice of tipple reveal about you? Find out if you’re acting true to type…
Last night, homeless charity StreetSmart announced it raised £805,000 in November and December 2012 – a record-breaking sum that brings the total figure raised by the charity since it started in 1998 to £6.3m.
Square Meal readers dish the dirt on the London dining scene.
Loved the restaurant? Now you can give the recipes a whirl. The Square Meal team road-test the best new cookery books from London’s top chefs.
Former Gordon Ramsay chef Mark Sargeant has announced he will oversee the food offering at the refurbished Great Northern Hotel when it opens this month.
Burgers and no bookings may be all the rage in London, but what’s hot on the restaurant scenes of the world’s other major food cities? Square Meal asks the experts abroad.
Jason Atherton’s third London offering is an even more laid-back version of his flagship, Pollen Street Social, with decor, vibe and menu judiciously tweaked for a Soho audience.
25-year-old British chef Tom Sellers has worked at René Redzepi’s Noma and Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant Per Se, so big things are expected from his first solo venture, Story.
Simon Rogan has announced that he will close his London restaurant, Roganic, on Sunday 23 June as planned – and he currently has no plans to reopen it elsewhere in the capital.
We've made it easier for you to leave comments on SquareMeal.co.uk and are giving away scores of fab prizes for the best reviews, including a luxury spa treatment at The Dorchester.
Tell us about your recent restaurant experiences and you could win £150 to spend at STK (pictured), a Nespresso U machine, plus cocktails and Champagne.
Fulham's old Goat in Boots boozer has a stylish new look and offering as an informal restaurant, cocktail bar and all-day lounge spread over three floors.
Chrysan, the high-end Japanese restaurant and sibling to international success story Hakkasan, has ceased trading after just seven months.
Next month, former Bohemia chef Shaun Rankin will open his own venture in the centre of Jersey’s capital St Helier, called Ormer.
Russell Norman has acquired the lease of theatreland pub the Marquis of Granby, on Shaftesbury Avenue. When the news was announced, rumours spread that Norman would turn the pub into a pizzeria – but this is not what the restaurateur has up his sleeve, he assured Square Meal.
It’s out with the old and in with the new for Gordon Ramsay: his 11-year relationship with five-star Mayfair hotel Claridge’s will come to an end this June. No matter – Ramsay has other irons in the fire, including a restaurant with his BFF David Beckham.
Ollie Dabbous has revealed he is planning a follow-up to his self-titled Fitzrovia smash hit, the current BMW Square Meal Restaurant of the Year.
London restaurants are now so beautifully decked out that it was only a matter of time before things started disappearing. We look at the lengths restaurants are going to to protect their assets.
Last night, a group of London diners bid a record-breaking £36,000 for dinner at Oblix at The Shard on its opening night, cooked by Rainer Becker. The extraordinary bid was part of annual charity bash Who’s Cooking Dinner, which sees 20 of London’s hottest chefs cook a gourmet meal for charity – then auction themselves off to diners.
Chef Eric Chavot has revealed more details about the dishes diners can expect at his comeback London restaurant, Brasserie Chavot.
Next Tuesday, Pearl's former executive will launch a permanent version of his food truck Street Kitchen in Shoreditch's Hackney House.
As the regeneration of King’s Cross gathers pace, so Rotunda has upped its game with a new chef and a new menu featuring exceptional meat sourced from its Northumberland farm.
Reservations for chef Tom Sellers’ highly anticipated first solo restaurant are not yet being taken, but that hasn’t stopped diners calling the restaurant to try to secure a sought-after table. Since making details of its booking line public, the restaurant, which opens on 9 April, has been inundated with calls from restaurant-obsessed Londoners.
After much anticipation, the London version of New York hotspot Balthazar has officially launched in Covent Garden – and is already booked up until March.
They started their business on the streets, now restaurateur duo Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins – the brains behind Meatliquor, Meatmission and Meatmarket – have broken records for homeless charity StreetSmart, raising a staggering £14,000 in December alone – the largest amount of money ever raised in a one-month period by a UK restaurant.
For the annual Square Meal Restaurants & Bars guide, we asked chefs and restaurateurs who work in different areas of London to tell us where they eat, drink and shop when off duty. Get a true insider’s guide to the London eating scene.
