And just like that we are coming up to the end of the year. Where has 2017 gone? Before we all lament over how quickly time flies and how none of us have achieved this year’s resolutions (are they even a thing still) let’s take a look at the restaurants and hotels that opened in November, because whilst we might all be winding down to the end of the year, the rate at which new venues open in London certainly isn’t.
What: For the Modern Traveller
Why: The work of Jason Catifeoglou (myhotels group, IHG, The Zetter, Grain Store & The Zetter Townhouses), Andreas Thrasyvoulou (myhotels group) and Steph Thrasyvoulou, the 73-bedroom hotel in Paddington, is said to be a reinterpretation of the traditional hotel (could be why they chose the edgy spelling). You’ll check in online before you’ve arrived so you won’t find a reception desk, instead you’ll find a ground floor café, which will have a distinct local coffee house feel to it. Bedrooms range from Bunk (we’re talking bunk beds with no extras like televisions) through to Large with King and Superking beds and each bedroom will make the most of the original Victorian fittings and will feature reclaimed and restored furnishings from 200 year- old mahogany parquet floors to original cast iron radiators. It’s a classic hotel, without the unnecessary fuss.
Where: Norfolk Square, Paddington, W2 1RT
What: Kensington Gets a Mahiki
Why: Co-founders of private members’ club, Albert’s: Jake Parkinson Smith, Fraser Carruthers and Carlo Carello have joined forces as joint venture partners with Piers Adam and David Phelps, to bring Mahiki to Kensington to open. Whilst you’ll still find the classic Pan-Asian touches found in the first Mahiki like the hand carved statues, Carlo, Jake and Fraser will be putting their spin on Mahiki, with the introduction of Pufferfish; a restaurant, which as the name suggests, will offer a menu of exotic delicacies and theatrical touches including a raw bar and a sushi hand seared table side with a blowtorch. The iconic Mahiki treasure chest topped with Champagne will be back, as a life-sized hand carved ice sculpture and of course they’ll be plenty of tropical cocktails and more Mimosa’s and Bloody Marys than you know what to do with at the weekend – yep they’re going to have a bottomless brunch.
Where: 2A Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 4PT
What: The Ultimate Eclair Shop
Why: It’s been two years since the world’s first choux pastry specialist opened in South Kensington. Since then it’s become almost normal to see celebrities queuing outside with the locals, patiently waiting for their delicate freshly-made eclairs, choux and chouquettes. Master Patissier Joakim Prat, the 3 Michelin star-experienced chef and the brains behind Maître Choux has made sure it’s a shop that demands attention. And that’s a good thing, because now it’ll be attracting double the attention given Maître Choux Dean Street opened this month. The larger site allows for more seating than currently available in South Kensington and opens up the option of pastry lovers being able to supplement their delicious confections with tea, coffee or the thick hot chocolate that Joakim’s grandmother makes according to an old Basque recipe. Of course all the old favourites that have made South Kensington such a mecca for patisserie-lovers will remain. Chouquettes will continue to be baked on-site every hour and the core range of hand-crafted show-stopper eclairs will remain.
Where: 60 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AW
What: New Indian Restaurant
Why: Bombay, the city of dreams and the gateway to India, is a living and breathing metropolis, a seething mass of humanity, a diverse splash of colour and the theme of what sounds like it’ll be one of our favourite openings of 2017. New restaurant Bombay Bustle (from Samyukta Nair and Rohit Ghai, the Co-Founder and Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Jamavar) channels the energy of the dabbawalas, the men who transport the traditionally towered tin dabba boxes, brimming with homemade food, to-and-fro-ing through the crowded streets and railways of Mumbai. The exciting new restaurant will recreate some of the city’s most loved dishes but will also add in many of chef Ghai’s mother’s own recipes
Where: 29 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PA
What: Bar That Inspired Agatha Christie, Returns
Why: To visit Flemings is to experience history in the present. As the hotel approaches its 170th birthday the hotel bar, Manetta’s, has been restored to its 1930s splendour. Reviving the hotel’s golden era, when Manetta’s was a favourite hideaway for scholars of literature and the arts, the decadent and sophisticated underground bar is once again the perfect place for classic aperitifs, inventive cocktails and indulgent nightcaps. Cocktails include a Rose is a Rose is a Rose, a quote from Gertrude Stein, and includes Plantation 3 Stars Rum, Hibiscus liqueur, lime and grapefruit juice, shaken with egg white, or taste a Half a Step Outside the Circle, compriesed of Cherry Heering, blood orange syrup and Devaux Cuvée Champagne. Further cocktail options include various drinks named after Agatha Christie novels, including They Do It with Mirrors and Endless Night.
