Tried and tested: where we’ve eaten recently

Tried and tested: where we’ve eaten recently

The lowdown on London’s standout restaurants

Talk to Marie Larquet, one of our specialists, about how we can help you

Marie Larquet

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With our restaurant specialists going out to eat at all the latest openings and regularly checking out established favourites, it’s safe to say that they know a good place to dine when they try it. We’ve put together a short round-up of the places that have impressed our specialists recently.

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Hai Cenato

2 Sir Simon Milton Square, Victoria

Any Jason Atherton opening deserves a lot of attention, especially when he steps into new ground like he has here with his first ever Italian restaurant, at Victoria’s new Nova complex. We were lucky enough to attend the opening party with the man himself and are happy to report that the whole operation is in safe hands. Chef Paul Hood has moved across from Michelin-starred Social Eating House and his modern take on Italian classics would impress even the most hardened traditionalist. It is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – contact us to secure a table.

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Cinnamon Bazaar

28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden

The latest addition to Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon family takes an altogether more laid-back feel than the reverential Westminster favourite. With service running from breakfast through to dinner, you can perch with a steaming cup of chai and Indian pastry in the small bar area or get comfortable in one of the two colourful dining rooms for a slap-up lunch or dinner. The recipes have been inspired by every corner of the sub-continent and play around with ingredients and flavours – try the vindaloo of ox cheek and the lamb rogan josh shepherd’s pie. The cocktails are exotic and the service is fun and friendly.

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The Fat Duck Just the Tonic!The Fat Duck

High Street, Bray

As clichéd as it might sound, many of the dishes at this legendary Bray restaurant have to be seen (and eaten) to be believed. Heston Blumenthal and his team go beyond the usual focus on flavour and texture and work on all the senses, weaving in stories and memories to create an experience that’s more akin to an immersive theatre show than a meal at a restaurant. We’ve been lucky enough to dine here on a number of occasions and it never fails to impress us – even when we know what’s coming. If you have it on your must-try list, contact us and we’ll do our best to secure a reservation when lines open each month.

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Ivy Soho Brasserie

26 Broadwick Street, Soho

The latest addition to the fast-expanding Ivy family is now open and having visited for a preview meal, we can confirm that it embodies every ounce of the usual Ivy charm. Inspired by the terrace restaurants of Paris, it’s open from breakfast until dinner – with brunch at the weekends – and is split into a large main restaurant, a bar and an outdoor area for when the weather plays ball. Anyone au fait with the Covent Garden original will notice a few Ivy classics on the menu, and the cocktails are worth a visit in themselves.

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Ralph’s Coffee & Bar

173 Regent Street, Mayfair

From the wood-panelled walls and saddle-leather seats to the engraved glasses and polo memorabilia, this club-like café next door to Ralph Lauren’s European flagship store is dripping in all-American style. We were invited for breakfast and were pleased to see that it’s not just style over substance – coffee connoisseurs will be happy to hear the baristas take care over the drinks, and the light breakfast dishes and pastries were excellent. Later in the day, the cocktails begin to flow and it’s a wonderful place to take a break from shopping. Make sure you head to the boutique afterwards to purchase a personalised shirt.

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Bunga Bunga

167 Drury Lane, Covent Garden

Our members have always been huge fans of the Battersea party spot so we had no doubts that its Covent Garden sister would be a huge hit. It’s hard to explain in full detail without completely ruining the surprise what you can expect, but we can say it is an immersive dining experience like no other. It’s ideal for groups of friends looking for a fun and unique night out and we’re pleased to see that the food isn’t just an afterthought – the Italian sharing plates and pizza were very good. What’s more, every Thursday you will receive a complimentary bottle of prosecco for table bookings for four or more.

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Bonnie Gull SohoBonnie Gull Soho

22 Bateman Street, Soho

Cooking fish consistently well is no mean feat and is the reason that London’s seafood scene is dominated by well-established icons like Bentley’s and J Sheekey. However, every so often a newcomer makes a splash and this time it’s a laid-back seafood shack in the heart of Soho. After five years of success at the Fitzrovia flagship, it was only a matter of time before expansion and we thought this was a fitting tribute to the chefs’ skills and Britain’s natural bounty. It’s strictly no reservations but is open from midday until midnight every day, so there’s plenty of opportunity to grab a spot at the counter.

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Ceru

7-9 Bute Street, Kensington

London’s hunger for Middle Eastern cooking doesn’t seem to be abating and the arrival of this new Levantine restaurant in South Kensington will bring healthy competition to places like Nopi, Yosma and Honey & Co. Inspired by travels around Turkey, Israel, Jordan and beyond, husband and wife team Barry and Patricia Hilton showcase a vibrant all-day menu which includes a slow-roast lamb which won us over with its impeccably balanced spices and melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. It pairs perfectly with the Spiked Turkish Apple Tea cocktail that you and your table will receive on the house when booking through us.

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Aviary

22-25 Finsbury Square, the City

Roll on those warm summer evenings when you can kick back on a rooftop with a cocktail in hand and watch the sun go down over the London skyline; especially now there’s a new open-air hangout in town. We visited the City’s newest rooftop restaurant, Aviary, last week and while the weather kept us indoors, our table looked out over a huge south-facing terrace dotted with colourful sofas and lounging areas. The glass-panelled dining room is worth a visit before the sun starts shining – it’s a stylish and cosy setting with coal oven that roasts huge slabs of meat and fresh seafood.

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Chai Ki

Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf

We love the fact that a new wave of Indian restaurants have elevated the standard curry and beer into something special. It is certainly the case at Chai Ki, where every dish allows the spices to sing, and fragrant dishes like the slow-cooked lamb with saffron, spinach and green chilli were some of the tastiest we’ve tried in a long time. The Toddy Shop bar serves smaller tapas-sized dishes and the buzzy main restaurant has a larger à la carte menu. We think it’s ideal for dinner with a small group and you and up to five guests will enjoy a complimentary signature cocktail when booking through us. Pictured top

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Last updated on 8 February 2017


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