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Biutiful

“When an owl dies, it spits a hairball from its beak…” Let’s face it, no film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu is going to be easy watching but for different reasons. Where Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel were complex and intellectually taxing with fractured interwoven narratives, Biutiful is linear yet emotionally draining. Set amid the Barcelona underclass, the central character is Uxbal, Javier Bardem, who, in Iñárritu’s own words “is a guy whose life is so busy and complicated that he can’t even die in peace.” He’s dying of cancer. Uxbal is a hero but in the traditional ancient […]

Openings & Launches

Poppies Fish & Chips

Spitalfields Market has certainly cleaned up its act but forgive us for finding the sea of restaurant chains shiny but a little soulless. How we long for the good old days of spit and sawdust pubs (as long as they serve a decent gin and tonic…) and traditional fish and chip shops. But wait, what’s this we’re hearing about a new fish and chip shop opening on Hanbury Street? Yes, from later this month we can expect to smell that delicious vinegary aroma wafting on the breeze as the 50 seater Poppies Fish and Chips opens up for business. This […]

News

Massage Menu

We’re accustomed to January detox menus but this year, sister restaurants Awana and Mango Tree are serving up something a little different. Yes, there’s a new healthy menu from each but diners can also indulge in a pre-prandial massage from the nice people at Marylebone’s Chi Yu wellness centre. On arrival, guests can grab a revitalising treatment from the centre’s founder Mami Tsang who specialises in Oriental and complementary therapies. The massage is aimed to aid both relaxation and pep up sluggish digestion too. At Awana, the new set price Malaysian detox menu is £25 and at Mango Tree’s Thai […]

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Openings & Launches

Verru

The Northern European diet is just what the doctor ordered for a new year detox so it’s a good job that new Baltic restaurant, Verru is opening this month on London’s fashionable Marylebone Lane. The establishment marks the first independent venture for executive chef and owner, Andrei Lesment who has cut his teeth in a medley of restaurants worldwide including Pied à Terre and Maze in London. Inspired by his Estonian roots, Lesment has created a menu that merges Baltic and Scandinavian flavours in innovative style. His dishes will include Pan fried red mullet, hop shoots, speck, forest mushrooms and […]

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Openings & Launches

Spice Market

Talk about drip feeding us information til we're all salivating with expectation. However , newest titbit from the W Hotel's publicity machine is actually more of a mouthful but still guaranteed to leave us hungry for more. Jean-Georges Vongerichten of New York's iconic Spice Market is bringing a sister version to W London. It will be a welcome reprise for the three Michelin-starred Vongerichten. Although he has been credited with "inventing America's answer to nouvelle cuisine" Londoners will be far more likely to associate him with The Berkeley Hotel's much missed Vong restaurant which closed in 2003. And Spice Market […]

Openings & Launches

Winners at Sketch

Last minute Christmas shoppers would do well to stop off the at the new pop-up Sketch cafe at the Royal Academy of Arts, the gallery's very fashionable collaboration with Pierre Gagnaire to co-incide with the GSK Contemporary exhibition ' Aware: Art Fashion Identity'. Every week there's £450 worth of Mawi jewellery up for grabs. So, before you dig into your patisserie, check the underside and if you find a golden sticker, it's your lucky day as you can exchange it for a beautiful piece from a selection of necklaces and bracelets from the brand beloved by Alexa Chung and Cheryl […]

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Openings & Launches

Amaranto

The Four Seasons Hotel in Park Lane is set to reopen next month having undergone one serious £125 million makeover during its two year closure. And we're pleased to report that it seems no expense has been spared when it comes to the hotel's brand new destination restaurant either. Amaranto has its own entrance via Hamilton Place and boasts lounge areas, a restaurant and conservatory, bar, private dining room and even a garden terrace. Flexibility is the name of the game here and the idea is that diners can eat or drink in any of the spaces they choose from […]

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News

Get your skates on…

Whether it’s to escape the in-laws or simply indulge in some good old-fashioned seasonal r&r , Piccadilly’s luxurious Athenaeum Hotel has the perfect romantic package but you do need to get your skates on… Guests booking a two night stay before 4 January will receive complimentary ice-skating tickets to the Winter Wonderland rink in Hyde Park, champagne and chocolates and a romantic breakfast in bed the following morning. However, if you’re nursing some ice-induced aches and pains, we suggest you head over to  the hotel’s newly relaunched spa. REN has created a bespoke treatments to revive and rejuvenate such as […]

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Openings & Launches

Cantinetta

Locanda Locatelli is certainly a hotbed for spawning new culinary talent. In July we reported on the opening of Tintello in Pimlico from Locanda alumni, Max and Federico Sali. Not only did they have the blessing of the entrepreneur and his wife Plaxy but even scored financial backing! And now chef Federico Turri who spent seven years working with Giorgio has joined forces with restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas to launch new restaurant and bar Cantinetta this month in Putney. Turri himself hails from a background of restaurateurs and his family ran a hotel and restaurant near Milan in northern Italy. Mascarenhas […]

News

QV Bar

So much for your new year’s resolutions. Come 1 January, Sam and Eddie Hart are launching The QV Bar on the ground floor of iconic Soho restaurant and members club Quo Vadis. Keeping things in the family the interior has been designed by mum, Stefa with petrol blue linen walls, leather banquettes, tub chairs and specially commissioned artworks by Steve Goddard. The venue’s expert mixologist Paul Mant has teamed up with super-premium Ketel One vodka to create four exclusive new cocktails served in bespoke silver cocktail shakers and glasses. Even the copper-topped bar is unique and reflects the traditional copper […]

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