Isla at The Standard, London

London is full of exciting new hotel openings right now. You’ve got the Hoxton Southwark, Mama Shelter in Shoreditch, The Biltmore in Mayfair and The Stratford in, er, Stratford. Head over to King’s Cross and you’ll find the first UK outpost from The Standard. It takes over the old Camden Town Hall right opposite King’s Cross station. A little less glamorous than its Downtown LA, … Continue reading Isla at The Standard, London

Mollie’s Motel and Diner

Soho House can do no wrong in my eyes. From the recently refurbished original Soho House to the Electric Cinema in Portobello Road to White City House to The Ned – I love them all and I’m not even a member! Here, we have their latest opening, a roadside motel and diner by the name of Mollie’s. It sits next to the BP Garage on … Continue reading Mollie’s Motel and Diner

Osteria Francescana, Modena

I’ve been working front of house for nearly a year now. I’ve written about eating in restaurants for yonks but never before considered the difficulty involved in the day to day running of one. It’s been a steep and fascinating learning curve. Shortly after employing me, Oisín Rogers, general manager of the Guinea Grill, gave me Danny Meyer’s Setting the Table. In this book the … Continue reading Osteria Francescana, Modena

Bob Bob Cité

The pairing for this new restaurant inside London’s Cheesegrater, or Leadenhall Building as it’s officially known, is my dream team. It brings together the restaurateur behind Bob Bob Ricard; that ultra glitz, all-booth Soho stalwart, and Eric Chavot, whose French food I fell in love with at the now-closed Brasserie Chavot. Lovers of Bob Bob’s pomp will wet their undies when they step inside this … Continue reading Bob Bob Cité

Hakkasan Hanway Place

This is the original Hakkasan, based, you guessed it, in Hanway Place, which is a piddle-riddled alley just behind Tottenham Court Road. The Hakkasan restaurant empire has grown to 12 restaurants worldwide but this one has been here since 2001. On one of the hottest days of the year, there is no finer place to have lunch than in Hakkasan’s air conditioned basement. Outside it’s … Continue reading Hakkasan Hanway Place

Le Meurice – Alain Ducasse, Paris

Le Meurice, part of the Dorchester Collection, is just a short walk from the Louvre museum in Paris. The hotel houses a two Michelin starred restaurant by Alain Ducasse in one of the most beautiful and opulent dining rooms I’ve ever encountered. It is simply stunning. It’s a jacket and ‘tie preferred’ kind of place yet it doesn’t feel stuffy; service is friendly and relaxed … Continue reading Le Meurice – Alain Ducasse, Paris

Kutir, Chelsea

London’s doing well for fancy Indian restaurants right now. There’s Chutney Mary, which has settled well into its new St James’s home, Gymkhana and Trishna from the always-reliable JKS group and recently-refurbished Tamarind in Mayfair. Another one for your posh popadom list is Kutir in Chelsea. It replaces Vineet Bhatia London, which I liked, with new owner Rohit Ghai keeping a similar dinner-at-someone’s-house vibe. The … Continue reading Kutir, Chelsea

The Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden

Ex MasterChef: The Professionals contestant, Adam Handling, has grown quite the restaurant empire. There’s The Frog in Covent Garden, The Frog in Hoxton Square, his zero-waste coffee shop, Bean and Wheat, just next door and most recently Restaurant Adam Handling at Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea. This visit is to Covent Garden to try his new menu. But first, we head to the basement for … Continue reading The Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden

The Hind’s Head, Bray

Apart from a thoroughly decent Easter chocolate range at Waitrose (that chocolate teapot was lush) Heston Blumenthal’s been a bit quiet as of late. He’s had no UK openings for some time. What he has got is a collection of great restaurants that have been consistently-so for a while. One of those is his Michelin starred pub in Bray, Berkshire, just a few doors down … Continue reading The Hind’s Head, Bray

Tamarind Mayfair

Tamarind has recently undergone a ravishing, multimillion pound makeover. There are now two dining options when visiting this Mayfair Indian stalwart; upstairs for lunch or downstairs for dinner. Up (where we go) is a rather bright and airy affair with views of the neighbouring rooftops. In the basement it’s more sexy with an open kitchen for added drama. We’re prepared a mini tasting of highlights from … Continue reading Tamarind Mayfair

Roe, Brixton

Pop Brixton has been home to a good few restaurants now. It’s where Kricket rose to fame and Smoke & Salt has gone from strength to strength. A new edition to this shipping container village, just behind Brixton station, is Roe. Given its location, don’t expect hyper luxury. The long, narrow space is well utilised though with two communal tables and a kitchen at the … Continue reading Roe, Brixton