Michael Winner, who was best known as a film-maker and restaurant critic, died yesterday aged 77.
One of Edinburgh’s best-known restaurants, formerly Restaurant Mark Greenaway at No.12 Picardy Place, relaunches today in a new location in the city’s Old Town.
Restaurant group D&D London – which owns veterans of the capital’s dining scene including Coq d’Argent, Launceston Place and Bluebird Café, as well as newcomers such as Angler, in the City – will launch two new ventures in Leeds this spring.
Restaurateurs Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney have revealed more details about their forthcoming venture in The Shard. Oblix, which will open on the building’s 32nd floor, will be a New York-style grill serving spit-roasted and charcoal-grilled meats, and wood-fired breads and pizzas. In similar style to Zuma, the restaurant will also feature a separate lounge bar.
Spanish-restaurant chain La Tasca will launch an individually branded cava-and-tapas bar in Brighton at the end of this month, with a view to rolling out sister sites around Britain in the coming year.
Ollie Dabbous's self-named Fitzrovia restaurant – which offers a 'thrillingly refreshing' dining experience, according to Square Meal's editor Ben McCormack (pictured, right) – has been revealed as the BMW Restaurant of the Year 2012, beating contenders such as Chrysan, The Delaunay and Quo Vadis. Congratulations to Ollie (pictured, centre, with BMW's Paulo Alves, left) and his team at Dabbous.
Welcome to dreary January: with its grey skies, plummeting temperatures coupled with Londoners’ spare tyres and empty bank accounts, it’s officially the most depressing month of the year. But don’t despair – Square Meal has 10 reasons to be cheerful in the form of soon-to-open big-ticket restaurants. Buckle your seat belts and prepare for an exciting gastronomic journey in 2013…
Claude Bosi’s Michelin-starred Mayfair establishment Hibiscus is seeing in the New Year with a smart facelift.
The Cabinet Office has announced it will match every £1 donation to StreetSmart from participating restaurants throughout December, giving an extra boost to the homeless charity’s 2012 campaign.
L’Enclume’s Simon Rogan has announced he will open two restaurants in Manchester next year – both in the city’s Midland hotel.
On 12 and 18 December, Christie’s auction house in South Kensington will sell off the core art collection hung at legendary London restaurants Langan’s Brasserie and Odin’s. The restaurants’ prodigious art collections number hundreds of works, and this series of auctions will see 230 of them go under the hammer.
Hibiscus chef Claude Bosi and his brother Cedric, who jointly run The Fox & Grapes on Wimbledon Common, are planning to launch their second gastropub venture in February 2013 – this time in Fulham.
In February 2013, London’s Halkin hotel will prepare for the launch of the first international venture from Juan Mari and Elena Arzak – the feted father-and-daughter team behind Basque legend Arzak.
Square Meal is preparing to crown its Amateur Critic of 2012. Leave comments on SquareMeal.co.uk and you could win a weekend for two at South Lodge Hotel, including a gourmet wine dinner at its Michelin-starred restaurant (pictured).
Two senior Fat Duck chefs were killed in Hong Kong last Monday morning in a collision involving two buses. The men – British chef Ivan Aranto Herrera Jorge, 34, and Carl Magnus Lindgren, 30, from Sweden – had gone to Hong Kong to take part in a private event with Heston Blumenthal.
The team behind 2011 hit Upstairs at the Ten Bells has revealed the name of their new venture, which will open as the flagship restaurant in the revamped Shoreditch Town Hall next February. Chef about town Isaac McHale (one half of the Young Turks chef collective) and Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith (who ran private dining club The Clove Club), are to open a two-room restaurant and bar, also to be called The Clove Club.
Square Meal has pledged to donate £1 to homeless charity Streetsmart for every online booking made via squaremeal.co.uk. Watch our video to find out more.
Pollen Street Social owner Jason Atherton will open a second London restaurant, called The Social Eating House, in March 2013 – this time in Soho.
French restaurant Chabrot Bistrot d’Amis, in Knightsbridge, is to open a second branch next year, this time in Smithfield, east London.
The team behind Honest Burgers plans to launch a third branch of its popular burger joint next year, this time outside London.
