squaremile Gu i des
In association with
squaremile Gu i de s
squaremile Gu i des
Jon Hawkins art dirECtor
Matthew Hasteley SuB Editor
Lizzie Rivera SENior dESiGNEr
Lucy Phillips JuNior dESiGNEr
Ali Davidson StaFF WritEr
Matt Huckle Editorial aSSiStaNt
Pete Simpson CoNtriButorS
Giles Coren, Anna Chambers, William Curley, Neil Davey, Paul Drummond, Michael Edwards, Tom Harrow, Wolfgang Puck, Aaron Simpson PriNtiNG
Editor, SquarE MilE
Mark Hedley HEad oF diGital
Mike Gluckman CoMMErCial dirECtor
Lauren Neale HEad oF MarKEtiNG & Pr
Loren Penney MarKEtiNG & EVENtS
Danielle Kent HEad oF driNKS & VENuES
Alex Watson GrouP adVErtiSiNG MaNaGEr
Michael Berrett PriNt adVErtiSiNG
Jack Bennett, Will Preston, Sophie Spencer, Will Taylor aCCouNtS
Steve Cole, Laura Otabor, Claude Alabi CEo
Tim Slee CHairMaN
f you want some indication of where eating out ranks in the priorities of the average Londoner, here’s a telling statistic: according to the Mayor of London’s World Cities Culture Report 2012, London has 214 theatres, 349 live music venues, 802 bookshops and 108 cinemas. Restaurants? 37,450. Just to put that figure into perspective, Paris, that hotbed of gastronomic productivity, has 22,327. New York – the city that never sleeps, thereby gifting its inhabitants an additional eight hours eating time per day – has a paltry 24,149. Tokyo, admittedly, has over 150,000, but then it also has almost exactly ten times as many rare and second-hand bookshops as we do in London (681 vs 68), which suggests a tendency towards excess on their part. However you want to look at it, though, that figure suggests Londoners take dining out rather seriously. If you’re reading this the chances are you do too, in which case you’re in good hands. Our inaugural Restaurant Guide is your essential aid to eating out in the capital. If you’re simply looking for somewhere great to eat, we’ve made things easy for you by asking some of London’s most respected authorities on food to pick five of their favourite restaurants (from p95). Super-chef Wolfgang Puck names the five places he always visits when he’s in town, master chocolatier William Curley finds five havens for dessert-fiends, Marcus Wareing tells us where he takes the family to eat, and many more. In the event that you decide to venture out of London, either within these shores or further afield, we’ve got a few suggestions too: we list our top five out-of-town hotels for foodies (p104), and we sent culinary explorer Neil Davey to California, knife and fork in hand, to get his teeth into some of the local produce (p54). As veteran critic and wine expert Michael Edwards tells us on p26, champagne’s versatility makes it a great companion for food (and it’s hangover-friendly, to boot), so it made perfect sense for us to team-up with Louis Roederer for the first of what we expect to be many Restaurant Guides. Once you’ve read it you’ll be equipped to tackle any restaurant in London; all 37,450 of them. And if that’s not enough, we’re sure Tokyo will have you…
Tom Kelly OBE
win a bottle of Cristal! Go to squaremile.com/
020 7819 9999 Squareupmedia.com
Jon Hawkins, Guides Editor
and answer a few questions about your favourite and least favourite dining experiences…
GilES CorEN Having won the British Press Awards Food and Drink Writer of the Year, it’s safe to assume restaurant critic and columnist Giles Coren knows a thing or two about dining out. He’s also won the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Prize. Naturally, we only sought his expertise on restaurant etiquette.
MiCHaEl EdWardS After working as a wine shipper and broker, Michael Edwards became a restaurant critic in 1983. For the last 20 years he has been a freelance wine and food writer. His recent The Finest Wines of Champagne won the Louis Roederer Award as the International Wine Book of 2010.
WolFGaNG PuCK In the early 1970s, aged 24, Austrian-born Puck decamped from Europe to California to make his way as a chef. He never looked back, and his first restaurant, Spago in LA, became a culinary phenomenon. This month, Cut, his first London restaurant, celebrates its first anniversary.
NEil daVEy A former banker, Neil Davey sensibly jacked in the business to become a journalist. His CV also features a year working as a cheesemonger in Borough Market. He now writes about food, drink, cars and anything else you can do sitting down. He did walk a bit in California, though.
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Contents rESTAUrANT GUIDE
DIRECTORY toP FIVe recommended by 96 . wolFGanG Puck 97 . rIchard corrIGan 97 . marcus wareInG 98 . Paul drummond & aaron sImPson 100 . wIllIam curley 103 . mIchael edwards 36
toP FIVe 104 . out oF town 109 . dIne and dance 112 . PrIVate dInInG rooms
16 . tramshed’s cock n bull story 19 . where to drInk crIstal 20 . restaurant news & oPenInGs 26 . Food wIth chamPaGne 31 . a ‘noVel’ dInInG eXPerIence
36 . GIles coren on eatInG out 42 . sIr daVId tanG InterVIew 49 . the latest Food trends
71 . dIy: toP cheF recIPes 77 . kItchen essentIals 79 . cheF knIFe must-haVes 81 . PremIum sPIrIts 89 . talk the wIne talk 90 . world’s most eXPensIVe wIne
annual hIGhlIGhts 115 . cIty & east 120 . canary wharF 122 . west end 124 . mayFaIr & st James’s
INTERNATIONAL 54 . calIFornIa’s culInary couP 61 . croatIa: truFFles & bentleys 65 . euroPe’s desIGner dInInG
128 . IndeX
R E S TA U R A N T, C O C K TA I L B A R A N D P R I VAT E D I N I N G O p e n d a i l y, 1 1 . 3 0 a m t i l l l a t e Te l e p h o n e : 0 2 0 7 6 2 9 9 9 8 8 w w w. c h i n a t a n g l o n d o n . c o . u k 5 3 PA R K L A N E • M AY FA I R • LONDON • W1K 1QA
In thIs sectIon 016 Inside Tramshed 019 Where to drink Cristal 020 News and new openings 026 Matching champagne with food 031 A literary supper club
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tramshed A cow and cockerel preserved in a glass tank of formaldehyde preside over Mark Hix’s latest venture. Damien Hirst’s artwork sums up Tramshed’s menu offering quite neatly – chicken or steak – and serves as a reminder of the farm-to-plate journey. And, in case you’ve missed the point, your chicken arriving speared and with feet attached is sure to ram the point home. But then you already knew they aren’t born as tender breasts marinated in peri peri, right? ■
Fowl play is aFoot…
The insider ChiCken
Love authoritarianism and meat? Hate vegetarians? Then Mark Hix’s seventh restaurant is the perfect place for you
Set at the foot of a beautiful silver staircase is Il Ristorante, the elegantly appointed restaurant at the heart of the Bulgari Hotel & Residences London. Head Chef, Robbie Pepin, creates menus featuring contemporary Italian cuisine, catering to the modern palate whilst drawing on classic Italian gastronomic traditions and regions delicacies. True Italian dishes, such as Pepinâ€™s signature artisanal pasta dish with tomatoes from Puglia sit alongside those given a special Bulgari London twist; his take on a milanaise double piccata and a Baba soaked in lemon zest syrup, served with whipped vanilla cream and Limoncello from Minori on the AmalďŹ coast.
Bulgari Hotel & Residences 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW T: +44(0) 207 151 1025 F: +44(0) 207 151 1011 IlRistorante-London@bulgarihotels.com
RESTAURANT & BAR Located in the heart of Mayfair, Novikov Restaurant & Bar combines a superlative culinary offering with uber stylish cocktail lounge. The venue is divided into two distinct dining areas. The Asian Restaurant specialises in Chinese and Pan Asian cuisine, the Italian Restaurant meanwhile offers regional Italian fare with a contemporary twist.
50a Berkeley Street Mayfair, london W1J 8Ha | 020 7399 4330 | reServationS@novikovreStaurant.co.uk
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The insider CrisTal
IN A glAss of Its owN When indulging in a little bit of what you fancy, you need to make it count. So, you’ll be happy to hear Cristal is finally available by the glass at some of London’s best bars. By Lizzie RiveRa
nless yoU’re the kind of champagne
drinker who wants the bottle, the whole bottle and nothing but the bottle, there are times when all any of us wants is a glass of fizz when we’re out. In times past that would have ruled out Louis Roederer’s iconic Cristal, but not anymore; the original prestige cuvée champagne is now available by the glass in several select London venues. It’s a big step for a wine first launched almost 140 years ago. The trademark flatbased, clear bottle was designed especially for Tsar Alexander II of Russia in 1876, and its
unique appearance is undeniably part of the appeal. It certainly was for the tsar, who lived in fear of being assassinated by a bomb or poison hidden in the curved bottom typical of wine bottles. (In fact, he was assassinated in the street by a bomb thrown at his feet.) But of course, it’s really what’s inside the bottle that counts. Louis Roederer has its own vineyards, boasting some of the oldest vines in Champagne, cultivated in the region’s most fertile terroir. For almost 50 years, the exclusive blend wasn’t even available to the public (consumed only by Russian tsars), and
even today production is still limited. So, you can understand why bars have been, and still are, hesitant to waste even one drop. But, thanks to Cristal’s continuing popularity, that’s a punt several of London’s finest establishments are now willing to take. So, pair a glass with an Italian dish at the Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane, savour the flavour in the Blue Bar at the Berkeley, or enjoy one with friends at the buzzing Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel. If you get carried away, don’t worry: they sell it by the bottle, too. ■ For more info, go to: champagne-roederer.com
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Japan meets rio via the usa in the uk Confused? Well, a restaurant that offers a mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine certainly sounds puzzling. But it works, because after almost ten years US chain Sushisamba has finally made its way across the pond, with the opening of its first European branch in Heron Tower this July. Several firm favourites – think: Chilean sea bass marinated in miso, sushi rolls filled with mango and barbecue mayonnaise, tuna tataki, and beef gunkan – have made their way across the Atlantic, along with the restaurant’s striking, colourful design template and funky music. The Sushisamba fusion of styles and cultures derives from the integration of Japanese emigrants with South Americans in the early twentieth century. But the London Sushisamba clearly draws inspiration from the brand’s mother country – the bar area is New York cool, live music on the two outdoor terraces brings a touch of Miami, and exhilarating views of the City from the 38th and 39th floors give a sense of glittering Las Vegas grandeur. Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY; 020 3640 7330; sushisamba.com
StreetSmart ▽ streetsmart is a charity idea that
is brilliant in its simplicity. Working in conjunction with 550 restaurants across the country, a £1 voluntary donation for homeless charities is added to your bill every November and December. Last year £760,000 was raised, and since its inception £5.5m has been given to over 100 charities – and as all of StreetSmart’s operational costs are paid for by sponsors, the charities receive every penny. Started in London in 1998 by William Sieghart, founder of Forward Publishing and Mary-Lou Sturridge, former director of The Groucho Club, Steven Fry, Gordan Ramsey, and Marcus Wareing are all big supporters. It has a takeup of 99% of customers and, in the spirit of Christmas, many request that more is added.
StKS are high This month, STK brings the glamour of its New York restaurant in the Meatpacking district, where it enjoys a celebrity-driven clientele with the likes of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, to London. Nightly DJs spin an energetic party atmosphere allowing guests to go from drinks to dinner and dancing in a steakhouse that is, somewhat atypically, not packed with dark wood. And, in a further attempt to draw a broader crowd, the menu has a decidedly feminine slant, with small, medium and large cuts of steaks (all accompanied with decadent toppings such as black truffle and lobster). Starters include the popular Prawn Rice Krispies and desserts such as a ‘A Taste of the Fairground’ – with doughnuts, chocolate peanut popcorn, toffee apples and marshmallow kebabs. stkhouse.com; ME Hotel, 336 – 337 The Strand, WC2R 1HA; 0203 603 9810
Embark Embark on on aa truly truly unforgettable unforgettable dining dining experience experience at at Claridge’s Claridge’s in the Foyer and Reading Room. Indulge yourself in the Foyer and Reading Room. Indulge yourself and and sample sample award-winning award-winning afternoon afternoon tea tea with with over over 30 30 different different teas teas from from around around the the world, world, or delight in the locally sourced and seasonally inspired all day dining or delight in the locally sourced and seasonally inspired all day dining menu menu described described as as ‘London’s ‘London’s best best kept kept dining dining secret’. secret’. BROOK STREET MAYFAIR LONDON W1K 4HR BROOK STREET MAYFAIR LONDON W1K 4HR TEL +44 (0)20 7107 8842 TEL +44 (0)20 7107 8842 RESERVATIONS@CLARIDGES.CO.UK RESERVATIONS@CLARIDGES.CO.UK CLARIDGES.CO.UK CLARIDGES.CO.UK
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Heliot Hits tHe Hippodrome Heliot Restaurant, Lounge & Bar at the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square opened this summer after a 30-month, £40m rebuild and renovation, and the results are mightily impressive. The restaurant – named after internationally celebrated lion trainer Claire Heliot, a regular performer at the venue in its early 19th-century guise as a circus venue – comprises a three-tier restaurant and cocktail
bar overlooking the main gaming floor of the casino, but the focus is by no means just on gambling. You can have a drink, see a show and dine on contemporary British brasserie food in this 24-hour venue. Though, if you are feeling lucky and fancy hitting the tables, you’re obviously in the right place. 42-43 Cranbourn St, WC2H 7AN; 020 7769 8888;
brain food ▽ September markS the launch of a series of expert lunches, hosted by globally renowned luxury brands, at Mayfair’s Novikov Restaurant & Bar. Henry Herbert Savile Row tailors kicks off events on 27 September, followed by Sotheby’s (with a focus on Italian art), Armani/ Casa, and Educogym. Held in the private dining room of Novikov’s, a maximum of 20 places are available for each session, so be sure to book early. Each event lasts no more than 90 minutes and includes a three-course lunch, with tickets at £50. We’ve heard worse excuses for an extended lunch break. 50a Berkeley Street, W1J 8HA; 020 7399 4330;
banca on it Mayfair’s Banca is the latest collaboration between Arjun and Peter Waney (co-founders of Zuma and Roka) and Giuliano Lotto (Aurelia and Il Baretto). Based in a former NatWest Bank, its design has stayed true to its roots and location by retaining functioning safety deposit boxes next to the bar and the original vault door in the private dining room – albeit protecting you, rather than hoards of gold and diamonds, from the heat of the adjacent open-plan kitchen. The cuisine, however, is rooted in Northern Italy, with hot and cold bars and a traditional bread oven. Head over after work for a hearty meal of baked sea scallops with spicy Calabria N’duja or saffron risotto al salto gratinee with asiago cheese or prop yourself up at the bar for Milanstyle tapas, fine wine and Italian spirits. 30 North Audley Street, W1Y 1WD; 020 7647 2525;
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Chefâ€™s dining Room
C o C k ta i l b a R
10 lanCashiRe CouRt new bond stReet london w1s 1ey +44 (0) 20 7518 9388 www.mewsofmayfaiR.Com
The insider champagne
Apéritif to digestif Champagne is the consummate all-rounder: before, during or after a meal. Here, wine critic Michael edwards hones down the field, picking his winning food and champagne combos
When to drink Which champagne With What? Champagne is the ultimate reviver of the spirit at any time of the day or night, with few ill effects the morning after. It’s also the perfect aperitif before a good dinner. The world’s most glamorous sparkler is more intricately assembled than any other wine in the world, coming in multiple variations, as the perfectionist cellar masters subtly tweak their creations for the differing demands of consumers worldwide. Champagne can be bone-dry or intensely sweet, made from a single grape variety in one village or a blend of three varieties from 200 communes. Non-vintage or vintage, it can be aged for a bare 16 months or a full decade or two; and the fine lees which give champagne much of its character may be removed (for perfect brightness of appearance) early or late in its life. All these factors affect the wine’s flavour, to say nothing of the preferred differing styles of houses and growers, which create a real diversity of choice. Another boon is that champagne is a surprisingly versatile partner for several cuisines, delicate or spicy. Contrary to popular myth, like all great whites it’s a better match for cheeses than most fine reds which are often masked by the pungency of Burgundy’s Epoisse or Normandy’s Livarot, known as ‘Le Colonel’ for good reasons.
