The Handbook Blog | London Restaurants, Nightlife, Arts & Culture
From the horses mouth

The Handbook Blog

Homage Grand Salon

The Homage: Review

September 16, 2014

The Homage Grand Salon at the Waldorf Hilton has recently appointment a new Executive Head chef, the charming Robert Prendergast (Grosvenor Guoman Hotel, Renaissance hotel group and Intercontinental) bringing with him 16 years of experience including years spent in Cardiff, Ireland and Hong Kong.

The Handbook were invited down to try out the new a la carte menu which has modern European influences and has a partnership with the Buccleuch Estate beef. The restaurant itself is large and imposing with high ceilings and an ornate gold and white Louis XVI style décor with glittering chandeliers, elegant columns and leather banquets, it’s said to be inspired by the grand cafes of Europe and so modern art adorns the walls. What was noticeable was that being so spacious it was rather cold, I can imagine when it was bustling the atmosphere was great, but on quieter nights it can feel rather like you’re a lone boat out at sea.

Highlights from the menu included plump seared scallops on the lightest cauliflower puree and dusted with curry as well as rich puy lentils on tender lamb, but it was the Buccleuch Estate Rib Eye steak that stole the show. It was beautifully tender and served with the creamiest mash, chunky chips, (although door stopper chips would have been more apt they were seriously chunky) and a selection of mustards including a sweet Bavarian and stout Irish mustard.

We finished off with a trio of puddings: a ginger panna cotta, a rich chocolate fondant and a baked cheesecake, normally I fall into ‘unless it includes chocolate it isn’t really pudding’ camp but actually it was the ginger panna cotta that I got most excited about and was most disappointed that it had gone when I finished, which is testament to how good it was.

After we had eaten Robert joined us to tell us his story as a chef and he may have divulged a trick or two about the restaurant, including preparations for afternoon tea…it’s all in the laterally sliced bread.

A wonderfully elegant and grand restaurant, with Robert Prendergast at the helm it can only go well. 

www.waldorfhilton.co.uk

Posted by Emily Gray at 14:49 pm | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

The Intoxication Season at Kew

Magic Mushrooms at Kew

September 16, 2014

The Intoxication Season at the Royal Botanical Gardens will explore the secret history behind Mind-Altering Plants and Fungi. From the opium poppy to more socially acceptable stimulants like coffee and tobacco, intrepid visitors will discover that no plant is inherently a drug, a medicine, or a poison.

 

You can also check out tobacco plants and opium poppies at the Princess of Wales Conservatory and discover innocuous looking specimens which can kill or cure depending on their chemical usage and dosage while over in the Secluded Glasshouse, architectural food smiths, Bompas & Parr will run a Plant Connoisseurs’ Club. Part-workshop, part-talk, part-interactive-experience, it’s strictly for over 18s although we’re assured it is actually legal!

 

Otherwise, pull up a stool at Kew’s Botanical Beverages Bar and learn about plants’ roles in crafting some of the nation’s most loved alcoholic concoctions, from hops to juniper. AKA whiling away the afternoon drinking beer and gin and tonics.

 

From 20th September until 12th October

 

www.kew.org

Posted by Stephanie Hirschmiller at 10:40 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

The Phoenix Refurbishment, Cavendish Square

The Phoenix gets a make-over

September 16, 2014

Bursting out of the ashes in a blaze of glory comes The Pheonix, not the mythical bird but the newly refurbished pub in London’s Cavendish Square. The totally revamped basement area comes complete with state-of-the-art sound system, a new diner-style menu and a larger selection of draught beers, cask ales, quality wines and ciders.

With the new sound system comes the return of singalong extravaganzas and special nights like Friday I’m In Love, as well as a host of brilliant comedy events which have previously included Frankie Boyle, Ed Byrne and Al Murray plus special DJ nights throughout the year.

The Phoenix food will offer guests treats like thirteen mouth-watering burgers, customisable with a selection of all-American toppings, including peanut butter, fried pickle and mac & cheese. Don’t despair Brits as the new Sunday menu will focus on a choice of traditional roasts.

www.phoenixcavendishsquare.co.uk

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 09:49 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

EastTwenty Bar and Kitchen, ArcelorMittal Orbit, EastTwenty Local Feast

EastTwenty Local Feast

September 15, 2014

You’ll probably remember the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit from the London Olympics in 2012; situated in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and standing at 114.5m high you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a pretty epic rollercoaster. It does in fact offer spectacular panoramic views of the capital, from not one but two observation platforms, and at its base plays host to the EastTwenty Bar & Kitchen. Serving East End inspired dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients, the menu, created by Head Chef Simon Monksfield, is a delicious homage to the local area.