Jun Tanaka, executive chef at Pearl since 2005, has left the restaurant with a view to opening his own central-London venue next summer.
Unstoppable restaurateurs Ed and Tom Martin (pictured) are preparing to open the 11th site in their restaurant-and-pub empire – this time in the heart of Canary Wharf.
Simon Rogan has confirmed that his Marylebone fine-dining restaurant Roganic will move to another site when its lease comes to an end next summer. The restaurant, which opened on Blandford Street in June 2011, was originally billed as an ‘extended pop-up’ due to its location on a site that is up for redevelopment next summer. However, the chef wants it to live on in a new location.
J Sheekey Oyster Bar, the younger sibling of celeb haunt and stalwart of the London scene J Sheekey, is undergoing a refurbishment that will almost double the restaurant’s capacity.
Square Meal examines the changes to the gastronomic landscape and talks to the chefs and commentators involved, including L'Enclume's Simon Rogan.
Eight London restaurants – including hot property Dabbous (pictured) – were awarded their first Michelin star today, after the tyre manufacturer accidentally leaked the news on its website one week early. The only London restaurant to move from one- to two-star status was Sketch: Lecture Room & Library, in Mayfair. Meanwhile, outside London, eight UK restaurants were awarded with one star, and two were upgraded to two stars.
Naamyaa Café, the latest offering from Alan Yau (of Wagamama and Hakkasan fame), is set to open in Islington on 22 October.
21 SEPTEMBER 2012: This December, Krug Champagne is launching a four-day dining experience called the Krug Institute of Happiness – with dishes cooked by Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes.
Last month, London’s chefs, waiters, sommeliers and food writers went toe to toe in a series of charity boxing matches. Square Meal goes access all areas.
14 SEPTEMBER 2012: Following a hugely successful three-month residency atop the Royal Festival Hall, pop-up restaurant The Cube by Electrolux has extended its run to 1 January 2013 – and chefs including Tom Aikens and Nigel Haworth and Lisa Allen (chef-proprietor and head chef of Lancashire’s Northcote restaurant) are preparing to do stints in the kitchen.
13 SEPTEMBER 2012: On Thursday 20 September, chefs including Marcus Wareing, front-of-house staff such as Galvin at Windows’ general manager Fred ‘Sugar Fred The Stinger’ Sirieix, and one lone food critic will slug it out in a series of charity boxing matches.
1 SEPTEMBER 2012: Following the success of Novikov, which opened in November last year, Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov is to open a second London venture – this time in Knightsbridge. The new restaurant – pitched on the former site of the Brompton Quarter Brasserie (pictured) – will be launched in partnership with London-based restaurateur Valeria Zilkha, and it will be an all-day neighbourhood offering serving contemporary European and Asian cuisine.
25 AUGUST 2012: Three restaurant and two bars – all backed by high-profile restaurant groups – are set to open in The Shard next spring. One restaurant, from business partners Rainer Becker (Zuma, Roka) and Arjun Waney (La Petite Maison, Aurelia), will be a contemporary rotisserie and grill (with a separate bar), located on the 32nd floor. The other two, developed by Aqua Restaurant Group, will bring the concept of Soho’s Aqua Kyoto, Aqua Nueva and Aqua Spirit to the Shard.
23 AUGUST 2012: New-York based British chef April Bloomfield (pictured) will return to the UK this October for a two-day residency at St John Hotel.
13 AUGUST 2012: The Hakkasan Group is getting ready to launch two new restaurants this autumn – both in the City. The first, Chrysan (pictured), will be a high-end Japanese restaurant overseen by multi-Michelin-starred Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata and due to open in September; the second, HKK, will be an evolution of the Hakkasan brand – a high-end kitchen that the company hopes will become a ‘centre of excellence’ for Chinese cuisine. Its launch is planned for later in the year. Square Meal caught up with Niall Howard, CEO of Hakkasan Group, to find out more.
10 AUGUST 2012: Isaac McHale (pictured), one of chef collective the Young Turks, is preparing a permanent solo project that will open in Shoreditch’s historic Town Hall this November. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be the flagship restaurant of Shoreditch Town Hall, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation. The restaurant will be funded through public investment, otherwise known as ‘crowdfunding’: by the end of August, McHale and his business partners hope to raise £250,000 from investors, who will receive a 25% stake in their new company, St Vibes, in return.
