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Reviews

A Taste of Summer at Galvin HOP

What: Galvin restaurants have a certain notoriety about them, scattered across metropoli (is that a word?) inclusive of London and decadent Dubai. This time however, it was the turn of Galvin HOP located in Spital Square, to sample their aptly timed Taste of Summer Menu, curated by Executive Head Chef Zac Whittle. The Setting: Galvin restaurants were established by Chris and Jeff Galvin in 2005, and so there’s quite an establishment and warmth surrounding them. We got this sense especially, walking through Spital Square on a warm summer evening, the chatter from the restaurant wafting towards us in ebbs and […]

Reviews

We Review Smoke & Salt’s New Brunch

What: When chefs Aaron Webster (Dinner by Heston and The Latymer in Pennyhill Park) and Remi Williams (Craigie on Main and Deuxave) met in the kitchens of The Shed in Notting Hill they decided to come together to create Smoke & Salt, a restaurant championing ancient techniques of smoking, curing and preserving. In the modern fairy tale that is pop-up to bricks and mortar (or in this case shipping container), Smoke & Salt started off as a monthly pop-up series and residencies before taking over the magic container that Kricket had at Pop Brixton. On my quest to find the […]

Reviews

Critics’ Choices: Where We Reviewed In July

July zipped by in a haze of Love Island and intolerable heat. So how do we deal with office temperatures that peaked at 32 degrees (with the AC on!) here at The Handbook? Go out and eat in some of London’s best restaurants, of course, oh and travel. Here’s all the places we enjoyed in July. Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa What: Just very sly… Why: Okay, so I’ve wanted to go to the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa since I was about 11 years old. Genuinely, proper bucket list stuff. Couldn’t afford it for my honeymoon but would have […]

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Reviews

We Review Café Forty One’s Vegan Afternoon Tea

What: La Suite West has always had a vegan restaurant but things have taken a sweeter turn as they have replaced it with London’s first vegan French patisserie, Café Forty One. Although there is an emphasis on sweeter foods like afternoon tea and daily pastries, it is still very much a restaurant and has a savoury menu. New? Café Forty One launched 11th July 2018. On The Menu: Head Chef Clarisse Flon, a speciality vegan chef, is in charge of the menu which has the likes of Chipotle cheese with caramelised onion chutney and rocket on rye bread and a Brioche […]

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Health & Wellness

We Review St. James’s Hotel and Club ‘Happiness in the City’ Package

What: City life is busy, busy, busy; people are always in a rush with deadlines to meet and social lives to try and keep fulfilled – so it’s no wonder that the wellness movement is on the rise, with Londoners desperate to maintain a sense of harmony. There’s nothing like a touch of luxury to help one feel relaxed so St. James’s Hotel and Club has created a Happiness in the City package which includes an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room, the wellness breakfast for two people and a 90-minute Connock body treatment from Perfect 10 Black Label for […]

Reviews

Summer Menus and St Germain Cocktails: We Review Dalloway Terrace

What: Normally London’s terraces promise to transport us to different countries, with themed cocktails, dishes and decorations but our whether makes it nigh on impossible to imagine. Not this summer though, we really have been living in a hot country, so when Dalloway Terrace said that they would be bringing the south of France to London with their new installation, they weren’t actually too far out. New? Dalloway Terrace itself isn’t having been on a constant on Instagram feeds since it opened back in March 2016, but it’s new summer floral installation started this month. The Setting: Despite being just […]

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Reviews

Pizarro: The Spanish Staple That Proves Older is Often Wiser

What: Desayuna mucho, come más, cena poco y vivirás – no, The Handbook hasn’t turned Spanish, but has instead visited Pizarro, a restaurant by the man, the myth, the legend José Pizarro, and now we can’t get all things España out of our minds. The restaurant opened in 2011, and has since become a Bermondsey staple, named after José’s grandpops and is now one of three, sitting snug between first venture José Tapas Bar and a 2015 opening in Broadgate Circle. That intro phrase translates, roughly: eat a big breakfast, have a bigger lunch, have a light dinner and you will live […]

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Reviews

We Review: ROBINSON Club Camyuva

What: Sun, sea, sand and partying – all in one resort. ROBINSON Club Camyuva, in Turkey’s Anatolia, combines everything you could want in a holiday into one neat location. The 5-star all-inclusive resort boasts a private beach, heated swimming pool, tennis/volleyball/basketball courts, several bars and restaurants, a spa and its own nightclub. First Impression: For a 5-star resort I was a little underwhelmed with the room; a simple double room with a small balcony, the only toiletries available were hand soap and a body wash/shampoo dispenser in the shower that I thought had a slightly masculine smell rather than being […]

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Reviews

Throwing Another Shrimp on the Barbie at Scarlett Green

What: A wander down the oh so atmospheric Soho, amongst the smiling faces of football fanatics (it’s coming home) took us to the hip, Aussie-inspired restaurant Scarlett Green. A hotspot with a name as inviting as its dishes and sneaky, bold, bright and beautiful artwork sure to have you at hello and make you load up your Insta app. Part of the Daisy Green collection of Aussie-inspired cafés, Scarlett Green is the new-born in a large family, which includes Timmy Green in Victoria, Daisy Green on Seymour Street, Darcie and May Green at Paddington Central, and many more. New? Yes. […]

Travel

Where to Stay in Falmouth: Merchants Manor

What: I always find flying within in the UK rather strange, you get off the plane expecting a different time zone, odd loos and supermarkets which always look a bit knockoff, but then you see a Tesco and find out your taxi driver use to live on the same road as you. With England revelling in a heatwave I decided to make the most of it, escaping London, getting on a 35-minute plane over to Newquay and heading to the Merchants Manor, a hotel in Falmouth for 36 hours in the Cornish sun. New: Six years ago, Sioned and Nick […]

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Reviews

The Mondrian’s Hidden Treasure: We Review Sea Containers

What: The Mondrian Hotel, Southbank, is quite the treasure trove and we sure got an opportunity to delve in during our visit. Sauntering in on a Tuesday evening, our first stop was the Dandelyan Botanical Suite, housed inside the hotel. We tried a mix of cocktails in the exquisite jungle looking room, one of which featured (and I kid you not) ingredients taken from black ants and zebra tarantulas. I wish I could say I despised the taste, but they were weirdly delicious. But, I digress, the point of our visit post creepy crawly cocktails, was to dine at Sea […]

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Reviews

Made In Chelsea? Only If It’s From Tom’s Kitchen

What: I operate a long but, thanks to this job, ever decreasing bucket list of London restaurants I absolutely must visit at some point and Tom Aikens was always on it. I used to live a stone’s throw away from the Cale Street restaurant, though you’d probably find testing this theory would land you with a sizeable Aston Martin repair bill in this corner of Chelsea, back when Tom Aikens’ Restaurant was THE place to be seen. I’d walk longingly past, but the eponymous chef had already won two Michelin stars by the age of 26 and his restaurant was […]

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