London’s best Happy Hours

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With pay day finally in sight, we’ve rounded up some of London’s best Happy Hours and some great places to eat nearby. If you’ve made it through Dry January, we salute you!

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London Cocktail Club, Shoreditch – We love the quirky cocktails at the London Cocktail Club bars in the West End, and now they’ve opened a biker-themed bar in Shoreditch. You can knock back 2-for-£10 cocktails from 4.30 to 7pm every day, plus all night on Mondays. For dinner nearby, try Pizza East, Tramshed, The Jones Family Project, or Kinkao on Brick Lane.

Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, Islington – This rockin’ little dive bar on Upper Street is famous for its bra-strewn ceiling and the 2-for-1 cocktail Happy Hour which runs from 4-8pm every day. You can soak up the whiskey sours and picklebacks with one of their wallet-friendly pizzas, or head to local favourites like Ziloufs, United Ramen, The Drapers Arms and The Fish & Chip Shop.

The Rum Kitchen, Notting Hill – At this Caribbean-inspired restaurant, you can retox with £5 cocktails from 6-8pm and snack on unlimited wings for £19.50 on Wednesdays! Stick around for dinner or browse our Notting Hill guide for nearby restaurants like E&O and Electric Diner.

HappyHour

Dirty Martini, Mayfair – If you fancy pre-dinner drinks in Mayfair that won’t blow the budget, head to this sexy subterranean bar on Hanover Square. From 4-10pm Mon-Thurs and 4-8pm at weekends, you can enjoy half price Martinis and bottles of wine, plus £2.95 bottles of Corona and Asahi and £10 off Champagne. Restaurants like Goodman, 28-50 and Heddon Street Kitchen are a just a stroll away.

The Loft, Clapham – Head south of the river for 2-for-1 cocktails, 1/3 off glasses of wine and 2-for-1 on selected bottled beers at this bar on Clapham High Street. Happy Hour runs all night on Tuesdays and Sundays, until 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and until 8pm the rest of the week. Check out our Clapham guide for great places to eat nearby like Tsunami, Zumbura and Red Dog South.

BarSmith, Farringdon – If you’re rarely out of the office in time for Happy Hour, BarSmith has you covered. They serve 2-for-1 cocktails from 7 to 10pm every day, plus all day on Saturday. There are some excellent dinner options nearby, like Foxlow, Smiths of Smithfield, Apulia and Iberica.

Best of the rest – For more Happy Hour action, try Southsider Cocktail Club, Aces & Eights, Barrio CentralFifty-FiveThe Roxy, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, 214 Bermondsey, and Be at One.

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

OpenTable insider’s guide to: Clapham

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Thanks to steady gentrification and great transport links, Clapham is still one of the most popular places to live in south London. It’s home to a mix of students, families and young professionals, so the streets are full of interesting restaurants, cosy pubs and bars. Here are some of our favourites.

Best for breakfast – If you can’t face the queue at Breads Etcetera, book ahead for a Bloody Mary-fuelled brunch at The Jam Tree, Red Dog South or No 32 The Old Town. For something a little different, try the Moroccan pancakes at Del’ Aziz or head to Venn Street Market on Saturdays for The Rotisserie Company‘s spit roast chicken ciabattas.

Family friendly – Looking for somewhere the whole family can enjoy? Head to neighbourhood gastropub The Bobbin or Donna Margherita, a family-run restaurant that serves fantastic Neapolitan pizza and other Italian classics. On Sundays, kids under 10 eat free at Bistro Union while adults enjoy a 3-course supper for just £26. (You can even bring your own wine!)

Fit for foodies –For exceptional food right on your doorstep, book a table at The Dairy and prepare to be blown away by chef Robin Gill’s seasonal British dishes. Can’t get in? Try your luck at the award-winning Trinity or The Dairy’s new sister restaurant, The Manor.

Date night destinations – Date nights in Clapham are pretty relaxed – think curries and cocktails at Zumbura or an after-work supper at French bistro, La Bonne Heure. For something a little special, book a table for two at the elegant Four O Nine or, in warmer weather, dine alfresco at Metro Garden.

Great for groups – For a night out with friends, head to Tsunami for sake and sushi or keep it casual with tacos and tequila at Comensal. If you’re celebrating on a shoestring, visit Cornish Tiger on a Tuesday evening when Prosecco is just £3 a glass

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

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RestaurantFEED: OpenTable restaurant news

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AA announces three and four rosette awards – The AA have awarded three rosettes to 21 outstanding UK restaurants, including City Social, Fera at Claridge’s, Typing Room, Timberyard in Edinburgh and The Wild Rabbit in Kingham. Just one restaurant was awarded the prestigious four rosettes – The Burlington Restaurant in Bolton Abbey.

