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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 […]

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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Win An Exclusive Membership To New Members’ Club Kindred

Open until 26th January 2020

Kindred, West London’s most exciting members’ space, has teamed up with The Handbook to exclusively offer one lucky winner a complimentary brunch + guest and a three-month membership, which includes: Two floors of co-working space including The Library for quiet working, lounge space for meetings, phone booth for private calls, and a members bar to order food and drink Targeted introductions and weekly members networking to grow your business Weekly events such as Monday morning Coffee Club, meditation on Tuesdays, 60 seconds networking Wednesdays, and river walks on a Thursday Opportunity to showcase your work in their newsletter to 2k+ […]

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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

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 […]

Restaurants, Pubs & Food

Kai Mayfair

Kai isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a master class in Chinese cuisine. In fact, the only hole I can pick in our evening was the menu – the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” couldn’t have been more apt. Thank goodness for the army of waitresses who guided me through an extraordinary variety of imperial delicacies. The Braised Abalone (sea snail) & ‘Kai Lan’ in a white truffle reduction was exquisite, which you would hope having been airflown from China and after 3 days of marinating. The Wasabi prawns, a speciality at Kai, were hot, cool, bitter, sweet […]

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Restaurants, Pubs & Food

Ginger Bread Wishes

Forget the toffee apple this bonfire night and instead sample the scrumptious new Ginger Bread Martini at The Mandeville!  This yummy cocktail was created exclusively for the deVigne Bar by bar manager Claudio Grisorio, made with vodka, orange curacao, honey and mulled with homemade gingerbread – the ideal winter warmer. The martini treat will warm the cockles of heart in more ways than one though, as £1 from every martini sold will be donated to Make-a-Wish Foundation UK. Make-a-Wish Foundation UK grants children and young people suffering from life threatening illnesses their wish, whatever that may be.  It might be […]

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Openings & Launches

Jewel in the Crown

With its opulent silk swathed spaces that traverse the globe from Moroccan Riad to Rajasthani Palace, at first glance, Jewel appears as reassuringly expensive as the gemstone department in Harrods. However, prices below many West End bars mean that those in the know are flocking here in their droves to experience the bar's premium offering and lower rates. Jewel virgins will be surprised yet gratified to learn that the majority of the wine list sits below £20 and starts at a recession busting £14.50 a bottle for South African Shiraz going up to the dizzying realms of £25 for sparkling […]

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Openings & Launches

Gold Rush

The price of gold has risen for the eighth consecutive year, currently weighing in at about £659 per ounce and everyone wants a piece of the action. However, it's not just confined to the work-dodging Jeremy Kyle ad-break audience as there's nothing a posh person likes better than a bargain. Those who prefer not to mail off their 'unwanted gold' in handy resealable bags, have a number of more entertaining options. One such is Ounces to Pounds, the precious metal equivalent of Ann Summers which invites clients to host their own gold parties. The company only started out at the […]

Openings & Launches

Tag Team

Graffiti was once the preserve of teenage gangs tagging railway bridges and tube trains with versions of ‘I woz ere’ and dubious artistic merit. But with Banksy’s trademark stencil creations fetching five figure sums and his ‘Space Girl & Bird’ a staggering £288,000 at auction, it’s now become a recognised art form in its own right. Banksy’s work has even been ‘vandalised’ itself, with one piece attracting its own graffiti in Australia. The artist, whose identity still remains a quasi-secret (theories are endless) exhibited in Bristol Museum over the summer – he started out there with Bristol’s DryBreadZ Crew becoming […]

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Openings & Launches

News to dine out on

Excitement is mounting for the start of the inaugural London Restaurant Festival. From October 8th – 13th the cream of the capital's gastronomic talent will be showcasing their wares with a cornucopia of fun events across town. Renowned three Michelin-starred chef, Pierre Koffmann's return to the kitchen with a pop-up Tante Claire atop Selfridges department store has had his army of fans salivating since the announcement earlier this year. Factor in that he's also invited a stellar selection of his former protégées – including Eric Chavot and Tom Kitchin – to guest chef and it's no surprise that tables for […]

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Openings & Launches

Wish You Were Here

You say tometo we say tomato but shopping is a great equalizer! The Big Apple is coming to London town. This is the second phase of the Wish You Were Here initiative, a unique exchange between London and New York which sees 30 independent boutiques from the hippest neighbourhoods on both sides of the Atlantic trading places. From October 3rd, a celebrated slice of The Big Apple’s Lower East Side will descend on London’s Newburgh Quarter (8 Newburgh Street and 3 Lowndes Court) following a reciprocal visit to the US last month. Both districts are renowned for their vibrant mix […]

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