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What's Your Tipple?

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Sypped is the official website for wine and spirits journalist and personality, Adrian Smith. For your dose of wine, spirits, food and lifestyle inspiration, look no further!

Filtering by Category: Restaurants

Chai Wu, London

Chinese food is a favorite of many. Chai Wu will not be an exception of favoritism but an exception of presentation and taste. The contemporary restaurant is located at the iconic department store Harrods in Knightsbridge in South West London. Now Chinese philosophy holds five elements dear: wood, metal, water, earth and fire. The new modern restaurant incorporates the five into its design with a result of an elegant dining setting in an opulent space. This creative display is a fusion of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

 

Pan-Asian dishes such as black truffle sour soup, Chilean sea bass dumpling, Beijing Duck and Alaskan king crab portray the luxury and a menu that will suit every taste. The tasty, exotic and colorful dishes reflect the finest of modern Chinese cuisine. A dining experience is created by the dining bar from which you can view the chefs at work and as expected at Harrods, the service is first class. Be one of the 90 guests that can be accommodated at the restaurant by reserving a table here.

 

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The Cavendish, Marylebone

There’s not much better than a fantastic dining establishment. When such a place is committed to quality and a luxurious customer experience, magical things happen. The team at The Cavendish decided this was nice and all but that they wanted to push their own limits. 

 

The Cavendish is styled after a classic English pub but serves Italian cuisine in its most mouth-watering forms. The kitchen is led by executive chef Douglas Santi who personally oversaw the creation of the new menu. New items range from light and healthy bites such as a salad of quinoa, roasted sweet potato, feta, mint, and baby spinach to much more decadent fare such as rabbit ravioli with pickled beetroot and parmesan cream or the veal chop with Cavendish potato gratin. There is also a brand new Sunday Roast menu which features Cotswold chicken and 35 day aged rib of beef.

 

No matter what you decide to eat, there is a new cocktail menu along with finely-curated wine and cigar lists to accompany your meal. The Cavendish has thought of it all and defied the odds by taking a wonderful place and somehow making it even better.

 

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Brunello Bar & Restaurant At Baglioni Hotel

Chef Alberto Rossetti has a deep love and appreciation for pastas and risottos ingrained in him by his mother’s cooking back in Parma, Italy. Now he wants to share that love with the rest of the world at the reopened Brunello Bar & Restaurant at the Baglioni Hotel in London. With a gorgeous view of the Kensington Gardens chef Rossetti wants to bring simple and sophisticated dishes to the hotel.

 

The lunch menu is more informal fare featuring classic Italian dishes while the dinner menu is more sophisticated with more contemporary variations on the classics. Lobster risotto, tuna steak with sesame seeds and peppers, and pumpkin veloute are all among Rossetti’s signature dishes. 

 

Afternoon tea is available daily between 1:00 PM and 5:30 PM and features a fantastic selection of herbal and traditional teas, accompanied by delicious savoury dishes or a selection of cakes and pastries such as the famous “Sicilian cannoli with ricotta” and “Neapolitan sfogliatelle”.

The Coral Room

The Doyle Collection is a group of luxury hotels around the world that focuses on bespoke and stylish design. The Coral Room exemplifies this concept. Find respite from busy city life in this country-home inspired lounge in the heart of Bloomsbury. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the namesake coral walls and enchanting Martin Brudnizki inspired interior design, complete with chandeliers and marble topped bar mirrors. The walls are lined with 36 original pieces by illustrator Luke Edward Hall.

 

The English sparkling wine list emphasis selections from local vineyards. If you want something a little sweeter, opt for a spritz-style cocktail with a name celebrating the country-city fusion that inspires the restaurant. If you’re craving something smokier, step outside to the cigar terrace, aptly named The Coral Garden, and enjoy a quite drink under the foliage. If you’re feeling peckish dine on the restaurant’s novel menu, featuring an acai bowl, spiced baked eggs, turmeric yogurt, and other innovative culinary fusions. Enjoy the fresh air, or soak up the rustic décor and picturesque atmosphere, and return to city-life rejuvenated.

