Test Drives

Test drive

Amaranto at the Four Seasons; deluxe Italian in Mayfair

The recent relauch of the Savoy Hotel got so much press that another major London hotel revamp seems to have gone almost under the radar. The Four Seasons Park Lane closed n 2008 for just over two years for a £125 million overhaul using Pierre-Yves Rochon, the same designer as The Savoy to propel it into the 21st century. If you've been before, apparently you'll hardly recognise the place.  For us…

Read more: Amaranto at the Four Seasons; deluxe Italian in Mayfair

Odette’s: A Labour of Love in Primrose Hill

Movers and shakers in Primrose Hill may recall the past few years of Odette’s, the bar and restaurant set snugly amongst a row of Victorian houses, with mixed feelings.

Its chequered past has involved a history stretching back to 1978, and most recently was under the leadership of Mark Powers (allegedly an uninspiring era).

Now under the ownership of Welsh prodigy and Great British Menu star Bryn…

Read more: Odette’s: A Labour of Love in Primrose Hill

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

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

Detox Dinners - Hot Dinners experiences healthy indulgences at Awana

January can be a tough month for the food lover. Whether or not you’re facing the dreaded detox, or even braving an alcohol ban, there’s certainly a heaped serving of guilt that goes along with each decadent meal after a bloated Christmas period.

Luckily enough, a few restaurants this month are proving that detoxing can be more pleasure than chore. With this in mind, and ready for all of our Chris…

Read more: Detox Dinners - Hot Dinners experiences healthy indulgences at Awana

Danish tasting at Clerkenwell's North RoadOpening a Danish restaurant in London just now could rightly be considered a stroke of genius.

Not only have the British crowned René Redzepi King of Chefs by voting his Copenhagen restaurant Noma the World's Best Restaurant™, but London's foodies are also big fans of some of Noma's many London-based alumni - namely Ben Greeno of Hackney's Tudor Road supperclub and Viajante's Nuno Mendes.

So when…

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Sushi classes at Holloway's new Sushi Academy

We're always partial to good sushi here at Hot Dinners and on a freezing winter's night, we're not inclined to go too far to find it. So we were happy to take up the offer of a free sushi-making class from Sushi Academy London who are weeks away from launching their new restaurant and academy just off the Holloway Road.

Pained, or as they more eloquently put it 'particularly grieved'  by some of t…

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Hot Dinners tries out the Waitrose Cookery School

Hot Dinners' baking efforts have, in the past, been varied to say the least. We may be able to bake a mean brownie - but could always do with some decent training. So we were particularly pleased to be invited to be among the first to try out the new Waitrose Cookery School on the Finchley Road.

Situated above an enormous Waitrose, we were immediately struck with how brand-spanking-new everything…

Read more: Hot Dinners tries out the Waitrose Cookery School

London Chocolate Week tasting at L'Artisan Du Chocolat

This week, London had a sweet and creamy answer to those tired out by the hedonistic pleasures of London cocktail week – the simultaneous celebration of London Chocolate Week.

Some enterprising bars chose to combine the two with chocolate flavoured cocktails and liqueurs, but for the true cocoa lover, there was only one place to head – your local chocolate shop.

Acclaimed master chocolatiers L’Art…

Read more: London Chocolate Week tasting at L'Artisan Du Chocolat

There was a frisson of excitement at last night's launch of the Savoy Truffle Club's London Restaurant Festival pop-up when chef Gavin Billenness's heavily pregnant wife (who'd greeted us all at the start of the evening) went into labour. She rushed off to hospital, closely followed by Gavin who, total trouper that he was, had stayed until the main course was served before making his way to his wi…

Read more: The Savoy Truffle Club London Restaurant Pop-up reviewed

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