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. 

November 2016 Highlights

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The Christmas spirit is in full swing here in the Kapranos Office with the last month focused on the upcoming festive season delivering an abundance of equally jovial events to get Londoners in the mood during the most anticipated run up of the year. The cold may be here to stay for the foreseeable future, but we have a range of warming venues and events, including the start of Slap Ya Papa's 'Christmess' event at The Vaults, as well as the  birth of Voodoo Rays and Dalston Superstore's lovechild 'Ray's Bar' for stylish cocktails and sleek, intimate interiors. 

1. YoLanda Brown's acclaimed tour saw her interviewed in the Sunday Times 'Fame and Fortune' .

2. 5 Minutes with Jay Rayner in Good Things Magazine provided an interesting insight. 

3. Ray's Bar opening was covered in Time Out 'Drink This' for some seriously delicious cocktails.

4. SW Resident's review of the reinvented Clapham bar/restaurant Aquum earned 4 Stars.

5. 'HIPCHIPS' may just be the hottest eatery topic in London right now,  here FT reports on their unique take on potato crisps. 

6. Our own account manager Sabsy gracing the pages of The Evening Standard for their coverage on the crisp craze: HIPCHIPS. 

7. Discover trendy Hackney bar Behind This Wall in Stella's 'Stella Loves' page.

8. The ongoing construction of R&B'S distillery on the Isle of Raasay made BBC News this month. 

9. ELLE included the opening of 'Christmess' and their 12 course banquets in their '6 Things to Do In London This Weekend'

CIDER & BALLS FESTIVAL

PAIRING TWO OF SCANDINAVIA'S MOST POPULAR EXPORTS SINCE ABBA AND HYGGE

This winter, Oslo in Hackney will be hosting Cider & Balls, London’s very first Meatball & Cider festival. Taking place from Monday 5th December to Sunday 11th December at this restaurant, bar and music venue, the festival will showcase some of the region’s coolest boutique cider brands and exciting new flavours alongside a specially designed meatball menu. Oslo will also be donating profits from the Cider & Balls festival to Orchid, a male cancer charity.

 

Guests will be able to enjoy three styles of Scandi meatball dishes accompanied by two sides and paired with a flight of three cidersfrom across Sweden. Changing throughout the week, Oslo’s selection of premium Swedish cider brands will vary in production methods, flavours and serves and this will be the first time they are showcased together for a London audience. Examples of the cidersparticipating at the festival include:

 

Alska Cider (A fruity cider with flavours ranging from Strawberry & Lime, Pear & Lychee, Peach & Raspberry and Lemon & Ginger, with a new ‘Winter’ cider introduced for the festival)

Herrrljunga Cider (A semi-dry drink that was Voted Sweden’s No.1 cider in 2014)

Brannland Sparkling Cider (A sparkling cider that combines Swedish apples and subarctic cold that should be drunk by the glass like a prosecco or sparkling wine)

Brannland Iscider (Originally developed in Quebec in the early 90s Iscider is an ice-wine made using apples instead of grapes. Perfect on its own as a dessert wine or in a cocktail)

Three meatball dishes have been created to accompany the ciders and range from the traditional Swedish meatball with gravy and lingonberry sauce to entirely new flavour combinations. The meatball and cider offering will be available from lunch time all the way through to dinner and even as pre-gig feed for those heading above the restaurant upstairs later on in the evening. To show their support to Orchid Male Cancer Charity, Oslo will donate £1 from each meatball and cider combination sold. 

www.oslohackney.com

The Festive Season At Live At Zédel, Soho

It is the season to be jolly and to indulge ourselves and our loved ones with events that tickle our funny bone and have us singing along in an off-beat melody. Live At Zedel is set to bring all these things to Soho this Christmas, and guaranteed to get even the biggest grinches in the festive spirit. Here is our pick - tickets available now!

Gary Williams - A Swingin' Christmas 14th - 23rd December - £25

Having performed in over 60 countries and entertained audiences from The Ritz to the West End, Gary Williams presents his critically acclaimed 'A Swingin' Christmas'. Celebrate the festive season in style as Gary works his way through seasonal classics including 'Let It Snow', 'White Christmas', 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and many more.

 

Anne Reid 18th/19th December - £30

Following 3 sold out shows, renowned TV-veteran Anne Reid returns to Crazy Coqs for her Christmas Special of hilarious and witty anecdotes based on her life in and out of show-business. She will be accompanied by two-times Tony Award nominee Musical Director Jason Carr throughout these special shows.

 

Miss Hope Springs 22nd/24th - £25

Miss Hope Springs delivers the living embodiment of Vegas glitter and festive glamour to her 'Now it's Christmas Time' one woman show. Armed with a repertoire of her original seasonal songs such as 'Santa is a Woman', 'Christmas Calypso' and 'Paper Snow' and a assortment of scandalous show-biz revelations, audiences can be sure of an evening full of song, laughter and hairspray.