OpenTable’s Christmas Shopping Survival Guide

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Love it or hate it, you’ll probably be hitting the shops soon to pick up those tricky Christmas gifts you can’t find online. If you’re shopping in London, you know the drill – go off-peak (evenings are good), leave your heels at home, and make a list to avoid any aimless wandering.

Most importantly, reward yourself with a restaurant stop along the way – you deserve it! Here are some of the best places to eat near London’s top shopping destinations.

Diner under the twinkling lights at Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street.

A festive photo of Kingly Court by Aurelien Guichard on Flickr.

REGENT STREET (for the Apple Store, Burberry, Hollister, Levi’s, Hamleys…)

Where to eat: You’re spoilt for choice for great eats around Regent Street. You can splash out in style at Gordon Ramsay’s new Heddon Street Kitchen, treat yourself to steak at Hawksmoor Air Street or oysters at Bentley’s. If you’d rather keep things casual, head for Kingly Court and grab a bite at Senor Ceviche, The Rum Kitchen or Cinnamon Soho.

OXFORD STREET  (for Selfridges, Debenhams, House of Fraser, TopShop, NikeTown…)

Where to eat: You’ll struggle to find much worth eating on Oxford Street itself so it’s worth making a detour into Soho or Marylebone. You can linger over wine and charcuterie at 28-50, grab a lunchtime bento at Cocochan, or try some of London’s best Indian food at Roti Chai. For a special pre-Christmas treat, try the ‘Dim Sum Sundays’ menu at Hakkasan or feast on crab and steak at BEAST.

WESTFIELD (for Lacoste, Michael Kors, Prada, Disney Store, Tiffany & Co…)

Where to eat: If you’ve got hungry kids to feed, try the pizzas at Fire & Stone, burgers at Byron, or Brazilian skewers at Cabana. Shopping solo? Reward yourself with a glass of fizz and a light lunch at Searcy’s Champagne Bar or escape Westfield and head to Bush Hall Dining Rooms for seasonal salads, steak or their delicious Bloody Mary mussels.

Covent Garden Market. (Photo by Timothy Selvage on Flickr).

Covent Garden Market. (Photo by Timothy Selvage on Flickr).

COVENT GARDEN (for Superdry, Mulberry, Tatty Devine, Jack Wills, Jubilee Market…)

Where to eat: Restaurants around Covent Garden Piazza fill up fast so book ahead for the best tables. You can refuel at grand brasseries like Balthazar and The Delaunay or catch up with a friend over a cheeseboard at Champagne + Fromage. We also like Dishoom for Indian street food dishes, Big Easy for lobster and ribs, and Marcus Wareing’s new restaurant, Tredwell’s.

KING’S ROAD (for Links of London, MAC, Kiehl’s, Muji, Cath Kidston…)

Where to eat: If you’re gift hunting in Chelsea’s chic boutiques, we recommend an early supper at local favourites like Bluebird, Manicomio or Kurobuta (sister to the Japanese izakaya in Marble Arch). Too early for dinner? Try afternoon tea at Gallery Mess or The Botanist on Sloane Square.

Shopping elsewhere? Search for nearby restaurants on OpenTable, book tables on the go using our app, or get personal recommendations from our experts on twitter and Facebook.

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

Welcome to the family! – New restaurants on OpenTable

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Fancy trying somewhere new this month? Check out these great restaurants that are now bookable on OpenTable or ask our experts for recommendations on twitter.


Heddon Street Kitchen – Gordon Ramsay has opened a new all-day restaurant just off Regent Street. It’s inspired by his City restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen, and the menu features dishes like king crab thermidor, spicy tuna tartare, and grilled English rose veal chop.

The Manor – Fans of The Dairy in Clapham will be pleased to hear that they are opening a modern bistro on Clapham Manor Street this month. There will be a bar serving snacks, wine and cocktails, plus a rustic menu of meat and fish cooked on the bone and homemade charcuterie from their deli. The restaurant opens on November 25th and you can book online now!

Bonnie Gull – Fish fans can now book tables at the Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack in Fitzrovia and their Seafood Café on Exmouth Market. We like the West End branch for date night oysters and the EC1 sister site for lunchtime fish and squid burgers and delicious moules Marinière.