evolving champagne styles: hoW dry is dry? There are three main levels of ‘dry’ champagne. ‘Brut’, the most important category, accounting for at least 85% of total production, is a pretty broad church; the mix of old wine and sugar (dosage) to round out the champagne for this universal style can have anything between 0 and 12 grams of sugar per litre of wine (g/l), allowing much wriggle room in crafting a house style. However, because of recent climate change and riper grapes, the global trend is downwards. For example, Moët & Chandon’s Brut Impérial, the market leader, dropped from a dosage of 13 to 11 grams in 2005 and is now 9 grams – the wine is certainly fresher and more precise, as a result. Interesting to note, my two favourite non-vintage brands, Louis Roederer Brut Premier and Pol Roger
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Brut Réserve are both conventionally dosed (10g+), but such is the consummate blending of top grade grapes and the effect of good aging, both are perfectly balanced and never cloy. The Pol has a lovely white flowers and nutty character, ideal with a simply grilled Dover sole. The Roederer achieves a high wire act of subtle richness, body and elegance that calls for maybe soft-shell crabs or milk-fed veal. ‘Extra-Brut’ is a very dry style, usually with 3-6 grams dosage and increasingly popular with the best, smaller producers. Jacquesson Cuvée no 734 (based on the 2006 vintage) is an entrancing wine, supple and rich but beautifully dry and made more interesting by fermentation in large oak casks. Try it with coulibiac of salmon or an exotic fish pie. Another big-framed alternative is Benoît Lahaye’s Brut Essentiel. Mostly made from Grand Cru pinot noir (Bouzy), the colour has a faint pinkish tinge announcing flavours of little red fruits – a champagne to keep in the fridge when friends drop by, then treat them to quick-cooked fresh tuna. ‘Ultra Brut/Brut Nature/Brut Zéro’ is the most radical category, bone-dry without dosage, though the odd gram or two of unfermented sugar usually remains in the wine as a natural phenomenon. The motors of successful Ultra Brut/Nature cuvées in Champagne’s marginal climate are grapes from sunnier riper years and small plots of old low-yielding vines for more intense, mellow flavours. Two favourites, here. Veuve Fourny’s Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature made from benchmark sugarless chardonnay, from old vines in Monts Ferrés, Vertus. Delicate green fruits, hint of lime, crisp mouthfeel, crunchy yet refined: for moules marinière or spaghetti à la vongole. The other is Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut (so labelled, but actually a Brut Zéro) – an extraordinary champagne – very ripe, the colour of burnished gold; the flavours are miraculously unctuous yet beautifully defined, with aspects of patisserie, especially mirabelle tart – a wine to drink in an armchair before dinner at the end of a hard day. It would also go well with most fruit desserts. ➤
Perfect Pairings: (this page) the subtle richness of Louis roederer goes well with soft-shell crabs or milk-fed veal; (opposite) a worker in Pol roget’s cellar ensures the vintages are labelled properly
The world’s most glamorous sparkler is more intricately assembled than any other wine, coming in multiple variations squaremile.com
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A DrAppier CAve: (from top to bottom) Drappier should be enjoyed with the finest of dishes; riper grapes result in fresher champagnes for Moët; a BillecartSalmon pressoir; – its bruts are perfect for fruity desserts
➤ Vintage Champagne Vintage champagne is a wine from a single harvest that is thought too good to be lost to a blending vat, along with many others. That’s the principle, at the least, but in practice probably too many vintages are being released in average years, largely because they are easier to sell as such at high prices, particularly in the United States. Yet the irony is that good vintage champagnes from cracking years like 2002, 2004 and the underrated 2006 represent the best ratio of quality to price on the market. Blue chips like Pol Roger, Charles Heidsieck and Roederer are always worth a vintage punt, but it really pays to be adventurous and search values outside the magic circle of the grandes maisons, too, particularly up and coming star growerwinemakers. One such is Christophe Constant of J L Vernon in Le Mesnil. His Vergnon Cuvée Confidence Grand Cru 2006 is a mix of Le Mesnil & Oger Chardonnays in which volume, power and elegance are magically poised and comes close to greatness. Michel Drappier, the great producer of the southern Aube, has fashioned an equally outstanding Millesime
Louis Roederer’s Brut Rosé 2006 is a generous wine from a hot summer – beguiling, hedonistic and opulent d’Exception 2002. These are champagnes for the finest dishes – roast turbot, lobster Cardinal and any course to do with truffles. And so to two vintage rosé champagnes made the hard way by bleeding the colour from the pigment of the skins. Louis Roederer’s Brut Rosé 2006 is a generous wine from a hot summer. Beguiling orchard fruits nose, hedonistic, opulent but with compensating elegance. Excellent with pigeonneau en croûte. Jacquesson’s Terres Rouges 2004 is almost more red than pink, with a sumptuous pinot expression, making it a champagne you could drink with barbecued steak on an Indian Summer’s day. I wish. ■
Dine in the legendary River Restaurant with sweeping views over the Thames and Embankment Gardens. Enjoy the restaurants modern French cuisine with an emphasis on serving the ďŹ nest local and seasonal produce.
Whether youâ€™re booking an intimate dinner for two, a private celebration, a business meeting or a Chelsea FC matchday experience, we have the venue and expertise to make every occasion special.
DINE | DRINK | PARTY | MEET | ENTERTAIN
MARCO PIERRE WHITE
To book call 0871 223 1212 or book online at marcorestaurant.org FULHAM ROAD | LONDON | SW6 1HS
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The insider dining experiences
Menu to die for…
For dinners full of the best kind of drama head to the Novel Diner, says AnnA ChAmbers
PhotograPh by the Kobal Collection/Lions gate
hether you Were old enough to revel in the ‘greed is good’ culture of the 1980s, or just wish you’d been there, a chance to relive the golden era of banking is here. Next month, a ‘novel’ concept will revive the yuppie years in a pop-up dining experience. Fusing food and literature, the Novel Diner team have already hosted a philosophical spread of Proust’s madeleines, an intellectually charged boeuf en daube à la Woolf and, most recently, The Great Gatsby’s decadent banquet. The next one will be based on American Psycho – the perfect opportunity to live out your wildest ‘bad banker’ fantasies. Organisers Claire Coutinho and Mina Holland took inspiration from the culinary curiosities cooked up by Bret Easton Ellis in his cautionary tale of the cash-rich, morally bankrupt Patrick Bateman. “We always start with the food”, says Claire. “In American Psycho we were attracted by the overly pretentious nouvelle cuisine – sea urchin ceviche and peanut butter soup with smoked duck.” Hard liquor, lines of sherbert racked up on silver trays and a set draped in fake blood – a not-too-subtle nod to Bateman’s killing sprees – will accompany the intriguing menu. The locations are equally carefully chosen. For the ultimate Yuppie experience, the American Psycho night is being held at Shoreditch House, which could be straight out of New York. And the name? “It has to be the Dorsia,” Claire says, after the fabled restaurant that rebuffs Bateman’s reservations (a new Kensington restaurant and members’ club took the moniker when it opened last year). “You go where Patrick Bateman couldn’t, adding to the element of fantasy.” ■ Tickets for the American Psycho night on 18 October are available at noveldiner.tumblr.com
An elegant British brasserie and bar, run by Marcus Wareing's team and named in honour of the building's original architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott. We offer an original yet familiar menu serving our take on nostalgic British classics, paying tribute to the wondrous history of the building. Set in an exceptional position within the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London, we are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner in the restaurant and from 12 daily in our unique bar.
www.thegilbertscott.co.uk (A) St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road,
London, NW1 2AR (T) +44 20 7278 3888 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
monarch of the glen
This year glenfarclas releases a limited-edition, 20-year-old take on its iconic 105 cask-strength whisky, and to mark the occasion it’s hosting an exclusive whisky and cigar evening
n a constantly changing world, it’s nice to
know some things stay the same. Glenfarclas whisky has been in the hands of a single family since 1865, passed down through six generations, and its honeyed taste and heavily sherried house style remain as distinctive and satisfying now as they have always been. That’s not to say Glenfarclas’s success has come from standing still, however – invention and innovation are key. Take this year’s limited edition release of 4,000 bottles of the new, 20-year-old expression of the iconic Glenfarcas 105. Bottled at cask strength rather than reduced with water, as is the case with most whiskies, the 105 is surprisingly smooth considering its unusually high strength.
THis is a 105 as iT sHould be – big and powerful wiTH all THe classic glenfarclas flavours squaremile.com
In 2008, Glenfarclas celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 105 by releasing just 898 bottles of Glenfarclas 40-year-old, and director George S Grant says the 20-year-old is a welcome addition to the cask strength family: “This is a 105 as it should be – big and powerful with all the classic Glenfarclas flavours coming through. Definitely a dram to savour as the finish goes on and on.” The initial sweetness at the front of the mouth gives way to a bitter sweetness not dissimilar to chocolate-covered coffee beans. The fruit and brandy flavours are very apparent, and then the sherry tones kick in. It really is a matter of age over strength. Named after its 105 rating in the old British proofing system, this extraordinary whisky is the equivalent to 60% vol, while most whiskies range between the 40 - 43% vol mark. It’s strong, but never overpowering. The 105 was originally intended as a special, one-off Christmas gift for family and friends, but the powerful yet immensely drinkable 105 proved so popular the Glenfarcas family couldn’t keep it just for themselves. We’ll drink to that. ■
Whisky and Cigars It’s said there is no partnership greater than that of an earthy cigar and a fine whisky. If you, like us, agree, why not head down to the Soho Whisky Club on Tuesday 18 September? The elegant members’ bar, which houses over 300 malts – many of them rare and some no longer commercially available – is hosting an exclusive cigar and whisky tasting evening in collaboration with Glenfarclas and cigar importers Hunters & Frankau. Tucked away above The Vintage House, the Soho Whisky Club has access to a vast range of exclusive spirits and wines as well as a beautiful wooden smoking terrace, where one can enjoy a selection of the finest cigars. If that weren’t enough, the event will be the first consumer tasting in London to include the ‘105’ 20-year-old, and the first time it will be matched with a cigar. glenfarclas.co.uk
In thIs sectIon 036 Giles Coren and the art of complaining 042 David Tang on Chinese in London 049 AW/12 food fashions
Features giles coren
let’s get ready to grumble… Being a professional moaner might come easy to Giles Coren but it actually takes more skill than you’d think. Here the super critic gives an insight into how to get the most from eating out How to Complain Nicely, politely, apologetically. But firmly, and at the very moment of disappointment. You must think of yourself as a kind but rather strict parent, and the restaurant (in an abstract ontological sense, not the individuals working in it) as your child. Appreciate it and applaud it for what it does well, and tell it very clearly and firmly, but not hysterically and not pompously, when it has erred. “I’m awfully sorry to make a fuss,” you might say, “but this fish really isn’t as fresh as I’d hoped. You smell that faint whiff of ammonia? That’s never a good sign with a skate – although I do appreciate the hell of keeping skate fresh for more than a couple of hours. I really can’t eat this. What else might I have as a replacement that can come quickly? I don’t want my guest to be kept waiting, or for her food to get cold.” There’s simply no way you can lose with that. If they try and tell you that the skate is perfectly fine (as happened to me once at the Oxo Tower in London), then you can invite them to taste it (as I did) and watch in glee as they go green in the attempt. The end result is likely to be free main courses, a jolly time and an amicable departure. You have to think about what your goals are (and the above is presumably about right). It may be insanely satisfying to shout, “Jesus H Christ, Pedro, you expect me to eat
IllustratIon by adam larkum
Look, I know that ‘mediumrare’ is in the eye of the beholder. But come on, I can hardly chew this steak…
this? It might be all right where you come from, but in this country we wouldn’t feed shit like this to our CATS!” But it gets you nowhere. I know. I have done it many, many times. You can complain about more subjective matters than rotten fish, such as the cuisson of meat, for example, but you have to be even more polite: “Look, I know that ‘medium-rare’ is in the eye of the beholder,” you might say. “But come on, I can hardly chew this. I’m sure the chef got momentarily distracted. Do you think you can persuade him to do me one with a bit of pink in it?” Again, at the end of a long hard day you might feel more like saying, “Excuse me but I ordered a steak, NOT A FUCKING GYM SHOE!!!” But nobody is going to come out of the evening well like that. Remember, it’s just a shop. You are not insulting anybody personally by pointing out that the wares are not as you’d hoped, and you are well within your rights to ask what can be done about it. You’re not in your mum’s kitchen now, staring down at a plate of boiled gristle, knowing that she’s been slaving all day over a hot stove to make your dinner because she sacrificed her promising career as a cabaret singer to have children with your monosyllabic father (silent at the head of the table in his shirt and braces), and there are starving children in Africa, and have you got any idea what they had to eat in the war, and anyway you can finish what’s on your plate, and like it, and say thank you, and ask for seconds, or you’re getting it for breakfast tomorrow, and the next day, and the next… You are the parent, remember. Not the child. The restaurant is the child, and it needs to be told how to improve. It wants to learn. It will respect you if you treat it firmly but kindly. And it simply won’t understand, or give a damn, if you leave your complaint to the end of the meal or, God forbid, a letter some days ➤
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➤ later. You must strike while the iron is hot, or the soup is cold, or whatever. If you do not, you are just a mug Englishman and deserve to sit there while the Frenchies get all the best food, the Spanish get all the freshest fish, and the Germans get all the money.
How to Get tHe Most froM Your LocaL The best restaurant in the world (I reply boringly, when boringly asked) is the nearest restaurant to your home/office/hotel/prison where they serve at least one dish you look forward to eating, are quite nice to you when you walk in, and have at least one bottle of wine that won’t kill you. It’s all about walking there and walking back. All about focusing on the time in the restaurant, not the time on the bus/train/plane/horse or in the car.
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And if there isn’t one, make one. This is easier than it sounds. Most people who run restaurants (the exception may be greasy spoons and certain ethnic takeaways) know how to cook, but don’t bother doing it for their customers, only for friends and family. So become their friend. Find any nearby Italian/ Spanish/French/Polish/Brazilian restaurant and go once a week for a bit, even twice (a weeknight followed quickly by a Sunday lunch). Tip. Not stupidly high, but above the included service amount. Tread the fine line between generous pal and flash wanker. The next time, ask them what they had for staff lunch or what the chef had for lunch. Ask for that. Ask what the best thing is the chef cooks, and if it isn’t on the menu today, can they let you know when it’s next on? Give them your phone number. (The last
few times you’ve been introducing yourself by name and repeating theirs back to them so that you remember it.) Always ask after their children. Buy them a drink. All of this may sound weird and pervy and sick and needy, but it is only in Britain that this behaviour is not normal. In Europe, staff and customers (outside of the haughtiest ➤
Tip. Not stupidly high, but above the included service. Tread the fine line between generous pal and flash wanker 039
➤ Michelin hellholes) go as equals. And chefs and owners are your special friends. In Japan, for heaven’s sake, it is normal to take gifts for the chef three or four times a year (nodding porcelain cats are popular, also pornographic manga). And for his children. In return, he’ll call you when they’ve had in a particularly good fish, so endangered that four or five Greenpeace activists had to be tragically accidentally slaughtered in the landing of it, and prepare it the special way you like it. The point is that you are becoming a friend. Friends don’t give you the old whiffy bit of fish from the fridge. They don’t leave you waiting an hour for your dinner. They don’t overcharge you. They don’t give you the shite table by the loos. They don’t get huffy when you tell them their wine buyer has sent them an iffy case… What they do is they smile when you come in, give you a great table, make you feel needed, tell you what’s good, bring you a drink quickly and a free bit of something they’ve been scoffing on backstage, and they
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flip you the odd bottle of free wine, all the while leaning down conspiratorially to make rude personal remarks about the arses at the next table to whom they will be feeding last month’s mackerel. And what else could you possibly ask from a restaurant? That is what a great restaurant is. That is what I get in most restaurants just because of my silly job and being on the telly sometimes. I get people pretending to be my friend and trying to give me the best possible night out – which is a bit revolting and sad, but better than nothing. But when I am old and jobless and nobody gives a fuck what I think about restaurants or anything else, I will do all of what I’ve just described, to create a few little places here and there that I can call home.
How to CHoose a RestauRant foR a Date Not long ago a young chap I play cricket with, about 25 years old, nice-looking, rich family, clean clothes (hell, I’d go to bed with
him myself), emailed me as follows: “Hi Giles, How are you? Can I ask a quick favour of a restaurant recommendation? I’m going on a first date with a girl and I’m not really sure where to take her. There are basically no criteria other than somewhere that would be nice for a first date; sorry I know that’s not helpful. Yours, Tom.” I was about to delete it and pretend I had never seen it (as I do with most requests for help in this area from friends) but came over all avuncular and replied like this: “Hey Tom. First off, don’t take her somewhere too quiet, or too romantic. That’s a bit scary for both of you. Where do you live? More importantly, where does she live? Is she into food? What are you hoping to achieve? Main thing is for you to be comfortable. I can tell you the right place but I need a tiny bit more.” “I live in Notting Hill,” he replied. “And she lives in Knightsbridge. I met her in the gym. I don’t know what she thinks about food. I was thinking of E&O. My aim is to get to know her and get a second date.” And I told him this: “Do NOT go to E&O! It is a shithole and any half classy Doris can sniff that from the door. Also, do not let her see that you cannot leave your mimsy little bourgeois Eurotrash hood. Go to Bar Boulud, at the Mandarin Oriental. “When taking a chick out the crucial thing is to be near HER home. That way she hasn’t had a hassly journey when she arrives, and she isn’t just sitting there worrying about how she’s going to get home. And on the off chance that action is on the cards it is she who has to ask you back, not vice-versa, so you don’t come over all rapey. At the same time, there is no danger of her being offended by your NOT asking her back. Bar Boulud has the advantage of being big and bustly so you’re not laying on a heavy romantic shtick, but the food is very good and also plenty of scope for her, being a chick, to eat lightly. Also getting a table isn’t too hard, as long as you give them a bit of notice.” It’s not like I think there’s anything magic about that. I’m just passing it on because Tom replied so enthusiastically and added, “If you have another child, I hope you have a son, as this is choice advice that definitely needs to be passed on.” But I don’t have a son, I have a daughter. And if any man so much as invites her out for a cup of coffee, EVER, before she is 25, then I will personally cut off his knackers. ■ ‘How To Eat Out’ by Giles Coren published by Hodder & Stoughton is out now (from £12.99)
London, Beverly Hills, New York 57th and Tribeca, Miami, Malibu 151 knightsbridge london, sw1X 7pa | tel: +44 (0)2075897347 | web: www.mrchow.com
GettinG the tanG of it… Kate Moss calls him Uncle David and his advice columns are as feted as his restaurants. jon hawkins quizzes food and fashion mogul Sir David Tang about London’s restaurant scene
ntrEprEnEur, tastE-makEr, agony uncle. Sir David Tang occupies a multiplicity of roles as unassumingly as he bridges the cultural gap between East and West. Born into a wealthy Hong Kong family, Tang cultivated his English sensibilities at public school. Following the roaring success of the China Club in Hong Kong, he established Shanghai Tang, China’s first global luxury fashion brand. Since 2005, his iconic restaurant, China Tang, has brought a touch of the Orient to the Dorchester.
