10 spring date ideas for London foodies

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From food market grazing to lunch by the river, here are ten foodie dates ideas to try this spring.

Boundary, Shoreditch / Treats from Southbank Centre Food Market

Boundary, Shoreditch / Treats from Southbank Centre Food Market

Sip cocktails on the roof – Make the most of the after-work sunshine with a drink on the roof at rooftop bars like Radio, Aqua Kyoto, Madison and Golden Bee. If you fancy more than just drinks, book a table at Boundary in Shoreditch and enjoy Mediterranean dishes under the grape vines and fairy lights.

Pick up a posh picnic and head to the park – What better way to spend a spring afternoon than stretched out on a rug, soaking up the sun? Pack your own picnic or stock up on gourmet goodies at Mount Street Deli, Melrose & Morgan, Brompton Food Market, or the deli at Holborn Dining Room. If you’re heading for Hampstead Heath, stop for a drink at The Bull & Last and then pick up a hamper to take away.

Eat your way along the Southbank – After a cruise down the Thames or a stroll in the sunshine, skip the chain restaurants and dine in style at Skylon or check out the new Southbank Centre food market. In May, head to Southbank for Streets of Spain – a four-day fiesta of Spanish food and fun.

Brunch at Blixen / Canalside dining at The Summerhouse

Brunch at Blixen / Canalside dining at The Summerhouse

Enjoy a luxe lunch for less Try some of London’s top restaurants without blowing the budget by dining off-peak. If you like the idea of a leisurely lunch date, you can dine for under £30 a head at critically acclaimed restaurants like Bar Boulud, Fera at Claridge’sSpring and The Savoy Grill.

Dine by the river – Spring is the perfect time to check out one of London’s watererside restaurants. Surprise your date with dinner overlooking the Thames at Northbank or Sunday lunch at Ramsay’s riverside gastropub, The Narrow. The Canalway Cavalcade descends on Little Venice over the May Bank Holiday weekend – a perfect excuse for lunch at The Summerhouse.

Kick-start the weekend with a boozy brunch Swap your green juice and granola for something a little more indulgent, like eggs Benedict with smoked pork belly at HotBox or blueberry pancakes at Blixen. You can banish a hangover or settle those first date nerves with the bottomless Prosecco option at New Street Grill, Flesh & Buns, and Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings.

Watch the sun set over the city – It might not be original, but dinner with a view never fails to impress. Splash out on a sky-high table for two at Sushisamba or dine in the shadow of the Shard at The Rooftop Café.

Borough Market / Cocktail at Shrub & Shutter, Brixton

Borough Market / Cocktail at Shrub & Shutter, Brixton

Graze your way around a food market – Spend a lazy morning snacking on street food or stocking up on seasonal veg and artisan treats to cook at home. Head to Borough Market bright and early to beat the crowds or head to your local farmers’ market. There are loads to discover, from Brockley to Broadway, plus our personal favourite – Malby Street, home to St John Bakery and salt beef specialists Monty’s Deli.

Work up an appetite at Regent’s Park – Take to the water in a boat or pedalo on the Regent’s Park boating lake – it’s only £9 an hour! Then stroll to Marylebone for lunch at Trishna or tea and cake at Fischer’s.

Discover a new foodie neighbourhood – Dine outside your postcode and discover hidden gems in another part of London. Have Sunday lunch at an Islington gastropub, get dolled up for a Shoreditch cocktail crawl, or explore foodie hot spots like Exmouth Market and Brixton Village.

Have you got any suggestions for great foodie date ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Enter our St George’s Day competition to win a Godminster hamper

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In a nod to St George’s Day, we’re celebrating great British food by giving away a fabulous Godminster Hamper from Borough Box worth £75. It’s packed with award-winning Somerset cheddar, chutney, crackers, fruit cake and blackcurrant vodka – perfect for a spring picnic!

SmallHamperTo win, tell us about your best ever British meal in the comments section below. Was it a Sunday roast you cooked yourself? A knock-out meal at a British restaurant? Or maybe fish and chips by the seaside?

You can enter until midnight on April 30th and the winner will be announced on May 1st. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions and get scribbling!

Tags: City Guides, Featured, London. Total of 192 comments in the discussion.

Cocktails in the City returns to Manchester

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After 2014′s sold out show, Cocktails in the City returns to Manchester for two evenings of drink-fuelled debauchery on May 14-15th. In the urban chic surroundings of the Great Northern Warehouse, there will be demos, tastings, live music, and the chance to try new cocktails created by twenty hand-picked bars.

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The £10 entry ticket includes a drink on arrival and after that you can buy drinks specially created for the occasion by bartenders from Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, Hawksmoor, The Alchemist and Keko Moku. On the main stage this year, expert mixologist will be mixing up classic disco drinks, low-cal cocktails, and ‘breakfast club’ tipples for the morning after the night before!

There will be street food traders at the event, but if you fancy something more substantial, check out our list of restaurants in Manchester. Bag yourself a table at new openings like Hawksmoor and Iberica or try OpenTable award winners like Cane & Grain, Albert’s Shed or La Bandera.

Cocktails in the City will be popping up in London in July and Edinburgh in October. Tickets are available on the website and they sell out fast so don’t miss out!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, Food Events & Festivals, Manchester. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Celebrate Songkran at one of the UK’s top Thai restaurants

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From April 13th to 15th, Songkran (Thai New Year) will be celebrated all over Thailand with traditional parades, feasts and water fights. While we’d love to be celebrating it in Bangkok, we reckon it’s a great excuse to get some friends together for a Thai meal and a few Chang beers. Book a table at your favourite local Thai restaurant or check out our top picks for Thai food around the UK.

