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Autumn Openings 2018

Autumn Openings 2018

September 7, 2018 By Nick Savage

London's Latest Restaurant Openings this Autumn 
 
The stretch of Autumn spanning the beginning of September to the end of November is customarily when London’s most exciting restaurants open their doors to the public, a public which subsequently clamours to find a way beyond said door. 2018 is no exception. Here’s what you have to look forward to:
 
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1901 Wine Lounge - Liverpool St.

1901 Wine Lounge - Liverpool St.

July 6, 2016 By Nick Savage Bars

Things change. Liverpool Street has certainly changed. The City and Shoreditch seem to be pressing against one another, with the former becoming hipper and the latter becoming, well, nicer. Also, wine has been changing. There’s not as much dogma surrounding the question of classic / natural wines, and people tend to focus on what’s good rather than what’s trendy or what’s traditional. 1901 Wine Bar, situated in the Andaz Hotel on the southern border of Liverpool Street Station, ascribes to this philosophy. 
 
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Chinese Laundry - Islington

Chinese Laundry - Islington

May 24, 2016

From Bar Shu to Yipin China to Silk Road, not to mention the top-shelf restaurants like Hutong and Hakkasan, London isn’t exactly starved for good Chinese food, but the arrival of something different is always welcome, and Chinese Laundry is just that. Situated right in the middle of Upper Street, Chinese Laundry was spearheaded by owners Peiran Gong and Tongtong Ren, both of whom grew up in the remote northeastern regions of China and were taught traditional methods of curing, smoking, pickling, fermenting, fishing and foraging, which offered them a strong grasp of their cuisines from an early age.
 
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Covent Garden Gets a Caribbean Crib

Covent Garden Gets a Caribbean Crib

March 20, 2014 By Nick Savage Restaurant,

If you’re looking for a Caribbean drinking and dining experience, Covent Garden now plays host to Dub Jam, a charming little venue that resembles a Rasta Polly Pocket. The jewelbox small bar and kitchen recreates a beachside vibe with light fixtures crafted from buoys and tin cans, stools refashioned from beer kegs and car wheels and a shelf bar made from half a surfboard. There’s additionally a dope selection of Jamaican-inspired grub including jerk chicken, pork, king prawn and halloumi skewers as well as flatbread burgers made from 28-day aged beef with accoutrements including grilled pineapple and smoked cheese or avocado and cured bacon. Punters who pitch up at the bar will be invited to get their drink on with a variety of cocktails, including a ‘Wray & Nephew Reggae Infused Punch’, which is gravity-fed through a soundsystem wall of speakers to ‘bass filter’ the overproof rum. No bookings on this one – so get there early to get in – it’s been very popular so far.

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London Fashion Week Cocktails at Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Bar

London Fashion Week Cocktails at Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Bar

March 19, 2014 By Nick Savage Bar

A dash of fashion, a measure of glamour and a generous helping of flavor is the recipe for London Fashion Week Cocktails at Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Bar.

With Fashion Week showcasing the capital’s rising styles and flavours, Harvey Nichols is offering its own interpretation of what’s hot in the capital with a bespoke showcase of new and emerging cocktail trends and tastes.

From eight extravagant offerings we narrowed it down to six – reflecting both a range of unique combinations and presentations ranging from a traditional martini glass to a tall highball. Taking their names from the world’s most famous shopping streets, the drinks do justice to their namesakes. The Fifth Avenue - crème de peche stirred with absinthe and lavender essence - has a sassy kick and a sweet finish. Sloane Street, on the other hand, is a bubbly mix of rhubarb vodka topped with Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV, with a hint of lemon bite.

The sequence of our libations was expertly suggested, with the most luxurious left for last. The Avenue Montaigne, in true French style, is a slick, sophisticated mix of cognac and blueberry liqueur, while the Bahnhofstrasse offers a unique twist on the traditional espresso martini. The addition of a Mozart liqueur adds an intimation of chocolate to the mix, and with a chocolate truffle served on the side, it perfectly rounds off the evening.