✱ When you first came to the UK as a boy, what did you make of the nation’s food? And how has that view changed over the years? When I first arrived, the English food was very new and different to me, and I liked it, probably out of novelty. But as time went on, I realised it was distinctly inferior to Chinese food. Even worse, as a schoolboy, we never had enough of it – portions were very small. But worst of all, I think, this privation turned me into a glutton over the years. ✱ You were once described (by Matthew Norman) as “a man with enough fingers in enough pies to shame an octopus on qualitycontrol duty in the Ginsters factory”. How do you manage it? Only an octopus? Surely a hydra?! I believe that organising your time enables you to do so much more.
✱ What is your take on the health of London restaurants in 2012? I think the more new restaurants there are, the more of them will close – not because of numbers, but because of sustainability, which is not understood by many restaurateurs, particularly first-timers – it’s even forgotten by the famous names who stretch themselves too thin when they ‘roll out the brand’ by having too many branches of the same name. ✱ To what extent has the tough financial climate of the last few years affected the overall quality of London’s restaurants? Thankfully, there are now fewer restaurants demanding credit card information for reservations, and the threat of penalties over cancellations. This open manifestation of greed is the ugliest aspect of restaurant growth that I have ever seen. But I knew it wouldn’t last, because it should be the restaurant that is privileged to have customers, rather than the other way round. ✱ Your Financial Times column has been a cult success. Is the role of agony uncle one you perform for family and friends? We notice Kate Moss calls you ‘Uncle David’… I am not unknown for my avuncular advice – firm, didactic and unambiguous. ✱ In the column you once said: “Frankly, I couldn’t care less about what restaurant critics write, and I think we all exaggerate their importance.” Do restaurant critics not perform a useful consumer function? ➤
PhotograPh by William Furniss
This greed couldn’t last. The restaurant should be privileged to have customers; not the other way round…
✱ You’ve dined with a bewildering array of the world’s great, good and, well, not so good. Who’s missing from the list? Mia Farrow – the most extraordinary woman in the world, having married Frank Sinatra, André Previn and Woody Allen.
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Pull quote Min con nos voluptium lacerum que estet qui sam, quis sinima audicat enihilia
➤ The point, however, is that a restaurant critic is actually always writing for and about himself rather than the general audience.
✱ Where – your own establishments apart – is the best restaurant in the world in which to eat Chinese food? The private dining room at the Pangu Plaza in Beijing is my particular favourite. ✱ And are there any particular London restaurants you always return to? Hunan (for genuine regional cooking), and Mr Chow (for quasi-Chinese food). ✱ What traits reliably turn you off a restaurant? Waiters who interrupt your conversations. ✱ Many luxury brands appear to view Asia, and the Chinese market in particular, as a panacea for the West’s financial ills, and are putting considerable investment behind expansion into the region. Is their optimism wise? It is logical to expand in the East because of its considerable potential. What is developed is developed, and so limited in growth; but what squaremile.com
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is developing will always be developing, with potential for plenty of growth.
✱ Last year you launched corrections website iCorrect.com . Has it been a success? We are getting there – and I am confident that this site will become unique. Remember: even Facebook didn’t happen overnight. ✱ In the past you’ve spoken of your scepticism about sustainability. Does your scepticism extend to the growing focus in UK restaurants on using ingredients from sustainable sources? There is a lot of phoniness around so-called natural ingredients. But at the end of the day, it is how you prepare them that counts as much, if not more. After all, what would be the point of a piece of totally burned organic asparagus? ✱ Which of your achievements has given you the greatest satisfaction? The fact that all of the businesses I founded are still, thankfully, flourishing after two decades.
C.V. Sir DaviD Tang 1954: Born in Hong Kong 1967: Moved to England 1983: Taught at Peking University 1980s: Worked as a rep for Cluff Oil 1991: Opened China Club Hong Kong 1992: Established Pacific Cigar Company Hong Kong 1994: Founded China’s first luxury fashion brand Shanghai Tang 1996: Opened Beijing China Club 2001: Opened Singapore China Club 2005: Opened Chinese restaurant China Tang at The Dorchester 2006: Sold fashion chain Shanghai Tang to luxury goods group richemont 2008: Became Sir David Tang, Knight Commander of the British Empire 2011: Founded iCorrect, a right-of-reply site for those in the public eye.
✱ And your greatest disappointment? Not to have invented Apple. ■
Served by more than 650 star-rated chefs. www.nespresso.com/pro
and of course...
Lord and Lady Lyttelton would have approved of our restaurant. But then they did have great taste.
The Stafford London by Kempinski’s historical residents enjoyed entertaining and the hotel’s main eatery captures the atmosphere of intimate dining in a close friend’s home. With a menu that reinvents classic British cuisine and unobtrusive, ﬂawless service, The Lyttelton is luxury dining at its very best. At the very heart of St.James’s. Table reservations: 020 7493 0111 or book online at: www.thelyttelton.com
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Features Food trends
How to trend it
In a city of more than 37,000 restaurants, you need to innovate to proliferate. Lizzie RiveRa looks into the latest culinary and libatory trends – from theatrical food to milkshake masterpieces… Simplified menuS We’re spoilt for dining options in the capital. Deciding where to go for dinner can be a research project that takes hours, days even, requiring a team of specialists to wade through reviews from wannabe food critics. And even once you’ve delegated that task to your PA, you’ll still have endless menu choices to pick from. Fortunately though, a new trend has arisen that makes life a lot simpler. Burger & Lobster (burgerandlobster.com) has led the way for serving a strictly limited selection – but one that’s as good as it gets. The choice of chicken or steak is yours at Tramshed (chickenandsteak.co.uk), Mark Hix’s new venture in Shoreditch. James Knappett’s (of Noma in Copenhagen, voted-world’s-bestrestaurant fame) Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia (bubbledogs.co.uk) only has hot dogs and champagne on its menu. And MeatMarket (themeatmarket.co.uk) is the latest addition to the MeatEasy and MeatLiquor chain. Its simple ‘come hungry, leave drunk’ motto is a winning formula if ever we heard one.
IllustratIons by Duncan Beedie (duncanbeedie.co.uk)
I’m a betting woman. And I would bet a fair amount that we are the most optimistic country in Europe. Despite the crushing experience of every World Cup for practically the last 50 years, we still have that underlying hope that we can – will – win it next time. And every April we’re positive that a single week of sunshine is an indication of the glorious summer to come. So, it comes as no surprise that al fresco dining has become so popular. Or that a break in the clouds has us claiming outside tables quicker than the Germans bag sunbeds, and the warm glow of external heaters keep us there long after the sun has gone down. So take your coat and umbrella, and sample the craft beer on the roof terrace at The Fox (thefoxe8.com), newly opened in Haggerston. You may prefer to check out the crazy golf affair on offer at Selfridges (selfridges.com); treat the missus to a spot of shopping and tell her, in all sincerity, to take her time. Or, if in doubt, head to the Roof Gardens (roofgardens.virgin.com); having celebrated its 30th Anniversary last year, Richard Branson has proved that he can make a bar that’s as good as his Upper Class ➤
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and Tierra Peru (tierraperu.co.uk) – the menu devised by Virgilio Martinez is indigenous and unique, which may explain why you can’t quite decide how you feel about the mango and blue potato dessert. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely food for thought.
➤ service. And there’s nothing like lording over the locals – especially when those locals live in the Royal Borough. If Kensington’s finest still isn’t exclusive enough for you, try Eight Moorgate (eightclub.co.uk). The private members’ club may cost £1,000 a year, but not only do you get access to its impressive Moorgate roof terrace but also its second subterranean venue in Bank.
Childhood Favourites with an adult twist Alcoholic ice-creams and milkshakes are the coolest (literally) treats to hit our streets. So simple in their genius, why hasn’t it taken off before? It might not have been a scorcher of a summer, but it shouldn’t take much convincing to head over to The Icecreamists (theicecreamists.com) in Covent Garden to celebrate with a Vice Cream – a decadent concoction of delicious flavours and alcohol. Or how about one of the new American-style diners offering alcoholic milkshakes – MeatMarket’s Miami Nice (half piña colada, half strawberry daiquiri), All Star Lanes (allstarlanes.co.uk) Jack Daniel’s mint and julep shake, The Diner’s (goodlifediner.com) selection of hard shakes. Retailers are a bit slow to catch on, but that’s what ice-lolly moulds are for. Liven up a summer BBQ with strawberry daiquiri icelollies. Just mix strawberries, white rum, sugar, lime juice and water, and freeze. The easier option may be to pour vodka over lemon sorbet – known as a Coupe Colonel – and serve with a straw. Remember alternatives for the kids, and by that we don’t mean Smirnoff Ice.
latin(ish) Fever Clumping together cuisine that’s trying to assert its individuality, much like teenage siblings or Shoreditch types, is a bit controversial, possibly bordering on racist. But we can’t deny that Latin fever has London, and us, gripped. La Bodega Negra (labodeganegra.com), the new high-end Mexican in Soho, offers banging tequilas, tostadas, and paella-esque seafood cazuela, served at such a leisurely pace you could easily find yourself sitting there for a couple of hours. Donostia (donostia.co.uk) from Barrafina’s ex-headchef, Tomasz Baranski, is tipped to be one of London’s top openings this year, with Basque-inspired dishes such as crispy beef tongue and pigeon with peas and pancetta on the menu. The new Catalan tapas in Marylebone, Fat of the Land, has more traditional comfort choices such as croquetas and tortillas in a gastropub setting. But Lima (limalondon.com) has to be the star of the show for us. The latest in a string of Peruvian restaurants – think Ceviche (cevicheuk.com)
Art is made to be feasted upon, and food to be looked at; this is the philosophy of The Experimental Food Society
Art is made to be feasted upon, and food to be looked at. This seems to sum up the philosophy of The Experimental Food Society (experimentalfoodsociety.com) where banquets of artwork and entertainment provided by food magicians, sonic food artists, and culinary cabaret troupes are on the menu. A new wave of food experiences are taking over London. ‘American Psycho’, for example, is the next dining experience to be offered by The Novel Diner (noveldiner.tumblr.com) which designs meals to accompany dramatic readings of famous novels – East and West eggs and Burnished Bird accompanied ‘The Great Gatsby’ earlier this summer. And when Notting Hill’s Electric Cinema (electriccinema.co.uk) announced an ‘Edible Cinema’ a couple of months ago, all seats sold out within the hour. The film was Pan’s Labyrinth. Viewers were given a tray of dishes, labelled one to eight, and a staff member stood at the side of the screen, holding up a sign to let the audience know when to eat each one. The oak-smoked popcorn accompanied the scene in a pine forest, for example.
CoFFee Heading to Costa or Starbucks for a latte will soon be akin to going to a Wetherspoons and ordering a glass of house red. It’s just not acceptable after your twenties. You really should know your Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from your Rwandan Kinunu. Sceptical? Stay with us on this one. If only so that one day in the not so distant future, you can go to Paris solely to turn your nose up at their inferior café offerings. For London is at the forefront of the coffee revolution with specialist coffeshops such as Workshop Clerkenwell (workshopcoffee.com) and Ozone in Shoreditch (ozonecoffee.com) leading from the front, taking pains to source their own beans and roasting them onsite. The Workshop Coffee Co. is even pairing coffee with food. And once you acclimatise your palate you’ll see, so clearly, how there really is no other choice than the Bolivian Junana Mamani, with its rolling body and notes of toffee and brown sugar, when indulging in a crème brulée with apple tuile. Talk about being full of beans… ■
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In thIs sectIon 054 California’s culinary coup 061 An Englishman, and a Bentley, in Croatia 065 Europe’s picture perfect restaurants
this way, sir: a knight directs punters to shields Date Garden, where those in the know pick up one of the shopâ€™s legendary date milkshakes.
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California eatin’… America’s Golden State is fast becoming a serious player on the world food stage. We send banker-turned-foodie Neil Davey to investigate the good, the bad and the illegal of this culinary revolution
f all the StateS , California is probably
PhotograPh Mélisse by Charles Park Photography; Wilshire by David Young-Wolff
the most powerful in terms of word association. Most of the results – Dreaming, Hotel, Girls (and, indeed, Gurls for the apparently illiterate Ms Perry) – might be song titles but they also echo the quality of life – surfing, hedonism, beautiful people – that this state is famous for. Try to define Californian cuisine, though, and the word association goes awry. Apart from raisins, and perhaps wine, the sense of a dish that typifies the West Coast is hard to come by. The apparent obsession with body shape suggests a cuisine that’s low in calories (and even lower in guilt) but that’s not even part of the picture and certainly doesn’t explain the rise of the excellent In-n-Out burger chain (go, tell the man “double double animal style”, you’ll thank me later) or the standard US operating procedure of enormous portions of cheese-smothered fried things. “What sets California apart is the produce,” explains Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, as we walk around Santa Monica’s sublime farmers market. A California native, Citrin has been around the state’s food all his life. His mother was a caterer and ran a culinary school in 1970s LA. His grandmother was French and an accomplished cook. Both clearly instilled a love of great food in the young Josiah and at the age of 18 he went to Paris to study. On his return to LA after four years (and apprenticeships with starred chefs), Josiah ➤
In 1999, Citrin opened his own restaurant, Mélisse. Acclaim and Michelin stars – two of them, in fact – swiftly followed squaremile.com
▲ MÉlisse 1104 Wilshire Blvd, santa Monica, ca 90401 (310 395 0881) Mélisse is French for ‘balm’, that’s appropriate enough for the Gallic-feel to the room – aubergine walls, crisp linen, waiters that glide – but Mélisse doesn’t soothe, it blows you away. the quality of the californian produce means that even the vegetarian tasting menu doesn’t seem a silly idea. melisse.com
◀ Wilshire 2454 Wilshire Boulevard santa Monica, ca 90403 (310 586 1707) under the guidance of citrin’s protégée nyesha arrington, the californian larder may not be delivered with Mélisse’s precision and panache but dear god, it’s good. Big plates of bright, vibrant food, and clever combinations but mostly the sense to ease off and let the ingredients sing. and boy do they sing. wilshirerestaurant.com
THE DEFINITIVE DINING EXPERIENCE
Blending the finest British cuisine with renowned friendly service, the stylish Rib Room Bar & Restaurant is one of Londonâ€™s most iconic dining rooms. Enjoy a superb selection of wine and cocktails , with a sumptuous menu including the signature Roast Rib of Aberdeen Angus with Yorkshire pudding.
To book visit theribroom.co.uk or call 020 7858 7250 Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9PY
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➤ started working for Wolfgang Puck. He credits Puck with teaching him about combining Western and Eastern influences, but his return home gave him a great appreciation of the fresh farm produce that was so readily available in California. In 1999, Citrin opened his own restaurant, Mélisse. Acclaim and Michelin stars – two of them, in fact – swiftly followed. In many cases, the ‘local and seasonal’ philosophy has become a cliché. For Californian chefs such as Josiah, it’s not a crowd-pleasing posture or an affectation. It’s just how it is. In his book, In Pursuit of Excellence, Josiah talks about the importance of local produce and how he’s “fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose from their colourful bounty at the weekly farmers’ market”. In person, his actions speak louder than words. As we move from stall to stall, chatting merrily to his favourite producers, skipping a few – “they’re still selling tomatoes out of season,” explains Josiah – he revels in the produce that he uses and clearly adores. Finger limes, which yield caviar-sized capsules of intense sharpness, are remarkable naturally sun-dried fruits bursting with natural sugars and incredible sweetness. But they can’t compete with the persimmon, which comes in a shade of sun-ripened red-orange that simply doesn’t exist in the UK. It is not thrust into my hand but placed there gently: thrusting ➤
◀ ShieldS date GardeN 80225 HigHway 111, indio, Palm SPringS, Ca 92201, (760 347-0996) Head here for a date milkshake. yes, you read that right. dates. in a milkshake. Sounds so wrong but it’s oh so right. Shield’s is a Palm Springs institution, a kitschy store-cum-diner with a date farm attached. The dates produced are excellent and varied but it’s the date milkshake – made with freeze dried dates and ice cream – that leaves you giggling.
PhotograPh Mélisse by Charles Park Photography; Wilshire by David Young-Wolff
▶ ShaNGri la hotel 1301 oCean Blvd, SanTa moniCa, Ca 90401 (310-394-2791) The perfect Californian menu with influences from all over the world – Italy, Spain, New Orleans and the Caribbean included. An assortment of comfort eating classics, all made spectacular because of the naturally occurring flavours from the quality ingredients. The Shangri-La Burger, with jerk sauce and fried green tomatoes, is particularly recommended.
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▼ Tamarind of London NeWport Beach 7862 east coast hWy, NeWport Beach, ca (949 715-8338) California certainly isn’t a stranger to curry restaurants but Tamarind is attempting to recreate its ‘upmarket Indian’ trick in Newport Beach. It’s one of the richest cities in the US, apparently, so good call. And, not so surprisingly, Tamarind’s stylish, very dependable Indian food impresses thanks to Californian larder and exec chef Shachi Mehra. There are also some unexpected West Coast twists, such as the surprisingly good goat cheese and scallion naan.
▲ TK Burgers 2119 W BalBoa Blvd, NeWport Beach, ca 92663 (949 673-3438) there’s no rocket science behind this Newport Beach hole-in-the-wall style burger shop. Indeed, there’s not a great deal of anything other than friendly staff – that’s friendly, not ingratiating, onmessage, corporate drones – and fresh, beefy, cooked-to-order burgers. laid back, seconds from the beach, and with sandwiches that ooze cheese and juicy tomato. What’s not to like?
➤ would have seen it instantly explode in a mass of perfectly ripe, sweet juices and flesh. Josiah is explaining how these are the perfect example of the Californian larder he has to play with but my whimpers block him out. It’s perhaps the best thing I’ve ever eaten… until a few days later when I dine at Mélisse and find it paired with foie gras. “Foie gras works so well with sweet fruit,” explains Josiah, “and ripe persimmon has the same texture.” It does – and it’s dazzling. Sadly, thanks to California stupidly bowing to animal rights morons, you can’t experience the same dish. But don’t let that put you off. The best ingredient in the best dish may be illegal and off the menu but the talent in the kitchen – and the amazing larder that inspires him – remains firmly intact. ■
Overlooking the iconic dome of St Paulâ€™s Cathedral, Madison Bar and Restaurant offers sensational panoramic views from one of Europeâ€™s largest public open air roof terraces.
