The celebrity hangout has always been with us- after all, famous people need somewhere to stumble out of in the wee hours as much as the paparazzi waiting for them need a place to hang about outside of. But what happens when the celebrities decide to venture to the other side of the kitchen doors? The Handbook decided to list some of our favourite places owned by celebrities…
From Idris Elba opening up a cocktail bar, to Usain Bolt’s Track and Records restaurant, it seems like big celebs have got a little too much time on their hands… (not that we’re complaining!) I mean, next David Beckham and Guy Ritchie will join forces and buy a 3- million-pound pub in Notting Hill. Oh wait, they did? Right then!
Yep, the pair, one famed for kicking a ball around, the other for making some big ballsy movies, have come together to re-open the Walmer Castle, close to the former England captain’s home in Holland Park and are set to give it a “Soho House-style’ makeover.” For those who don’t know, this will be a plush and luxe look featuring splashes of quintessential Britishness and home-away-from-home vibes.
Victoria will most probably be at the ready to jump in and help with the refurb!
Where: The Walmer Castle Pub, 58 Ledbury Road, W11 2AJ
Much like being President of the United States, reaching retirement usually involves playing endless rounds of golf and being liberally illiberal with casual racism. But not if you’re Usain Bolt. The world’s fastest man is no slow cooker and he’s going to be proving it with his new opening. The legendary 100m hero is coming to Liverpool Street with his venture, Track and Records, and the Jamaican restaurant opens next week.
Jamaica’s greatest son, arguably after Bob Marley and those guys from Cool Runnings, has grand plans to open 15 of his restaurants across the UK, starting here, and the theme, as if you hadn’t guessed, is Caribbean with more than a hint of Bolt himself. Expect to see memorabilia by the metre and general Olympian tat interspersed with reminders of Bolt’s Jamaican roots.
The menu will be authentic, with plenty of jerk chicken and pork and fried fish as well as something called bammy (a flatbread) and lots and lots of rum (more than 150, including 100 from Jamaica).
Set over two floors with a large dancefloor and DJs, Tracks & Records will be a place to come and enjoy reggae music, food and a generally funky Usain Bolt vibe. We’ll be sprinting there.
Where: 94 Middlesex St, E1 7EZ
Imagine if some of the sexiest men in the world backed a restaurant? Oh, wait they did? Well, serve me up a platter of that, please! Enrique Iglesias, Ronaldo, and Rafael Nada are just three of the names behind Ibizan restaurant Zela, launching in London this month. The restaurant follows the flagship ZELA situated on the party isle of Ibiza, which launched in 2017. Owned by MABEL hospitality, the VIP partners behind the venture are (as noted) sexy oh, and from the worlds of entertainment and sport. The cuisine is championed by Michelin-starred chef Ricardo Sanz, whom together with TATEL culinary team has created the Mepponcuisine; Japanese techniques and flavours applied to Mediterranean products and traditions. The food looks delicious and full of flavour, but food aside we’re sure there are plenty of other reasons why you’ll be wanting to visit…
Where: Zela London, ME London Hotel, 336 – 337 Strand WC2R 1HA
Forget the will he won’t he be James Bond talk, because this story is actually true and it’s happening soon. Idris Elba is adding another string to his bow so that he’ll now be actor/director/DJ/cocktail bar owner.
That’s right the Luther star and director of Yardie is teaming up with twins Lee and Nicky Caulfield to open The Parrot at The Waldorf Hilton. Whilst we don’t know all the details yet, we can tell you that it’s going to be an intimate set up with space for just 60, cocktails will be tropical themed, there’ll be a live band every evening and there are rumours of hidden menus and secret performances. Oh, and they’ve announced that they will be the first bar in London to offer its own chauffeur-driven car. Well, if it’s opened by a VIP then we all get VIP treatment, too right?
Expected to open in the next few weeks, it’s not long to wait now… now just how to get onto the guest list for what will no doubt be one incredible launch party.
Where: The Waldorf Hilton Aldwych, WC2B 4DD
De Niro's Best Role
The most successful example of celebrity restaurant owners has to be Robert De Niro, who encouraged Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (Nobu) to open the first Nobu in New York in 1994. Having put up the cash to get the restaurant off the ground it was only a matter of time until Nobu became a global empire of 29 restaurants.
London’s Nobu London and Nobu Berkeley Street aren’t the Taxi Driver actor’s only London investments, Robert De Niro is set to open a boutique hotel, The Wellington, in Covent Garden so expect more culinary surprises.
Where: Nobu London, Old Park Lane, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
Back of the net for Frank Lampard
Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard may have left the beautiful game behind him, but if beautiful game is what you’re after it might be worth taking a glance at the specials board at his pub The Pig’s Ear. The Chelsea Gastro Pub is owned by Frank Lampard and his father, himself a former professional footballer.
Where: 35 Old Church St, Chelsea, SW3 5BS
A wizard pub from Ian McKellen
From the limelight to Limehouse, Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen owns The Grapes, the East End boozer-cum-gastropub. The pub’s been serving pints for over 500 years and was once a favourite with Charles Dickens (who mentions it in the opening chapter of Our Mutual Friend). Nowadays the restaurant serves up dishes including Ian McKellen branded dishes like the “Sir Ian Meaty Shepherds Pie.”
Where: 76 Narrow St, Limehouse, E14 8BP
Michael Parkinson's restaurant on the edge of London
Parky might have interviewed some of the nation’s most notable restauranteurs, including Jamie Oliver to Gordon Ramsey, but as both restauranteurs have made closures over recent years, it’s his own restaurant that’s pulling in all the punters. Indeed, Theresa May and French President Emanuel Macron were there just the other week. Run alongside his son, Nick, the duo opened in 2008 and have since gained a Michelin Star and have turned this pub within striking distance of London into a destination restaurant.
Where: Paley St, Maidenhead, SL6 3JN
Damien Hirst's Pharmacy
Damien Hirst may be busy pickling cows in formaldehyde, but it’s not stopped him from teaming up with chef Mark Hix to create Pharmacy 2. The chemist-themed restaurant within Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall is beautiful and endlessly curious, much like the big man himself.
Where: Newport Street, Southwark, SE11 6AJ
Ryan Giggs & Co's Cafe Football
Ere we go, ere we go, footballing legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville, and Gary Neville have teamed up to create Cafe Football. The concept is simple, need somewhere to go for dinner before or after the big game? Then go to Cafe Football, the restaurant explicitly for football fans. If you hate football, think it’s a pointless game of Ferarri crashing, wife-beating, multi-millionaires kicking a ball for 90 miserable minutes, then you probably won’t get that much out of Cafe Football.
Where: Westfield, Stratford, Stratford City, E20 1EN
To view The Handbook’s Top 75 Restaurants click here