Where: 7-12 Half Moon Street, Mayfair, W1J 7BH
What: New from Parle
Why: Pasta master Stevie Parle has opened Pastaio on Soho’s Ganton Street. Pastaio, the term for a person who makes pasta by hand, will specialise in, you guessed it, fresh pasta. You’ll know Parle from runaway successes like Palatino, Craft London and Sardine so Pastaio is in very good hands. The wonderfully Italian menu features starters like clams cooked in butter and grillo or the fried mozzarella, nduja and honey sandwich or sample the simple but effective heritage tomatoes and basil. For mains expect to gently up the carbs with Parle’s delectable pasta creations. Pasta dishes include grouse, rabbit and pork agnoli or why not try the crab, courgette, yellow tomato, marjoram, fusilli. Again, the simple option that will never disappoint is the wild mushroom tagliatelle with garlic and olive oil.
Where: 19 Ganton Street, Carnaby, W1F 9BN
What: West Brompton's New Restaurants
Why: Taking over the former Prince of Wales pub and the four disused connecting buildings on Lillie Road, The Prince is brought to you by the team behind Pergola on the Roof and Pergola Paddington Central, so you know it’s going to be good. It’ll be made up of two bars, four restaurants and a huge secret garden all connected and all under the guise of The Prince. To eat you can choose from Patty & Bun, The Begging Bowl, Rabbit and MAM and just like that from not having much to write home about in terms of restaurants, Lillie Road now has four
Where: 14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT
What: A Taste Of The Aegean In Soho
Why: There may not be a ‘G’ in Hovarda, but the Aegean runs right through this latest opening from the Good Food Society. Inspired by the Aegean region, encompassing Turkey and Greece, the bar and restaurant will combine great cocktails, DJs and seafood in the heart of Soho. The menu comes courtesy of Hus Vedat from sister-restaurant Yosma and centres around the fantastic seafood dishes ubiquitous throughout the region. As in any local fishing village on the edge of the Aegean Sea, the fish menu will change daily depending on what the fishermen have caught, but main courses will include marinated sea bream, fennel and saffron, wood fire beetroot, orange and Galomitzithra, rilled smoked eel, fava, radishes with caper leaves, crab borek and lemon sauce and kleftico, slow roasted Ryeland lamb, lamb-fat potatoes and oregano. If that wasn’t enough, the desserts on offer at Hovarda will include a mouthwatering Metaxa Baba, which is Vedat’s take take on a Rum Baba and Lokma, (which are syrupy deep fried dough balls) served with spiced ice cream, honey and walnuts.
Where: 36 – 40 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DN
Victory House London Leicester Square MGallery by Sofitel
What: Leicester Square's New Hotel
Why: Victory House is a new 86 room boutique hotel right on the square and overlooking the red carpets and hustle and bustle of Leicester Square. Designed by architects Michaelis Boyd, the interiors reflect the deep cinematic history of the area with each room featuring 1950s film icons, black and white Art Deco interiors and soft teal, grey and beige furnishings. Portraits of movie icons adorn the walls while silent films are projected in the lobby and lift. This is a place that not only pays homage to, but is very much a part of London’s film heritage. The hotel comes courtesy of MGallery by Sofitel, a collection of unique boutique hotels across the globe.
Where: 14 Leicester Place, Leicester Square, WC2H 7BZ
Sophie's Steakhouse (Soho)
What: Steakhouse in a Former Sex Cinema
Why: Swapping actual porn for food-porn, Sophie’s Steakhouse has a new home in a former sex cinema. But while the Moulin Cinema on Great Windmill Street was once one of Britain’s best known destinations for dirty men in their macs, an entirely new clientelle (it’s hoped) will now be making their way to one of London’s best known steakhouses when Sophie’s. Sophie’s has become a South Kensington institution since it launched in 2002. Recreating the atmosphere of New York steakhosues, Sophie’s is known for its classic cuts and warm hospitality, the restaurant is a byword for excellence and a home-from-home for locals who have been packing it out night after night for the best part of two decades.
Where: 42-44 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7NB
The Coral Room
What: New at the Bloomsbury Hotel
Why: 2017 really has been the year of the hotel, new hotels opening, hotels being announced and hotels relaunching. It’s been a busy year for London’s iconic venues. One such hotel is The Bloomsbury, home to Dalloway Terrace, the Bloomsbury Club and now The Coral Room, as it relaunched last month following a multimillion-pound investment. Open throughout the day, breakfast will feature the likes of garden pea and feta smash on sourdough toast and an acacia breakfast bowl and the all-day menu will include lobster and crayfish mac n cheese, short rib sliders and the classic Cumberland sausage roll. To drink, there’ll be plenty of English Sparkling wines and cocktails inspired by both the country and the city
Where: The Bloomsbury 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN