Cliveden House

Cliveden House is a stately home in Taplow, not too far from Bray, and after a rather illustrious past (it’s where much of the Profumo affair took place) it’s now owned by the National Trust and leased as a five star hotel. It’s still very much a work in progress; some of the grounds were in the middle of being renovated and the hotel entrance … Continue reading Cliveden House

Rivea, Knightsbridge

Rivea (pronounced like Nivea FYI), is the second UK restaurant from Alain Ducasse – after his three Michelin starred eponymous restaurant in the Dorchester. This one also has a swanky location, in the Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge down in the basement. A hotel restaurant in the basement is never an easy thing to pull off. We shouldn’t have been so pessimistic however – as we … Continue reading Rivea, Knightsbridge

Manchester House

You may be familiar with the head chef of Manchester House, Aiden Byrne if you watched BBC’s Restaurant Wars. The program saw him battling against Simon Rogan to gain a Michelin star in Manchester – the first the city will have seen for over forty years. Both are yet to receive such praise however. The restaurant is on the second floor of what seems like … Continue reading Manchester House

The Royal Opera House: Afternoon Tea

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden has started serving afternoon tea in the Paul Hamlyn Hall, which is that magnificently grand part of the building with the glass arched roof. As I love a bit of tea slurping and cake guzzling, I was kindly invited down to try it out – sorry Jay! It’s such a beautiful space; if like me you have a … Continue reading The Royal Opera House: Afternoon Tea

The Fat Duck, Bray

Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck is one of only four three Michelin starred restaurants in the UK and it resides in the Berkshire village of Bray, which is also home to The Waterside Inn (another three starred restaurant which I loved). The dining room is very much not what I expected; it has an old fashioned charm about it (it’s a listed building don’t you … Continue reading The Fat Duck, Bray

Searcys at The Gherkin

To celebrate their 10th year at the top of the Gherkin, Searcys (a private members club) have opened their restaurant on the 39th floor to the public for seven weeks – hoorah! I was kindly invited along to a preview lunch to see what it’s all about. My first visit to the Gherkin was a really impressive one, but a lot has changed since then. … Continue reading Searcys at The Gherkin

Typing Room, Bethnal Green

Backed by none other than Jason Atherton, Typing Room is the new restaurant which replaces Viajante in the Bethnal Green Town Hall. I was really sad to hear Nuno Mendes (now of Chiltern Firehouse fame) was closing Viajante as it was such a unique and exciting restaurant. Intrigued as ever by a new opening, we popped down for lunch to see what head chef Lee … Continue reading Typing Room, Bethnal Green

City Social, Tower 42

Based in Tower 42, City Social is the latest restaurant from serial restaurateur Jason Atherton (he also owns Michelin starred Pollen Street Social and Social Eating House, along with Berners Tavern and Little Social). It replaces the old Gary Rhodes restaurant but the place is totally unrecognisable – thank God! We arrived at the 24th floor (only half way up the building) and not only … Continue reading City Social, Tower 42

Midsummer House, Cambridge

Midsummer House is a two Michelin star restaurant in Cambridge which is owned by head chef Daniel Clifford (whom you might know from BBC’s Great British Menu). We first experienced Daniel’s food at the Cube by Electrolux pop-up on the Southbank and loved it, so we were really excited to finally be visiting his restaurant. Situated right by the river, it was a really beautiful … Continue reading Midsummer House, Cambridge

The Criterion

Based in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, The Criterion has been around for what feels like forever; it first opened its doors in 1874. It’s one of those old fashioned London “institutions” that I’ve always wanted to try but never got round to, so as my parents and I were in need of a pre-theatre dinner, I thought it would be the perfect chance to … Continue reading The Criterion

Rules, Covent Garden

Established in 1798, Rules is London’s oldest restaurant and even featured in an episode of Downton Abbey; the highlight of a long and lustrous existence you could say (jovial winky face!). It was a handsome restaurant with velour banquette seating and plush carpets. Hundreds of framed pictures and paintings, along with deer heads, hung on the wood panelled walls; it felt like old fashioned glamour. … Continue reading Rules, Covent Garden

Sixty One

Sixty One is the latest restaurant from the Searcys group (they run the restaurant at the top of the Gherkin) and it’s based inside an unassuming looking hotel near Marble Arch, called the Montcalm. It was a pretty restaurant inside and although the place was quiet during my weekday lunch, the atmosphere didn’t feel awkward; it was relaxed and almost tranquil. There were straw placemats … Continue reading Sixty One

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

Father and daughter duo Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina own their eponymous restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain and have held their three Michelin star status for over twenty years. Rather than open their own venture over here, they’ve instead decided to oversee a restaurant, thus creating Ametsa with Arzak Instruction – not the most exciting name ever created! The restaurant is based in … Continue reading Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

Gymkhana, Mayfair

I’d heard many a good thing about Mayfair based Gymkhana, an Indian restaurant by the people behind Michelin starred Trishna. We’d had a cracking meal at their sister restaurant so I had high hopes for our lunch – and we left far from disappointed. The ground floor dining room had a touch of colonial India about it with 1920’s music playing in the background. There … Continue reading Gymkhana, Mayfair

Aqua Kyoto

What with the hugely successful openings of Aqua Shard and Hutong in the Shard building it’s easy to forget that Aqua also have two existing restaurants on the fifth floor of the former Dickins and Jones department store opposite the Palladium theatre. There’s Aqua Nueva, a contemporary Spanish restaurant and Aqua Kyoto, which offers Japanese fare. The latter has recently acquired a new head chef … Continue reading Aqua Kyoto