Gastroblog

Gastroblog

Bistro du Vin opens in Clerkenwell with Danielle from Service as sommelier

We've been a fan of Hotel du Vin since the earliest days of the boutique hotel chain, when Robin Hutson (now at Lime Wood) and Gerard Basset (2010's World's Best Sommelier) opened their first place in Winchester. Now we learn that the group is to open its first standalone Bistro du Vin in Clerkenwell this April and has secured the services of Danielle Meenagh - one of the scholarship winners from…

Read more: Bistro du Vin opens in Clerkenwell with Danielle from Service as sommelier

Westbury Hotel lures Marcus Wareing's head chef to open restaurant

The competition amongst London hotels to have the hottest chefs working in their restaurants ramped up this month when Heston Blumenthal opened at the Mandarin Oriental. But other establishments aren't rolling over and playing dead just yet.

The Westbury in Mayfair - a hotel not known for its food to date - has scored something of a coup in enticing Marcus Wareing's head chef Alyn Williams to move…

Read more: Westbury Hotel lures Marcus Wareing's head chef to open restaurant

Hot Dinners has Dinner by Heston - London's biggest restaurant opening of 2011

It must be emotionally draining to open a restaurant burdened with the high expectations that Dinner by Heston has had, and certainly Blumenthal and head chef Ashley Palmer Watts looked both exhausted and elated when we dined there on opening week. As well they might - for this restaurant has clearly been a labour of love for the pair of them. The attention to detail, from the historical influence…

Read more: Hot Dinners has Dinner by Heston - London's biggest restaurant opening of 2011

Gordon Ramsay's charity pop-up this Friday on Brick Lane

Take an extra long lunch break tomorrow (Friday 4th February) and head down to Brick Lane where Gordon Ramsay will be volunteering his services at a pop-up curry stall in aid of Red Nose Day 2011.

Ramsay, who's releasing a range of Comic Relief’s Seriously Good Indian sauces for this year's appeal, will be on the stall at Ely's Yard, Brick Lane E1 between 1pm and 2pm on Friday. The stall itself wi…

Read more: Gordon Ramsay's charity pop-up this Friday on Brick Lane

London gets first champagne enomatic at Galoupet in Knightsbridge

Hot Dinners can still remember how excited we were the first time we got to put the enomatic machine at Selfridges Wonder Bar through its paces (and are in mourning for the disappearance of Bar Pepito's machine). So we're counting the days until the opening of new Knightsbridge restaurant Galoupet which will feature the aptly-named Flute - London's first champagne enomatic machine.

The Flute will…

Read more: London gets first champagne enomatic at Galoupet in Knightsbridge

Four Seasons London reopens with a special Italian afternoon tea

As we happened to be wandering around Park Lane last Friday, we took the opportunity to take a quick look around London's revamped Four Seasons Hotel before the hordes descended. The hotel, which has just reopened after 2 years and £125m worth of renovations, looks marvellous. What with this and the recently reopened Savoy (both of which, happen to have been overseen by the same designer, Pierre-Y…

Read more: Four Seasons London reopens with a special Italian afternoon tea

Extra booking dates released for Heston's new restaurant

If you're a subscriber to the Hot Dinners newsletter, you'll know that our last missive eulogised the benefits of following us on Twitter or Facebook. Well just over a week after sending that out, here comes the proof. When booking lines for Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge opened back before Christmas, there was meltdown. Before you knew it, tables had been booked…

Read more: Extra booking dates released for Heston's new restaurant

So the menu for Dinner by Heston is now up on the restaurant's website giving Hot Dinners a chance to peruse the menu as the restaurant opens its doors to diners this lunchtime.

The set lunch, which is a bargainous £28 for three courses is as follows:

Starters
Lemon Salad (c.1730) Goats Curd, Raisins and Verjus
Ragoo of Pigs Ears (c.1750) Anchovy, Onions and Parsley

Main courses
Cured Salmon (c.1670)…

Read more: First look at menus for Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental

Free Prosecco at London gastropubs post-Xmas present swap

If you’re despairing of ever receiving your January paycheque then the clever people at First Restaurant Group have come up with an idea for making your money go further this month.

They’re putting on a White Elephant event at four of their London gastropubs where you can swap the unwanted presents you got for Christmas.

Head on down to The Waterway in Maida Vale, The Ebury in Pimlico, The Clerk &…

Read more: Free Prosecco at London gastropubs post-Xmas present swap

Spitalfields brasserie picks up award for drinking while dining

Spitalfields brasserie Le Bouchon Breton was picked as the UK’s best place for a drink whilst out dining  in trade title Harpers Wine & Spirit’s 2011 Drinking Out Excellence Awards (that must have been liver-ruining, but fun to research). Le Bouchon Breton also picked up a gong for Champagne Venue of the Year award, and Best French Wine Restaurant of the Year .

Other London restaurants who won…

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Searcy's champagne bar at Paddington launches

Hot Dinners rarely – if ever -  say no to anything involving champagne, so we were pretty happy to be invited to the launch of Searcy’s new champagne bar at Paddington station.

Set in the glassed-off section next to the Yo! Sushi conveyor belt, the latest fizz bar is a smaller version of their offering at Westfield - a white leather banquette oasis in the middle of a sea of commuters.

Quite aside…

Read more: Searcy's champagne bar at Paddington launches

We’re huge, huge fans of Russell Norman’s Polpo and Polpetto (and let’s face it, who isn’t) so we’re properly excited to hear that they’re expanding Polpo. Anything that helps improve the chances of getting in there has to be a  good thing in our book.

The Polpo Cicheti Bar will open on 8 February in the basement of Polpo where the private dining room used to be.

It’ll apparently be the perfect sp…

Read more: New Polpo Cicheti bar to open downstairs at Polpo

Raymond Blanc Restaurant protégées JJ and James open London Cocktail Club

The winners of the most recent series of Raymond Blanc’s reality show The Restaurant have just opened a bar on Goodge Street. JJ and James’s new joint – the London Cocktail club at 61 Goodge Street will be ‘a celebration both of Britishness and of London's cosmopolitanism’. The eye-popping design is from the people who brought us Shoreditch bar Calloo Callay.

Food-wise, you can expect British-styl…

Read more: Raymond Blanc Restaurant protégées JJ and James open London Cocktail Club

Trying out the new QV Bar at Soho's Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis has always been a favourite Hot Dinners haunt (particularly whenever we manage to gain access to the members' club upstairs) so when we were invited to try out the new QV Bar, we may have reacted with rather unseemly haste.

The QV Bar launched in January and occupies a space previously taken by part of the main restaurant. As owner Sam Hart explained, it had been one of those neither fis…

Read more: Trying out the new QV Bar at Soho's Quo Vadis

Fancy buying Jamie Oliver or Marcus Wareing's houses?

There are many items for sale which the merest whiff of association with a celebrity chef can help shift - books, saucepans, stock cubes, to name just a few. However its seems as though London property is not one of them.

Back in May last year a house, previously owned by one Jamie Oliver (see picture), went on the market. Described as 'a stunning architect-designed house' with a flash-looking kit…

Read more: Fancy buying Jamie Oliver or Marcus Wareing's houses?

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