 

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Gabeto

Retro-style furniture, modern art, and a killer menu have transformed the historic Long Stable in Camden Market, London into an all-day restaurant and bar.  Leaving the Victorian architecture intact, Gabeto (meaning “our house” in Spanish) provides the perfect place for eating, drinking, working, and lounging under its brick and timber roof.

 

Guests are invited to work on the outdoor terrace by day or mix and mingle at the cocktail bar by night.  The venue, which can be booked for large events, offers formal and informal eating spaces that accommodate a quick lunch at a zinc-topped table or a long dinner in a large booth.  The menu is a British-Latin fusion from Head Chef Lee Andrews that includes entrées such as Scottish lobster tail and smoked cauliflower steak, while bar manager Tony Safqi has concocted a unique sampling of wines and a longer selection of cocktails that features Central and Latin American flavors.  This innovative eatery can be accessed every day of the week via Stables Gate off Chalk Farm Road.

 

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8 Hoxton Square

If you have ever had a simultaneous craving for homey and high-end provisions, a scroll through 8 Hoxton Square’s Instagram will be a feast for your eyeballs. If you score a table at this instant hotspot, it is a feast for your taste buds as well. The unpretentious décor boasts exposed brick, pleated vinyl counter covers, and unfinished wood.

 

Picky eaters and adventurous palettes can finally dine together without tension because this restaurant’s wide-ranging menu serves classics like cornbread, fries, and chocolate ice-cream, as well as daring combinations like scorched octopus served over potatoes.

 

The unassuming vibe of the restaurant feels intentionally underdone- even trendy- but it serves a superior purpose. 8 Hoxton Square doesn’t splurge on expensive decorations or social media influencers. Their Instagram features clear, direct shots of their food and behind-the-scenes snapshots that appear to be taken by a layman with an iPhone rather than by a professional food photographer. They channel these savings into producing delicacies without inflating the cost. Nearly any glass of wine from their extensive drink list will only lighten your wallet by about €4.00.

 

London locals should book a reservation for 8 Hoxton Square’s Sunday Lunch menu, so they can enjoy a feast at the discretion of the chef. Delicious food should fill your belly, not empty your wallet.

 

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Diptyque Afternoon Tea at Hotel Café Royal

Tie your silk scarf and brush up on your French. French perfumer diptyque has teamed up with Hotel Café Royal in London to serve an exclusive afternoon tea inspired by the brand’s most popular fragrances. The Paris-based brand, which was founded in 1961, is traveling across borders to serve up a chic café experience.

 

At the Oscar Wilde Bar, guests will taste four pastries created by Executive Pastry Chef, Sarah Barber, inspired by flavors and ingredients. Sponge cakes, buttery pastry tarts, rich creams, and shortbread are given a sweet twist of French luxury. Rose Victoria, Lemon Verbena, Tahitian Vanilla Bar, and Violent and Cassis Tart will be placed at the center of the table next to each of diptyque’s corresponding fragrances. Pinkies up!

 

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The Clifton

Steeped in history a bar in London has metamorphosed again but retaining its essential character. The Clifton has been a landmark of the local community for centuries, and now brothers Ben and Ed Robson have reinstated this incredible pub with a new look and a refreshed attitude to pub drinking and dining. After its sudden closure in 2013, which left it empty for four years, the Robson brothers transformed it into their vision of a contemporary pub with homely sofas, original fireplaces, traditional loose furniture and a well-stocked bar. Situated on a tree-lined residential street, The Clifton opens at 9 a.m. on weekdays, making it a great spot to pick up coffee and pastries. During the day, the pub has a relaxed and welcoming feel for those who want a café-like atmosphere and at night, it comes alive with the re-imagination for the open plan room.

