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Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal in the Oscar Wilde Bar

Ever wanted to dine with Oscar Wilde? Well now you can…kind of. Hotel Café Royal is celebrating the arrival of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ at the Harold Pinter theatre, with a specially designed afternoon tea.

Executive Chef Andrew Turner and Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Blas have created the unique and fanciful menu using influences from the characters and history of the play. Paying tribute to the infamous cucumber sandwich furore are the Original ‘cucumber’ sandwiches, which are not at all as you’d expect. The sandwich selection also includes Everyman’s smoked wild boar, crackling pickled apple and English mustard bun, Gold puff goat’s cheese and wine jelly engagement, and London cure smoked salmon, quail’s egg and cress Prism. Inspiration from the play is carried through into the playfully named pastries with Chocolate box ‘n’ ring, Lady Bracknell lollipop and Dandy Raspberry Regent.

Most afternoon teas involve scones and cakes and this one is no different. With traditional tea marinated golden raisin, apricot and plain scones served with clotted cream and a choice of preserves alongside Hotel Café Royal’s speciality cakes. Guests can also have the option of additional ‘Savoury Terminus’ including scrambled egg and fresh truffle ‘Royal’ and Anchovy on toast and Gentleman’s relish.

Held in the iconic Oscar Wilde Bar, the tea will be available from 16th June, priced at £42 or £55 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

www.hotelcaferoyal.com

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 09:30 am | Comments »
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Merchants Tavern launches new Kitchen Counter

Shoreditch restaurant and bar Merchants Tavern are launching a slightly different version of a restaurant Chef’s Table. The new Kitchen Counter opens next week on Tuesday 10th June, and to celebrate its arrival guests receive a welcome glass of champagne or the ‘Sharpener of the Day’.

The Kitchen Counter will offer guests exclusive access into the high-adrenaline kitchen giving a unique insight into the fast-paced methods of cooking. Head Chef Neil Borthwick and his team will prepare and serve dishes directly to guests whilst talking through each course and its individual ingredients. This more personal and relaxed approach makes the Kitchen Counter the perfect place for a lunchtime business meeting or a casual dinner-date; something memorable but perhaps less stuffy than other alternatives.

Instead of picking something from the A La Carte menu, ask Neil and his team to rustle up a bespoke ‘Chef’s Menu’. Courses are influenced by the seasons and demonstrate Neil’s signature Modern European style. Dishes include spring vegetable salad, coppa and lemon thyme emulsion, roast saddle of new season lamb with confit shoulder, wet garlic puree, spinach and golden raisins and for dessert, dark chocolate tart with salted almond ice cream. Priced at £50 for five courses or £65 for seven, with the option to add matched wine pairings or select your own from the extensive wine list.

Escape your own kitchen counter and head to the 10-seater one at Merchants Tavern for a new dining experience.

www.merchantstavern.co.uk

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 11:35 am | Comments »
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Wing Fest

It's no secret that Londoner's love their wings, and this year over 300 people are expected to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Wing at the city's first Wing Fest. 

As apart of these festivities the capital's best vendors, including Red Dog Saloon, Randy’s Wing Bar and Smokey Tails will compete against each other in order to be crowned King of the Buffalo Wing.

Those in attendance will be able to sample every single wing before casting their votes for the two categories: The Buffalo Wing and The Wild Wing - where anything goes. London’s first chicken wing show-down will take place at The Liquor Store, in Dalston on Sunday 8th of June from 1 - 6 p.m. 

For £35 you get 32 wings (four from each competitor), one beer, one cocktail, an opportunity to compete in the Hot Wing Challenge and Nuclear Wing Challenge in addition to Frank's RedHot Sauce $wag. 

www.wingfest.co.uk 

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 14:23 pm | Comments »
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Fever-Tree Elderflower Gin & Tonic

Get into the G&T Fever

June 4, 2014

Following the success of their Gin & Tonic Fever festival in 2013, Fever-Tree are launching a pop-up bar in Hoxton Square. The festival saw the largest ever collection of gins from across the globe and Fever-Tree’s many varieties of tonic sampled alongside some of London’s finest food. The bar will be a distillation of the festival taken to a whole new level.

