If you’re not a fan of loud noises in the dark, look away now (and perhaps don’t go outside until December). Everyone else, gather round: we’ve collected up an explosive collection of restaurants, all located close to London’s best firework displays. It’s time to get booking – and be careful where you poke those sparklers, yeah?
Thursday 5 November, 6-9pm, Roundwood Park
Paradise by way of Kensal Green, Ladbroke Grove (below left)
Wildly decadent interiors (marble busts, swirling drapes, chandeliers, grandiose paintings) are paired with seasonal dishes made from fresh locally sourced ingredients – this gastropub has good-time distractions at every turn.
Dock Kitchen, Ladbroke Grove (below right)
Floor-to-ceiling windows, views over the waterway, low-hanging lamps and exposed walls make a cool ex-industrial space even cooler, as does the chilled-out, bare-table vibe at this Modern European firecracker.
Thursday 5 November, Southwark Park (ticket holders only)
Tentazioni, Bermondsey (below left)
Tempting Bermondsey since 1997, Tentazioni has gradually expanded its initial warehouse conversion to accommodate a nearby delicatessen, offering plenty of thoroughbred Italiano goodness throughout.
Zucca, Southwark (below right)
With its last-ever service slated for 23rd December, make the most of this superb Italian while you still can. Expect food with “little fuss but huge flavour” on a short, daily changing menu, as well as some “amazing” wines, according to various gluttonous Londoners (aka our readers).
Friday 6 November, 5pm onwards, Coram’s Fields
Norfolk Arms, Fitzrovia (below left)
Legs of Ibérico ham hanging in the window and a meat slicer on the counter mark this boozer out as a great Spanish find in Fitzrovia. Expect a lengthy tapas menu and a sharp globetrotting wine list with plenty by the glass or carafe.
Hubbard & Bell, Holborn (below right)
Impressively ambitious in its scope, this café, bar and grill aims to feed and water Holborn’s ever-changing population from early morning until late at night. The large space is suitably multifunctional and the full menu is equally wide ranging, running from small plates on toast, via burgers (lamb with cumin and feta) and salads, to roast rib of beef.
Saturday 7 November, 7pm onwards, Victoria Park
The Empress, South Hackney (below left)
Victoria Park Village’s regal Empress receives a number of important local dignitaries throughout the day: the fishmonger, the butcher, the vintner, the baker… all pay their respects on a daily basis. As a result, this brilliant gastropub is a celebration of the foodie scene flourishing right on its doorstep.
Formans, Bow (below right)
Fish Island, just off Bream Street, makes a fitting address for the restaurant at H Forman & Sons’ smokery – although the venue is still “not the easiest place to find”. Nevertheless, it’s worth tracking down this useful little spot for dinner to sample the Forman family’s famous ‘London Cure’ smoked salmon.
Saturday 7 November, 6pm onwards, Battersea Park
Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea (below left)
Gordon Ramsay’s third Maze Grill follows the successful formula established by Maze Grill Mayfair, serving up signature rare-breed steak alongside fish and poultry hot off the grill. Friendly staff are happy to make recommendations from a well-matched wine list, packed with decent bottles.
Cheyne Walk Brasserie, Chelsea (below right)
This “gleaming” high-ceilinged brasserie remains airy despite all the smoke and sizzle which emanates from the enormous charcoal grill at the heart of the dining room. Prices aren’t cheap and the food can seem rather “heavy”, but there’s no arguing with the discreet location right by the river.
More of a pop-up merchant? Check out our monthly round-up here.
This article was published 4 November 2015