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Openings & Launches

Food for thought

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen group and former Fifteen chef and nephew of Mick Jagger, Arthur Potts Dawson’s social enterprise, Acorn House may be the most high profile ventures to undertake the training of disadvantaged youngsters but now Thomasina Miers’ Mexican mini chain, Wahaca has partnered up with The Prince’s Trust. The group’s new Canary Wharf venture has been actively targeting young people living in the capital’s Centrepoint hostels with a two week course which marks the latest in an on-going programme. And now, seven unemployed Londoners have defied the credit crunch by scooping jobs at the restaurant. The course, which comes […]

Restaurants, Pubs & Food

Christmas at Paramount

If you've been itching to scope out Paramount, London's uber exclusive Tom Dixon designed members' club atop the Centre Point tower, now's your chance.  The venue is running an unmissable offer that's guaranteed to impress the most world-weary of guests.  For a limited time only, its exclusive Level 31 private events' space is available free of charge for Christmas lunch bookings.  Now admittedly, there's no such thing as a free lunch.  You do need a minimum of 30 guests at £95 a head but with a panoramic view of the capital form a 385ft high perspective – it'll buy you […]

Openings & Launches

Away with the fairies

Adult slumber parties are de rigueur these days. The opening of Nick Jones’ swanky new Dean Street Townhouse hotel was attended by a milk and cookies supping crowd of Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Kevin Spacey and Lily Cole. Flamboyant designer David Carter hosts bedtime story nights at his sumptuous 40 Winks micro hotel – complete with pyjama dress-code and cashmere blankets natch. And then there’s the brand new London outpost of Amsterdam phenomenon, Supperclub. You won’t get much sleep on its super king-size beds but there’s enough goose down in Acklam Road for one mother of a pillow fight. So […]

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Openings & Launches

Food and Drink Fests

Are you a culinary conformist or an alimentary anarchist? We’ll give you a clue – the former will be perfectly content wandering the ExCel circuit but the latter will be checking out the work of an emerging ceramics artist commissioned by Lady Gaga while sipping biodynamic wine and grazing on vegan delicacies that taste so good that they should rightly be extremely bad for you. (but aren’t) Yes, there are two food and drink festivals hitting the capital this month. In the blue corner, we have Taste of Christmas, seasonal partner of Taste of London. The three day festival brings […]

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Openings & Launches

The Kensington Hotel

This year, international hotel group, The Doyle Collection, welcomed into the fold its newest member, The Kensington Hotel. And the massive £24 million restoration that preceded the launch was certainly one big old facelift – even by Chelsea standards! Now although Trafalgar Square boasts the capital's official Christmas tree, there's something about the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that lends itself perfectly to the season. It might be the Royal Albert Hall, The Natural History Museum with its festive ice rink, midnight mass at the Brompton Oratory or even the great big alternative tree that is Harrods department store […]

Openings & Launches

Caponata & Mennula

You can never keep a notoriously optimistic Italian down and as if to prove it, this season sees two new key launches rising from the ashes of recent closures. Remember Camden landmark, Café Delancey? Well meet the new incumbent, Caponta. The Sicilian Ristorante, Osteria and Bar is run by a family team of brothers and sisters-in-law. But not content with simply feeding their patrons, they have also launched The Forge, a brand new, purpose-built music and arts space next door. The first floor restaurant has a sleek and modern Scandinavian look, flooded with natural light via a glassed-over faux courtyard. […]

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Openings & Launches

Seasonal Pop-Ups

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without all those holiday staples – mince pies, pantos, snogging under the mistletoe and of course a proliferation of good old fashioned pop-ups. Sketch at the Royal Academy continues the gallery’s proud tradition that saw Bistrotheqe’s Flash restaurant taking up residence last year. Pierre Gagnaire and Mourad Mazouz, will launch their pop-up café on December 3rd for two months to coincide with the GSK Contemporary, Earth exhibition. Complementing the exhibition’s theme – an artistic response to the climate change debate – the café aims to reduce unnecessary food miles and will adopt a sustainable philosophy […]

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Openings & Launches

Champagne Chic

Fashion and champagne have always gone hand in hand so Harvey Nichols' new Fifth Floor Belle Époque Champagne Bar and Mews of Mayfair's collaboration with Piper-Heidsieck and Christian Louboutin are a match made in fashionista heaven. The original Fifth Floor bar was a chic if somewhat masculine affair but thanks to an exclusive collaboration with Perrier-Jouët and interior designer Shaun Clarkson, the new version is definitely one for the ladies. Inspired by the grand turn of the century salons and Emile Gallé’s iconic 1902 anemone bottle design for the Cuvée Belle Époque the new bar is all contemporary Art Nouveau. […]

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Openings & Launches

Square Mile Clubbing

Time for City boys to come out of hiding. Two new East-side venues are sure to tempt even the most chastened party animals out of retirement. Just like the legend of Atlantis, there have been whispers for some time but finally, it's official. This month, Nick House and Piers Adam, mogels behind Mayfair's enduringly popular Mahiki Club are opening a new Polynesian themed paradise of a bar in the City. Taking its name from the Tiki God of the Sea, Kanaloa, is a laid back tropical island that guests enter via a wooden bridge. Think Tiki motifs, fresh flowers and […]

Openings & Launches

BT’s new restaurant

It's good to talk but even better to do it over a good meal. The revolving restaurant at the top of London's BT Tower is set to reopen again at the end of 2011 – for the first time in over thirty years. Saturday night saw a spectacular firework display, launched from the skyscraper’s 581 ft roof to mark the 1,000-day countdown to the London Olympic Games. A giant, 360-degree LED display is wrapped around the 36th and 37th floors and will count down the days until the opening ceremony The 581ft BT Tower was first opened in 1965 by […]

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