The Ultimate G&T Bar will be hosting a series of masterclasses run by gin experts and cocktail gurus. Learn about the different distillation processes, the unique botanical compositions and the signature serves to gain a whole new insight into the world of gin. Don’t forget the best bit, the tastings!

The bar itself will house a sensational array of 160 fine and rare gins sourced from across the world. These gins will be accompanied by Fever-Tree’s selection of tonics and mixers and G&Tree tasting flights, which are raising money for Malaria No More UK. Fever-Tree founders scoured the far corners of the globe to find the perfect hand-sourced ingredients from small specialist suppliers. Their dedication to the cause means that you can find your ideal G&T combination.

Capture the spirit of the summer, for six weeks only beginning 12th June.

www.fever-tree.com

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 13:54 pm | Comments »
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Pescatori Interior

Pescatori: Review

June 4, 2014

Been to Pescatori? No? Well you should.

There are two restaurants one in Mayfair and one in Fitzrovia and it was the latter that we visited on a Wednesday night, because it was midweek and everyone needs a midweek pick me up. Fact.

 From the street, the restaurant was inviting with twinkling lights dotting the terrace and inside it was kept simple with white washed walls, curved arches and a mix of intimate booths and long tables. If they were going for a family run tavern meets London restaurant feel then they’ve succeeded. It was relaxed and informal – even if we appeared to be the only diners in there who weren’t businessmen.  

The cuisine, if you can’t guess from the name, is Italian seafood, with the menu offering pasta dishes, sharing platters, oysters and a small meat section -which we were told not to choose from. It did strike me as odd to have a meat section at all if they were advising not to order from it, but then I suppose you do get the odd few who have no interest in fish yet still stubbornly choose a seafood restaurant- why, I’ll never know.

We started with a generous helping of toasted bruschetta topped with pickled Dorset crab and avocado. Grilled Cornish squid had a good texture but the flavour was lost to the Calabrian sausage that accompanied it, it was smoky, intense and outshone the squid.

We took the restaurant’s recommendation of choosing the special for the day which was a salted sea bass, light and flaky we chose the spinach with chilli to go with it. They bring it over whole, skin and debone it for you, which, if you are like me and still battled with various fish bones, is a blessing.  The spaghetti cabonara di mare was a lighter take on the classic cabonara and was filled with mussels, salmon, cod and rocket; as the manager said it was pretty much healthy, omega-3 and all that,  healthy or not it was delicious, less creamy then normal but just as flavourful.

If you still have space then order the blueberry cheesecake, it’s well worth it; although a chocolate pot with soft caramel left us defeated – a  ganache like texture it was extremely rich and a couple of mouthfuls were enough even for pudding connoisseurs such as ourselves.

Go, order the crab, take a good look at the specials, indulge in a Bellini or two, just make sure you order fish, it is a seafood restaurant after all.  

www.pescatori.co.uk

Posted by Emily Gray at 12:04 pm | Comments »
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Desserts inspired by Princess and actress Grace Kelly.

To celebrate the much-anticipated movie release of ‘Grace of Monaco,’ The Royal Horseguards Hotel is hosting a limited edition of their traditional afternoon tea with a regal twist. 

Located in The Lounge of the quintessential British hotel, the 'Grace of Monaco' afternoon tea is a special occasion, which includes delicious Grace of Monaco-themed delicacies.

Handmade desserts like the Coral Chocolate Lipstick based on the makeup designed for the Princess by Estee Lauder, and a "Black & White Shot" inspired by Grace's favourite chocolate milkshake will be served. Some of her beloved bites are also on the menu, such as mini American Hamburgers and traditional finger sandwiches.

In addition to the edibles, a signature cocktail designed by in-house mixologists is included. "My Nerves Could Use A Drink," is created from rose petal infusion, rose crystals and Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne, assembled in remembrance of the princess' fondess of the flower. 

The Royal Horseguards ‘Grace of Monaco’ Afternoon Tea will run from 2nd – 15th June and will cost £45.00 per person. 

www.guoman.com

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 15:55 pm | Comments »
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Pizza by Pizza Rossa

Pizza Pop-Up Opening

June 3, 2014

Whether you're in the mood for a traditional Margherita pizza or looking to take a bite into something a bit different, come by the celebration of the newest pizza joint in the neighbourhood. 