Two-Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw will launch his first London venture at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge this October. The chef’s flagship restaurant, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, in Rock, Cornwall, is consistently voted one of the top restaurants in the UK; this year, it ranked number eight in Square Meal’s ‘Hit List UK’, which celebrates the best restaurants beyond the M25. However, the chef’s London venture – called Outlaw's Seafood & Grill at The Capital – will be more akin to the informal style and simple seafood dishes of the chef’s other Rock restaurant (of the same name).
Top British chef Jamie Oliver has reiterated his anger at budget cuts made by the coalition government to school dinners as part of its spending review. Speaking at a press conference for international journalists covering the cultural side of London during the Olympics, Oliver told Square Meal editor Ben McCormack: ‘The government has relaxed the rules around the food served in academies, which in my mind is unforgiveable,’ adding, ‘I know we’re in a recession, but this was a cash-neutral decision.’
High-end hotel restaurant Brunello at the Baglioni is to be replaced this autumn with a new concept headed by two-Michelin-starred Italian chef Moreno Cedroni (pictured).
9 JULY 2012: London chef-restaurateurs the Galvin brothers will open two restaurants in Scotland this summer, both at The Caledonian Hilton Hotel, on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
What’s your ultimate nightmare? For food writer Tanya Gold, it doesn’t get any worse than the restaurant tasting menu – a minefield of foam, slime and exploding brains.
Square Meal readers dish the dirt on the London dining scene. Find out which dining experiences wowed London's foodies in summer 2012 (such as Ceviche, pictured), and which caused them to sharpen the knives...
29 JUNE 2012: The results are in. After counting up the votes of our readers and of our 25 regional reviewers, here are the top 50 restaurants outside London
28 JUNE 2012: Last year's red-hot gastronomic destination, originally set up by cooks' collectives Young Turks & The Clove Club, has been reopened by a clutch of its original founders with a new head chef in the shape of Ledbury alumnus Giorgio Ravelli. Playful modern-British dishes are the kitchen's forte, but the real genius of this outfit is the way it successfully combines a casual atmosphere with smart food. Young Turks have more projects in the pipeline for 2012, so watch this space.
28 JUNE 2012: Hakkasan is poised to launch two restaurants in the capital this year. First up is Chrysan – a fine-dining sibling to the group’s other Japanese venture, Sake No Hana – due to open in September. Then in October, Hakkasan will launch HKK, a modern Chinese restaurant. Though separate, both venues will be located at Broadgate – this being the City, expect plenty of private dining room and chef’s table action, plus expense-account prices.
28 JUNE 2012: Ilia, Bennett Oyster Bar and Brasserie, Senkai, Assemblage (pictured)… 2012 has seen high-profile closures of short-lived ventures. Find out what the experts have to say about the phenomenon.
27 JUNE 2012: Congratulations to Glynn Purnell, whose self-titled restaurant has won the BMW Square Meal Best UK Restaurant Award 2012. Square Meal’s editor Ben McCormack presented the BMW award to Purnell and his team at the West Midlands restaurant. ‘Glynn Purnell more than anyone has put Birmingham on the culinary map,’ he said in a speech. ‘He thoroughly deserves this award.’
27 JUNE 2012: More than 47,000 people headed to Regent’s Park last week for the 2012 Taste of London festival – and Square Meal was there, sharing the experience.
25 JUNE 2012: Chef Ben Spalding hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet since leaving Simon Rogan’s two-year pop-up, Roganic, at the end of March. ‘I’m hoping to open my own restaurant early next year,’ he revealed to Square Meal. ‘Plans are in the early stages, but it will be a 60-cover restaurant in central London. My aim is to create something that’s world class but fun and accessible, with an informal style at lunch and 20-course menus at dinner.’
24 JUNE 2012: We all need a little help from our friends when choosing a restaurant. Get your grumbles off your chest or give credit where it’s due by leaving a comment on squaremeal.co.uk.