The menu features crisp and punchy ingredients alongside inventive staples. With laid-back weekend brunch, mouth-watering midweek suppers and hearty Sunday roast, The Clifton offers an evolved definition of pub food. The menu is split in two: “Drinking House” and “Eating House”. While the former features smaller plates that are perfect with drinks, the latter is a full all-day menu. The diverse array of local and craft beers on tap, there is talk about Ben and Ed brewing their own Clifton beer! Throw in wine expert Raul Diaz and monthly “Wine Club” showcases and you’ve got yourself a new hangout spot.

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The Grosvenor House Bourbon Bar

You are a red-blooded American taking a trip abroad. You land in London and after a few days you begin to feel a little homesick. You have a strong desire to reconnect with your country if only for a brief moment. So, you walk inside of the acclaimed London restaurant JW Steak House, sit down at the bar and lo and behold: Bourbon.

 

The nectar of the gods finely crafted in the USA and plenty of it. JW boasts a selection of over 150 different bourbons including single barrel, small batch, and pre-prohibition. As if that were not enough they even have their own variety of single barrel Jim Beam, handpicked from the distillery, that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. If your desires swing more to the cocktail end of the spectrum JW has you covered with a cocktail menu that includes several bourbon classics as well as special seasonal drinks. Visit this little slice of America the beautiful if you ever find yourself in London.

 

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Les 110 de Taillevent

Elaborate French dining has arrived in Marylebone London. Les 110 de Taillevent is a descendent of the two-Michelin star restaurant, Le Taillevent. So you already know you are getting a bang for your buck.

 

High quality, seasonal and contemporary French dishes are paired with perfect wines to ensure the best tasting notes are brought out of each dish. Every course is matched with a wine out of their extensive wine list. Les 110 de Taillevent has accumulated a 1,100+ wine list that is one of the most to offer in London. The chicly designed restaurant has 110 wines to choose from by the glass and these glasses pair extraordinarily well with whatever you are having, whether it is the Wild Sea Bass main course or the Wild Pigeon main course.

 

Dine luxuriously like the French overlooking Cavendish Square in London.

 

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Devonshire Club

 

SUSD, a creative real estate consultancy, brought a new meaning to desk-to-drinks when they launched the Devonshire Club. The Club is designed as a two-floor space to be used for doing work or grabbing drinks. The area boasts three distinctly different bars, two lounge areas, and one eatery full of fresh, delicious foods.

 

After working hard and imbibing, guests can relax in rented bedrooms. Single and family accommodations are available, with over 68 amiable choices.  Complete with sprawling Apple TVs, high-speed WIFI, and Hypnos beds, these luxurious rooms can be utilized by members and non-members alike. The Devonshire Club is built in the heart of London, next to both the financial district and trendy nightlife neighborhoods, so there is plenty for club-goers to do if they can tear themselves away from the superb amenities.

 

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Ember London

 

Just mere footsteps from Monument station a new luxury cocktail bar has risen from the flames, taking mixology genius to a whole new level. I am of course talking about the newly opened Ember. 

Hidden within the basement of an old historic building on the very street that the 'Great fire of London' began, is this new London gem. But this is no typical basement, a modern and inquisitively inviting space has taken the best part of 12 months to craft and perfect. There's even 3 hideaway rooms for private and more intimate gatherings, each with their own unique charm. 

The food is a taste sensation, a variety of small plates designed to entice your palate and evoke every taste bud within; from the sweet and salty and to the bitter and sour. Guests can expect to experience an assortment of small plates including the likes of swordfish sashimi, wagyu & foie gras sliders and goat curry to name just a few. A vast assortment of incredibly tasty and well thought dishes to evoke excitement.

It was clear from the get-go to see passion flowing from behind the bar, a seamless interaction of imbibe crafters, embracing each shake, stir and pour as if it were a theatrical performance. They know they're bar, they have the skills and by god are they not afraid to show it. Some serious thought has gone into creating these modern asian themed cocktails.

