Highlights July 2017

As the height of summer approaches, July has witnessed an array of exciting events and spectacular new launches, and whilst the weather over the past couple of weeks may of been typically British, this hasn’t stopped us from exploring the best that the capital has to offer. From glitter-filled, early morning raves and risqué burlesque shows, to delicious seasonal cocktails and the announcement of unique new dining concepts, Londoners definitely have not been short of new experiences this month. Here are some of our best July bits.

1. Food and Travel Magazine featured OSLO's perfect summery serve, the ‘Oslo Spritz’, as its Cocktail Of The Month.

2. The Beaufort Bar and its ‘spectacular, show-stopping cocktails’ were included in Condé Nast Traveller's roundup of ‘The Best Bars in London Right Now’.

The best bars in London right now

The Savoy's vintage American Bar is the one you draw up a stool at, order a classic Martini and try to out-do the white-jacketed bartender with cocktail anecdotes (he'll win). It's also the one that gets the queues.

3. The Handbook included the hotly anticipated arrival of the ‘new and innovative’ 3D animation dining concept from the hugely successful Le Petit Chef, which is coming to London this October.

Le Petit Chef: London's Latest Immersive Dining Pop-Up

Like immersive dining? Then let us introduce you to Dinner Time Story, a new, innovative dining concept which uses cutting edge 3D animations to bring your table to life, telling the story of Le Petit Chef. It's had a hugely successful launch in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and this autumn it'll be coming to London.

4. FT Weekend interviewed classical violinist, Charlie Siem about his exciting upcoming performance at the New Generation Festival in Florence.

5. The Underbelly Festival’s ‘late-night, risqué burlesque’ show, Between The Sheets, was included in Scottish Woman Magazine’s July ‘Hit–List’.

6. As the wellness trend continues to sweep London, the major success of ‘non-alcoholic rave’ Morning Gloryville was featured by The Guardian.

7. Graffiti Spirits Group's brand new food and drink market, specializing in the finest artisanal street food and drink in Liverpool, was featured by the Liverpool Echo. 

Team behind Santa Chupitos to open new food and drink market

The team behind some of Liverpool's most popular bars and restaurants are opening a brand new food and drink market on Duke Street. Graffiti Spirits Group will be launching the new venture, building on the success of some of the city's best loved independent bars and restaurants, like Santa Chupitos, Salt Dog Slims, Santa Maluco and Slim's Porkchop Express.

8. Founder of THATMuse, Daisy de Plume, set the sites of Paris and London against one another in a bid to decide the ‘perfect summer city’ for families to visit in The Telegraph.

Paris vs London: which is the perfect summer city for families?

Which European capital, Paris or London, is more kid-considerate when it comes to parks? In the Battle of Green Glory, it may take an American to decide. Sorry, London, there's no contest when Paris's oldest carousel was designed by Charles Garnier, who also happened to build the city's opera house.

9. As R&B Distillers prepare to launch their new operation on the Isle of Rasaay, The Scotsman reported the appointment of their operations chief and the islands first legal whisky distiller, Iain Roberston.

10. London Evening Standard included the launch of new bar and deli The Mint Gun Club in its roundup on the 'Ten Hottest Tickets In Town', with a special mention for its ‘experimental cocktails and heady nightcaps’.

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Highlights June 2017

Summer is in full swing and the month of June has seen some of London’s best events, delicious new menu launches and exciting openings yet. The sun made us excited to get out and about in the Capital, and enjoy the vast variety of entertainment, food, and drink on offer. From incredible cabaret shows and wrestling spectacles, to incredibly inventive new summer cocktail menus, here are some of our highlights from the past month:

1. Dinner Time Story by Le Petit Chef is coming to London this October, as featured on the Hot Dinners Gastroblog.

Dinner Time Story comes to london with its Petit Chef

Written by Gavin Hanly It's already been hugely popular in Dubai and United Arab Emirates, and now the projector-based restaurant Dinner Time Story is coming to London. So what is it? Put simply, you'll have a little show on your dinner plate as a tiny chef starts creating your meal in front of you.