20 JUNE 2012: Rule-bending chef Alvin Leung is bringing his self-branded style of cooking, ‘X-treme Chinese’, to our shores. Bo London is coming to Mayfair in September and will be the celebrated Hong Kong chef’s first overseas venture. Expect big things.
14 JUNE 2012: Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett is set to launch a new restaurant in the New Forest’s Lime Wood Hotel early next year. The celebrated London chef will be collaborating with Luke Holder, currently head chef at the Hotel’s flagship Dining Room, to create an entirely new restaurant within the original space.
11 JUNE 2012: The team behind the Disappearing Dining Club – which started life as a dinner party-style pop-up held in unusual spaces across the capital – is launching a permanent restaurant on Brick Lane, called Back in 5 Minutes.
22 MAY 2012: Burger & Lobster, the recession-busting offshoot of Goodman steakhouse, has announced its purchase of the capital’s two Bistro du Vin sites, in Clerkenwell and Soho. Goodman hopes to turn its Soho acquisition around in time for the Olympics, while the Clerkenwell venue will be launched later this year. What’s more, it is understood that both venues are considering taking some bookings.
16 MAY 2012: Wahaca will open its eighth venture at London’s Southbank Centre this June to coincide with the Festival of the World, which will see the venue transformed into a bustling port city filled with street art and installations. The two-storey, temporary restaurant will be built from recycled shipping containers, with a 130-seater dining room, plus a bar and terrace.
8 MAY 2012: Following successful outings in Brussels and Milan, The Cube by Electrolux concept is preparing for a four-month residency atop the Royal Festival Hall from 1 June. Six of the UK’s top chefs, including Sat Bains, Claude Bosi, and Tom Kitchin, will cook a minimum of five courses for 18 guests, who will see them at work in the open-plan kitchen. Expect fantastic views and mind-blowing food at another London event that’s bound to sell out quickly.
1 MAY 2012: Noma was last night crowned the World’s Best Restaurant for a third year in a row at the S. Pellegrino 50 Best Awards. The judges praised the Copenhagen restaurant, saying: 'Noma has changed diners’ perceptions of Nordic cuisine and created a maelstrom in the culinary world. It’s a restaurant of extraordinary pedigree, where passion and honesty are reflected in every mouthful.’
26 APRIL 2012: Homelessness charity StreetSmart broke its own record on Monday night when it announced that its 2011 campaign raised a total of £760,000. The record-breaking sum was celebrated by the charity’s supporters and trustees at a star-studded bash at London’s Groucho Club.
24 APRIL 2012: It’s set to be the hottest gastronomic event of 2012: Claridge’s have announced that it will be playing host to world-beating chef René Redzepi (pictured) for 10 days during the London Olympics.
23 APRIL 2012: Heavyweight chefs Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se) and Elena Arzák (Arzák; pictured) will receive prestigious gongs at the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best awards on 30 April.
APRIL 2012: Long-standing London chain Spaghetti House has launched a ‘boutique’ version of its family-friendly Italian restaurants in Kensington, to update its offering for diners’ changing expectations.
APRIL 2012: In March, fearless chefs Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton joined 1,200 other contenders for the fourth annual Vertical Rush, a tower run in aid of housing charity Shelter.
APRIL 2012: Street-food sensation Lucky Chip, whose burgers (named after the Hollywood glitterati) have proved a hit both at Hackney’s Netil Market and nearby boozer The Sebright Arms, is opening a permanent restaurant, called Slider Bar, in Soho very soon.
APRIL 2012: Although it seems unlikely that there are any restaurateurs out there who haven’t yet had their 15 minutes of fame on programmes from Raymond Blanc’s The Restaurant and MasterChef: The Professionals to Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Marco Pierre White has gone and got himself some volunteers for a new show that aims to find the UK’s best specimens.
MARCH 2012: Serial small-plates restaurateurs Ed Wilson and Oli Barker (pictured, left and right) – the brains behind Terroirs, Brawn and Soif – are launching a fourth site later this year. The Covent Garden venue, called the Green Man & French Horn will open in September and will offer food and wine of France’s Loire region, with an emphasis on fish and seafood.