LEVEL 6, ONE NEW CHANGE, EC4M 9AF T: 0208 305 3088 E: email@example.com www.madisonlondon.net
45 PARK LANE THE HOTEL FEATURING
CUT BY WOLFGANG PUCK
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Come drive with me… takes Bentley’s coast carver, the Continental GTC, to sniff out Croatia’s truffle king
he King of truffles holds court in the
PhotograPhs by Nick Dimbleby
hilltop town of Motovun. It’s a sleepy medieval relic full of cobbled streets lined with shops selling nothing but truffles and truffle-related products, and dotted with the odd rusting Fiat 500 that appears to have been strategically placed for rustic, aesthetic appeal. Even in the achingly pretty peninsula of Istria in the northwest of Croatia, the town sticks out like a particularly beautiful sore thumb. There are restaurants in Motovun, too, predictably specialising in truffles, and one of them belongs to the king of the highly prized funghi, Giancarlo Zigante. A stocky, seriouslooking man with suspiciously treacly black hair who speaks English as any King should – through a beautiful interpreter – Zigante found fame in 1999 when he unearthed a white truffle weighing a then world record 1.3kg in the forests of nearby Buje. Though the original was served at a banquet for friends, the king keeps a model of the giant, brain-like fungus to show off to the visitors who make their way up the narrow and winding road to Motovun.
It’s a road that, by rights, shouldn’t suit a car as large and powerful as Bentley’s revised Continental GTC. But it does. The convertible pummels the short straights and devours corners thanks, in no small part, to the 6.0-litre W12 and a body the Crewe manufacturer claims is the stiffest of any soft-top tourer. As a coupé, the Continental has always been a handsome and devastatingly effective grand tourer, even more so in its latest guise, but the convertible undeniably serves up the greater drama, offering panoramic views and visceral, hood-down thrills with little compromise by way of refinement. With the hood up, you’d be hard-pressed to tell you weren’t in the coupé, so good is the sound-muting and the ride, though with superlative wind-protection and a neckwarming air-flow system your only excuse is torrential rain or an Antarctic road trip Outwardly, the new GTC – which replaces the 2006 original – is more evolution than revolution, with sharper lines, a wider track (by 48mm at the rear and 41mm at the front) ➤
King Giancarlo Zigante found fame in 1999 when he unearthed a truffle weighing a then world record 1.3kg
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to Yugoslavia (post-WWII) until the latter’s ➤ and jewelled headlights. But the changes breakup in 1991 and the recognition of Croatia run deeper than the muscular surface. Power as an independent state. is up 15bhp to 567bhp, a revised transmission And before that Istria was in the hands slashes shift times by half and the four-wheel of the Romans, and there are spectacular drive system’s torque split has been given a reminders in the town of Pula, such as the 40:60 rearward bias (from 50:50) to minimise magnificently preserved amphitheatre with an understeer when cornering hard. arena that, almost two millennia ago, hosted There’s also a revised touchscreen gladiatorial battles, and today is home to a infotainment system using Google Maps, film festival and musical concerts. Quite what and a ten-speaker Naim audio system every the Romans would make of blood, guts and bit as punchy as it should be in a convertible thrilling glory being substituted for the likes car capable of travelling at 195mph and accelerating to 62mph in 4.5secs. Those of Sting is anyone’s guess. figures, though, somewhat miss the point; If the influence of the boot-shaped country the GTC is effortlessly, breathtakingly fast, across the Adriatic can be seen in ancient ruins but its real skill is its ability to disguise its and an undeniable geographic similarity (they continent-eating pace in a cocoon of exquisite call Istria ‘the little Tuscany by the sea’), it’s craftsmanship and unparalleled composure, even more obvious in the cuisine. You’ll find without sacrificing any driving enjoyment. pasta, risotto, polenta, a local prosciutto and That much is clear on Istria’s billiard other Italian staples on Istrian menus, along table-smooth tarmac, which wraps around with a superb Prosecco-besting sparkling wine Private Privatemeeting/party meeting/partyrooms roomsare areavailable availableininmost mostlocations. locations. a peninsula so full of both natural and made by Misal in the tiny village of Peršurici. man-made beauty hard to feel private itprivate was cocktail wine’sGarden’s only downside is you’ll struggle to Try Tryit’s Little Little BB-not -exclusive exclusive cocktailbar bar(with (withyour yourown ownbar barman) man)for forup uptoto30 30guests guestsinThe inCovent Covent Garden’s Opera OperaTerrace. Terrace. dealt an unfair hand when these things were track down a bottle in the UK. being handed out. Which isn’t to say Istria And, of course, there are truffles, though has had an easy run of things; in the last 100 you’ll have to go a long way for one like the years alone it has passed from the in Austrian King’s 1.3kg St. behemoth. Brasserie Brasserie Blancs Blancs inLondon; London;Charlotte CharlotteStSt~~Covent CoventGarden Garden~~StStPaul’s Paul’s~~Southbank Southbank~~Threadneedle Threadneedle St.~~Tower Tower■Bridge Bridge Empire to Italy (post-WWI) and from Italy For more information go to bentley.com
The GTC is breathtakingly fast, but its real skill is its ability to disguise its pace in a cocoon of exquisite craftsmanship
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THIS THIS LITTLE LITTLE PIGGY PIGGY WENT WENT TO TO KNIGHTSBRIDGE! KNIGHTSBRIDGE!
Pierre Koffmann, has created the quintessential Gascon bistro Pierre Koffmann, has created the quintessential bistro at the Berkeley. Informal dining, exquisite food and Gascon a warm welcome. at the Berkeley.South Informal dining, exquisite foodtoand a warm welcome. West France has come SW1! South West France has come to SW1! A seasonally inspired menu of French brasserie favourites and A seasonally inspired of French brasserie pig’s favourites Koffmann’s signature dishesmenu including the legendary trotterand stuffed Koffmann’s signature dishes including the legendary pig’s trotter stuffed with sweetbreads and morels are all delivered with a surprisingly light touch. with sweetbreads and morels are all delivered with a surprisingly light touch. With lunch, dinner, pre- and post-theatre supper, as well as a number of With lunch, preand post-theatre supper, as well a number of private diningdinner, options available, this is informal dining for as serious foodies. private dining options available, this is informal dining for serious foodies.
‘Nothing overly elaborate; no incongruous smears ‘Nothing overly elaborate; no incongruous smears or ill-thought-out towers. Just food to bring a tear to the eye.’ or ill-thought-outTom towers. Just food to bring a tear to the eye.’ Parker Bowles, Mail on Sunday Tom Parker Bowles, Mail on Sunday
THE BERKELEY, THE BERKELEY, LONDON, SW1X 7RL WILTON PLACE, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, WILTON PLACE, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LONDON, SW1X 7RL TEL +44 (0)20 7235 1010 FAX +44 (0)20 7235 1011 TEL +44 (0)20 7235 1010 FAX +44 (0)20 7235 1011 EMAIL KOFFMANNS@THE-BERKELEY.CO.UK EMAIL KOFFMANNS@THE-BERKELEY.CO.UK WEB THE-BERKELEY.CO.UK WEB THE-BERKELEY.CO.UK
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InternatIonal lookIng good
Hey, good cookin’…
l’opera, paris, France There are complicated design briefs, and then there’s L’Opera. Not only was architect Odile Decq given just two weeks to conceptualise the first restaurant of the Garnier Opera House, which dates back to 1875, she was also told she wasn’t allowed to touch the stone surfaces or block the view of the ornate pendant suspended from the domed ceiling. Hence the super contemporary red, white and glass construction, complete with a steel and plaster-moulded mezzanine that rises and falls and meanders around the building’s stone pillars. A daring design for one of Paris’s most prized buildings.
London may have its fair share of dazzling restaurants, but Lizzie RiveRa says head to the Continent for the prettiest pictures…
+33 142 688 680
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Le Loft, hoteL stephansdom By day a shimmering kaleidoscope of colour, by night a magical floating roof. And that’s just from the outside. From the 18th floor of Vienna’s Sofitel, Le Loft offers stunning panoramic views that are accentuated by the subtly angled glass infinitely reflecting Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s bold ceiling design across the historic city. The only colour you will find in the otherwise monochromic hotel designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Apart from on your plate, that is. The menu is a gourmet experience of french cuisine devised by three-Michelinstarred chef Antoine Westermann. +43 190 616 2000
PhotograPh by roland halbe
Architecture Now! Eat Shop Drink by Philip Jodidio, published by Taschen (£ 24.99)
In thIs sectIon 071 Recipes from Britain’s best chefs 077 Essential tools of the trade 079 The sharpest knives in the drawer 081 Getting into the spirits 089 How to talk ‘wine’ like a pro 090 The world’s most expensive wine bottle
Brasa, our beautifully designed restaurant, was recently listed in Tatler’s “100 top restaurants”, of which we are immensely proud as we work hard to bring you the best produce and dishes that we can find. At Brasa we draw inspiration from our Asador Grill, the centre-piece of our kitchen, imported from the Basque mountains of Spain. The menu is influenced entirely by fresh produce cooked over live coals - think smoky aromas and charcoal-seared longhorn rib-eye steaks. The food is distinctly British and seasonal, with emphasis on superior quality meats from organic UK farms, fish fresh from the Dorset coast and other ingredients sourced locally. In fine weather our lower terrace is dressed for al fresco dining during the day for the perfect Summer dining experience. Whether you’d like to book a table for two or your Christmas party you can enjoy the season’s finest offerings in relaxed and comfortable surroundings.
0207 610 3137 474-476 Fulham Rd SW6 1BY
w w w. b r a s a l o n d o n . c o m
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Staying in RecipeS
recipes for success
Chefs Gordon Ramsay, Vivek Singh and Michel Roux Jr share foolproof recipes that can’t fail to impress. Trust them, not us
vivek singh’s seared black bream • 4 black bream fillets • 1 tbsP vegetable or corn oil • 1 quantity of roasted aubergine, tomato and Potato for the kachumber • ¼ small cucumber, deseeded and cut into 3mm dice • 1 tomato, deseeded and cut into 3mm dice • 1 teasPoon salt • 1 teasPoon sugar • Juice of 1 lemon • 2 tbsP good olive oil • 1 tbsP choPPed coriander for the marinade • 1 teasPoon salt • ½ teasPoon fennel seeds • ½ teasPoon black onion seeds • ½ teasPoon red chilli flakes 1 first make the kachumber. Place the diced cucumber, carrot and tomato into a mixing bowl. Whisk together the salt, sugar, lemon juice, olive oil and coriander to make a dressing and mix it with the diced vegetables. check the seasoning is to your taste. 2 mix together all the ingredients for the marinade, rub them over the fish and set aside for ten minutes. 3 heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the black bream fillets, skin-side down, and sear for three-four minutes, until well coloured underneath. turn and cook for another two minutes or until just cooked through. 4 to serve, place the roasted aubergine, tomato and potato crush in the centre of each plate and place the fish on top. drizzle the kachumber around the plate for a flavourful and elegant finish.
PhotograPh (Bream) by Cristian Barnett
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Gordon ramsay’s beef wellinGton • • • • • • • •
00g flat cap mushrooms 4 1-2 tbsp olive oil 750g piece of prime beef fillet 1-2 tbsp english mustard 6-8 slices of parma ham 500g ready-made puff pastry flour, to dust 2 egg yolks, beaten
From Ramsay’s Best Menus (Quadrille, £20)
PhotograPh (Beef Wellington) by Con Poulos
1 pulse the mushrooms in a food processor to a rough paste. scrape the paste into a pan and cook over a high heat for nine minutes, tossing frequently. spread on a plate to cool. 2 heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. season the beef and sear in a hot pan for 30 seconds only on each side – just enough to colour it. remove the beef from the pan and leave to cool, then brush all over with the mustard. 3 lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and arrange the parma ham slices on it, in slightly overlapping rows. spread the mushroom paste over the ham, then place the seared beef fillet in the middle. keeping hold of the cling film from the edge, neatly roll the parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight barrel. twist the ends of the cling film to secure. chill for 15-20 minutes to allow the beef to set. 4 roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin. remove the cling film from the beef, then lay it in the centre of the pastry. brush the surrounding pastry with egg yolk. fold the ends over, then wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting off any excess. turn over, so the seam is underneath. 5 brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg and chill for about 15 minutes. heat the oven to 200˚c/gas 6. 6 lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals and glaze again with egg. bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 180˚c/gas 4 and cook for another 15 minutes. allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. the beef should still be pink in the centre when you serve it.
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rays of sunshine Rays of Sunshine grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children in the UK aged 3-18. It gives brave and deserving young people the chance to enjoy a moment of magic by making individual wishes come true and organising hospital activities, outings and large scale events including ‘The Rays of Sunshine Concert’. Wishes are referred from around 150 hospitals, hospices and specialist schools across the country and can be anything from visiting Disneyworld to meeting a sporting hero to working as a car park attendant. All recipes featured here were donated by the celebrity chefs to Rays of Sunshine’s A Dish For a Wish and can be found, along with many others, in the recipe book. Copies are £20 from raysofsunshine.org.uk All proceeds will go to the charity.
michel roux jr’s iced red berry souffle • • • • • •
ServeS 10 1kg mixed berrieS 400g CASTer SUGAr 4 eGG whiTeS 500ml wATer 80ml whippinG CreAm
1 blend the fruit with 150g of sugar, then pass through a fine sieve and add lemon juice if required. Tie pieces of greaseproof paper around the edge of ten individual soufflé dishes (9cm diameter x 6cm deep) to form a collar that stands 5cm above the rim. 2 put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. in a perfectly clean saucepan, dissolve the remaining 250g of sugar in the water over low heat. when the sugar is completely dissolved, bring to the boil, skim off the foam and cook to 120°C on a sugar thermometer. beat the egg whites until foamy, then, with the whisk still running, p our the hot sugar directly on the egg whites. Continue beating until the meringue is cool. 3 whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold into the fruit pulp. delicately fold in the meringue, then spoon into the soufflé dishes. Freeze for 12 hours. 4 decorate with fresh berries and serve with a sauce made by pureeing 500g berries with 100g caster sugar, sharpening the taste with lemon juice.
106 Wardour Street London W1F 0TR 020 7255 8686 22 Store Street London WC1E 7DF 020 7299 7900 8–13 Bird Street London W1U 1BU 020 7518 8080 35 Panton Street London SW1Y 4EA 020 7930 0088 319 Old Street London EC1V 9LE 020 7729 0808 Westfield Shepherd’s Bush London W12 7GA 020 3249 1919 Bicester Village 50 Pingle Drive Oxford OX26 6WD 01869 362 700 44 Floral Street London WC2E 9DA 020 7759 0088 Westfield Stratford City London E20 020 8221 8989 356 King’s Road London SW3 5UZ 020 7349 5488 busaba.com Takeaway available
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staying in cooks’ kit
a view to a grill...
Think you’ve got culinary chops that would put a professional chef to shame? Then you’ll need kitchen kit that’s both stylish and functional to match your skills, says AnnA chAmbers kitchenaid 6.9l mixer An iconic American design in striking Empire Red, with polished stainless steel bowl, this beauty comes with a host of attachments and tenspeed operation to crank your cooking up a gear. £799.95; johnlewis.com
casabugatti uma scales Style and function are perfectly balanced in these electric scales. The weight resetting system lets you add multiple ingredients and the digital display doubles as a timer for perfect precision. £95; amara.co.uk
napoleon pro450 bbQ It comes with enough space to grill a cow, but size isn’t the only thing this gas-fired behemoth has to offer. With electronic ignition, an infrared sizzle zone and an integrated ice bucket, you can stick plenty of shrimp – and beer – on the barbie. £1,799; napoleongrills.co.uk
a uniQue dining experience The esprit underlying Nozomi is one based on subtly fusing an entertainment and dining experience so that, as the highly acclaimed cuisine, is served, so too is a passionate musical offering, relying on a selection of world music choices designed to relax inhibitions and assure an unique and overwhelming atmosphere, that is Nozomi. Home and office delivery is available from www.nozomi.co.uk voTed BeST reSTauranT Bar at the London Club & Bar Awards, 2006 & 2011
14 â€“15 Beauchamp place, KnightsBridge, sW3 1nQ | 020 7838 1500 | enQuiries@nozomi.co.uK
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Staying in KniveS
It may be a simple beast, but the humble knife is a chef’s best friend. AnnA ChAmbers picks out four that are a cut above Zwilling J.a. HencKelS The flawless sheen of these knives is achieved by a trademarked ice-hardening finish. Look for the twin stamp that has graced Henckels’ German steel since 1731. 20cm Twin Profection chef’s knife, £100; wayfair.co.uk
SaJi Japanese treasured craftsman Master Saji captures the spirit of the Samurai in this razor-sharp knife, laminated 129 times in aogami blue steel. 17cm Santoku Knife, £499; japaneseknifecompany.com squaremile.com
KyOcera’S Sandgarden Lighter than steel, ceramic blades are practically impervious to stains and rust and keep their edge. These carbon-infused blades are twice as sharp, still. 15.5cm chef’s knife, £225; hartsofstur.com
glOBal A solid staple for professional kitchens, the G-2 is a best-seller. A one-piece design with a handle filled with sand makes for the perfect balance. 20cm Cook’s Knife; £120; globalknives. uk.com
Renowned as Mayfairâ€™s bar of choice for sophisticated, indulgent cocktails, the Met Bar, Park Lanes premier venue is now available as a destination for both individuals and events. Whether it be for drinks after work, where the Midweek Sessions offer live acoustic music from up and coming artists, a late night DJ enriched environment, or taking over the bar for a memorable event, the dedicated Met Bar Events Team are on hand to ensure that every detail is planned to perfection. www.metbar.co.uk METROPOLITAN LONDON OLD PARK LANE LONDON W1K 1LB T: +44 (0)20 7447 1063/1064 E: METBAR@METROPOLITAN.COMO.BZ
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Staying in SpiritS
Blends with Benefits… Dinner just wouldn’t be complete without a digestif. Here are three whisky blends that, in our humble opinion, provide the perfect finish
Suntory Hibiki 21 yearS old, £125 this won ‘World’s best blended Whisky’ for the second consecutive year at the World Whiskies awards. the key malt is aged in yamazaki sherry casks then blended with mellow grain malts. the result delivers a refined bouquet. suntory.com
CHiVaS reGal 25 yearS, £175 a rare blend, this limited release comes in individually numbered bottles. the rich gold offering, from a distillery that dates back to 1786, is full-bodied with hints of chocolate orange and a fondant creaminess. chivas.com
PlatinuM label 18 yearS, £66 a superbly balanced blend from Johnnie Walker: intense, smooth and subtly smoky yet fruity and sweet. Crafted from single malt and grain whiskies, it’s able to hold its own against the best on the market. ■ johnniewalker.com
alking up to the mezzanine level, Maddox restaurant offers cutting edge design coupled with delectable dining. Designed by interior mastermind Samy Chams, Maddox Club is one of the only top memberâ€™s clubs that has a DJ booth within a restaurant, successfully creating a venue where partying and dining co-exist under one roof. A glass DJ booth overlooks the ground floor restaurant, from which resident Djs create the perfect soundscape to compliment the sumptuous menu of classic Italian and Mediterranean dishes, and the opulent decor. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9pm and is open to non-members.