2. The Cocktail Trading Company’s inventive new summer menu was featured by Secret London, describing the bar as ‘undoubtedly one of London’s quirkiest bars’ for ‘seriously good drinks’.

East London's Craziest New Cocktails Just Landed Off Brick Lane

If you love whiling away your evenings with an expertly crafted cocktail in hand, this intimate Shoreditch bar comes complete with live music, good vibes and some seriously good drinks. The Cocktail Trading Company's playful cocktail list takes their output to new heights - quite literally, in fact, as one of them is served in a mini hot air balloon.

3. Vogue included ‘summer hotspot’ Skylight in its article on the ‘Best Rooftop Bars In London’. 

Best Rooftop Bars In London

The best rooftop bars in London 2017 - including Sky Garden, Sushisamba and Kensington Roof Gardens. Explore Vogue's recommendation of the rooftop bars in London to seek out amidst a heatwave.

4. Ray’s Bar’s new cocktail menu featuring ‘brimming pop culture references’ was included in Bar Magazine’s June issue. 

5. Marie Claire included The Savoy’s spring afternoon tea in its ‘Best Places To Go For Afternoon Tea’ roundup, noting the Thames Foyer is ‘the perfect setting for it’. 

Best afternoon tea London: Chic places for cake in the capital

Looking for the best afternoon tea in London? As people of Britain, it's our God-given right to indulge our sweet tooth in lavish surroundings at least once a year as part of the sacred ritual that is High Tea.

6. The Resident interviewed Miss Polly Rae and Dusty Limits about their exciting new summer runs at Underbelly Festival for its July issue.

7. Mexican wrestle spectacle Lucha Libre took pride of place on the front cover of Big Issue North.

8. ‘Cabaret show with a difference’ The Black Cat Cabaret was included in Flight Time’s June issue.

9. Evening Standard included The Jam Tree’s ‘month long rum-bonanza’ Rum Fest in its weekend guide.

Things to do in London this weekend

The heatwave might have made a swift exit, and Glastonbury might have packed up another year, but London is as busy as ever. There's everything from countless gin n' tonics to a preview of the Edinburgh festival. Elsewhere, there's art, Eid and Woody Allen. Get stuck in.

10. Channel 4 hosted Lucha Libre’s female wrestling star Diablesa Rosa on Sunday Brunch.

11. THATMuse’s all new ‘Love Hunt’ was included in Time Out’s feature of the ‘Best Events In Your Area’.

May 2017 Best Bits

The sun is finally out in the Capital and this month’s hot weather and exciting outdoor events got Londoners in the right mindset for the Summer months ahead. The May bank holidays gave foodies, cocktail lovers and live music enthusiasts plenty of time to enjoy London’s best events - from rooftop openings and cocktail menu launches to Spanish fiestas. Here are some of our best bits from May:

1. EasyJet Traveller included New Generation Festival in its ‘Ten Things Worth Getting On A Plane For’, noting that ‘classical music just got cool’.

2. The General Store’s floral Patent Tonic cocktail, ‘inspired by the true beauty of nature’, was featured in The Telegraph’s floral cocktail roundup for Chelsea’s Flower Show.

Chelsea Flower Show 2017: all the latest floral cocktails and where to find them

Inspired by "the true beauty of nature" the Patent Tonic from The General Store is a mix of grapefruit, pomegranate, mint and Bloom gin.

3. ES Magazine described The Beaufort Bar as ‘rendering explicit the relationship betwixt cocktails and couture’ and tried its Height Of Fashion cocktail, describing it as ‘smoothly powerful; an iron fist in a velvet glove’.

4. Metro featured the spectacular opening show of The Black Cat Cabaret’s in its London To-Do List. 

5. Recently launched rooftop bar Skylight was included in Evening Standard’s ‘Great Days Out’, with a special mention for its ‘stunning views’. 

6. Spanish festival weekend Feria de Londres was featured in Waitrose Weekend for ‘a taste of Spain’ during the May bank holiday.

7. Serving ‘an evolved definition of pub food’, The Clifton was included in The Telegraph’s ‘Best New Restaurant And Bar Openings’. 