To celebrate Urban Food Fortnight 12-28 September 2014 EastTwenty at the ArcelorMittal Orbit is teaming up with Abbey Gardens to host EastTwenty Local Feast.  Abbey Gardens is a volunteer led food-growing project in West Ham and together with EastTwenty, they have created a menu which uses produce from the community garden and other local food growing projects in the London 2012 Host Boroughs. It is sure to be a really great night, supporting a wonderful cause while enjoying some top-notch food.

We are giving away two tickets to one lucky person for the EastTwenty Local Feast on the 24th September plus tickets to the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Click here for your chance to win!

www.arcelormittalorbit.com

Posted by Kate Pigden at 00:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

JOOP! Crazy Night at Disco club in Soho

JOOP! Crazy Night

September 14, 2014

JOOP! Fragrances is offering fans the ultimate night out, sure to put a spring back into any relationship. The evening will begin at exclusive private members club Disco in Soho where couples are encouraged to battle it out with other couples to win a once in a lifetime, money-can’t-buy experience at the end of the evening; the ‘Crazy Night’, by capturing the craziest photo of themselves and their partner and uploading to social media using #JoopCrazyNight.

These photos are instantaneously printed in the venue using a revolutionary Instagram machine, which also simultaneously provides a fun JOOP! goodie bag. After the lucky winning couple has been announced they will travel in style alongside celebrities and VIPs to the next location for the evening, A-List favourite Cirque Le Soir.

At the end of the night, the winning pair will be whisked away to their luxury accommodation where they will be met with further amusements, romantic experiences and sexy gifts.

JOOP! Crazy Night takes place 9th October.

To be in with a chance of winning tickets, click here!

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 00:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

Blackout Dinners

D and D's Blackout Dinners

September 12, 2014

As part of the Totally Thames Festivals (where the beauty and the history of the river is celebrated), restaurant big dogs D&D have been hosting their Blackout dinners once again throughout September in their riverside restaurants.  For those who missed out last year, the dinners (which are a set menu and price) are hosted by candlelight so that diners can experience the unspoilt beauty of the Thames at night, because let’s be honest it’s much more magical at night, when the sludgy brown water becomes a sparklingly black and is lit up by the lights of the city along the bank.

Butler Wharf Chop House kicked things off and The Handbook headed down to check it out. The evening began with a flaming cocktail which looked even more spectacular in the dark restaurant, word of advice if you get a flaming cocktail don’t be overly eager and try drinking it through a straw whilst it’s still alight, no one wants a melted straw in their drink.  

Head Chef Gemma Hyjek (Ramsay, Claridge’s) created the menu which included black edged treacly trout to start served with black figs and a generous Blacked Out  Foulness Island Beef Wellington which was simply served with vegetables and potatoes. Continuing with the ‘black out’ theme to finish it was Black forest gateau trifle. It was a simple meal, yet it was perfectly executed.  

Diners had the choice of sitting outside or inside at a communal table, but I think this is an evening for dates with the low lighting and flickering candles, so if you can, get one of the seats outsides – they give you blankets when it gets cold  so need to worry there.

Following on from the Butler Wharf Chop House will be Cantina del Ponte with a Sopranos themed evening which includes pappardelle served with veal ragout and white truffle sauce which will be served until the 21st September before Blueprint Café finishes things off with their 1920’s Prohibition –era candlelight evening from the 22nd -27th September. The evening will include live music and a 3-course sharing menu including ‘Dining on Bermondsey Beach’ made with H Forman & Son smoked salmon, winkles and edible sand.

Before autumn and winter fully descend on us and London is lit up with row upon row of Christmas lights, head down to the Thames to appreciate it in all its dark glory.

www.danddlondon.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 11:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

Nobu Unplugged, Nobu Berkeley Street, Interior of Nobu

Sunday Sessions Launch at Nobu

September 12, 2014

We've got your Sunday night sorted. Not just a critically acclaimed eatery; uber fashionable Nobu Berkeley ST has just announced the return of Nobu Unplugged, following a short summer hiatus. So whilst sipping on sake or one of their delicious cocktails you can check out some of the freshest new talent on the music scene. And if the drinks start to go to your head, grab a table to experience the michelin star rated food. 