Please contact Sascha Katz (Restaurant Manager) on: 078 8980 7058 Maddox Club 020 7629 8877 3-5 Mill Street London W1S 2AU
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Staying in SpiritS
gin & juice Sadly fruit flavoured spirits don’t count as part of your five-a-day. They taste bloody good though…
NO.3 LONDON DRY GIN, £34 Named after the address of Berry Bros & Rudd (London’s oldest wine and spirit merchant), No.3 boasts six balanced botanicals with juniper at its core. Perfect for a classic martini or a gin and tonic with a twist of lime. Or both. no3gin.com
BeLveDeRe BLOODY MaRY, £36 Launched this year, this is a super premium vodka with seven infused Bloody Mary ingredients – black pepper, horseradish, bell pepper, chili pepper, vinegar distillate, tomato and lemon. Great straight up or on the rocks. belvederevodka.com
GReY GOOse La POIRe, £30 Featuring a trio of natural flavourings blended to reflect the taste and freshness of an anjou pear – an essential ingredient in classic French pastries – this is crisp and light, with a richer texture when chilled. ■ greygoose.com
Staying in imperial
The Tsar alliance
This is not your average vodka packaging. But then this is not your average vodka. Imperial Collection Super Premium embraces its Russian heritage with ornate Fabergé-inspired eggs
imperial collection It wasn’t easy being a Russian Tsar. For example, Alexander II, the Liberator, was assassinated in 1881. Saint Nicholas II? Executed in 1918. Michael II, murdered the same year. But, you have to give it to them: they did know how to live the high life (at least, while they were alive). For starters, Louis Roederer created Cristal for Alexander II – and the Tsars kept hold of the exclusive stocks for decades to come. Tsar Alexander III commissioned the first Fabergé egg because he didn’t think chocolate would quite cut it for the Empress Maria Fedorovna on the 20th Anniversary of their Easter wedding. And, being Russian, vodka tended to come pretty high on their must-have list, too. The spirit of the tsars has certainly been captured in the Imperial Collection Super Premium – Russian vodka encased in Venetian glass, and packaged in finely crafted Fabergé-inspired eggs. This is no paltry attempt at imitation – made from the enamel and crystals the master jeweller would have used in the original pieces more than 100 years ago, each one includes 24-carat gold gilding and is topped with a golden eagle designed by one of the most famous Florentine master-jewellers, who has worked with the Vatican for over 30 years. And the super-premium vodka? Well, it starts with top quality wheat and rye from the fertile fields of southern and central Russia, and continues with a 12-times filtration system. Then it is distilled. Five times through birch charcoal, several times through quartz sand and once through algae – whose microstructure guarantees a rare purity. The result is a vodka as unique as its casing, that perfectly captures the essence of aristocratic St Petersburg. ■ Limited edition of 100 eggs per annum in the UK, priced from £350 (carafe only) to £6,000.
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Golden Eagle Designed by a famous Florentine masterjeweller who has worked with the Vatican for over 30 years Venetian Glass The 70cl decanter and four accompanying glasses are made with the finest Venetian glass
Imperial Collection Vodka The super premium vodka is made using a blend of Russia’s historic production processes and the latest technologies, creating a unique smoothness and velvety texture
Fabergé-inspired egg Miniature eggs worn on a neck chain, created by Peter Carl Fabergé, were hugely popular among the aristocracy in St Petersburg more than 100 years ago. Fabergé created 50 larger eggs for Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II, of which 42 have survived
“The greatest all rounder in the world of malt whisky” Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion
Please enjoy our whisky responsibly
hine’s perfect pairing The heartlands of Cognac have been home to the Hine family for more than two centuries, but the brand’s story actually began in Dorset. You can taste the history in every glass, says Lizzie RiveRa
ine is tHe only Cognac with a Royal
Warrant, and that is no mere coincidence. For almost 250 years, the Hine family have dedicated themselves to the art of creating the perfect Cognac blend. They know optimal maturity cannot be dictated by law, and rely instead on the experience and expertise of their cellar master to judge when the Cognac has reached maturity, and to create the harmonious and delicate notes for which Hine is renowned. The House of Hine stands in the heart of the Cognac region, overlooking the River Charente, its cellars full of ageing reserves in mature oak casks. But the family’s roots are proudly British, tracing back to 18th century Dorset, when Thomas Hine sent his sixteenyear-old son to France to learn French. There he fell in love with the daughter of a Cognac merchant, and in doing so changed the course of the family’s history forever.
It’s this rich history that means you can always be sure of a finely crafted product of impeccable quality, whether choosing the entry-level H by Hine, aged for a minimum of four years and blended from 20 different eauxde-vie, or the majestic Talent de Thomas Hine blend, presented in a Baccarat crystal decanter and packaged in a functioning cigar humidor. Appreciating the importance of the cigar-Cognac pairing, Hine has created several blends especially for the cigar connoisseur, including the Cigar Reserve – in collaboration with UK Havana importers Hunters & Frankau – and the elegant XO Antique, Hine’s flagship Cognac, a complex blend of more than 40 Cognacs aged for more than a generation. ■
cognac and cigars To find out exactly why Cognac and cigars work so well together, head to Michelinstarred restaurant Galvin La Chapelle on 12 September for an exclusive Hine Cognac and cigar matching dinner. The modern French cuisine is the perfect accompaniment to the fine selection of cigars and vintage blends on offer, and we can think of few better places to enjoy them than on the dedicated cigar terrace of this Grade-II listed building. Having “smoked a lot of cigars and drank a lot of Cognac” to create the Cigar Reserve Cognac, the Hine team certainly know their stuff. hinecognac.com
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Staying in wine gloSSary
Top of The glass
When it comes to flowery wine descriptions, Tom Harrow , aka WineChap, says it’s time to put a cork in it
ost people know nothing about
wine. And there are many who speak or, even worse, write authoritatively about wine, who know even less. Some have been doing thus so confidently for so long they’ve actually forgotten they know nothing. Below is a glossary of common wine descriptors and what they really mean. Familiarity with these 30+ terms will allow you to ‘talk’ wine like a pro or at least translate the bullshit of so-called ‘experts’ at dinner parties… ■
Tom Harrow hosts a number of enological events as WineChap. See more: winechap.com/events
A word to the wine
IllustratIon by adam larkum
sMooth – bland Closed (or dUMB) – a good word to use to cover the crushing disappointment when your star bottle is clearly failing to perform on the nose perfUMed – floral floral – perfumed spiCy – weird, where is the fruit? earthy – weird, where is the spice? foCUssed – pure pUre – one-dimensional
intense – disconcerting forward – obvious reserved (or ‘recalcitrant’ if you can pull it off without being stabbed) – not obvious rUstiC – shit honest – shit UnpretentioUs – rustic and honest hedonistiC – overly rich and fruity, favoured by antipodeans/ americans/plebs CereBral – not immediately appealing/too complicated
for a pleb like you/not terribly pleasant at all ClassiC – disappointing deliCate – thin, don’t pair with curry elegant – ditto but more expensive strUCtUred – enamel-stripping vegetal – like a compost heap, jogger’s socks or pile of horse dung. Counter-intuitively, a rather good thing in great old reds, Burgundy in particular Mineral – be sure to use when
drinking expensive whites, it means nothing as could refer to quartz, chalk, graphite etc, in reality smells like a kettle that needs de-scaling CoMplex – confusing MasCUline – serious serioUs – scary, one glass only feMinine – soft, gentle, perfumed, really rather lovely, will lead to horrible excess pretty – only used by americans, the vinous equivalent of ‘quaint’
BalanCed – nothing really stands out, good or bad CoMplete – when unable to determine anything specific, this suggests the various composite elements you have picked out have fused into a sum greater than its parts sUrprisingly good – surprisingly cheap a good/long/iMpressive finish – indicator to host your glass has been empty for at least five minutes
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PENFOLDs AMPOULE What do you get if you a cross a glass sculptor, a glassblower, a metalsmith and a cabinet maker? Twelve beautiful handblown glass sculptures in hand-tooled Jarrah wooden cabinets. Or, at £100,000 each, the world’s most expensive wine bottle. Complete with a winemaker on speed-dial who’ll fly to the destination of your choice to remove the precious liquid from its glass plumb-bob casing and ceremoniously prepare it for you. Designed especially for Penfolds’ highly sought-after Block 42 Kalimna 2004 vintage, the cabernet sauvignon originates from 130-year-old vines in the Barossa valley. The fermentation begins in ‘headed down’ static fermenters and is completed in seasoned new oak hogsheads, resulting in aromatic, intense and perfectly balanced flavours of blackcurrant, dark chocolate and liquorice. You can pick up a normal bottle for around £400. But then you’d have to open it yourself. ■
The Penfolds Ampoule comes complete with a master of wine to open and serve it for you. But then, for £100,000 a bottle, we’d expect no less
a match made in wine heaven Carmenère is Chile’s special grape. Concha y Toro asked chef Paul Collins, and sommelier Alvaro Garcia, to create the perfect partner for its flagship Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère The Wine
The Andes, the longest mountain range in the World, has a huge impact on the wines of Chile, and it’s where you’ll find the Cachapoal Valley – in the traditional heartland of Chilean Winemaking – where the soils and climate combine to bring out the best in red grape varieties. The Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère is classical Cachapoal Carmenère, sourced from one of Concha y Toro’s most revered vineyards: Peumo. With impressive aromas of dark bitter chocolate and fresh blackberries, well-rounded tannins and a concentrated palate of dark, ripe forest fruits, the wine has excellent ageing potential. A spicy oak character creates an elegant finish for this balanced, fruity wine. Concha y Toro’s Marques de Casa Concha is a single vineyard wine made from noble grape varieties. Its winemaker, Marcelo Papa, chooses the most suitable location for each grape variety and uses a variety of French oak barrels from some of the best cooperages in France to achieve an elegant and harmonious style.
Concha y Toro’s UK-based sommelier, Alvaro Marcos Garcia, helps to place its finest wines in all the right places. His considerable experience includes time spent at Home House, Theo Randall on Park Lane, Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy Grill, Tom Aikens Restaurant and Harvey Nichols OXO Tower. In 2007, he was the winner of the International Sommelier Challenge food and wine matching competition, and a semi-finalist in the UK Sommelier of the Year competition. He has a refined palate, which can harmoniously bring together the best wines and fine dining.
The Chef With 25 years of experience working in high-profile kitchens, including The Dorchester, Cliveden, Lucknam Park, Daylesford Organic and The Grove, Paul Collins (chefpaulcollins.co.uk) has been awarded by both the Michelin Guide and the AA. He can count royalty, prime ministers and world famous stars from music, stage and screen among those he has cooked for. Concho Y Toro asked Paul to create a recipe to pair perfectly with its Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère wine.
The MaTch Matching great food with good wine is a fascinating subject; the chef has thought carefully about the flavours in his dish and the sommelier wants to ensure there is a consistent balance of flavours that doesn’t overpower, but enhances, the gastronomic experience. When the pairing is strong each element of the wine shines a light on the dish, really making the flavours sing. The lean venison gives a rich, meaty flavour, which balances the tannins of the wine perfectly. The red port sauce echoes the character of the robust fruit, and the creamy celeriac purée and braised red cabbage create a sweet and sour taste in the mouth, which is enhanced by the green and black pepper nuances in the Carmenère. ■ Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère is available in many independent wine merchants or online at Corks Out corksout.com, Laithwaites
laithwaites.co.uk, Dylans Wine Merchants dylanswine.co.uk, Kenilworth Wines kenilworthwines.co.uk, SH Jones & Co shjoneswines.com. More info at thefinewinecollection.com
Pr o m o t i o n
Roasted venison, apple and celeRiac puRée with a poRt sauce (seRves 4) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
800g trimmed venison loin 1 medium celeriac, peeled and diced 1 peeled and chopped apple 8 baby leeks 16 shallots, peeled down to the same size, reserve trimmings for the sauce ½ bottle port 1 sprig of thyme 4 juniper berries 2 litres veal/chicken stock 200g butter Olive oil For the red cabbage: 1 red (or Savoy) cabbage, shredded 1 bottle of red wine 4 grated apples 1 orange, juiced and zested 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 The night before put the cabbage and apples in to a large bowl and cover with the sugar, orange, red wine and vinegar. Allow this to steep over night. Cook for about two hours at 150˚C. 2 Peel and trim the shallots so that they are the same size, oven roast at 180˚C for 15-20 minutes, tossing them often. When cooked, keep warm. 3 Put the stock into a pan and add the port, thyme, juniper berries and shallot trimmings; reduce to a rich consistency. 4 Place the celeriac and apple in a pan with 100g of butter and cook through until softened, stirring constantly. Pour one pint of water over and cover with a lid. Simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove the celeriac and apple and place in a blender using a little of the cooking liquor to make a smooth and velvety purée. Pass through a fine sieve for maximum smoothness. 5 Peel and blanch the baby leeks in boiling salted water. Refresh in ice cold water. Drain on kitchen paper and cut into equal-sized pieces about one inch in length. Set aside. 6 Cut the venison loin in two and season well. Place a suitable pan on the stove and allow to heat up, add a small amount of oil and seal the meat on all sides. 7 Put the pan into the oven for 6-8 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. 8 Combine all the elements of the dish together on plates or a sharing platter.
In thIs sectIon 095 Top five restaurants for every occasion 115 Our favourite restaurants in the capital 128 Index
2 Nobu 19 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1LB
Nobu Matsuhisa is a personal friend and I love the way he puts his dishes together. The original Nobu is one of his best restaurants, and a favourite of mine for fish. It’s perfect for when you don’t want to be overly formal but won’t compromise on the quality of the food.
3 ChiNa TaNg The Dorchester, Mayfair, W1K 1QA
You might get stuck in the bar at Sir David Tang’s great authentic Cantonese restaurant, the cocktails are wonderful, but the signature Peking Duck is the reason I keep coming back. So fresh and tasty. A really fun restaurant with some beautiful contemporary Chinese art. chinatanglondon.co.uk
4 harry’s bar
The legendary Austrian chef opened Park Lane’s Cut last year. Here, he reveals the five restaurants he likes to visit whenever he’s in town…
5 LoCaNda LoCaTeLLi
I always try to visit The Ledbury when I am in London. The food is excellent and chef Brett Graham uses ingredients in an innovative way. It thoroughly deserves both Michelin stars. theledbury.com
Portrait illustrations by Ben tallon
When I’m with my children I take them to Giorgio Locatelli’s wonderful restaurant for authentic, delicious Italian food. It’s welcoming for families yet the David Collins interior keeps it fresh and stylish. The homemade pasta is a firm favourite with my kids!
127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AQ
096 Wolfgang Puck 097 RichaRd coRRigan 097 maRcus WaReing 098 Paul dRummond & aaRon simPson 100 William cuRley 103 michael edWaRds 104 out of toWn dining 109 dine and dance 112 PRivate dining
This is a London institution with a great kitchen and a lively atmosphere. I like to go with friends to catch up over a relaxed dinner of quality ingredients and expert cooking.