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Kinkao, London – An East End gem nestled amongst the curry houses on Brick Lane.
Krua Khun Mae, Edinburgh – Home-style Thai cooking and friendly service in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Bangkok Orchid, Manchester – Don’t miss the fragrant seafood dishes at this local favourite in Stockport.
Mango Tree, London – An award-winning, upscale Thai restaurant. Perfect for special occasions!
Thai Orchid, Glasgow – An oasis of calm in the heart of the city. Try their delicious seafood tempura.
Sabai Thai Gastrobar, Brighton – Treat yourself to spicy salads and stir-fries after a stroll on the beach.

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Try Thai, Manchester – Enjoy exotic cocktails and authentic Thai dishes in a buzzy, modern setting.
Fat Buddha, Newcastle – This Asian bar and kitchen is a great spot for classic curries and Pad Thai noodles.
Patara, London – Dine by candlelight at this elegant Thai restaurant in the heart of Soho.
Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn, Glasgow – A top spot for fresh, tasty Thai food and tropical tiki cocktails.
Thai Edge, Birmingham – Locals love the fiery jungle curry and wok-fried prawns at this Brindleyplace gem.
Sukho, London – An ideal spot for a mid-week treat. Try the soft shell crab with shredded papaya.

We’d love to hear about your favourite Thai restaurants in the comments below. If you need more inspiration, try a search on OpenTable or ask our experts on twitter.

Tags: Birmingham, City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, Food Events & Festivals, London, Manchester. Total of no comments in the discussion.

100 dinners. 30 cities. #100opentables happens tonight!

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At OpenTable, we believe that many of life’s richest moments happen around the restaurant table. In celebration of this sentiment and our recent rebrand, we gave away 100 one-of-a-kind dining experiences in 30 cities, from dinner at the chef’s table at Daniel in New York to an unforgettable evening at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London – and they’re all happening this evening.

100opentables

To see what happens around the tables tonight, follow the hashtag #100opentables on Instagram and twitter and get inspired to create your own unforgettable experience with friends and family!

After an overwhelming number of entries and interest, we thank everyone for their participation. Congratulations to the UK winners* of the #100opentables experiences:

Table for 2 at City Social, Liverpool Street - Hanna B.
Table for 2 at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge – Ann M.
Table for 2 at Hutong, London Bridge – Ashleigh G.
Table for 2 at Kurobuta, Marble Arch – Rita M.
Table for 2 at The Dairy, Clapham - Javier E.
Table for 2 at The Manor, Clapham – Nicole C.
Table for 4 at The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell - Melissa W.
Table for 2 at Portland, Fitzrovia – Jaya H.
Table for 2 at Restaurant Story, London Bridge – Kerry S.
Table for 4 at St. John, Clerkenwell – Lia G.

For a list of #100opentables winners in America and Canada, please visit our US blog.

*To protect winners’ privacy, we are not disclosing their full names. To receive a Winner list for any Giveaway, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by April 30, 2015, to: OpenTable, Inc., Attn: Marketing Department — #100opentables Giveaway, 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104, indicating the Giveaway(s) for which you’d like to receive the Winner list.

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

RestaurantFEED: OpenTable restaurant news

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The Duck & Rice opens on April 13th – Alan Yau, founder of Hakkasan and Yauatcha, opens his latest venture opens on Berwick Street in Soho next week. He told the Evening Standard that The Duck & Rice is a ‘proper pub with a Chinese kitchen’, so expect quality ales and lagers alongside Chinese comfort food dishes like five spice fried chicken, dim sum and classic crispy duck.

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Mark Sargeant takes the reins at The Strand Dining Rooms – Celeb chef and restaurateur Mark Sargeant has joined The Strand Dining Rooms as chef director. To complement the restaurant’s location and décor, he has introduced a new menu of modern British dishes like whole roast wood pigeon, The Strand Fish Pie, and a 1kg Porterhouse steak for two to share.

Purnell to open new Birmingham restaurant – Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell plans to open a new restaurant at Harvey Nichols, according to the Birmingham Mail. The huge new Mailbox store opens in July.

Street Feast to launch Dinerama in ShoreditchStreet Feast have announced plans for a huge new street food pop-up in Shoreditch. Opening on Great Eastern Street in May, Dinerama will be open five days a week with six bars, six permanent diners and six food shacks serving some of London’s finest street food.

Risotto Milanese with osso buco at Café Murano.

Risotto Milanese with osso buco at Café Murano.

Second Café Murano to open in Covent Garden – Angela Hartnett is opening a second Café Murano in Covent Garden with Richard Lloyd (ex-Hartnett, Holder & Co) at the helm. Spread over two floors, the restaurant will offer an all-Italian wine list and the menu will focus on dishes from northern Italy’s coastal regions.

Bruno Loubet opens Grain Store Unleashed – Chef Bruno Loubet has transformed his popular French bistro into an experimental offshoot of his King’s Cross restaurant, Grain Store. Promising adventurous dishes where vegetables are the star of the show, Grain Store Unleashed is open at The Zetter Hotel for a limited time only.

Tags: Birmingham, City Guides, Featured, London, RestaurantFEED. Total of no comments in the discussion.