Take for example the ‘Japanese Hard Shake’, which is a modern asian twist on the espresso martini; encompassing Johnnie Walker Black Label, Araku Rum Coffee Liqueur, vanilla espresso and anise infused rice milk. Another spotlight on the menu, Matcha 3 looks to sweet-basil infused vodka, plum sake & lime juice with dry curaçao with lemongrass pearls, matcha green tea foam and micro-herbs.

The flavor combinations are to point and it's evident that the team has been working the mixology field for a while. Just as you thought you couldn't top the cocktail experience, you discover the 'Mountain Mist'. Clover infused Hennessy cognac and Bulleit rye with amaro montenegro, benedictine with chilli and ginger and orange bitters, topped off with pine-scented burnt fog that combines all senses in harmony.

So put simply, here's the summary: Ember is a place to watch and keep on your radar over 2017. It may have just opened its doors, but there is an unquestionable amount of skill that is only beginning to take form. The food is great, the drinks are fantastic and the value for money even better. 

Food:            9/10
Drink:           9/10
Service:       9/10
Price:            $$

 

 

Cafe Monico

You find yourself in the heart of London in the blistering cold, surrounded by crowds of people left, right and centre - but before you sits a solace in this madness, a haven of comfort, delicious food and most importantly, great cocktails. 

While Cafe Monico may be situated so centrally, the general vibe couldn't be more opposite. Bespoke, warm and sophisticated would be the perfect word to describe this upscale cafe that takes you back in time to a 1950's Paris era.

The downstairs bar in the perfect place to take refuge and explore one of the many Italian themed cocktails on the newly launched menu, while the simple but tasty menu combines the perfect amount of choice to allow you to take a moment to breathe and indulge. 

If you want a little more privacy then the upstairs balcony area is ideal. Little pockets of private tables nestle around the antique oak walls, each conversation it's own. There's a reason Soho House properties have such a great reputation and that's because they take into consideration every minor detail. Every touch, from the glassware to the ambience and even the bread and gourmet churned butter brought to the table - they get it. 

Food:            8/10
Drink:           8/10
Service:       9/10
Price:            $$
 

MASH: The Modern American Steak House

MASH stands for “Modern American Steak House”, and this restaurant brings the best of the classic US culinary institutions to Brewer St. in central London’s Soho neighborhood. MASH‘s main claim to fame is quality preparation of some of the finest cuts of meat in the world— Japanese Wagyu, Danish dry-aged beef, and of course succulent American corn-fed beef, but the recently revamped cocktail list is creating a well-deserved buzz around town.

Inspired by a tasting and exploring trip around the United States, head barman Miroslav Panos and a talented supporting crew came up with some inspired concoctions mainly based on classic American spirits like bourbon and rye but also including a couple of interesting tequila-based libations and even an intriguing absinth-based “La Fee Verte” (The Green Fairy).

The bar itself is a classy basement establishment, calling to mind an elegant 1920’s speakeasy with soft lighting, red leather stools, accents in warm shades of red and gold, and an Art Deco esthetic. The “Boston Tea Party” is a good way to start the evening (concocted from Hendricks gin, green tea, elderflower, and lemon) and the “What’s Your Fashion?” is an audience-participatory Old Fashioned in which guests can choose the flavors that most appeal.

Either come for the steak and stay for the cocktails, or come for the atmospheric bar scene and exceptional adult beverages alone; this is a basement bar from which one doesn’t want to ascend too quickly.

M Victoria

Our favorite thing about M Victoria Street , Martin Williams’ latest fine dining and nightlife venture an eight minute walk from London’s Victoria Station, is the sheer number of options the venue offers to wine, dine, taste, socialize, and just generally eat, drink, and be merry.

From the high end wine shop through which one enters the restaurant (offering tasting portions from automated dispensers and a “Bottomless Bellini Brunch” on its veranda) to the two sides of the dining room (sumptuous world class steaks at M Grill and ultra-healthy fresh sashimi at Raw Bar) M Victoria has a seat, a glass, and a plate to please even the most discerning of London diners.