Café Pistou – Settling in amongst its foodie neighbours, Café Pistou is a handsome Provençal brasserie on Exmouth Market. Swing by for dishes like salt cod croquettes, baked sea bass and spiced spatchcock poussin or try their French twist on weekend brunch.

Senor Ceviche – Expect punchy Pisco cocktails and tapas-style plates of fresh ceviche, street food and BBQ dishes at this Peruvian newcomer just off Carnaby Street.

Also new in London: Ristorante Frescobaldi; Crocker’s Folly; Cau (Wimbledon); and The Cavendish.


Beachside Restaurant – Boasting one of the best sea views in Salcombe, the Beachside Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy local seafood as a light lunch or sunset dinner.

Death Row Dive N Diner – In a neon-lit basement on Hope Street, this Liverpool dive serves great beer, hard shakes and southern American food to a rockabilly soundtrack. Don’t miss their saucy ribs, pastrami-cheese fries and fully loaded burgers.

Waters on the Square  Run by chef Andy Waters (ex-Edmunds), this cosy Edgbaston bistro uses the finest seasonal ingredients in its modern British dishes. It’s a great choice for a romantic dinner and the menu de jour offers excellent values for money with 3 courses priced at just £20.

Moules a go-go – A favourite with Chester locals for over 15 years, this is the place to go for kilo pots of fresh Anglesey mussels with delicious sauces, crusty bread and skinny fries.

Mr Lau’s – Diners can sip cocktails and watch the chefs prepare authentic Chinese dishes and delicious dumplings at Mr Lau’s, Warrington’s first and only dim sum bar.

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

Blog bites: What we’re reading

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With the festive season fast approaching, it’s time to fill up your social calendar and drag your friends out for dinner. If you need some inspiration, check out these recent reviews from some of our favourite food bloggers.


Shoppers heading to Carnaby Street this winter can refuel in style in Kingly Court, which is now home to some great little foodie spots like Pizza Pilgrims, Shoryu Ramen and The Rum Kitchen. This week, The Londoner reviewed the newest arrival – Senor Ceviche. The ceviche itself looks fantastic but we’ve got our eye on the smoky chilli-citrus chicken wings and soy-glazed chifa chicharonnes.

Fancy a night of cocktails and curries in Clapham? Head straight to Zumbura for home-style north Indian cooking at refreshingly reasonable prices. Take a look at this review by Heroine in Heels for pictures of their deliciously crisp pakoras, comforting kofte curry and spiced shami kebabs

If your ideal night out involves flutes of fizz and plenty of cheese, then Champagne + Fromage should definitely be on your radar. If you need convincing, read this review by Weekend Wonders and get 25% off your food bill (Sun-Tues) if you book with OpenTable.


In veggie-friendly Brighton, Food for Friends has introduced a new meat-free mezze menu and The Graphic Foodie went along to try out their crisp root veg rosti, arancini, and zingy salads. Definitely one to add to the To Do list for future seaside day trips!

Hungry Hoss visited The Pass at South Lodge Hotel, an award-winning restaurant in Horsham, West Sussex. The head chef is Matt Gillan, who you might recognise from TV show A Taste of Britain. Although not totally convinced by the ‘every table is the chef’s table’ concept, HH declared the food itself ‘exceptional’.

If you’re looking for gastropub grub in Birmingham, check out this review of The Plough in Harborne by blogger Meat and One Veg. He loved their stone-baked pizzas and chicken and chorizo stew and reckons that ‘if every neighbourhood had a local like The Plough the world would be a better place.’

Got a food blog we should know about? Let us know!

Tags: Birmingham, Blog bites - What we're reading, City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of 2 comments in the discussion.

OpenTable insider’s guide to: Angel

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From restaurant-lined Upper Street to the leafy Barnsbury back-streets, Islington is full of great places to eat and drink. Whatever you’re craving, it’s easy to find somewhere to refuel after a day of shopping, a mid-week cinema trip, or a gig at the O2 Academy. If you’re out and about in Angel this week, here are some of our favourite places to drink and dine.