London's best new restaurant and bar openings

Michael Achenbaum, the property developer behind Gansevoort Hotel Group, opens his first London hotel this month. In Shoreditch, The Curtain will beckon big-spending Londoners with its members' club - they'll enjoy various privileges and access to a private rooftop restaurant, pool and live-performance area - and everyone else with a bar and the first European outpost of New York chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant.

8. THATMuse will have offspring ‘clamouring to go to the British Museum’ with its competitive themed treasure hunts, as featured by Town & Country.

9. Morning Gloryville’s exciting fourth birthday rave was covered in Evening Standard’s Going Out section

10. The Cocktail Trading Company’s newly launched, story-telling cocktail menu was praised by The Spirits Business for ‘taking inventiveness to a new level’.

London's CTC debuts 'playful' cocktail menu

London bar The Cocktail Trading Company (CTC) is "taking inventiveness to a new level" with the launch of a story-telling cocktail menu that presents "unsung classics" in bespoke drinking vessels. Created by Andy Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball, the menu is designed to "conjure certain emotions" through the choice of flavours and off-the-wall presentation.

11. Metro recommends ‘sacking off your morning green juice and dropping by El Bandito instead’ in its article on ‘Weird Cocktails You Should Try’.

World Cocktail Day: 15 of London's weirdest cocktails you should try

World Cocktail Day falls on May 13 this year, and God help you if you spend it with a jug of Woo Woo down at the local Wetherspoons. Instead, why not delve into London's experimental cocktail scene with one (or two, or three) of these quirky creations?

12. E1 Life Magazine has Ray’s Bar ‘on its radar’ and suggests heading there for its ‘exciting new cocktail menu’. 

April 2017 Highlights

This April has been an exciting month – Lent didn’t stop us from indulging in a few too many chocolate eggs and family brunches over the Easter break! With an eventful May ahead, packed with bank holidays, it’s time to reflect on the last month’s antics – think an abundance of salt beef, Mezcal cocktails and amazing reviews.

1. Islington’s new Salt Beef Bar & Canteen, Mercer & Co was featured in the Evening Standard as a key player in the ‘rolls with holes’ trend.

2. El Bandito, the recently opened Mexican pop-up bar ‘offering an impressive cocktail menu’, was included in Metro’s 'Cocktails of the Day' piece.

3. City Jet’s ‘Three of a kind’ Summer Festival guide featured Feria de Londres, for a ‘colourful celebration of Andalusian culture’.

4. Parisian-inspired The Black Cat Cabaret made it into London Visitor Magazine’s main feature:  ‘Cool Things To Do In May’.

5. Getting a ‘first look’ at the newly relaunched music venue – Time Out were impressed by the ‘Garage’s dramatic new look’ and ‘top-notch sound systems.’

6. Live at Zédel’s new and diverse summer season of entertainment was featured in BA Highlife’s ‘24 Hours in London’.

7. The Guardian Weekend’s wonderful review of Lorne noted its ‘splendid wine list’ and ‘seriously memorable black pudding’.

8. The Sunday Times gave Lorne a four star review and mentions its ‘lovely staff’ and ‘fantastically well priced quality food and wines.

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9. Making it onto Grace Dent’s “2017 ‘Best Of’ list”, ES Magazine described Lorne as ‘completely outstanding’.

10. THATMuse received a special mention from Tatler and thinks the treasure hunts are ‘hands down the most fun you’ll ever have in a museum’.

10 things you should do this April

The most fun shows, events and exhibitions on this month. By Luciana Bellini and Beatriz Choi This month it's all about immersive theatre, Renaissance bromance and vengeful heroines. We bring you the very best things to do this April...

11. Soon to open pub, The Clifton,  was featured on Hot Dinners. With a mouth-watering menu this St John’s Wood’s local is set to become a firm favourite with residents and visitors alike.

The Clifton in St John will reopen as a modern all-day gastropub

What: The Clifton In a nutshell: The Clifton in St John's Wood is saved and reopening as a new pub. Summing it all up: Haggis sausage rolls, Wild Grouse ketchup and roast cod with arrocina beans will be some of the dishes on offer to those who visit The Clifton, St John's Wood's newest pub.