MARCH 2012: Sushi chain Feng Sushi has won the award for Sustainable Food at the 2012 Sustainable City Awards. This year, the Sustainable Food category focused on fish and was judged by pioneering Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons chef-patron Raymond Blanc, who is passionate about the issue. Feng Sushi’s managing director Silla Bjerrum (pictured) accepted the ‘green gong’ on behalf of the chain at the awards ceremony, held in the City.
MARCH 2012: The Square’s Philip Howard has teamed up with restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas for a second time to launch a restaurant in Barnes – their local patch. The duo’s first professional venture together was with smart neighbourhood locale Kitchen W8, which they opened in Kensington in 2009 and which won a Michelin star last year. Now, the pair are relaunching Sonny’s, which Mascarenhas has owned for 26 years. Howard is a long-standing regular at the Church Road restaurant; when the new-look version – to be called Sonny’s Kitchen – opens in May, he will oversee the kitchen and menus.
MARCH 2012: Teenage chef Luke Thomas has launched a new restaurant at Berkshire’s Sanctum On The Green (formerly Inn On The Green), called Luke’s Dining Room, which opens today.
MARCH 2012: On Monday 5 March, 20 chefs from London’s hottest restaurants, including Pollen Street Social, Zuma and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, cooked at an exclusive dinner that raised £330,000 for Leuka, a charity that funds scientists working towards a cure for leukaemia and other blood cancers.
MARCH 2012: The Fat Duck has launched an animated online experience to whet the appetite of people who manage to secure a booking at the world-renowned restaurant in the three months leading up to their reservation.
MARCH 2012: TV chefs Jonathon Davies (winner of ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish 2010) and John Burton-Race (best known for his appearances on the BBC’s Ready Steady Cook) are launching the world’s first ‘interactive’ restaurant – a restaurant funded and ‘run’ by the public.
FEBRUARY 2012: Vinoteca, which has branches in Clerkenwell and Marylebone, is launching a third site this April, on Soho’s Beak Street.
Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, who is known for his acclaimed installations, sculpture, music, dance and film, will transform Sketch’s Gallery restaurant as part of a year-long artistic project for the venue that coincides with its 10th anniversary.
FEBRUARY 2012: David Eyre, executive chef of Eyre Brothers, has been interviewed by the British Library as part of its archive of recordings to document the changing nature of food production, manufacture and consumption in 20th-century Britain. Eyre’s interview is one of 300 that have been conducted over a 10-year period. Other high-profile chefs who have contributed to the project include Albert Roux, Prue Leith, Fergus Henderson and Antonio Carluccio.
FEBRUARY 2012: Harveys Cellars – of Harveys Bristol Cream fame – has relaunched as a bar-restaurant serving a range of sherry options, including Harveys’ VORS collection and sherry flights, with tapas pairings.
FEBRUARY 2012: Long waits to order drinks might be a thing of the past if the concept behind The Thirsty Bear, London’s first self-service pub, takes off. The Blackfriars pub, formerly the Stamford Arms, opened at the end of January and boasts beer taps on every table – all controlled by iPads.
JANUARY 2012: Nearly a decade after opening in Clerkenwell, Medcalf has treated itself to a swish refurbishment. The beige colour scheme, battered leather armchairs and rustic woods have been replaced by smart violet banquettes and slate-grey walls – although the low-hanging filament bulbs and eclectic abstract artwork remain. The restaurant has also launched two new menus in addition to their signature daily offerings of refined but gutsy British dishes. Saturday brunch (available 10am-4pm) includes no-nonsense plates such as Arbroath smokie with lemon butter and brown bread, or roast Blythburgh ham with fried eggs and chips, while the bar menu boasts Trealy Farm charcuterie platters and Welsh rarebit.
JANUARY 2012 Congratulations to Seniors, in Lancashire, which was named Best British Fish and Chip Shop 2012 at the 24th annual National Fish and Chip Awards, held in London. Richard Corrigan presented owners Alastair and Dominic Horabin (pictured) with the title. Alastair Horabin (far left) said: ‘This is an honour beyond our wildest dreams. I'm overjoyed for the whole team and I'm proud to be their boss.’ Second place went to Hanbury’s in Devon, while Quayside, in Whitby, came third. The finalist for London and the South-East was Seafare, in Guildford.