Pre-dinner drinks – For a swift beer or a full-on cocktail crawl, Angel’s got a bar for every occasion. Sip cocktails at Hoxley & Porter and 69 Colebrooke Row, blaze through Happy Hour at Slim Jim’s, or chill out with a proper pint at the Earl of Essex or The Craft Beer Co.

Date night destinations – From first dates to anniversary dinners, you can’t go wrong with a cosy French bistro like Le Sacre Coeur, Le Mercury or La Petite Auberge. If you’re out to impress, book a table at the oh-so-elegant Frederick’s or keep it casual at award-winning gastropub The Drapers Arms. Locals are also fond of Almeida, a modern British restaurant opposite the Almeida Theatre, and Comedor, an Argentine restaurant that specialises in steak.


Photo Credit: Garry Knight @ Flickr

Girls’ night out – Top spots for a girly catch-up? You’ll find Islington’s glamorous ladies enjoying seafood suppers at The Fish & Chip Shop, sharing pan-Asian plates at Ziloufs, and chatting over brunch at Kipferl and Ottolenghi.

Cheap eats – For a night out that won’t break the bank, head to Pasha for a Turkish feast, Cabana for Brazilian BBQ, Byron for burgers, or Delhi Grill for delicious home-style curries and smoky grilled meats. We also like the steaming bowls of ramen at United Ramen and the excellent (and affordable) sushi and Japanese dishes at Tenshi.

Still hungry? Check out more restaurants in Angel or ask us for tips on twitter.

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

RestaurantFEED: OpenTable restaurant news

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Top chefs’ bespoke burgers at MEATliquor – To celebrate the launch of their book, MEATliquor have teamed up with Ross Shonhan (Bone Daddies) and José Pizarro to create two unique burgers. On sale this month is Shonhan’s Super Fatty Patty – a bone marrow-infused beef patty with lemon ponzu, chilli mayo, cheese, a fried egg, mizuna leaves, yakiniku sauce and pickled red onions. Pizarro’s Iberiburger (spiced pork, Manchego cheese and aioli) goes on sale on November 24th. If you don’t fancy queuing, book a table at MEATmission or their restaurants in Brighton and Leeds.

Quaglino’s rebornQuaglino’s has reopened in Mayfair with a stunning new look and a revamped modern European menu. The bar team has created some special cocktails to celebrate the relaunch, including a yuzu-spiked Oriental Sour and a twist on the classic Cosmo.


Kick start your weekend at Foxlow – Now the cause and cure of our future hangovers, Foxlow has started serving brunch from 11am to 3.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Drop in for fried chicken and waffles, sweet potato and kale hash, or the epic All Day Breakfast Burger (a sausage patty topped with bacon, tomato, mushroom, cheese and a fried egg).

A new chapter in Sussex for Tom Sellers – Following the success of Restaurant Story, chef Tom Sellers will relaunch The Lickfold Inn near Petworth later this year. The ground floor will operate as a pub, while head chef Graham Squire (ex-Trinity) will run the upstairs dining room. Locals can look forward to modern British dishes like partridge pot-au-feu and mussels with cider and lovage. Read More…

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

OpenTable Gifts: The perfect gift for foodies

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We’re excited to announce the launch of OpenTable Gifts – a new restaurant gift card that can be bought online and delivered instantly by email to your family and friends.

To purchase an OpenTable Gift Card, visit There are two options: Choose a restaurant, or Let your friend choose.

If you select ‘Choose a restaurant’, you select the city, the restaurant and the amount. If you’re not sure which restaurant to go for, select ‘Let your friend choose’ and the lucky recipient can choose from a list of participating restaurants.

Gift cards can be redeemed at some of London’s hottest restaurants, including Sushisamba, Buddha Bar, Q Grill and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. More restaurants in London and across the UK will be added in the coming months so watch this space.

If you’ve forgotten an anniversary or need a last-minute birthday gift, don’t panic! OpenTable Gifts can be printed or delivered by email, either instantly or on a date of your choice. They’re also perfect for Christmas or for out-of-town foodies visiting London.

Click here to explore OpenTable Gifts.

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