With Harvey Nichols offering up four floors of shopping beneath the Fifth Floor bar, these cocktails are best enjoyed sipped luxuriating in a window-side booth, admiring your purchases and the passing catwalk on the street below.

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Beating London to The Punch

Beating London to The Punch

February 13, 2014 By Nick Savage Bar

When The London EDITION opened on Berners Street in September, it immediately became a zeitgeist type of venue, establishing itself straight away as a nerve centre for London’s sectors of business, media, music and especially fashion with its powerful arsenal of offerings. In terms of function, if Berners Tavern were the EDITION’s rocket propelled grenade and the Basement its AK-47, The Punch Room would be the sniper rifle; set back away from the fray, secluded, intimate and well adapted for dangerous liaisons. On a number of visits we have shared The Punch Room with greater mortals whose stars were on the wax, but beyond that and more importantly, it’s the kind of venue where you are guaranteed to have a glamorous evening. Staff members are voluble and well-equipped in wit and good looks, the room boasts a handsome design, and the bar an array of punches that would pique the envy of Muhammad Ali. To get down to the nitty gritty details, the room is clad head-to-toe in fumed-oak panelling, with teal velvet banquettes, mismatched brown and green leather arm chairs, and a soundtrack of throwback, jazz, reggae and motown tunes piped through the speakers. Bar manager Davide Segat, who honed his mixological edge at venues including The Connaught, Hawksmoor and The Bulgari, has assembled a crack team of bar tenders with equable backgrounds, to create a menu of punches, available for 2, 4, 6 or 8 drinkers. So far from our visits and the bowls we’ve sampled, our favourites have been the Milk Punch - a bewilderingly delicious amalgamation of Batavia Arrack, Somerset cider brandy cognac, rum green tea, lemon juice, pineapple and spices syrup – and the Punch a la Romaine, allegedly served during the fatal voyage of the Titanic – with Tanqueray, lemon sherbet, Pierre Ferrand Curacao and Champagne poured suggestively over an outsized block of ice. You might be asking yourself whether this venue can pack a knockout punch, and it does. Namely, bar snacks from Jason Atherton. Ka-pow!

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A New Prize for the Publican’s Eye

A New Prize for the Publican’s Eye

February 13, 2014 By Nick Savage Bars

You’ve probably walked past the site on Davies Street before. The Running Horse is one of Mayfair’s most ancient pubs, dating back to 1738, and has always boasted the post-office bustle of the neighbourhood's hedge fund managers, art and fashion crowd. Now, following a restoration from James Chase of the eponymous vodka brand and Dominic Jacobs, former bar manager at Sketch, it looks posed to remain as boisterous as ever. The pub area downstairs is all country chic with worn tables, mismatched chairs, and most importantly a full arsenal of craft beers, well-chosen wine and Chase spirits. They’ve hired Masterchef: The Professionals quarter-finalist Andrew Justice to orchestrate the menu – a kind of fusion between American barbecue classics and Modern British – with venison burgers, Jacob’s Ladder ribs and others of their ilk. If a pub isn’t exactly your cup of tea, ascend the stairs to The Whip, the house cocktail bar, where they’ve taken pains to perfect the mint julep. Borrowing inspiration from the glory days of the Kentucky Derby where the julep ‘reined’ supreme, the cocktails will muddle herbs and botanicals to create the perfect flavour balance, then serve them up in a pewter tankard to retain the chill. In terms of Mayfair pubs, The Running Horse and Whip may just be raising the stakes.

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When in Rum

When in Rum

February 6, 2014 By Alexandra Ivett Bars

A traditional hot toddy, with a slug of spirit and layers of spice, has for many years been the optimal drink to warm the throat and kindle a fire in the belly. Served hot, strong and straight to your head, it’s the ideal drink for fending away a cold winter’s evening.
 