JANUARY 2012: Nearly half of all London diners’ gripes about the restaurant experience relate to service – or lack of it – according to Square Meal’s annual survey of complaints. Nicky Evans reveals the gory details…
JANUARY 2012: Square Meal is predicting big things for 2012, from a South American invasion to headline-grabbing openings from Corbin & King (of The Wolseley and The Delaunay fame) and Richard Caring’s Caprice Holdings. Plus, trends that were starting to emerge at the tail-end of 2011 are really establishing themselves in 2012 – expect to see increasing numbers of iPad wine lists, plus budget-tastic gourmet lunches with wine included. Want to be in the loop when it comes to developments on the London dining scene? Read on for the low-down.
NOVEMBER 2011: Gold-fingered chef and restaurateur Mark Hix is to work with another hotel – this time American group Thompson – when it launches its first UK venture in January. The hotel will offer a Belgravian branch of Hix’s eponymous restaurant in Soho, with a fun menu that’s more ‘off-piste’ than the chef’s usual true-Brit cooking style. A second version of super-cool cocktail destination Mark’s Bar is also in the pipeline, with a cigar garden thrown in for good measure. With words like ‘edgy’ and ‘bohemian’ being bandied about, Hix #2 looks set to be anything but a staid hotel dining room.
OCTOBER 2011: A pop-up version of basement mixology den Bourne & Hollingsworth, in Fitzrovia, The Fourth Wall is a new bar that pitches up at a different, secret location every weekend. The interiors replicate the 1920s’ living-room feel of its older sibling, with flowered wallpaper and tablecloths and mismatched, wartime furniture – but, like a stage set, this bar is dismantled at the end of the weekend, to reappear elsewhere. Contact The Fourth Wall to find out about its next location: as the weeks progress, finding it promises to be increasingly challenging.
OCTOBER 2011: Having spent the summer pounding London’s pavements in order to update our restaurant reviews, we couldn’t help noticing exciting changes afoot at some of the city’s restaurants, many of which have closed their doors in order to re-emerge in autumn with a shiny new look, such as Odette's (pictured). Here’s a list of ones to watch.
SEPTEMBER 2011: September means back to school, and not just for pupils: restaurant launches will be back in full swing from tomorrow, with the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s Cut at 45 Park Lane (pictured). After that, hold onto your hats, as big-ticket restaurants will be coming to London thick and fast. Here’s a selection of the biggest upcoming openings in London this autumn.
AUGUST 2011: Russell Norman will launch the fifth version of his hugely successful small-plates empire in November. Mishkin’s – which will take its inspiration from Jewish delis of New York’s Lower East Side, with a pinch of Brick Lane thrown in for good measure – is to be located on Catherine Street, and will continue the restaurateur’s move into Covent Garden, which started with da Polpo. There’s more good news for those put off by the no-bookings policy operated at Mishkins’ older siblings Polpo and Sputino: this joint will take bookings.
AUGUST 2011: American chef Thomas Keller’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry is to pop up in Harrods this autumn. The Napa Valley institution – which was named World’s Best Restaurant in 2003 and again in 2004 – will be recreated in the store from 1 October for 10 days only, in the Georgian Restaurant on the fourth floor.
JULY 2011: With spells at some of the world’s top restaurants under his belt, Skegness-born Jason Atherton struck out on his own earlier this year with Pollen Street Social, one of the most talked-about restaurants of 2011. He spoke to Square Meal about the venture – and revealed all about his bust-up with Gordon Ramsay.
JULY 2011: This Sloane-meets-tiki playground for the famous and the wannabes has added a ‘motel room’ to the mix, complete with karaoke machine for the lyrically inclined. Join the models, OK! faces, Chelsea hoorays, flash Ferraris and the occasional Windsor in the Polynesian Lanai bar and order mini Mahiki burgers or other American diner classics in its new dining area, before continuing the party downstairs.
JUNE 2011: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will launch a new branch of his River Cottage restaurant in Plymouth later this year. The restaurant will be located in the city’s Brewhouse development, a converted Grade-I listed building containing restaurants, shops, and apartments. The TV chef plans to source 90% of the kitchen’s ingredients from within 50 miles of Plymouth, and to make the most of the city’s natural resources, including sustainable fish from the Devon coast.