8 Seymour Street, Marylebone, W1H 7JZ
1 The Ledbury
choosing the right restaurant can be an arduous task. So, with a little help from some famous friends, we’ve made things easy, with our Top five recommendations for any palate and any occasion
26 South Audley Street, Mayfair, EC4N 7BA
Ledbury by name, Legendary by status: the Ledbury is worthy of its two michelin stars
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CITY OF ANGELUS: The lounge menu of this Parisian-style brasserie lives up to its surroundings
marcus wareing Marcus Wareing may demand multiple Michelin stars from his kitchens, but his needs are very different when it comes to eating out with his family...
find out what they’re dining on. That’s only if tripe and gizzards come high on your menu. If not, the vegetable dishes are impressive too. vietnamesekitchen.co.uk/vietgrill
3 Quo VadIS 26-29 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3LL
Jeremy Lee has transformed this Soho institution with a menu that sings seasonality and is a joy in its brevity. Mackerel is a favourite of mine (ideally cooked on an open fire on an Irish beach and served with a mug of tea), and here it comes whole, perfectly grilled and partnered with seasonal delights. ReCoMMends
The renowned chef behind Bentley’s and Corrigan’s Mayfair names his favourite London restaurants
1 FouR SEaSonS 12 Gerrard Street, Park Lane, W1D 5PR
The Chinese know something about duck. The combination of crispy and unctuous is rich, indulgent, and delicious. We do roast chicken well, but the Chinese have duck to a tee. I love this place for its straight up no-nonsense style – which can’t be said of a lot of Chinatown. fs-restaurants.co.uk
2 VIEt GRILL 58 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E2 8DP
If the Chinese are duck champions then the Vietnamese might just have the edge on offal (although it’s close). The staff here eat well, so
4 BEnaRES Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6BS
Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar has a way with spices that reveals, explosive yet subtley, all the complexity that’s an inherent Indian food in all is diversity. His dishes exude balance, elegance and sophistication. We’ve done some projects together, and working on new combinations and ways to render our respective traditions is always enormously rewarding. benaresrestaurant.com
5 anGELuS 4 Bathurst Street, Paddington, W2 2SD
The foie gras custard alone is worth the trip, but why stop there when you have real French food in London? I also like that it’s just around the corner from a mews with real stables that supplies horses for rides in Hyde Park.
“For us it needs to be a space that can cope with children’s noise – ours are generally not that noisy, but the pressure of silence makes it hard to relax. It needs to have a menu choice that suits the range of ages – simple dishes for children with different tastes, but also a certain level of quality, especially for myself and my wife. Speed is very important, even if the food comes in dribs and drabs it then keeps them entertained. We always ensure that each child has something to do, a book or pens and paper (never something electronic) so that they are entertained during the wait... ■ My top five: 1. Côte 2. Pizza Express 3. River Café 4. Byron Burger 5. Leon
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Paul DrummonD & aaron SimPSon
Co-founders of Quintessentially Lifestyle, the world’s leading luxury concierge service, pick their five favourite hidden gems in the capital. Because everyone loves an underdog... and to get away from the bustling crowds
1 Poule au Pot 231 Ebury Street, Pimlico, SW1 8UT
Lately I’ve had more time to explore London’s French cuisine and I recently stumbled across the lovely Poule au Pot. If you fancy a rustic French meal with a cosy ambience, head here. It’s intimate dining with quintessential French dishes that are expertly prepared. A big plus is that the wine is weighed, so you only pay for what you drink. – PD
toast, bacon, roast tomato, chipolatas and mushrooms is cooked to perfection. Scrambled eggs are certainly their speciality. – AS grangerandco.com
3 Cassis Bistro 232-236 Brompton Road, South Ken., SW3 2BB
2 GranGer & Co.
Another French favourite, this hidden gem is easy to miss. Its modern take on a French brasserie is artful and fun. With an extensive wine selection and bold dishes, Cassis makes an excellent date-night destination. The lemon sole fillet comes highly recommended. – AS
175 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2SB
This is a Notting Hill hotspot renowned among locals, but not really known to outsiders. It’s open from breakfast to dinner and I always have such a great time with the congenial staff and bustling atmosphere. The hearty Aussie breakfast of scrambled eggs, sourdough
4 MarkhaM inn 2 Elystan Street, South Ken., SW3 3NS
Head to this gastropub for a sizeable brunch menu and outstanding Sunday roasts. For my fix of a classic British meal I usually come here. My personal favourite is the grilled scotch beef burger, though every dish is a sure success. The staff are exceptionally friendly and always serve up a comfortable experience. – PD themarkhaminn.com
5 DoCk kitChen 344/342 Ladbroke Grove, Kensington, W10 5BU
PHOTO by Ben Roberts
the dock’s bollocks: dock kitchen is the perfect way to start the weeekend
Dock Kitchen is one of my favourite spots in London. It was initially just a pop-up, but their phenomenal food and unique set-up have become so popular it’s now open permanently. The menu changes weekly, so you never get bored and are always able to enjoy what’s in season. If you fancy a small bite, I would recommend their Kitchenette Bar, open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5.30pm to 12am. It’s perfect for after-work drinks with canapés like Nduja toast and sea bass carpaccio. – AS
BA R | R ESTAU R A NT | DA N CE H A LL | CA BA R ET “You’d have to be a crashing bore not to enjoy the raunchy delights of Proud Cabaret.” - In St yle N O.1 M A R K L A N E | CO R N E R O F D U N ST E R & M A R K L A N E | LO N D O N | EC3 R 7A H P LE AS E CO N TAC T U S F O R B O O K I N G S 0207 283 1940 | P R O U D C A BA R E T.CO M
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toP 2 PieRRe heRmé 13 Lowndes Street, Mayfair, SW1X 9EX
Pierre Hermé is a world leader in his field – one of the greatest pastry chefs around. His style is slick and chic, and French, of course! Although he’s known as the master of macaroons, his chocolates are also brilliant.
3 Paul a Young The Royal Exchange, Bank, EC3V 3LP
Britain’s top chocolatier, William Curley, recommends the best places in London to buy chocolates and enjoy dessert (apart from his own, of course). Incurable chocoholics should look away now...
Paul is up there with the best chocolatiers in London. One of my biggest competitors, he has played a significant part in the chocolate wave currently gripping London. Like us, Paul makes all of his chocolates by hand, his style is modern and British and he has an interesting approach to flavour combinations. It’s good to have such decent competition – it makes the chocolate market hugely exciting. paulayoung.co.uk
4 Pollen st social 8-10 Pollen Street, Mayfair, W1S 1NQ
1 Rococo chocolates 5 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU
Since appearing on the chocolate scene in the late 1980s Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates, has maintained and evolved the brand. A few chocolate shops appeared in the early ‘90s and most didn’t survive, but Rococo stood its ground. Rococo is typically English and theymake great chocolates – they have a store around the corner from us in Belgravia. rococochocolates.com
This has a fantastic dessert bar, similar to our Belgravia store, where you can sit and watch the talented pastry chefs create the desserts right in front of you– it’s a sort of theatrical experience. This concept is very ‘New York’, and it’s great to see the idea being accepted and trialled in London. Jason Atherton and his team create contemporary, stylish desserts that often incorporate interesting Asian flavour combinations. His style is high-end but informal, which is unusual in London, and the atmosphere is always light and relaxed. pollenstreetsocial.com
5 the VictoRia The Victoria, 10 West Temple Sheen, SW14
thevictoria.net William Curley, and William’s dessert bar, can be found at: 198 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 8UN. His book, Couture Chocolate (Jacqui Small, £30), won the Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Book of the Year
PHOTO by Bernhard Winkelmann
Jack of all trades: Pierre Hermé may be the master of macaroons but his chocolates aren’t to be sniffed at either
The Victoria is a great local pub serving delicious food; I must eat there about once every couple of weeks. Head chef Paul Merrett is a good guy, and one of the people at the forefront of the gastropub scene in London. Paul is great with desserts – the most memorable I’ve had there must be his chocolate brownie, which he serves with peanut butter ice-cream and chocolate sauce. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is the best chocolate brownie I have ever eaten, and that’s saying something as I have eaten a lot of them in my time!
Set within the ground breaking Pan Peninsula development in Canary Wharf, Tompkins is an uber stylish restaurant and bar. 3 PAN PENINSULA, CANARY WHARF, E14 9HN T: 0208 305 3080 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.tompkins.uk.com
ESCAPE TO THE CENTRE OF THE KINGDOM Visit Northcote in The Ribble Valley
Strictly for the Lovers of the finer things in life
ULTIMATE GOURMET BREAKS
Northcote is situated in the heart of the Ribble Valley, on the doorstep of The Trough of Bowland and officially declared the “Centre of the Kingdom.” Breathtaking countryside and rural hamlets decorate this part of Britain, relatively untouched by all apart from our number one landscape gardener “Mother Nature.” • Northcote is 228 miles from the centre of London • London Euston direct to Preston is only 2 hours 8 minutes • Only 10 miles from junction 31 on M6 • It’s the ideal break in your journey when travelling South to North twitter.com/northcoteUK facebook.com/northcoteUK MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANT • MENUS CREATED BY NIGEL HAWORTH • WINNER AND JUDGE OF BBC2’S GREAT BRITISH MENU AND REGULAR FACE ON SATURDAY KITCHEN AWARD WINNING WINE LIST • 14 INDIVIDUALLY STYLED ROOMS • LOUIS ROEDERER PRIVATE DINING ROOM NORTHCOTE ROAD, LANGHO, BLACKBURN, LANCASHIRE BB6 8BE T: 01254 240555 F: 01254 246568 W: WWW.NORTHCOTE.COM
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autumn evenings and quite enough for two hungry people. The spicy Kung Po chicken is proper, spicy but not fiery, the heat soothed by unsweetened soy sauce. And for those who love dim sum, the Shanghai-style duck dumpling is to die for. As for the setting? The room is peaceful, softly lit, romanticised by photos of Hollywood greats. The wine list is more than adequate: an excellent Opal Ridge Gewürztraminer/Verdelho is perfect for the spicy sea bass. Fresh faced, charming service and you can eat like an emperor for £25. 020 7221 2280
Michael Edwards has been a wine and food writer for over 20 years, specialising in Champagne, Burgundy and gastronomy. Here he recommends five restaurants – some old, some new – even the most demanding gastronauts will never tire of visiting
1 SweetingS 39 Queen Victoria Street, City, EC4N 4SA
PhotograPh by Simon harvey Photography (blitzimages.co.uk)
Open at lunchtime’s only, nothing changes at Sweetings – a simple website is their only concession to modernity. No bookings are taken and you sit on railway buffet-style stools straight out of fifties weepie Brief Encounter. Daily fish from the market is always fresh, simple and unfussy – fried whitebait with lemon wedges is as good as it gets, and dressed crab is a staple comfort. Splash out on turbot with mustard sauce or watch your cents with the chef’s generous filled fish pie. The young waitresses are all warmth, speed and efficiency. Whites by the glass run from fruity Sauvignons to Montagny 1er Cru at sensible prices. If you can resist the tempting puds – the steamed syrup sponge is heaven – you can be out in under an hour, but lingering celebrants can sup on great champagnes, like the Roederer 2004 and the peerless Cristal. sweetingsrestaurant.com
2 Sichuan Sweetheart 82 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 3RL
The cooking at this newcomer on Queensway’s Asian stretch is as delightful as the name. Born in the capital of Szechwan province, chef Jeff Pu has cooked in its best restaurants. Everything is classically made, no short cuts here, and the sauces are brilliant. The pig joint with home-made black bean sauce, chilli oil and seasonal greens is the star turn for
3 hibiScuS 29 Maddox Street, Mayfair W1S 2PA
Claude Bosi, the Lyon-born maestro of Hibiscus, is maybe the most exciting exponent of modern, inventive cuisine in the whole of the EU. Claude certainly has the edge over British rivals because his flawless technique and understanding of flavours was thoroughly honed in France’s greatest restaurants. I still prefer the country ambience of the original Hibiscus in Ludlow – its relocation to Mayfair is designed to gain the highest accolades, but it’s just a little too discreet, cool and corporate. The food is the thing, ever magical in a finely judged mix of happy tastes. The rabbit & foie gras ravioli with soya bean and tarragon is a magnificent, melting delicacy. And Asia comes to Lancashire by way of Lyon in the Goosnargh chicken ‘Ayam Sioh’ in a carcass and cockle sauce with a side bouche of tamarind. Invention never tires with a brilliant iced sweet olive parfait, charlotte of strawberries & Thai basil. Brilliant. Great wines, with a wonderful Barbera Nizza.
5 Medlar 438 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW10 0LJ
This little jewel showcases modern cuisine as dazzling as any in the Platts-Martin stable. An intimate room with nicely spaced tables and everything you could wish for in staff. After a crawling bus ride up the King’s Road, I arrived hot & flustered to be set instantly at ease with a glass of JJ Prum Riesling served with a brilliant smile. Lunch of duck egg tart with red wine sauce and sautéed duck heart, followed by monkfish à point with spätzle and caper velouté has the seal perfectly set by an elegant Valpolicella La Giaretta. Hedge fund managers and fine wine traders are drawn by the outstanding cellar that has great grower champagnes such as Agrapart’s Extra Brut ‘Terroirs’ and mature Château Langoa Barton 1999 drinking beautifully now. Superb 24-month aged Gruyères & truffled Mont d’Or cheeses are on offer along with lovely desserts. medlarrestaurants.co.uk
4 TenTazioni 2 Mill Street, Lloyds Wharf, SE1 2BD
Tentazioni deserves more recognition, for chef-patron Riccardo Giacomino has a very special touch with sauced pasta – especially his spaghettini Setaro with Sardinian grey mullet. Magic. Fish generally is a strength but the rib-eye steak or beef fillet carpaccio with black summer truffles will keep carnivores happy. The Italian wine classics are exemplary – on our last visit we drank a lovely Fatagione Nerello Mascalese (Etna) then Vietti’s gorgeous Moscato with dessert. Connoisseurs looking for a bargain should go for the Barbaresco Produttori del Barbaresco 2006 (£47.50). tentazioni.co.uk
How very britisH: everything about Medlar suggests low key elegance
out of town
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When escaping for a weekend of luxury, relaxation and gastronomic gluttony Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is still the obvious choice. Chef-patron Raymond Blanc’s assertion that it has fulfilled his dream of creating “perfection in food, comfort and service” would be arrogant if it wasn’t so obviously true. Lizzie Rivera went in search of Britain’s other getaways that offer a similar level of culinary prowess and decadent indulgence.....
right hand man, head chef Chris Wheeler has vast experience of working in Michelin-star restaurants, and his 2 AA Rosettes are almost certain to be the first step on the road to being awarded his own. Choosing between the oven-baked fillets of red mullet with crushed violet potatoes and the roast supreme of duck with seared foie gras escalope is likely to be a tough decision for most diners, but for dessert the ‘Humphry’s Snickers’ – milk chocolate and peanut mousse, salted chocolate caramel, caramel foam, peanut tuile) – is a no-brainer.
Northcote Road, Lancashire
Described as a “restaurant with rooms”, this Michelin-starred manor-house revolves around the gourmet experience. Head chef and joint-owner Nigel Haworth’s passion for local produce runs through all his dishes – from the West Coast lobster to the Cumbrian Roe Deer – and has made this Lancashire bolt-hole something of a surprising culinary hotspot. Their reputation for quality is such that Louis Roederer has lent its name to their private dining room, where up to 36 guests can enjoy an intimate dinner to the backdrop, should you so wish, of watching the chefs, every move on ‘Kitchen Cam’. You could escape for one night. But that would a bit like having a starter and main and skipping dessert. The two night indulgent break is really what you want to go for. Consider the first evening – champagne, canapés and a five-course gourmet menu – as you warm up for the seven-course feast on your second night. And to sleep it off? It goes without saying that you’ll be spending the whole weekend in complete uxury, each room exuding its own character and coming complete with state of the art technology. Some even come with their own private garden. A signed menu as a leaving gift, available on request, is typical of the thought and attention to detail that goes into every aspect of the Northcote experience.
3 the Grove London’s Country Estate, Hertfordshire
Found just outside of London, the Grove’s 300 immaculate acres make it seem a world away. Head chef Russell Bateman has achieved the perfect relaxed dining experience, but nothing about the menu, service or setting of the fine-dining restaurant, Collette’s, suggest that he is anything other than a perfectionist. Over 70 chefs work across three restaurants, all priding themselves on the fresh, organic and sustainable – from hand-dived scallops to produce grown in their own garden. Bateman has worked with some of the world’s best chefs, including Marcus Wareing, and the recognition of his celebrated 10-course menu and fine wine choices is rightly deserved. thegrove.co.uk
Style and SubStance: Stoke Park’s modern british cusine tastes as good as it looks
2 Stoke Park Park Road, Buckinghamshire
PhotograPh by tim Winter
Stoke Park’s modern British cuisine is a testament to the hotel’s dedication to quality and innovation, and a homage to its 1,000year history. The impressive Buckinghamshire five-star golf and spa hotel is set in 350 acres, and hosts three restaurants – the most notable being Humphry’s. Named after the renowned eighteenth-century gardener, Humphry Repton, who was responsible for landscaping the grounds, the décor is bright, airy and in keeping with the history of the estate. Previously Jean Christophe Novelli’s
Bovey Castle. you’ve arrived.
Bovey Castle is history, excitement, glamour and adventure. We offer our guests luxury and indulgence, but this isn’t a stuffy hotel where you can’t sit on the furniture or let your kids enjoy themselves.
Bovey Castle is where you can live out your
Bovey Castle is history, excitement, dreams, then put your feet up. glamour and adventure.
We offer our guests luxury and indulgence, Proud to be named as the you UK’s flagship SUNDÃRI spa. but this isn’t a stuffy hotel where Book before September 8th 2012 can’t sit on thea stay furniture or let your kidsand a chilled bottle of champagne will be included with our compliments. Please quote ‘Country & Town House’ when booking. Tel: 01647 445 007. enjoy themselves.