Now Floridita, the Soho bar and restaurant famous for importing the sounds and sensations of Latin America to London, is offering up its own unique twist on the Hot Toddy at its pop-up Hot Rum Bar. The ‘Barbados Toddy’ is a soothing and spicy mix of vanilla rum, hot tea, curls of cinnamon and the tangy aftertaste of lemon. Served in a tall latte glass, it’s a drop of hot-blooded Cuban spirit in the dark heart of wintery London.
 
In fact, visitors to the ‘rum shack’ in subterranean Floridita are swiftly transported oceans away from the murky streets above. After descending the spiral stairs the wall-to-wall bar appears festooned with retro signage, and you’re led to a bar seating area complete with palm trees, upturned barrels and soft couches swathed in patterned blankets. Upstairs it may be a blustery winter’s eve, but down here it’s a hot Havana night. 
 
After warming up with the Toddy, we put some spring in our step with a Navy Blue Blazer. Patrons, take heed. When a waitress warns you a drink will be strong, it will be strong. Take two types of rum and a splash of absinthe, add sugar and spices, and then light the whole thing on fire and serve in a retro tin cup and you’ve got a drink that will not only put hairs on your chest, but make then stand straight on end.
 
Time for dessert – the Smoky Chocolate (an innovative take on a traditional hot chocolate) is unfortunately off the menu. We settle on a Cocorummy Flip and a Lazy Winter. The Cocorummy is a smooth, thick concoction of coconut rum shaken with egg yolk. The hint of nutmeg gives it a spicy finish, and it’s quickly slurped down. The Lazy Winter, in a tall thin glass finished with crushed ice, is one to take your time with. Double cream and dark chocolate liquor mixed with a 10 year old Matusalem rum is winter indulgence at its best.
 
Each drink on this six-strong specialty menu of The Rum Shack is a carefully designed, well-executed mix of flavours. Available until March, it’s the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s night, and a surefire way to keep the winter blues at bay.
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Champagne Receives Star Treatment at Tirage

Champagne Receives Star Treatment at Tirage

January 7, 2014 By Nick Savage Bar

Champagne has long been held in high regard in the City of London. No less so by new bubbles bistro Tirage, offering 120 different labels of champers (with 18 available by the glass) alongside an array of delectable Franco-Peruvian dishes, all in a chic Bishopsgate bolthole. Head chef Alasdair Fraser, who formerly plied his trade at The Abingdon in Kensington, has created a variety of dishes to tease out the nuances of the wine. These sophisticated pairings include breakfast plates such as boiled, truffled free range eggs, bread sticks and parmesan shavings with a flute of Perrier-Jouët or blueberry pancakes, cinnamon butter and thyme honey with a glass of Michel Furdyna Rosé. However, the restaurant really comes into its own in the evening. Innerplace’s favourite dishes were a Cornish scallop ceviche served alongside a caramelised Jerusalem artichoke purée with prosciutto powder, kaffir lime, pomegranate and sorrel flower reduction which was matched with an elegant Champagne Ducos Absolu Meunier; pan fried foie gras with caramelised pair, chilli popcorn and blini complemented by Champagne Drappier Carte d’Or (our favourite bubbles of the meal); and finally a red mullet tiradito with guacamole, fennel and aji amarillo sauce. The room itself is stripped back, with industrial accents, parquet flooring, high top tables and a handsome arsenal of bottles and glassware.

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Byron Beers

Byron Beers

December 13, 2013 By Bars Nick Savage

Craft beer has been slowly seeping into Britain’s collective consciousness over the past five years, however the American partiality to canning the stuff hasn’t yet taken off as it has across the pond. Byron, one of the first Brit operators to fly the flag for modern dude food, will be doing the same for craft brew in a can, with a large range of barley pop available on their menu. This will include the burger purveyors very own Byron Pale Ale and Byron Lager as well as London neighbour’s Camden Town Brewery’s Hells Lager. From the good old US of A, Byron will be slinging canned beers including the ubiquitous Brooklyn Lager, Bear Republic’s famous Racer 5 IPA and Oskar Blues’ celebrated Dale’s Pale Ale. They also have a curious addition from Sweden, Brutal Brewing’s Pistonhead Kustom Lager.

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