M Grill offers steaks from six countries, from Kansas USDA Prime filet mignon or T-bone to Australian Grade 9++ Blackmore Wagyu and mouthwatering sauces to accompany the high quality cuts—from a rich burnt butter emulsion to a fresh, vibrant chimichurri. Want to top your steak with a half lobster or fresh truffles? Sure, M Grill can do that for you.

M Raw Bar serves up favorites like Yellow Fin tuna sushi and soft shell crab sashimi as well as more unusual offerings like kangaroo tartare—probably inspired by Executive Chef Michael Reid’s recent return to the UK from Australia. Whether it’s for a romantic Friday night out with a loved one, cocktails in the chic basement bar with friends on a Saturday night, or a Sunday brunch with Grandma watching her get tipsy on Bellinis, M Victoria has your weekend covered. Just show up.

Cinnamon Kitchen

The City of London: filled with a vast array of bars and eateries to satisfy any person’s palette. With thousands of restaurants to choose from, most make their choice based on recommendation; choose a restaurant they know well or the closest one to their destination.

But what about those hidden gems? The undiscovered? The ones that aren’t necessarily easy to find unless you stumble upon them or are told of their existence. That was exactly my experience of Cinnamon Kitchen.

Just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Station, the restaurant is located in the heart of Devonshire Square, Formerly warehouses for the East India Company, the new developments add a more modern feel. The restaurant isn’t an easy to find but this adds something special to this place. Neighbouring a number of bars with a roof overhead the area is the perfect place to eat and relax after a busy day at work, socialising with friends or a formal gathering. Somehow the space has an intimate feel which almost makes you feel like you’re not in London at all!

When you arrive at the restaurant, a chique, stylish and understated place where you immediately feel relaxed and comfortable, The staff members offer to take your coat and see you to your table beginning your visit on a beautiful note. The comfortable outdoor seating along with the Indian inspired decor and fire tikis collectively simulate the cosines of your own home.

The cocktails were aplenty in choice, each with it’s own personality and a mixture of traditional indian fruits and flavoring to cater to your taste buds. For those of you who prefer to have alcohol free cocktails, they offer a mocktail selection or to adapt their classics. A truly refreshing experience.

With the talents of CEO and executive chef Vivek Singh’s, the flavors of the modern Indian cuisine shine through. As soon as you’re presented with the menu, you’re greeted with a variety of classic options with their own ‘Cinnamon Club inspired’ twist. Their unique approach to such classic dishes continue to push the culinary boundaries beyond what we think to be possible. We were first offered a basket of fresh bread (garlic and plain naan and a sweet naan) complemented by a selection of dips. These weren’t your typical flavors that you would receive at any restaurant and the attention to detail was clear. Each dip and bread worked together so that each bite was a delicious experience.

The Lucknowi Chicken Biriyani I chose was presented in a cosy metal bowl, the fusion of flavors in each dish being a delight to experience. The chicken was succulent and cooked to perfection and just the right portions to really have a perfect meal. Saving just enough room for dessert, the ice cream trio was a perfect way to close this dinner.

As we drank tea to unwind and reflect on our evening, all I can say is that this whole experience was a very special one. From the staff, to the hidden location, the food and the ambience, this is definitely one place I will be visiting again. And I think that next time you’re in the area, you should too.

A special thanks to all of the polite, attentive and helpful staff who made this visit such an enjoyable experience.

Address: 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YL
Telephone: 020 7626 5000
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

Opening Hours:
Lunch Monday – Friday: 12.00 – 14.45
Dinner Monday – Saturday: 18.00 – 22.45

Gông: Cocktails In The Sky

Gông, the upscale cocktail bar on the 52nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel on St Thomas Street in London, may be the most atmospheric spot in The Big Smoke to sip a sunset cocktail. One can watch the city dramatically illuminate below one’s highly coveted viewpoint at the edge of the highest bar in London sipping an inspired creation by one of Gông’s talented mixologists or a glass of bubbly from their extensive collection of specialty champagne and sparkling wine.