EL BANDITO IS COMING TO LONDON

New Tequila and Mezcal bar begins a series of London residencies

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Having conquered the discerning drinking scene in Liverpool, reputable spirit aficionados of El Bandito are excited to bring a slice of the North to the heart of London with the launch of a brand new pop-up, set to open on Wednesday 5th April 2017

Offering high quality cocktails in a Mexican inspired Shoreditch bar, the El Bandito pop-up menu will feature an impressive collection of approximately fifty tequilas and twenty-five mezcals, including specialist brands not available anywhere else in the UK. 

The El Bandito brand is the brainchild of business partners John Ennis and Matt Farrell, whom having enjoyed great success with their six Liverpool based bars, are now looking to launch this pop-up using their extensive knowledge of spirits and passion for creative cocktails. 

Hidden away from the bustling Shoreditch High Street, this first residency will be taking place underneath popular dim sum restaurant, The Drunken Monkey, where guests can enjoy a memorable evening of inventive cocktails in a fun and atmospheric basement bar environment.

The drinks menu comprises an extensive selection of delicious cocktails, featuring everything from frozen margaritas to flights of tequila. With a focus on rare and high-quality tequilas and mezcals, El Bandito aims to educate and inspire drinkers about these often-misunderstood spirits. 

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March 2017 Highlights

The clocks have gone forward and the sun has come out, meaning Spring has officially arrived in London, and with it we’re brought longer, sunnier days all the better for filling up with new boozy brunches, exciting re-launches and even a unique fun-filled treasure hunt! Here are some of our best bits from March:

1. The Cocktail Trading Company’s newly launched ‘Come Down With Me’ boozy brunch was featured on Time Out and described as ‘madness, though actually amazing’.

Cocktail Trading Company has launched a new boozy brunch menu

What do you crave most on the sesh? Avo and eggs on toast? Yeah, us neither. Which is why 'Come Down With Me', a new weekend brunch club at The Cocktail Trading Company designed for the 'dry mouthed' sounds like madness. Except CTC are actually amazing, and the menu is mainly liquid.

2. The opening of Number 177 Bar & Kitchen was covered in London’s best new restaurant and bar openings section in The Telegraph.

London's best new restaurant and bar openings

South Kensington's elegant Bibendum restaurant reopens at the end of March, with French chef Claude Bosi (formerly of two-Michelin-star Hibiscus) at the helm. Newly refurbished, the eatery will retain its distinctive exterior and will now include a ground floor seafood and oyster bar and a revitalised first-floor fine-dining restaurant.

3. Time Out had a ‘First Look’ at the re-opened Borderline and notes that ‘there are plenty of reasons to get some sweat dripping down the Borderline’s new paintwork’.

4. Metropolitan Magazine included French Fest, taking place at Brasserie Zédel, in its London agenda as an event ‘Francophiles will adore’.

5. Evening Standard’s wonderful review of Bobby Fitzpatrick describes the bar as ‘fabulous fun’ and ‘one of the best new bars in London’.

Bobby Fitzpatrick: Surprisingly excellent, despite Chicken Tikka pizza

There was never a point growing up, sitting exams, when I imagined my future and thought "yep, bet I'll end up in a bar that serves Full English on a pizza ". It wasn't in the plan. No-one expects to face a menu of pizza toppings like chicken tikka and onions, or lamb doner with garlic sauce.

6. The Beaufort Bar’s new cocktail menu, designed as a tunnel book, was featured in CLASS Magazine.

7. Daily Mail included new treasure hunt, THATMuse, in its Travel Notes section on ‘How to get the best from your holiday’.

8. Foodism described The Beaufort Bar as the perfect spot ‘where the whole proposition feels like a cathedral to the golden age of bartending’, in their ‘best drinks in London’ round up.

February 2017 Best Bits

Although we’re still only a few months in to the New Year, it’s looking like 2017 is set to be one of the busiest and most exciting yet. The shortest month of the year has already come to an end and despite February’s limited days, this month was jam packed with an array of exciting new openings, delicious menu launches and unique events.