Pizza Rossa is serving up authentic pizza al taglio - by the slice - at the opening of its first pop-up location in London on Friday 6 June. Inspired by the street vendors of Italy, Pizza Rossa brings to the city a delicious and healthier takeaway alternative, using the freshest of seasonal ingredients and vegan-friendly dough. 

Be sure to stop by for one of the square slices between 6 and 10 p.m., at Whittington Avenue on the corner of Leadenhall St located at the Leadenhall Market. In addition to their daily-changing pizza options, a full menu of pastas and Italian pastries are served regularly. 

This pop-up venue is set to open for just the next five months, but not to worry, two permanent Pizza Rossa locations are due to open in London at the beginning of July and September. 

www.pizzarossa.com 

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 13:32 pm | Comments »
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Cake Stands at Kensal Summer Fete

Kensal Summer Fete

June 3, 2014

A British summer isn’t complete without local festivities. That’s why Paradise by Kensal Green and St John the Evangelist Church have teamed up to host a Summer Fete. The fun-filled event to be held on Saturday 21st June is vicar David Ackerman’s venture to bring the local community together as well as a chance to welcome to visitors from further afield.

The entertainment, food & drink and retro games are so very British. There will be Morris dancers, candyfloss, live folk music, a busker’s corner, and performances from the nearby rhythm school’s drum band and the choir from the local contemporary music institute. Kilburn to Kensal (K2K) radio station will be broadcasting live from the event to keep the surrounding area in the know. There will be stalls to wander around with some selling vintage clothes, trinkets from local shop Rise, and furniture and record stands from Susanne Bettley Hats and Sam Records.

Don’t fret there’s plenty to keep the kids out of mischief, from a bouncy castle, fairground rides, and a petting zoo to face painting. For big-kids, classic carnival games will involve a coconut shy, hook a duck and apple bobbing. There will also be a highly competitive bake-off so put those culinary skills in action and bring along your speciality baked goods for the chance to win the coveted prize. And what summer fete would be complete without a raffle? Of course they haven’t forgotten about the traditional fave with a Church Raffle in aid of St John’s Church.

If all of this is too exhausting you can treat yourself to a massage from Chantelle and Lewis followed by a class of Pimm’s or a Hendricks cocktail. Grab a quiche, sandwich or cheese board to replenish and carry on enjoying the carnival. There’s something for everyone to revel in on this great British summer’s day.

www.theparadise.co.uk

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 11:47 am | Comments »
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Cookhouse Joe Interior

Cookhouse Joe Opens

June 3, 2014

After the success of Cookhouse Joe which opened on Berwick Street last year the team behind Soho Joe are back with their next venue Cookhouse Joe on Dean Street. Having opened yesterday they kicked things off by giving out 1000 chicken wraps to customers who visited the restaurant, because they’re nice like that.

Panic not though, if you have just found out that you missed out on free chicken for lunch because their main focus is rotisserie chicken and a contemporary twist on traditional Lebanese cuisine. The menu is simple they will be serving up crisp falafel, salads, lamb kofte, fries and of course chicken. Whilst the décor is rustic, casual and relaxed think plain wooden tables, bare walls and distressed metal lights, so you can definitely drop in at lunch for a chicken wrap, you will have to pay though.  

www.cookhousejoe.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 09:30 am | Comments »
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Outside dining at Rotunda bar Kings Cross

As a Londoner we enjoy the best restaurants, top clubs and beautiful architecture everywhere we look but as our pal Alicia Keys put it, it’s a concrete jungle. She may have been talking about New York but you get the idea. So when some natural foliage manages to crack through it’s always a treat; from chilling with a Pimms in Hyde Park to sunning ourselves on a rooftop terrace.

Perfect for us that Rotunda has recently launched its new Secret Garden, a relaxing waterside terrace perfect for a summer drink. Rotunda converted the concrete space into an eco-friendly area thanks to local business Global Generation who sourced everything from sustainable resources through charitable donations. This means you can sip your (amazing) Pineapple Mohito guilt free as you watch the river boats sail by.

The restaurant itself is in a circular shape (hint is in the name), and serves mostly meat based dishes which they source from their own farm in Northumberland. The real winners here are their puddings with an amazing White Chocolate and Cardamom Mousse served with pickled raspberries.

www.rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 13:13 pm | Comments »
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