Test Drives

Test drive

Test driving Aurelia in Mayfair

What can you tell us about Aurelia?

In 312 BC, as part of the ongoing Roman expansion, the construction of the Via Aurelia road began. Over the following few centuries, what started out as a road that ran along a portion of the northern coast of Italy, was extended and now stretches as far as northern France and Spain. We imagine this historic road that brings Italy, France and Spain together may…

Read more: Test driving Aurelia in Mayfair

Something for the weekend: The Bell at Ticehurst

What can you tell me about the Bell?

Having just spent a night at the newly spruced up Bell at Ticehurst, we have to confess to feeling pretty jealous of the locals and their spanking new inn.

The sign outside points one way to a 14th century church and the other way (towards the Bell) to 21st century ding-dong, but the origins of the Bell are more than 200 years old. It's just that the new owner…

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Young Turks at The Ten Bells conquers Shoreditch

We've been to a few speakeasy spots in New York and it's always great fun walking through noodle shops to find hidden cocktail bars - it's an easy way to feel like you have the run of the city. That's clearly the vibe that Young Turks chefs Isaac Mchale and James Lowe are after with their new Shoreditch spot at The Ten Bells. On a Friday night we literally had to fight our way through the madding…

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An NYC style neighbourhood bar in Clapham - test driving The Rookery

So what can you tell me about The Rookery?

Recently opened on the South Side of Clapham Common - and just within view of the grassy stretch where virtuous Londoners sweat it out at military-style bootcamps - The Rookery is the new kid in SW London. Modelled after "a great NYC neighbourhood bar in Brooklyn or the Lower East Side", it's a bold venture in the land of cosy fireside pubs and al fresco…

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Tapas in Soho - we test drive Copita

What do you know about Copita

It's a new restaurant set up by the people behind award-winning Barrica (in Fitzrovia). It's going for an authentic Spanish tapas bar style, something similar to Jose in Bermondsey. It's a small room with no bookings, ideal for a quick stop in Soho.

Who's it aimed at?

More so than traditional Spanish restaurants in London, it's definitely aimed at the casual diner. Th…

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Mayfair innovation - test driving Alyn Williams at the Westbury

What can you tell us about Alyn Williams at the Westbury?

This is the first solo venture from Williams, the former head chef at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and the second new restaurant to open at the Westbury hotel in a matter of months (following The Gallery), making the Westbury a plausible new destination for eating out in London. Williams honed his craft, like Wareing, at Gordon Ramsay Hol…

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Buffets, burgers & waffles - test driving Helene Darroze's brunch menu at the Connaught

We freely admit to being about as barking mad about burgers as most London foodies. So when we heard that the signature dish at the weekend brunch two-Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze was serving up at the Connaught was an ox cheek burger with foie gras, we knew it fell upon us to go and try it out for you. Selfless and greedy – that’s us.

The Connaught’s a lovely hotel to go to at the best of…

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Sustainable sharing: test driving Galoupet in Knightsbridge

So what can you tell me about Galoupet?

Nestled away in a Knightsbridge side-street, Galoupet is an all-day restaurant/wine bar with a strong focus on its wine list and the seasonal aspect of its sharing menu.

Who's it aimed at?

Given the emphasis placed on wine - there's a string of enomatic machines as you enter the restaurant - it's certainly looking to attract passing wine buffs and help to ed…

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Wine Chap and the Draft House's Charlie McVeigh face-off in Grain vs Grape

Forget Hastings. Forget Trafalgar, and Waterloo. From the 29th November 2011 the lines are drawn for one of the greatest battles ever fought. Swords and guns will be replaced by bottle-openers, glasses and foot long pork scratchings, as Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh takes on Wine Chap Tom Harrow in the ultimate showdown between beer and wine. Hot Dinners were invited down to the Draft House,…

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Scotland meets Islington - test driving Bonnie and Wild in Islington

What can you tell us about Bonnie and Wild?

If you’ve ever seen a group of market tradesman in kilts hawking venison and duck on Saturdays at Broadway Market, you’ve already had a glimpse at the team behind this weekend-only pop-up restaurant in North London.

Based on a collaboration between Bonnie Gull Ltd – a seafood specialist caterers – and Wild Game Co., who specialise in seasonal game from t…

Read more: Scotland meets Islington - test driving Bonnie and Wild in Islington

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