AN INNOVATIVE TAKE ON BRITISH CUISINE... Celebrated Chef Chris Wheeler invites you to indulge your tastebuds at Humphry’s, Stoke Park’s award winning restaurant. Open to all, Humphry’s fine dining restaurant allows you to enjoy ‘an experience you want to relive again and again’ (At Home with Marco PierreWhite). Named in the ‘Top 20 Best out of Town Restaurants’ by Harpers and Queen magazine. Humphry’s innovative take on Modern British Cuisine and enviable wine list provide an unforgettable treat, all set within the sumptuous, romantic surroundings of Stoke Park’s Georgian mansion. Open daily for lunch and dinner. To make a reservation please call 01753 717171 Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG
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4 Bovey Castle Dartmoor National Park, Devon
An out-of-town food guide wouldn’t be complete without Bovey Castle. From its sumptuous art deco-inspired dining room to the immaculate service, it’s a cut above in every sense. Head chef Marc Hardiman took control of the kitchen at the end of last year, the peak of an impressive career being trained by top chefs, TV chefs, and working in Michelin star restaurants. He launched his ‘beef menu’ last month – a nose-to-tail inspired selection of dishes created from slaughteredto-order Dartmoor beef, complemented by the finest steaks from around the world. Its prestigious reputation is complemented by the championship golf course, spa and luxurious hotel nestled in the heart of Dartmoor. boveycastle.com
too many chefS? not at the Grove, where over 70 of them work together to create an incredible dining experience
5 sCarlet Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
You might assume the ‘adults-only’ nature of this stylish and eco-friendly hotel is the best thing about it. And you’d be almost right. But there are two are things that make it even better – its seafront location on the dramatic Cornish coast and, of course, its restaurant. All of our chosen hotels champion fresh produce but few are able to get it quite as fast from the field, or sea, to your plate. Asked to describe his menu chef Tom Hunter says “Cornish, fresh, sensitive and interesting”, which is pretty spot on – ingredients are put together because they taste fantastic, not because it’s fashionable to do so. The same goes for their
PHOTOgraPH (Scarlet) by Bob Jewell
Red hot: Scarlet’s dishes pair fresh, local ingredients with innovative food pairings
creative wine selection – fortunately, the staff is on hand to suggest pairings. May we go one further and suggest you take your grilled halloumi, with mango, chilli, and coriander and your Château Tour des Gendres Cuvée des Conti on the terrace overlooking the sea. scarlethotel.co.uk
...not your daddy’s steakhouse
STKHOUSE.COM ATLANTA | LAS VEGAS | LONDON | LOS ANGELES | MIAMI | NEW YORK
dine and dance Dining and dancing is a complicated affair. It’s a fine balancing act between two individually great activities that common sense suggests should never go together. But get that balance right – good food, great surroundings and a vibrant atmosphere – and all the ingredients are in place for the perfect evening, all under one roof. Queen of the dance, Anna Chambers, tracks down London’s five best places to dine and then dance...
1 Maddox Club 3-5 Mill Street, Mayfair, W1S 2AU
A refuge from the throngs of nearby Oxford Circus, this self-titled ‘boutique sanctuary’ is more inner-sanctum than calming retreat. Brainchild of nightclub magnate Fred Moss (China Whites and Movida) the Maddox social cocktail has been carefully mixed with well-oiled Arabs, glossy A-listers and pampered Russian heiresses to ensure an elite and international crowd. The Sammy Chams interiors feature sumptuous dark leather and coloured light installations to create a modern, flirty minimalism feel throughout the bar and restaurant. Get into the dancing mood while you dine as top name DJs play in a glass booth overlooking the mezzanine restaurant. A sleek menu of light Mediterranean and Italian dishes has been designed to appeal to the senses without weighing you down for the night ahead. After dinner, descend to the subterranean nightclub and settle in a booth with a jeroboam of champagne or rub up against sheikhs and stars on the dance floor. maddoxclub.com
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you in the after-dinner mood and DJs keeping the party spinning late into the night, the Roof Gardens has mastered the seamless transition from dinner to dance.
roofgardens.virgin.com square mile
3 CiRCus 27-29 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BA
Better than a front row seat at the Cirque du Soleil, the decadent world of Circus promises a night of topsy-turvy escapism. Entering into a hall of mirrors, you will be thrown off balance and plunged into the seductive world of the cabaret. Forget the grimy Victoriana that usually adorns the big top. Tom Dixon’s futuristic Circus landscape is reminiscent of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange Milk Bar. Gigantic silver baubles suspended like blown bubbles and iridescent chain-mail walls create a glamorous back drop for the bejewelled and corseted artistes. And if you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with a contortionist, here’s your chance. Exploding the traditional boundary between performer and spectator, a Quartz banquet table doubles as a stage where performers strut their stuff inches from their audience. Exotic aerialists twist and dangle above the stage as you sip champagne from a punchbowl while saluting their daring feats. The Pan-Asian dinner menu has been created
standing room only: Performers light-up diners’ evenings at Circus
Members only, referrals from an existing member required to join.
2 babylon at Roof GaRdens 99 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA
PhotograPh by guilherme Zuhlke o’Connor
If you really want to live the high life, move on up to the Roof Gardens and discover your own personal Eden. Crowning a listed building, the spacious pleasure gardens are hidden right above the heart of Kensington. The seventh floor Babylon restaurant offers a chance to savour delicious European cuisine as well as one of the finest spots to gaze across London’s skyline. And the best news? Dining at Babylon gains you entry to the Private Members Club on Friday and Saturday nights without a subscription. With a ‘no effort, no entry’ dress code, expect West London’s best dressed to be gracing the chic lounge bars. Owner Richard Branson (who was turned away for wearing jeans before returning to buy the club a year later) hosts glitterati-filled events at the venue. With live musicians gracing the stage to get
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come dance with me: But only if you have membership at maddox (left) or are on the guest list of the Salon club (right)
by chef Andrew Lassestter and is perfect for sharing while an open kitchen adds to the theatricality and chaotic ambience, creating a delightfully heady mix. circus-london.co.uk
4 Embassy and salon Club 29 Old Burlington Street, Mayfair, W1S 3AN
5 shorEditCh housE Ebor Street, Shoreditch, E1 6AW
A traditional member’s club with an East London twist, Shoreditch House takes the fad for warehouse renovation to dizzying new heights. Spread across three floors and a roof
terrace, this is a sophisticated fun house for a night full of style and personality. There’s no messing around with recommendations – your platinum card will get you through the door. Shoot some pool in the games room (complete with table service, of course) and blast away the stress of a busy day in the Biscuit Pin bowling alley. Up on the roof terrace there’s a bar, restaurant and shimmering turquoise pool. Where else can you swim beneath the shadow of the Gherkin and the Shard? Plus there’s an outdoor sitting room perfect for sunbathing in summer, or for getting snug by an open fire as winter closes in. In any season you should definitely round off the night in the Square Bar, where DJs play from 10 to 2 on Friday and Saturday nights. And if you can’t make it home, fret not, there’s a plump bed waiting for you in one of the club’s 26 bedrooms. Heaven. shoreditchhouse.com
PHOTO (Maddox) Paul Khera; (Salon) Neil Setchfield
The Salon Club may be just below Embassy restaurant, but the ambience of the two venues is worlds apart. That’s what makes the pair such a winning dinner and dance combination. Upcoming talent Benoit Marmoiton has recently taken command of the kitchen so it’s a great time to test the new modern Mediterranean menu. Riviera Chic is recreated in the delightful cream and mint décor of the interior and also with the elegant bamboo furniture on the airy terrace. Thanks to the unpredictable British summer it remains heated for most of the year and so is always
the perfect spot for a G&T. But if you’re here to dance, DJs playing in the bar on weekends ease the passage from restaurant to club and late night suppers continue to 2am. Salon is a guest-list only affair, attracting the crème de la crème of London’s party scene. Recent guests include Lennox Lewis and Prince Harry, who was papped canoodling a blond heiress in the doorway of ‘London’s coolest club’. Lazers and disco balls bathe a crowd of beautiful people grooving to the likes of Erol Sabadosh and Tinybones. Feeling a little old? Don’t worry – it’s dark in there.
OSTERIA dellâ€™ angolo
in the heart of Westminster
Our stunning Cellar Suite is available for private dining, parties, celebrations, wedding receptions, business meetings and watching sporting events. Seats up to 22 guests
Large plasma screen
Traditional wine cellar style
No room hire fee
Call us now to discuss or book your next event on 020 3268 1077.
T: 020 3268 1077 47 Marsham Street, Westminster SW1P 3DR www.osteriadellangolo.co.uk For more information about our other restaurants please contact Lucy Russell on email@example.com or by phone 079 0966 7850 / 013 2341 1099. THE
Ristorante & Enoteca
private dining rooms Sometimes a meal with esteemed clients or a special occasion with friends and family calls for the dedicated service and intimacy of a private dining room. We asked the experts at luxury concierge service Quintessentially Lifestyle for their insider tips on the top five private dining experiences the capital has to offer this year.
1 DINNER Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
A stellar spot to impress clients, or anyone else for that matter, is Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner. Found at the palatial Mandarin Oriental Hotel, this spacious yet secluded private dining area seats ten people and more than lives up to the gourmet fare served here. Boasting a traditional wood beamed ceiling, rust coloured leather-clad walls and rich cobalt blue dining chairs, this room is a very suave haven indeed. The chic backdrop is perfectly complimented by the daring and delicious menu inspired by historic British gastronomy. dinnerbyheston.com
2 ALAIN DUCASSE The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
The three Michelin-starred sensation that is Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers a wonderfully novel private dining experience. The stunning Table Lumière, the centrepiece of the room, is surrounded by a luminescent oval curtain made of 4,500 shimmering fibre optics that drop dramatically from the ceiling. Inside guests are able to hear the buzz of the restaurant but are screened from view as they contemplate a menu created specially by executive chef Jocelyn Herland. Hermès china, Puiforcat silverware and Saint-Louis crystal complete the celestial setup. alainducasse-dorchester.com
30 St Mary Axe, City, SW11 3BB
39 Whitfield Street, Holborn, W1T 2SF
28 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6EN
Ascend to level 38 of The Gherkin and you’ll discover two of the finest private dining room’s the capital has to offer. The views from this 180m tall skyscraper will wow your exclusive assembly, as will their bespoke service and stylish quarters. Both the Richard Hennessy and Glenmorangie Signet rooms are kitted out with the latest technology and can be hired with an abundance of gourmet dining options. If you’re really out to impress go for the cognac and whisky tasting packages, led by the in-house ambassador.
At the über-popular Dabbous there is an extra special basement just waiting to host an immense private party for up to 120 guests. This industrial style space comes complete with exposed brickwork and delicious canapés created by the gastronomic wizard Oliver Dabbous. Cocktails by mixologist extraordinaire Oskar Kinberg are an additional treat. Soaking up the candlelit atmosphere with a ‘Sloe Gin Punch’ is a delight to be savoured and even the most hard-to-please guests will leave with smiles on their faces.
Morton’s private dining room is a space to be reckoned with. Situated on the second floor of a pristine 4-storey Mayfair townhouse, the Club Room can accommodate 48 seated guests for dining or up to 70 people for canapés. With specially designed food and drinks menus, guests will be suitably satiated with premium offerings. Once the private residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Morton’s delivers on all fronts – expect to be spoilt for choice when presented with chef Yvonnick Lalle’s menu and the 1,700-bin wine-list.
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let me entertain you: morton’s (left) is perfect for a sit-down meal and canapés; table lumière at alain Ducasse (below left) adds spakle to any occasion; while private dining at Dinner (below right) is fantastically dramatic in every sense of the word
Private dining, press launches, board meetings, drinks receptions, canapé parties and weddings.
P r i v at e D i n i n g r o o m - 15 to 28 seated | 25 to 50 canapé party F i r s t F l o o r r e s ta u r a n t - 40 to 70 seated C o C k ta i l B a r - alfresco drinking l o u n g e - 30 to 150 drinks receptions, canapé parties and press events a r t g a l l e r y - 20 to 50 drinks and canapé parties, exhibitions and press events l a C a v e - bespoke wine tastings 10 to 25 standing | 8 to 16 seated
10 Lancashire Court New Bond Street, Mayfair London, W1S 1EY
For events and enquiries please contact our dedicated events team on: T. +44 (0)207 518 9395 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
ay F a i r
T. +44 (0)207 518 9395 F. +44 (0)207 518 9389 E. email@example.com www.mewsofmayfair.com
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The long lunch may be long gone, but the Square Mile team still managed to find time to chow down in some of the capital’s best restaurants this year. Here are some of our favourites…
One LOmbard Street If the Square Mile could be said to have an epicentre, One Lombard Street would be smack bang in the middle of it. Squeezed between those two historic pillars of City power, Mansion House and the Bank of England, the restaurant, bar and brasserie is its own modern pillar of sorts, having made a considerable contribution to feeding and watering the City’s great and good (and the rest) since it opened fourteen years ago. One Lombard Street’s lasting appeal isn’t hard to fathom – inside it’s bright and busy, with a circular central bar illuminated by the spectacular ornate dome above it (the building was, needless to say, a bank in a previous incarnation), and the food complements the setting well. The brasserie’s modernbistro menu is long on choice, though we can heartily recommend the deep, rich and fragrant lobster spaghetti in brandy sauce and a perfectly composed steak tartare with Pringle-like slivers of crisp bread. As most of the City already knows, One Lombard Street has much to recommend it, with the added bonus that you’ll never forget where it is. – JH 1 Lombard Street, EC3V 9AA; 020 7929 6611
CITY & EAST
RaRe indeed is the passion, consistency and sheeR bRilliance of two Michelin-staRRed chef hélène daRRoze. based on regional and seasonally inspired ingredients, and with distinct references to her native south-west france you will be taken on a very personal culinary journey where you will gain an insight into the philosophy, inspirations and heart of hélène’s cooking.
the connaught, caRlos place, MayfaiR, london w1K 2al t: +44 (0)20 7499 7070 e: firstname.lastname@example.orgK w: the-connaught.co.uK
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Portal ‘Portuguese cuisine’: not an expression you hear very often, is it? Accordingly, lunch at Portal was something of an education – both in terms of food and architectural style: you don’t really expect to find lovely conservatory-style buildings and small gardens in this bit of Clerkenwell, do you? The front of the restaurant houses a very slick bar which then opens up into a glorious, brightly lit, summery space. Somewhat inevitably, salt cod makes a couple of appearances on the menu. We succumbed to the starter option, described as Bacalhau tartar with tomato concasse, crispy bread and coriander sauce. It was as delicious as that sounds. There’s no messing here, no smears of things that don’t deserve – or need – to be on the plate, just bold flavours in surprisingly hearty portions. On that basis alone it’s easy to recommend Portal to the City types I know: the room and style suggests delicate but what’s on the plate makes me think the chef’s Portuguese mother is doing the dishing up. That’s doubly true of the main courses. Given Portugal’s proximity to the piggier bits of Spain, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that pork is a major part of Portuguese life too. As it happens, they even have their own variety of pig: the bisaro, apparently a smaller and distant relative of the boar. Genetically, it was hard to tell from the long braised, gloriously sticky, caramelised chunk that arrived alongside the pea mash and roasted peppers but there was no doubting the joys of the eating. “Unctuous” is a word I’m especially fond of (well, it’s so much fun to say) and all too rarely get to apply so accurately to such delicious protein. Would I return? Like a shot. The bad day hasn’t been invented that couldn’t be improved by Bisaro, Pasteis de nata and a couple of glasses of Douro. – ND 88 St John St, EC1M 4EH; 020 7253 6950
CITY & EAST
quartier There’s undeniable theatre in arriving at members’ club Eight Moorgate and its restaurant, Quartier. The entrance, hidden away on a quiet side street north of Moorgate, is inconspicuous, but inside you’ll find an urban garden and a glass lift, with only one button on it: the number eight. Once you’ve negotiated reception and entered the restaurant (though Eight is a members’ club, a small number of tables can be reserved by non-members) the atmosphere’s relaxed and classy, with sensibly spaced tables – strangely, not always a given in places where you’re likely to do be doing business. You’ll eat fabulously well from the varied menu of classics; wafer thin slices of beef fillet perched on endive leaves, and a beautiful lemon sole – a just-crisp skin a counterpoint to its delicate flesh – were real standouts, while dessert-fiends will go home happy, too. Your evening shouldn’t finish there, however; head for the bar’s outside terrace, drink in hand, to enjoy the fantastic views over the City. – JH 1 Dysart St, EC2A 2BX; 020 7392 9410
â–˛ The iconic Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill has been an institution for events since its inception in 1990. Whether having an intimate cocktail with friends or a Grand Banquet in the Ballroom fit for Kings & Queens, BBB epitomizes the very best of Cool Britannia in an environment of sheer unadulterated decadence!
The uber-chic Beach Blanket Babylon Shoreditch is an elegant venue for cocktails, dining and after dinner dancing. It comprises of three different areas including a 150 seated restaurant, a 300 capacity Champagne Lounge and a beautiful 1300sqft white canvas Gallery, all of which can be hired exclusively and can all be transformed to meet individual client needs.