Designed by esteemed Hong Kong architect André Fu, Gông is Eastern themed and named for the prevalent Chinese architectural element called “dougong”, a traditional style of interlocking wooden brackets seen throughout the elevated lounge. The Gông bar in its entirety actually consists of three separate wining, dining, and lounging areas—the cocktail bar, the champagne bar, and a spectacular infinity pool, all of which afford jaw-dropping vistas of the London skyline, the iconic London Tower Bridge, and the River Thames.

The cocktail menu at Gông changes seasonally, but the current list is playfully eclectic, suggesting different groupings of libations to coincide with various stages in human life. In the childhood-inspired “Wonder Years” section, one can sample a “Born to Fly” concoction of Grey Goose, fig, basil, citrus and a French aperitif. The more daring (or nostalgic) can go for the “Kinder Candy” which incorporates chocolate, peanut butter, balsamic, and a milk reduction. The menu segues through a “First Kiss” and “Grown-ups” portion before ending with refined cocktails like the “#NTO” (Not Too Old) crafted of Remy Martin VSOP, ginger and lemon shrubs, orange, Martini Gran Lusso, and maple syrup in the “Old School” grouping.

The view and the drinks are definitely the main affair, but for those looking something light to accompany cocktails, Gông offers small plates like Portland crab with passion fruit and cucumber, wasabi and ginger-cured salmon with Yuzu cream, or beetroot and butternut squash with honeycomb and pistachio. All things considered, Gông possesses every element necessary for a memorable night out in London, and a few special details to elevate “memorable” to “unforgettable”.

 

InterContinental Park Lane London

Previously the site of a royal residence, InterContinental Hotel Park Lane London now reigns the epitome of contemporary elegance while maintaining some of that original historic charm. Conveniently positioned just steps from Hyde Park and in view of Buckingham Palace, this hotel will please every guest who chooses to spend the night.

Select from one of three rooms: classic, executive, or suite. Each room is tactfully designed with classic London interiors and a contemporary flare as well as being equipped with all those modern amenities to ensure relaxation and comfort. If you’re lucky enough you may just book the newly renovated Royal Suite which pays special homage to the original building purpose as Queen Elizabeth’s former childhood residence.

Other hotel offerings include an incredibly soothing spa with a variety of treatments and services available to keep you looking and feeling your best. After the spa treatment, you should down to the Wellington Lounge for Guiltless Afternoon Tea. Served without refined sugars and carefully created with all natural nutrient-filled ingredients, Guiltless Tea is light, delicious, and even includes a Guiltless-inspired cocktail.

Between InterContinental’s historic and unique location and all its amenities, you’ll feel like royal status whenever you come to stay.

One Hamilton Place Park Lane
London , W1J 7QY , United Kingdom
+44-207-4093131

Ametsa Restaurant: When Basque & Elegance Collide

Located in the discretely luxurious Halkin by Como hotel in London’s rather posh Belgravia neighborhood, understated elegance is just what one would expect in a highly lauded Michelin-starred restaurant—and fortunately Ametsa delivers. The brainchild of Elena Arzak, the third generation of culinary brilliance behind triple Michelin-starred Arzak in San Sebastian, Ametsa brings the vibrant flavors of the Basque region in Northern Spain and reinvents them in London with some creative nods to molecular gastronomy.

The menu evolves regularly in order for the chefs to take advantage of the freshest local seasonal ingredients and transport the diner with Basque cuisine inventively reimagined with dishes like the perfectly seared scallops “at home” or buttery melt-in-your-mouth seabass with a rich garlic emulsion and celery “illusion”. The dining room’s focal point is a shimmering avant-garde ceiling crafted of 7,000 glass receptacles filled with herbs and spices, but the loveliest artwork in the restaurant is on the plates. Happily, the plated artistry tastes as good as it looks. Try the chef’s tasting menu at Ametsa and relax in the hands of a highly skilled and attentive wait staff along with a gifted sommelier to elevate the experience with thoughtful wine pairings.