Their opening on the 28th September sees ALX, Fabienne and Alani take to the stage. A trio of acts all set to light up the music world, when they take center stage. Award winning food, exciting new music and inspiring cocktails, what more could you ask for? Now we just can’t wait to see what else these Sunday night sessions will bring in future months.

Nobu Unplugged will run every last Sunday of each month. Tickets are £60, which includes entrance and a Nobu Bento Box. 

www.noburestaurants.com 

Posted by Kate Pigden at 00:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

Plum + Spilt Milk, Gu puddings, National Chocolate Week

As if we didn’t need more of an excuse to eat chocolate, 13th-19th October is National Chocolate Week – amazing! And to celebrate, pudding professionals Gü have joined up with the award-winning Plum + Spilt Milk to create a super special (and chocolatey) three course menu.

The limited edition menu incorporates four types of chocolate as core ingredients and what results is a terrifically tantalising trio of dishes that are certainly not to be missed. They’re serving up pan-fried scallops and a loin of venison with a delightful chocolate twist. And fans of Gü‘s Melting Middles certainly won’t be disappointed as they’ve unveiled an exclusive desert; the heavenly sounding Chocolate and Tonka Bean Melting Middle with caramelised white chocolate ice cream and mandarin confit.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this chocolate wizardry; the incredibly indulgent menu designed for chocolate enthusiasts everywhere will be available at Plum + Spilt Milk for the duration of National Chocolate Week.

www.plumandspiltmilk.com

Posted by Kate Pigden at 00:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

The Club at Hotel Cafe Royal

The Club at Hotel Café Royal

September 11, 2014

Hotel Café Royal has launched its swanky members only club, aptly named The Club, on its first floor. While it has already opened its doors, it will not officially launch till the beginning of October. Celebrating iconic figures of the past whilst providing an exclusive sanctum for future and established stars of the literary, art and fashion world. It is designed as a place where members are able to pursue their vocations whilst also being an exciting social hub – a space to work and play.

With interiors overseen by the super talented March and White, the historic space has been transformed into a gorgeous oasis that seems many a mile away from the bustling London streets just outside.

The Club offers an array of fine dining and drinks options in any one of its opulent rooms meaning members and their guests will never be short on choice. These are all offered alongside the already well-established Oscar Wilde Bar that will be available to Club members until 3am, providing live entertainment.

Also to look out for is a programme of events intended to stimulate the creative juices, ranging from boutique opera to immersive theatre and controversial debate.

The Club looks set to be an incredibly exciting venture for the Hotel Café Royal; a stunning sanctum where guests can both work and unwind.

The Club at Café Royal is open for breakfast, lunch, cream tea, dinner and drinks from 7am until 1am, Sunday to Wednesday and 7am to 3am Thursday to Saturday

www.hotelcaferoyal.com

Posted by Kate Pigden at 00:00 am | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

The Booking Office at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The Booking Office

September 10, 2014

The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel’s latest offerings in the Booking Office are causing quite a stir. With its late licence and a decadent drinks menu to drool over, it is set to be one of the most exciting drinking destinations in London.

The Booking Office’s collaboration with Heads, Hearts and Tails gives their exclusive range of pick-me-ups an innovative edge. The Preservation Martini, a deconstructed cocktail, comes with separate condiments so that you become your very own mixologist. And if like us, you can’t resist an exciting cocktail glass then you’re in for a treat; expect apothecary style jars and giant copper punch bowls.

Not only does it boast an impressive drinks menu but it has also introduced a heady food menu to satisfy even the most insatiable appetite. Whether you want a nutritious brunch before catching your Eurostar or to enjoy a slap-up dinner with champagne, the Booking Office caters to all.  

With its inspiration in the Victorian era, but its attitude locked firmly in the present, the Booking Office is a spectacular venue in a premier location, that is perfect for dinner and drinks that will last well into the early hours.  

www.bookingofficerestaurant.com

Posted by Kate Pigden at 13:30 pm | Comments »
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
e-mail icon

Pages