JUNE 2011: On 7 October, Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens will take to the kitchen of Kensington Olympia’s Grand Hall for the annual British Olympic Ball, a dinner attended by sporting celebrities, forthcoming Olympic competitors and royalty. After the meal, diners will be entertained by singer Tom Jones, before bidding for prizes at an auction to raise funds for Team GB.
JUNE 2011: José Pizarro’s dashing tapas and sherry bar fits assuredly among the hip eateries of Bermondsey Street, displaying the same easy charm as its owner. Pizarro’s food is the real deal: quality ingredients with few surprises. Daily market specials are displayed in glass cabinets, while Spain’s greatest hits, including top-notch charcuterie and tortilla, are chalked up on the board above the bar. The menu proper boasts rich ham croquetas, lamb meatballs with thick tomato sauce, and ever-popular Padrón peppers.
MAY 2011: This autumn, St Martin’s Courtyard will welcome Thai newcomer Suda to its coterie of dining destinations. The restaurant will feature all-day dining options and a bar ‘dedicated’ to som tam – a salad of green papaya, peanuts, eye-popping birds’-eye chillies, tomatoes and green beans that’s just one of the country’s many delicacies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the first of its kind in London.
MAY 2011: With the sunny weather set to continue through May, the Courtyard at 51 Buckingham Gate has chosen a perfect time to open its doors. Located down a cobbled mews, head along to the quaint open-air garden and terrace for some barbecued Middle Eastern food, washed down perhaps by a summertime cocktail or two.
APRIL 2011: René Redzepi’s Noma has been crowned the World’s Best Restaurant for the second year running. The Copenhagen restaurant, whose team of foraging chefs steadfastly uses only ingredients native to Scandinavia, was praised by the judges for its ‘meticulous attention to detail, fastidious approach to service, wicked sense of humour and unrivalled creativity’, all of which results in an ‘emotive, intense, liberating way of eating, unlike any other’.
FEBRUARY 2011: After a 30-year absence, the Playboy Club – once a destination of choice in the Swinging Sixties – returns to London on Saturday 4 June. The private members’ club will include a casino, a nightclub called the Cottontail Lounge, a cocktail bar from mixologist Salvatore Calabrese and a restaurant. In preparation for the launch, we caught up with executive chef, and star of Iron Chef UK, Judy Joo to talk about the food, the feel and those 'demure' Playboy bunnies.
FEBRUARY 2011: Boutique hotel group Hotel du Vin is to open a number of London bistros, called Bistro du Vin. The first Bistro du Vin will be opened in Clerkenwell in April, to be followed by a further site in Kensington later in the year. The menus will be identical to those found in each Hotel du Vin, with wines selected by wine and spirits director Ronan Sayburn MS.
JANUARY 2011: The hugely anticipated launch of Dinner at The Mandarin Oriental has now opened. Check out the funky interior, from which guests will be able to see into the state-of-the-art kitchen and watch the 45-strong team of chefs at work. Sadly, this is as close as all but a lucky few will get to Dinner for the time being. The booking lines for each new calendar month open three months beforehand, so get dialling.
JANUARY 2011: Spanish chef José Pizarro, co-founder and former executive chef of Tapas Brindisa, is preparing to launch his first solo venture on nearby Bermondsey Street in April. Called José, the newcomer will be inspired by the tapas joints of Barcelona’s bustling Boquería market in style and decor, with limited, informal seating and a focus on the freshest ingredients. The menu will change daily but will stick to simple and traditional tapas, with sherry a speciality of the wine list.
JANUARY 2011: Heston Blumenthal’s hotly anticipated Mayfair restaurant, Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental, will feature a Victorian-style ice cream trolley that makes ice cream for diners on the spot, the chef’s right-hand man has revealed. Ashley Palmer-Watts, who has developed Dinner’s concept and menus with Heston for the past two years, and who will head up the kitchen when it opens its doors on 31 January, expects the machine to be a ‘real showstopper’.
JANUARY 2011: William Hill has given even-money odds on Restaurant Gordon Ramsay losing one of its three Michelin stars when the 2011 Great Britain & Ireland guide is published next week.