London Cocktail Week kicks off today with a packed schedule of booze-fuelled parties and masterclasses, plus £5 cocktails at hundreds of top cocktail bars. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve picked three of the best drinks to try, plus some of the best events and places to eat nearby.
The Chargrilled Buck at Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar
You can pick up your wristband at the London Cocktail Week village – a maze of bespoke bars, drinks trucks, and pop-ups in Spitalfields Market. Then head to Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar for a Chargrilled Buck made with Chivas 12 year old whisky, charred pineapple syrup, lime, cardamom bitters, and ginger ale. Stick around for steaks upstairs or return to Spitalfields for dinner at Blixen or Wright Brothers.
The Butter & Mint Drop at Aqua Nueva
Aqua Nueva is serving a seriously decadent mix of Tanqueray Ten washed with butter fat, homemade tiramisu syrup, and mint soda. You can watch the sun set over Soho from their roof terrace and then walk to Kingly Court for dinner and drinks at Senor Ceviche, The Rum Kitchen, or Cinnamon Soho. Round out the evening at the World Class Bar at the LCW hub on Poland Street where you’ll find the Tanqueray Art Deco Bar, the Ketel One Vodka Kitchen, and more!
The Shrub and Shutter at … The Shrub and Shutter
After shaking up a French Martini at the Chambord pop-up at Sovereign Loss, stroll over to The Shrub and Shutter for their LCW cocktail made with El Dorado rum, Chartreuse, maraschino, lime, fennel sugar and cucumber shrub. Their food is fantastic so you can stick around for dinner or keep the crawl going and grab a bite to eat at Nanban, MasterChef winner Tim Anderson’s new izakaya and ramen shop.
You can follow @LDNCocktailWeek for drinkspiration on twitter, and if you need restaurant recs along the way, tweet our experts at @OpenTableUK or download our app.
To celebrate World Vegetarian Day, we have released a list of the top 40 vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the UK. From fine dining destinations to neighbourhood gems, these restaurants are perfect for diners craving a meat-free meal.
Halloumi, avocado and mango salad at Food for Friends, Brighton.
Last year it was revealed that 1 in 8 Brits follow a vegetarian diet, so UK restaurants have had to up their game and offer a wider selection of vegetarian dishes on their menus. The ubiquitous mushroom risotto and bland pasta dishes have been replaced by dishes like RAW’s courgetti with red pepper sauce and the veggie ‘chorizo’ Scotch egg at Grain Store.
Our list includes top London vegetarian restaurants like The Gate and Vanilla Black, as well as veggie-friendly newcomers like Lotus and Hungry Donkey. Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI made the cut, as did his Mediterranean deli-cafes in Spitalfields and Islington.
Looking for a restaurant that caters for vegetarians and carnivores alike? There’s plenty for both to enjoy at The Modern Pantry, Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store, and Arabica Bar & Kitchen in Borough Market.
Outside the capital, vegetarian diners are spoilt for choice at Tierra Kitchen in Dorset, the River Cottage Canteen in Bristol, and the award-winning Food for Friends in Brighton.
Click here to view the full list.
Home to the National Collection of Modern Art in the North, Tate Liverpool is one of the most popular galleries outside London. The collection is displayed in a former warehouse in Albert Dock and the fourth floor offers spectacular views across the Mersey. If you’re planning a trip to Liverpool, it’s definitely worth a visit and there are some great restaurants nearby. Here are ten of the best:
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
– Alma de Cuba – Enjoy the vibrant flavours of Cuba and Latin America in a stunning converted church.
– CAU – Craving steak? Head to CAU for delicious Argentinean beef, empanadas and swordfish carpaccio.
– Panoramic Restaurant 34 – Fantastic food, slick service, and unrivalled views of the Liverpool skyline.
– Miss Kitty’s – Snack on dim sum, Peking duck and katsu curry at this not-so-hidden Fleet Street gem.
– Slim’s Pork Chop Express – Swing by Slim’s for brunch or to try their British take on American BBQ.
– Camp and Furnace – A top spot for a Sunday roast. Save room for their indulgent sticky toffee pudding.
– Maray – Seasonal small plates and cocktails in a laid-back setting. Lots of choice for vegetarians!
– Bem Brasil – Carnivores will love this Brazilian churrascaria where grilled meats are carved tableside.
– Circo – A circus-themed bar that offers cocktails, afternoon tea and cabaret dinner shows.
– Malmaison Brasserie – Enjoy steak frites, fritto misto and more at this chic hotel brasserie in Princes Dock.
For more inspiration, try a search on OpenTable or ask one of our restaurant experts on Facebook or twitter. If there’s somewhere you would like us to cover in our next guide, let us know in the comments!
From spicy Thai stir-fries to Friday night curries, it’s no secret that us Brits like a little spice. If you’re hungry for heat, here are six London restaurants that will definitely get you hot under the collar.
BarShu – Bringing authentic Sichuan flavours to London’s West End, BarShu is a firm favourite with diners who like to feel the burn. Their Dan Dan noodles are guaranteed to get your lips tingling and the ‘fragrant chicken in a pile of chillies’ is as hot as it sounds. Their fish and seafood dishes are excellent, so be brave and try the sea bass in sizzling chilli oil or the ‘lavishly spicy’ shell-on prawns.
Busaba Eathai – Perfect for lunch or a mid-week treat, Busaba serves classic crowd-pleasers like pad Thai and mussaman duck curry. If you fancy something with extra heat, try the chilli beef rice with Thai basil, their authentic som tam salad, or the chicken and butternut squash stir-fry with dried chilli.
