LINO, Smithfield Market

You’ll get lost finding LINO. We sure did. This new restaurant and bar is hidden round the back of Smithfield Market in an old Lino warehouse in a maze of new developments which aren’t quite finished. It’s worth finding though. It’s warehouse chic but there’s an authenticity about it. Taking up the centre of this huge, lofty space is a clover leaf-shaped bar. The music … Continue reading LINO, Smithfield Market

Crispin, Spitalfields

Crispin is a café and restaurant in a beautifully angular building just next to Spitalfields Market. The guys who opened it also own Lundenwic coffee shop on Aldwych and Borough Market scotch egg stall, Scotchtails. The acute angle-vibes continue inside which give you plenty to look at. Bags of coffee beans sit on the steel rafters to make use of any available space and there … Continue reading Crispin, Spitalfields

Cakes & Bubbles, Hotel Café Royal

Things are looking good for the Hotel Café Royal at the minute. They’ve opened Laurent, serving steak and sushi (lush) and the lobby has undergone a dashing makeover giving the hotel the grand entrance it always deserved. The latest edition to this Piccadilly stalwart is Cakes & Bubbles, a café-cum-restaurant serving, as you may have guessed, desserts and Champagne. It’s the creation of Albert Adriá, … Continue reading Cakes & Bubbles, Hotel Café Royal

Red Farm, Covent Garden

“RedFarm brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern and inventive Chinese food” says their website. Whatever that means. The potential for this import from New York to be a bit crap is quite high. (This is their first in the UK, next to Balthazar in Covent Garden). But it’s actually loads of fun. Dishes like pork and crab xiaolongbao (£8), that’s those soup dumplings which are … Continue reading Red Farm, Covent Garden

Hicce, Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard has really put King’s Cross on London’s culinary map. Whether it’s chocolates from Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, croquetas from Barrafina, tacos at Plaza Pastor or a Vermouth or three at Anthony Demetre’s Vermuteria, go north and you’ll be well fed and watered. Inside CDY’s trendiest shop Wolf & Badger you’ll find Hicce, taking up the entire third floor. It’s from business partners … Continue reading Hicce, Coal Drops Yard

Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London

Tom Kerridge has quite the restaurant empire. Over in Marlow, Buckhimshire he has the two Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers. Up the road he now owns a butchers called The Butcher’s Tap and a pub, The Coach. The latest addition is Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in one of London’s finest hotels, Corinthia Hotel London. Kerridge’s wife, Beth is an sculptor and the dining room is filled … Continue reading Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London

The Drop, Coal Drops Yard

The clever Harts Brothers have taken on quite the challenge, opening a host of restaurants in the new Coal Drops Yard development in Kings Cross. There’s Plaza Pastor and Casa Pastor, serving tacos and rotisserie chicken, a new Barrafina and a wine bar-cum-restaurant called The Drop. Inside is a cosy spot; all exposed brick in low-ceiling arches. At one end there’s a counter to perch … Continue reading The Drop, Coal Drops Yard

Salcombe Gin School

I first heard of Salcombe Gin when a small group of ‘press’ were invited to Lympstone Manor. Here, we tried their limited edition, specially crafted, Arabella Gin created with chef and owner of Lympstone, Michael Caines. We had a lunch of crab raviolo, guinea fowl with Summer vegetables and lemon polenta cake (that place now has a Michelin star, it’s gorgeous FYI) while doing a … Continue reading Salcombe Gin School

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

I went to Cora Pearl for a weekday dinner when it first opened and loved it. Beautiful room, warm service and tasty grub – nothing not to like. I was excited then to hear this sister restaurant to Kitty Fisher’s is now serving Sunday lunch. Their ham and cheese toastie (£7.50) has become quite a ‘thing’. For good reason. But it’s the daintier dishes that show … Continue reading Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

Harry’s Bar, James Street

Harry’s Bar on James Street (just by Selfridges) is inspired by its namesake, the fancy Mayfair private members’ club Harry’s Bar, that opened on South Audley Street in the 70s. It’s the brainchild of Richard Caring. He’s been rolling out Ivy Cafés/Brasseries/Grills like there’s no tomorrow and I imagine he’ll be doing the same here. But panic not, this ain’t no crap chain. It’s rather … Continue reading Harry’s Bar, James Street

Kym’s, Bloomberg Arcade

The much loved A.Wong, now Michelin-starred, has just got itself a sister restaurant, over in Bloomberg Arcade. It joins a whole host of brilliant spots to eat: Koya, Brigadiers, Homeslice and the best burger in London: Bleecker. Kym’s specialises in Chinese roast meats and is backed by Chris Miller of White Rabbit Fund. You may recognise that chap from BBC Two’s Million Pound Menu. It’s … Continue reading Kym’s, Bloomberg Arcade

SUSHISAMBA, Amsterdam

We’re in Amsterdam for a few days, staying at the new Soho House, which comes highly recommended. (You don’t need to be a member to stay there FY)I. A pleasant 20 minute stroll away is SUSHISAMBA. We start with a Smoked Plum Negroni and green bean tempura with black truffle aioli (£8) out on the terrace. We’re right by the canal watching the peddle boat … Continue reading SUSHISAMBA, Amsterdam

Maison Bab, Covent Garden

Maison Bab is a “modern kebab house” from friends Stephen Tozer (ex city) and Ed Brunet (ex Le Gavroche). Based in Covent Garden, opposite Temper, it’s a looker inside; tall ceiling, open kitchen and Tom Dixon-inspired copper light shades. I arrive a touch hungover which is handy as a kebab is the perfect fix. We start with a naan bread drenched in meat butter (£4.50). … Continue reading Maison Bab, Covent Garden

Kitchen W8, Kensington

Kitchen W8, that Kensington neighbourhood restaurant which has held a Michelin star since 2011, is fresh from a smartly appointed refurb. The elegant dining room has had a lick of paint and some fresh linen and the result is splendid. We are however the youngest people in there by a country mile. It’s all white hair and people who don’t realise it’s their mobile ringing. … Continue reading Kitchen W8, Kensington