For more information on private events please contact email@example.com
Beach Blanket BaBylon West | 45 ledBury road | nottinG hill, london, W11 2aa | tel. 020 7229 2907 Beach Blanket BaBylon east | 19-23 Bethnal Green rd, shoreditch, london, e1 6la | tel. 0207 749 3540
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hawksmoor The original Hawksmoor at Spitalfields has been charring steaks – in the good way – since 2006. Since then, Will Beckett and Huw Gott have added Covent Garden, producing an award-winning, meat-heavy cookery book, adding a great downstairs bar at the original venue AND opening a third restaurant in The City: surely the spiritual home of any temple to the cow? It’s (very good) business as usual – joyously rich starters, cracking sides and sauces and, of course, stunning meat of which the 55-day aged rump deserves special attention. Even better – remarkably – is the breakfast menu which isn’t just steak and eggs, but features a posh take on the trader’s beloved McMuffin (the HkMuffin, naturally), and a life-changing short rib bubble and squeak with HP gravy. Good doesn’t quite cover it. – ND 10 Basinghall St, EC2V 5BQ; 020 7397 8120
CITY & EAST
devonshire terrace In a former life, the warehouse where you’ll now find Devonshire Terrace was filled with the exotic booty of the East India Trading Company, which built it in the late 18th century. These days the restaurant swaps bounty from the East for the riches of the City, as it’s just a five-minute stroll from Liverpool Street. Historically, Devonshire Terrace’s main draw has been its al fresco terrace inside the west courtyard’s glass atrium that makes for one of the best all-weather drinking and eating spots in the capital, let alone the City. But until recently the food has played second fiddle. Now though, a thorough overhaul of the food menu and the introduction of an extensive and varied list of wines by Corney & Barrow means DT finally has the restaurant that its setting deserves. A modern European menu so spoils you for choice that you could have a different meal ten times and go home happy on each occasion. DT was good before, but there was a nagging sense that with a few tweaks, to the food in particular, it could be even better. We’re happy to report, it is. And then some. – JH Devonshire Sq, EC2M 4W; 020 7256 3233
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When I heard that Boisdale was building a Canary Wharf outpost, and it was going to be the largest restaurant on the whole of the Isle of Dogs, I shuddered. The original Belgravian Boisdale is such an inviting and cosy venue; I couldn’t believe they’d be able to replicate this atmosphere in a 12,000 sq ft space. But I needn’t have worried. Entering via the restaurant’s private elevator, you’re immediately immersed in the rich reds and dark woods that make the original so welcoming. With more than 1,000 single malts behind the bar, and some of the best surf and turf in London, the decor soon plays third fiddle, though. If you’re partial, take a stroll through the walk-in humidor: full of rare and unusual cigars, it’s the largest in Europe. – MH
Across a handkerchief-sized square of manicured grass opposite One Canada Square, Plateau is a top-floor eyrie of fine dining. It bills itself as ‘mid-century Manhattan glamour in Canary Wharf’ and it’s true that there is something very Mad Men about the aesthetics. We started with possibly the finest cocktail known to mankind, the Hendrick’s – very 1950s. I felt like Don Draper. But without the sharp suit. Or the matinee idol good looks. Or the women. But otherwise a good analogy. Along with our waiter, Eddy, and our charming sommelier, Tomasz, honourable mention must go to head chef Allan Pickett – who won a star at D&D stable mate Orrery in Marylebone, before moving here a year ago. We kicked off with a starter of asparagus with chopped duck egg, truffle emulsion and bronze fennel – like comfort food when you were a sickly child (a dippy egg chopped up in a mug) – but re-imagined by Michelangelo. The aged beef fillet, served with a sauté of morel mushrooms and roast bone marrow was heavenly. It was rounded off with a simplement parfait chocolate parfait, and ahem, one or two armagnacs. The only downside was I couldn’t persuade a cab to drive me across the lawn to the Tube. – EC
Cabot Place, E14 4QT; 020 7715 5818
Canada Place, E14 5ER; 020 7715 7100
Located in the heart of Chelsea, The Collection together with the newly launched Kitchen264 is the perfect all evening destination, offering a contemporary Mediterranean menu, eclectic cocktails and stylish interiors from award winning designer Tom Dixon. 264 Brompton Road, SW3 2AS London 020 7225 1212, firstname.lastname@example.org
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the saVoy grill It’s always exciting to eat in an institution (unless it’s a mental one, that is), and the Savoy Grill has to be one of the most famous culinary institutions in London, which means in the world. After reopening in late 2010 in a symphony of art deco newness, under the umbrella management of Ramsay Holdings, the Savoy Grill has reestablished itself as the place to take your parents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, for your agent to take you to sign off your latest book deal or for celebs to meet and tweet. It is an ‘event’ restaurant, for when you want the world to know you’ve made it (again). With banquette tables that make any dinner feel like a date and a menu which is long on comfort and short on modern inventions like ‘fusion eating’ and ‘low fat’, this is a room which swallows you up and invites you to spend a long afternoon wallowing in gloriously saturated fats. – MD The Strand, WC2R 0EU; 020 7592 1600
Quo Vadis In 1926, Italian Pepino Leoni bought the Quo Vadis site at 26 Dean St for £700 and converted the ground floor into a restaurant. Since then it has passed through the hands of several distinguished owners, including Marco Pierre White and Damien Hirst. There’s even a blue plaque on the building with Karl Marx’s name on it. Now run by Sam and Eddie Hart, Quo Vadis is a real old-school charmer, built on the fairly simple premise that consistently good service, great food and comfortable surroundings make for a busy, successful restaurant. Clever, that. From dainty ceviche to garlicky razor clams to fillet of gurnard, the seafood is as good as it gets. The Quo Vadis formula may be a straightforward one, but it works and remains one of the most appealing dining propositions in das kapital (sorry, Karl). – JH 26-29 Dean St, W1D 3LL; 020 7437 9585
DINE IN THE CLOUDS WITHOUT THE SKY HIGH PRICES
B AB YL O N RE S TAUR A NT offers m outh- wa te ring mode rn British cuisine w ith sp ec t a cu la r view s of L ondon’s sky l i ne a nd live ja zz eve ry Tue sday eve ning . Enjoy a 2-course set lunc h menu from Monday – Friday for £20 or 3 courses for £23*. Lunc h b ook in g s a re f rom 12pm - 2.30pm or dinne r from 7pm - 10. 30pm. BOOK A TABLE PHONE: 0207 368 3993
ONLINE: WWW.ROOFGARDENS.VIRGIN.COM BABYLON 7TH FLOOR 99 KENSINGTON HIGH STREET (ENTRANCE OFF DERRY STREET) LONDON W8 5SA *Set lunch menus are subject to availability for groups of 7 or less. Prices are correct at the time of printing.
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The term ‘celebrity chef’ is one of the great irritations of modern life. Wolfgang Puck, however, is both a genuine celebrity and a real chef. I have never eaten a better steak than at his London restaurant simply named Cut. Highlights include wagyu short ribs with Indian spices, slow-cooked for eight hours – spectacular and addictive. Some celebrity restaurant critics have complained about the prices. But A) What did you expect? It’s Wolfgang Puck, on Park Lane, duh. B) I suppose critics have to find something to complain about. And C) ‘Celebrity restaurant critic’? Don’t get me started. What kind of a job is that for a grown man? – MD
The Balcon started off life as the banking hall of Cox & Kings. After a tenure as Brasserie Roux it has recently been relaunched as The Balcon. Situated on the St James’s fringe of hedge fund land, this grand brasserie clearly knows its market. Its two specialities? 1) Meat. 2) Champagne. Before you’ve even reached the restaurant proper, there’s a unique charcuterie table where you can enjoy a meaty cornucopia: from air-dried lomo pork loin to cured Barbary duck. The meat theme is continued on the main menu, which includes such carnivorous delights as beef and foie gras cottage pie, and a cassoulet brim full of succulent Gressingham duck. Drooling yet? Well, I won’t mention the Stilton soufflé, then, which is as light as it is rich. Or the plum tarte tatin with clotted-cream ice cream. (Ooof.) So what of the champers? There’s another tasting table for that too, ideal if you arrive before your other half – and the balcony itself is home to the restaurant’s impressive fizz fridges. Make sure you finish in the superb bar, inspired by Coco Chanel, with a Mademoiselle Cinq cocktail served in a Chanel No 5 perfume bottle. Not sure what they’d have made of it at Cox & Kings, but for the record, my wife loved it. – MH
45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN; 020 7493 4554
Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN; 020 7389 7820
MAYFAIR & ST JAMES’S
1 Lombard Street is where the City meets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s where the City launches new businesses, signs deals and celebrates profits. It’s the place to host a variety of events. It’s even where the City gets married! The main focal point; the bar with the incredible glass dome designed by Pietro Agostini elevates you to be the centre of attention breakfast, lunch or dinner… Espresso, cocktails and light food we serve it all! C O N TA C T E V E N T S O N 0 2 0 7 9 2 9 9 5 1 1 O R E M A I L E V E N T S @ 1 L O M B A R S T R E E T. C O M 1 L O M B A R D S T R E E T, L O N D O N E C 3 V 9 A A • T: 0 2 0 7 9 2 9 6 6 1 1
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34 “One instinctively knows when something is right,” they used to say in the advert for Croft Sherry which will be ever familiar to anyone over 45, and, like Saturday Morning Swap Shop and bankers wearing bowler hats, a complete mystery to anyone under that age. Well, 34, is most definitely “right”. At the first sight of the bespoke charcoal grill imported from Argentina and the menu with its emphasis on Scottish dry-aged grass-fed beef, Australian wagyu, and Argentinean organic grassfed against the backdrop of Martin Brudnizki’s deco design, all worries about the imploding eurozone, China’s hard landing and the unsustainable level of US student debt default were washed away as if by the world’s driest Martini. There is also game, and seafood and a wine list which is excellent, if slightly toppy – but to be honest when the food is this good it would be criminal to pair it with anything recessionary. – MD
34 Grosvenor Sq, W1K 2HD; 020 3350 3434
MAYFAIR & ST JAMES’S
galvin at windows Views of London don’t get much better than the one you’ll find at Galvin at Windows – which looks right into the Queen’s back garden. But to dismiss the Park Lane Hilton’s crowning glory as just a tourist trap for rubbernecks would be a grave error. Because you could serve head chef André Garrett’s food on a garbage bin lid down a dark alley in Dalston and I’d still trample over the Duchess of Cornwall to get my hands on it. While so many tower-top venues rest their laurels on their balconies, there’s no chance of that happening at any of chef patron Chris Galvin’s joints. The Michelin star here is a testament to this, of course. But I don’t think one is enough. Not for the sumptuous ballotine of pork, with pickled apple and mustard, anyway. This definitely deserved two or three stars, in my opinion. Same goes for the tarte tatin which is so big it comes with its own trolley and waiter. – MH 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE; 020 7208 4021
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INDEX Every UK restaurant featured in this guide, listed by name (this page) and location (overleaf)
Name 34 1 Lombard Street Alain Ducasse All Star Lanes Angelus The Balcon Banca Bar Boulud Benares Boisdale Bovey Castle Bubbledogs Burger & Lobster Byron Burger Cassis Bistro China Tang Circus Cote Coworth Park Cut Dabbous Devonshire Terrace The Diner Dinner Dock Kitchen Donostia Eight Bank Eight Moorgate Electric Cinema Embassy and Salon Club Experimental Food Society Fat of the Land Four Seasons (China Town) The Fox Galvin at Windows Granger & Co The Grove Harry’s Bar Hawksmoor Heliot Hibiscus The Icecreamists La Bodega Negra The Ledbury Leon Lima Locanda Locatelli Maddox Club Markham Inn MeatMarket Medlar Morton’s Nobu Northcote The Novel Diner Novikov Ozone Paul A Young Pierre Hermé Pizza Express Plateau Pollen Street Social Portal Poule au Pot Quartier Quo Vadis River Café Rococo Chocolates Roof Gardens The Savoy Grill Scarlet Searcys Selfridges rooftop pop-up Shoreditch House Sichuan Sweetheart STK Stoke Park SushiSamba Sweetings Tentazioni Lloyds Wharf Tramshed The Victoria Viet Grill Workshop Coffee Co
address 34 Grosvenor Square 1 Lombard Street 53 Park Lane 95 Brick Lane 4 Bathurst Street Sofitel St James, 6 Waterloo Place 30 North Audley Street Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge Berkeley Square House 202 Bishopsgate Devon 70 Charlotte Street 29 Clarges Street 1 New Change 232-236 Brompton Road The Dorchester, Park Lane 27-29 Endell Street 45-47 Parsons Green Lane Berkshire 45 Park Lane 39 Whitfield Street 9 Devonshire Square 128-130 Curtain Road Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge 344/342 Ladbroke Grove 10 Seymour Place 1 Change Alley 1 Dysart Street 191 Portobello Road 29 Old Burlington Street
Postcode W1K EC3V W1K E1 W2 SW1Y W1Y SW1X W1J EC2M TQ13 W1T W1J EC4M SW3 W1K WC2H SW6 SL5 W1K W1T EC2M EC2A SW1X W10 W1H EC3V EC2 W11 W1S
35 New Cavendish Street 12 Gerrard Street 372 Kingsland Road London Hilton, 22 Park Lane 175 Westbourne Grove Hertfordshire 26 South Audley Street 57 Commercial Street The Hippodrome, 42-43 Cranbourn Street 29 Maddox Street 23/47 The Market Building 16 Moor Street 127 Ledbury Road 12 Ludgate Circus 31 Rathbone Place 8 Seymour Street 3-5 Mill Street 2 Elystan Street Tavistock Street 438 King’s Road 28 Berkeley Square 19 Old Park Lane Lancashire
W1G W1D E8 W1K W11 WD3 EC2V E1 WC2H W1S WC2E W1D W11 EC4M W1T W1H W1S SW3 WC2E SW10 W1J W1K BB6
50a Berkeley Street 11 Leonard Street 20 The Royal Exchange Lowndes Street 236 Bishopsgate Fourth floor, Canada Place 8-10 Pollen Street 88 St John Street 231 Ebury Street 1 Dysart Street 26-29 Dean Street Rainville Road 5 Motcomb Street 99 Kensington High Street Savoy Hotel, Strand Cornwall 30 Pavilion Road 400 Oxford Street Ebor Street 82 Queensway ME London, 336-337 The Strand Buckinghamshire Heron Tower, 110 Bishop Gate London 39 Queen Victoria Street 2 Mill Street 32 Rivington Street 10 West Temple Sheen 58 Kingsland Road 27 Clerkenwell Road
W1J EC2A EC3V SW1X EC2M E14 W1S EC1M SW1W EC2 W1D W6 SW1X W8 WC2R TR8 SW1X W1A E1 W2 WC2R SL2 EC2N EC4N SE1 EC2A SW14 E2 EC1M
Page 126 115 112 50 97 124 23 40 97 120 107 49 49 97 98 42, 96 109 97 104 124 112 119 50 112 98 50 50 50 50 110 50 50 97 49 126 98 107 96 119 23 103 50 50 96 97 50 96 109 98 49 103 112 96 104 31, 49 23 50 100 100 97 120 100 117 98 117 97, 122 97 100 49, 109 122 107 112 49 110 103 20 104 20 103 103 15, 49 100 97 50
r e s ta u r a n t g u i d e
▼ BY AREA
ay, there’s the grub: (from top) the Italian restaurant at Novikov; Cut’s pan-roasted lobster with black truffles; the view from sushisamba at heron tower; a Damien hirst work at tramshed
Name Experimental Food Society The Novel Diner Stoke Park Scarlet Bovey Castle The Grove Northcote Hawksmoor All Star Lanes Shoreditch House Plateau Viet Grill The Fox Workshop Coffee Co Portal Eight Moorgate Quartier Ozone The Diner Tramshed Boisdale Pizza Express Devonshire Terrace SushiSamba Harry’s Bar Eight Bank 1 Lombard Street Paul A Young Byron Burger Leon Sweetings Tentazioni Lloyds Wharf Medlar The Victoria Poule au Pot Searcys Rococo Chocolates Pierre Hermé Bar Boulud Dinner The Balcon Markham Inn Cassis Bistro Cote Dock Kitchen The Ledbury Granger & Co Electric Cinema Selfridges rooftop pop-up Four Seasons (China Town) La Bodega Negra Quo Vadis Fat of the Land Donostia Locanda Locatelli Morton’s Burger & Lobster Novikov Benares Nobu 34 Cut Alain Ducasse Galvin at Windows China Tang Hibiscus Embassy and Salon Club Maddox Club Pollen Street Social Lima Dabbous Bubbledogs Banca Angelus Sichuan Sweetheart River Café Roof Gardens The Icecreamists MeatMarket Circus Heliot STK The Savoy Grill
Buckinghamshire Cornwall Devon Hertfordshire Lancashire 57 Commercial Street 95 Brick Lane Ebor Street Fourth floor, Canada Place 58 Kingsland Road 372 Kingsland Road 27 Clerkenwell Road 88 St John Street 1 Dysart Street 1 Dysart Street 11 Leonard Street 128-130 Curtain Road 32 Rivington Street 202 Bishopsgate 236 Bishopsgate 9 Devonshire Square Heron Tower, 110 Bishop Gate 26 South Audley Street 1 Change Alley 1 Lombard Street 20 The Royal Exchange 1 New Change 12 Ludgate Circus 39 Queen Victoria Street 2 Mill Street 438 King’s Road 10 West Temple Sheen 231 Ebury Street 30 Pavilion Road 5 Motcomb Street Lowndes Street Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge Sofitel St James, 6 Waterloo Place 2 Elystan Street 232-236 Brompton Road 45-47 Parsons Green Lane 344/342 Ladbroke Grove 127 Ledbury Road 175 Westbourne Grove 191 Portobello Road 400 Oxford Street 12 Gerrard Street 16 Moor Street 26-29 Dean Street 35 New Cavendish Street 10 Seymour Place 8 Seymour Street 28 Berkeley Square 29 Clarges Street 50a Berkeley Street Berkeley Square House 19 Old Park Lane 34 Grosvenor Square 45 Park Lane 53 Park Lane London Hilton, 22 Park Lane The Dorchester, Park Lane 29 Maddox Street 29 Old Burlington Street 3-5 Mill Street 8-10 Pollen Street 31 Rathbone Place 39 Whitfield Street 70 Charlotte Street 30 North Audley Street 4 Bathurst Street 82 Queensway Thames Wharf, Rainville Road 99 Kensington High Street 23/47 The Market Building Tavistock Street 27-29 Endell Street The Hippodrome, 42-43 Cranbourn Street ME London, 336-337 The Strand Savoy Hotel, Strand
SL2 TR8 TQ13 WD3 BB6 E1 E1 E1 E14 E2 E8 EC1M EC1M EC2 EC2 EC2A EC2A EC2A EC2M EC2M EC2M EC2N EC2V EC3V EC3V EC3V EC4M EC4M EC4N SE1 SW10 SW14 SW1W SW1X SW1X SW1X SW1X SW1X SW1Y SW3 SW3 SW6 W10 W11 W11 W11 W1A W1D W1D W1D W1G W1H W1H W1J W1J W1J W1J W1K W1K W1K W1K W1K W1K W1S W1S W1S W1S W1T W1T W1T W1Y W2 W2 W6 W8 WC2E WC2E WC2H WC2H WC2R WC2R
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