Aladin Brick Lane – If you love a curry with a kick, head to Brick Lane and get your chilli fix at Aladin, one of the most popular spots on the Curry Mile. They serve a properly punchy jalfrezi, a killer lamb vindaloo, and the infamous phall – a searingly hot curry that will have you begging for a lassi.
SUDA Thai – Just a stone’s throw from Leicester Square, SUDA is a top spot for traditional Thai dishes and exotic cocktails. If you really want to feel the burn, order the pad kraprao (chicken, beef or duck in a feisty chili and basil sauce) or the jungle curry – a Northern Thai curry made without coconut milk so it’s extra fiery.
Silk Road – With rave reviews from food bloggers and critics alike, Silk Road serves rustic, flavour-packed dishes from China’s Xinjiang province. Take a gang of adventurous mates on a trip to Camberwell and get stuck into the legendary ‘big plate chicken’ and home-style cabbage with preserved chilli. Save room for the cumin-spiced lamb skewers – they’re so good you’ll probably need two portions.
Red Dog Saloon – Feeling brave? Head to this Hoxton BBQ joint and take on the hot wing challenge. Only a handful of heat-seekers have managed to polish off these hot wings made with fresh naga viper chillies.
Where’s your favourite place for a spice fix? Let us know in the comments below.
The Fat Duck gets ready to relaunch – After an eight month stint in Melbourne, Heston Blumenthal and his team will reopen The Fat Duck in Bray on September 29th. In an interview with Jay Rayner, Blumenthal reveals that iconic dishes like snail porridge and the egg and bacon ice-cream will be put into a hall of fame to make way for new creations, including a robotic sweet trolley in the shape of a doll’s house.
Photo Credit: Alex Lentati for the Evening Standard.
British food museum to open in London – Bompas and Parr are set to open the British Museum of Food at Borough Market next month, with plans to move to a larger site after four years. Visitors can look forward to an archive of historic British menus, a food art gallery, and ‘an immersive journey of food into the stomach’.
Fine dining restaurant, Quill, to open in Manchester – Curtis Stewart (formerly of Foxhill Manor) has been named as head chef of Quill, a new £1m restaurant in Manchester. Set to open on King Street on October 30th, the restaurant will serve an a la carte and eight-course tasting menu of modern British dishes.
SRA launches new Food Made Good campaign – The Sustainable Restaurant Association launched a new campaign this month which encourages restaurants to be open with diners about the provenance of their food. The Food Made Good website shows which restaurants are doing their part and encourages diners to make a pledge – for example, to ask if fish is sustainably sourced or to choose tap water over bottled.
Mezze at Comptoir Libanais and Brazilian skewers at Cabana
Restaurants and bars opening soon:
– Ex-Cinnamon Club chef Abdul Yaseen will open his first solo restaurant, Darbaar, in the City this winter.
– 1847 opens in Bristol very soon, serving innovative vegetarian and vegan dishes.
– Asian fish and seafood restaurant, Sexy Fish, opens in Mayfair on October 19th.
– The Printing Press, a modern Scottish bar and kitchen, opens in Edinburgh in late October.
– The team behind Gymkhana will open Hoppers in Soho on October 28th. It will serve dishes inspired by the roadside street food shacks of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, with a focus on hoppers and dosas.
– Cabana and Comptoir Libanais will open in Manchester this autumn, followed by Busaba in early 2016.
– 45 Jermyn Street will open at Fortnum & Mason next month, replacing The Fountain.
Got some UK food news we should know about? Tell us on twitter or in the comments below.
The Rugby World Cup kicks off this Friday and for the next six weeks, the games will be shown in packed pubs and homes all over London. If the bar snacks at your local aren’t up to scratch, here are seven restaurants where you can enjoy fantastic food without missing a minute of the action.
Heddon Street Kitchen – Watch the games at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant just off Regent Street and enjoy a pint of Heineken with fish and chips or one of four burgers for £15. Choose from pork belly with black pudding; haggis with single malt gravy; salt beef brisket; or fiery Welsh lamb and rarebit.
M Grill – This Friday, head straight to M Restaurants near Bank for their World Cup opening party. There’s live music after the England v Fiji match and tickets are £25 (including a drink on arrival followed by a beer and a burger), with £10 going to City charity The School of Hard Knocks.
Paternoster Chop House – This popular restaurant behind St Paul’s Cathedral will be screening the matches and offering two pints of London Meantime with their Ultimate Cure Board (piled high with cured meats) for just £20. (You might recognise the restaurant from Channel 4’s First Dates.)
Ealing Park Tavern – This West London gastropub is throwing an opening party complete with a 72 inch screen and a BBQ up and running from 6pm. (Get the special – the Rib ‘n’ Shin burger with a bottle of Long Arm for just £15). They’ll be showing all of the World Cup games so you won’t miss any of the action while you’re tucking into fish and chips or one of their delicious venison Scotch eggs.
Broadgate Circle – If the sun’s out, watch a match on the Summer Live screens at Exchange Square and then head to Broadgate Circle for a bite to eat. Choose from Spanish plates at Jose Pizarro, dim sum at Yauatcha City, a French feast at Aubaine, Sunday lunch at The Botanist and lots more!
Smith & Wollensky – Get some friends together to dine in style and watch the rugby on big screens at this steakhouse in Covent Garden. Carnivores will love the 24oz bone-in rib eye with a side of truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, while seafood fans can tuck into grilled lobster or herb-crusted tuna.
York & Albany – Watch the games in Camden and show your support by ordering one of the dishes matched to each nation. Will it be the ‘All English’ pizza with cured ham, Berkswell cheese and truffle oil? A Scottish beef burger? Or maybe a classic Welsh rarebit with beer pickled onions?
If you’ve actually got tickets, check out the dining options in Twickenham, Wembley and Stratford.