Photo Credit: TheGaztronome.com

Photo Credit: TheGaztronome.com

Joe’s Southern Kitchen takes on the McRib – Inspired by the return of the McDonald’s McRib, Joe’s have launched their own MacRib – a soft white sub stuffed with pulled pork ribs, a pork rib patty, sweet BBQ sauce, pickles and chopped onion. A great way to fall of the detox wagon!

New ventures from top UK chefs – A decade after opening The Hand & Flowers, Tom Kerridge has opened a second pub in Marlow called The Coach. It’s a relaxed no-bookings affair so turn up early to try their rotisserie meats, chicken kiev and potted crab. Just down the road, Atul Kochhar has opened new Indian restaurant Sindhu at the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel.

There are lots of chefs on the move too, with Restaurant Nathan Outlaw set to relocate to Port Isaac and The Fat Duck moving to Melbourne for a six-month stay. Michael Caines has plans to open his own hotel in Lympstone, Devon, and Cyrus Todiwala has opened a restaurant in Goa.

22 new openings planned for Manchester – An exciting crop of bars and restaurants are set to open in Manchester this year, according to the Manchester Evening News. They include Indian restaurant, Asha’s; Filthy Cow burger bar; a third restaurant from Solita; and new sites from London favourites Burger & LobsterHawksmoor and Iberica.

Sushisamba

Sushisamba launches Kobe Beef WeekSushisamba’s first week dedicated to Japan’s exclusive (and expensive!) Kobe beef kicks off on January 19th. Chef Claudio Cardoso has put together a special menu of dishes like Kobe beef tartare and a mini Kobe burger with horseradish mayo.

Restaurants opening in London this spring:

– The team behind Mango Tree will open Chinese restaurant Chai Wu at Harrods on January 18th.
Yauatcha, The BotanistAubaine and more are set to open at Broadgate Circle this spring.
– Paris restaurant Le Chateaubriand will open Le Chabanais in Mayfair in early 2015.
– The Endurance pub in Soho will reopen as Alan Yau’s Chinese gastropub, Duck & Rice.
Joe’s Southern Kitchen will open a second restaurant and bar in Kentish Town this March.
– Street food heroes Bao have found a permanent home in Soho for their Taiwanese steamed buns.

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, Manchester, RestaurantFEED. Total of 1 comment in the discussion.

Blog bites: What we’re reading

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While the rest of us were snacking on Christmas leftovers, some of our favourite food bloggers were busy eating their way around London and beyond. If you’re ready to ditch Dry January and have a night out, check out these recent reviews for dining inspiration.

HotBox's chipotle beef rib tacos.

The Foodaholic’s snap of HotBox’s chipotle beef tacos.

One blogger who’s definitely not going vegan this January is The Picky Glutton, who has already made four trips to east London BBQ joint, Hotbox. The anonymous blogger reckons their beef short rib needs a little work, but was impressed by their ‘outstanding’ pork ribs, hot links, and puds. The Foodaholic also paid Hotbox a visit and, having devoured most of the menu, rated them a solid 8/10.

Luxury lifestyle blog Silverspoon is new to our reading list and we loved Angie’s Top 10 Restaurants of 2014 post. If you’re looking for somewhere special for Valentine’s Day, her top picks for London include Jason Atherton’s City Social, Chotto Matte, Hakkasan and Roka Mayfair.

If you’re craving sushi, check out Kelly from Flat Eleven’s review of Buddha Bar, the glamorous pan-Asian restaurant in Knightsbridge. She loved the décor and the beautifully presented sushi, but we’ve got our eye on the five spice teriyaki chicken. Tempted? Get 25% off your food bill if you book with OpenTable this month or 20% off their detox-friendly Wellness Menu.

Cielo

Over Christmas, the team at Dine Birmingham rounded up the top 10 Italian restaurants in Birmingham with a little help from their foodie followers. Celeb favourite San Carlo made the cut, along with OpenTable diner favourite Buonissimo, a ‘local treasure’ in Harborne. The team also liked the atmosphere and the ‘elegant’ crab linguine at Cielo.

Back in London, Kavey Eats wrote a great city break guide to Borough Market, Maltby Street, Bermondsey and Bankside. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re showing out-of-towners around and she recommends some great eats in the area, including Rabot 1745, Monty’s Deli and Elliot’s.