1. The soon to open Number 177 Bar & Kitchen was praised for bringing a slice of Berlin to Hoxton by Hot Dinners, who featured the opening on their Gastroblog.

2. Time Out reviewed the ‘lively yet dark and seductive’ Ray’s Bar for their Bar of the Week feature and awarded it a whopping 4 stars, whilst also putting the spotlight on Vintage Velvet for its ‘unique flavour’.

3. Vogue included The Savoy’s stunning Beaufort Bar in their round up of ‘Best Cocktail Bars in London’, noting that if you’re on the search for ‘glitz and glamour’ – this is the place to go.

4. BA Highlife describes London as ‘still the greatest city in the world’ with Borderline reopening and The Garage being brought back to life.

5. Ryan Molloy’s great portrayal of Frankie Valli in musical ‘Jersey Boys’ and performance at Live at Zédel saw him interviewed in the Sunday Times’ Fame and Fortune.

6. The Resident included French Fest, taking place at Live at Zédel, in their ‘Finest Events And New Launches’ feature.

7. Scotland on Sunday described the taste of R&B’s single malt While We Wait as a ‘fruity aroma well to the fore’ in their ‘What’s Ahead This Week’.

8. Bobby Fitzpatrick is the best spot for ‘cool cats to hang out’ according to Stella from ‘Stella loves’ page in The Telegraph.

9. Fu Machu’s exciting Meatz and Beatz party was covered in Time Out’s best picks for the weekend.

10. Available at The Beaufort Bar, the Classic Martinez cocktail was recommended in The Sunday Times for when you ‘need a cocktail as balanced and confident as you want your date to think you are’.

11. The opening of Lorne Restaurant was covered in Metro’s section on the hottest news from London’s restaurant scene.

Our best eats and drinks of 2016 - Sabsy Appleton

HOPPERS

You know the food is good when you've finished the whole meal and your cocktail has barely been touched. Highlights on the menu were the delicious bone marrow curry and mutton rolls. Extremely spicy but thoroughly tasty. 

https://www.hopperslondon.com

SMOKING GOAT

A really interesting take on Thai food with none of the traditional dishes featuring on the menu. Smoked and barbecued meats and fish full of amazing aromatic flavours makes this one of my top meals of the year. Can't wait to try Kiln, the new sister resturant that has just opened in Soho.

http://smokinggoatsoho.com

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Our best eats and drinks of 2016 - Alex Goldsmith

MARAY

Maray has been a Bold Street favourite of mine since it first opened a couple of years ago, offering delicious seasonal small plates and amazing cocktails for really reasonable prices. The restaurant is so popular that they're currently launching their new site due to high demand, which I'll definitely be checking out. Maray takes really simple ingredients and completely jazzes them up, a personal favourite of mine being the Cauliflower dish, which is served with flaked almonds, pomegranate, tahini, yoghurt, harissa and fresh herbs - it's no wonder that even Jay Rayner is a fan!

OKLAVA

I knew I had to check this place out after hearing so many people rave about it, including Grace Dent, and I'm so glad I did. Hidden away from the main hustle and bustle of Shoreditch, Oklava offers small Turkish plates, that put even the most glorified of kebabs to shame. Their 'Pides' are a personal favourite, a soft flatbread topped with everything from minced meat to chilli and garlic prawns and picked red cabbage - basically a Turkish pizza which sets standards high for following dishes to come. 

Our best eats and drinks of 2016... Katy Thompson

LONDON

The Cricketers, Kew

I'm still recovering from the delight that was the festive menu at the Cricketers in Kew. Situated on the green, this cosy pub with it's tartan arm chairs and rustic beams served up a delicious three course festive menu including warming camembert, traditional turkey roast with all of the trimmings, and I mean ALL - finished off with a rich Christmas pudding. 

COTSWOLDS

The Bull Inn, Charlbury

Whilst camping in the Cotswolds we decided on a night time walk to the local pub, I'd done some research and heard great things. The Bull Inn is a 16th-century inn with low beamed ceilings, exposed fireplaces and turkish rugs. I've never been to a pub quite so warm and cosy, food was delicious and the small bar made up cocktails on request.