We’re always looking for new food blogs to follow, so let us know if you’ve got one to recommend!

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Welcome to the family! – New restaurants on OpenTable

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If you’re not on a juice diet, January is actually a great month to eat out. There are some fantastic deals to be had and it’s much easier to get into those hard-to-book restaurants. To brighten up the weeks ahead, why not check out some of the restaurants that have recently joined OpenTable?

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United Ramen – At this Islington ramen bar, their ramen is made daily with rich, flavoursome broths and toppings that range from spicy miso salmon to rare roast beef.

Tredwell’s – Marcus Wareing’s West End eatery specialises in ‘modern London cooking’ so expect dishes like harissa glazed aubergine, slow-cooked pork belly, stunning desserts, and weekend roasts.

The House of Ho – For Vietnamese food with a modern twist, head for celeb chef Bobby Chinn’s Soho restaurant and try five spiced quail, sake steamed clams and lemongrass chicken wings. We’re big fans of their weekend Rock ‘n’ Roll Brunch which includes unlimited Prosecco!

HotboxFrom street food heroes to fully-fledged restaurateurs, the HotBox team have opened their first permanent BBQ joint in east London. You can book a table for 6 or more hungry mates and get stuck into smoky beef short ribs, chicken thighs, hot link sausages and chipotle beef tacos.

Yama Momo – The team behind Tsunami have opened a Japanese izakaya and sushi restaurant in East Dulwich. Swing by for fresh sashimi, sizzling teriyaki chicken, and black cod tempura, washed down with sake and Japanese-inspired cocktails.

Ba ShanSituated opposite its big sister BarShu, this Soho gem is decorated in the style of a Chinese teahouse and serves fiery, chilli-spiked dishes from Hunan. Don’t miss their legendary red braised pork.

Murakami

Also new in London: New Japanese restaurant Murakami, Mayfair pizzeria Bocconcino; Bar Termini in Soho; the recently revamped Zaika of Kensington; and the Italian beach-themed Spiaggia in Fulham.

The Lickfold Inn – Following the success of Restaurant Story, chef Tom Sellers has taken over The Lickfold Inn near Petworth, West Sussex. The ground floor pub offers craft and local beers, cocktails and excellent bar snacks, while the upstairs dining room serves dishes like ox pie, mussels with cider and lovage, and partridge pot au feu.

Reef & Beef – Serving the best of land and sea in Bournemouth, this modern restaurant is the place to go if you’re craving a great steak, a homemade burger, or a simply grilled fresh lobster.

Bourbon & Black – At this Didsbury Village newcomer you can start your night in the ground floor whiskey bar and then head upstairs for a flat iron steak or their delicious trio of pork.

Brawns – Set in a listed Georgian building in the old quarter of Cowes, this intimate French restaurant is a must visit if you’re planning a trip to the Isle of Wight this year.

Plead the 5th – If you’re craving comfort food, the rustic brisket chilli, soda pop pork chops and fully loaded burgers at this Bristol eatery will definitely hit the spot.

If you need more inspiration, search your local area on opentable.co.uk or ask us for tips on twitter.

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Last minute Christmas gifts for London foodies

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Need a last minute Christmas gift for a foodie friend or relative? Don’t panic, there’s still time! Here are some ideas for food-focused tours, classes and gift cards that you can order online today.

School of Wok – This Covent Garden cookery school runs relaxed classes, ranging from dim sum and sushi making to wok sessions and wine tastings. For foodies who prefer to leave the cooking to the experts, there are supperclub evenings hosted by the School of Wok team and special guest chefs.

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Eating London Tours – If you’ve got a friend who’s visiting or moving to London next year, treat them to one of these excellent walking tours. It’s a great way to explore East London and eat like a local at a neighbourhood fish and chip shop, a Brick Lane curry house, and lots more.

Books for cooks – Hit the shops (or use Amazon Prime) to bag a last-minute cookbook for the budding baker or chef in your life. On our wishlist this year is Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, The MEATliquor Chronicles, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, and Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories.

Shake Rattle & Stir Gin Tour – Treat a gin-loving friend to a chauffeur-driven evening tour of five London bars where they can sip cocktails, sample five premium gins and learn about their history and production methods with industry expert Leon Dalloway.

OpenTable Gifts – What better way to spoil a foodie friend than with dinner at a top restaurant? Visit OpenTable Gifts, select an amount and then choose from restaurants like Sushisamba, Tamarind and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. If you’re not sure where they’d like to go, you can leave it up to them. Order before Christmas Day and get 10% off using the code ‘XMAS10’.

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