Newsletter 18 January 2012

Burn’s Night Special, Brew Your Own Beer, Cinema Dining and the latest foodie news and openings…

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Gin & Jazz @ The Arch Bar, W1, 19 January

The Arch Bar @ The InterContinental sees a return of its popular ‘Gin & Jazz’ nights, with this month’s live act, Viper’s Dream, providing a celebration of golden age Jazz alongside classic cocktails.  Taking place on the third Thursday of each month, the nights see bespoke Hendrick’s Gin cocktails, free gin tasters for guests and great live music.  Email for reservations

Brew Your Own Beer Competition @ The Draft House & Sambrook’s

The Draft House has teamed up with south-west London brewery Sambrook’s to offer beer-lovers a chance to design, brew and name their very own cask ale.  The winner will have 50 firkins (3,600 pints) of their dream beer created, as well as receiving one 72-pint cask to enjoy with their friends at a private party held at a Draft House pub. Entrants need only submit the name and description of their ideal beer using 14 words or fewer by email to

Tapas & Flamenco @ Cuckoo Club, W1, 25th January

Whilst most of London will be well on their way to their first major hangover of the year courtesy of Burn’s Night, those after a more refined night out should head down to Cuckoo Club.  The evening will comprise of an eight-dish tapas menu and live entertainment, with performances from celebrity flamenco guitarist Jackson Scott alongside the critically acclaimed Flamenco dancer Jesus Olmedo.  Tickets are £40, including the meal.

Burn’s Night Special – 25 Jan


1308 Newsletter 18 January 2012If you’re still persevering (or at least pretending to!) with this January detox stuff, then there’s no better way to get back on the wagon than a good old Scottish knee’s up with one of these Burn’s Night events. 

The Draft House Tower Bridge, SE1

The Draft House is teaming up with Scottish brewers Harviestoun and Glen Garioch whiskies to offer a four-course meal for £25, with every course accompanied by both a Harviestoun beer and a Glen Garioch whisky. After a welcome drink, on the menu will be Scotch broth, haggis, neeps and tatties, served with kale, a dessert of cranachan, and a selection of cheeses to finish.  Tickets are available to buy online at


Burns Night at Vinopolis, SE1

Grab your kilt and head down to Vinopolis for a night of haggis and whisky in the ultimate celebration of all things Scottish.   In association with The Whisky Exchange, guests will receive a welcoming whisky cocktail on arrival and be treated to live Scottish highland music throughout the evening.   In honour of Scotland’s favourite son, guests will also enjoy a traditional 3-course Scottish feast including whisky pairings.  £89/person.

Whisky Tasting @ The Avalon, SW12

The Avalon in Clapham is calling all whisky aficionados and enthusiasts for a tutored malt tasting, complete with Scottish canapés paired with each dram.   The informal evening will showcase all you need to know about the amber nectar and will include an opportunity to taste some fantastic whiskies from Auchentoshan, Dalwhinnie and Oban amongst others.  £15 per person. Places are limited, so call The Avalon on T: 020 8675 8613 or email:

New Openings…

1309 Newsletter 18 January 2012The Lounge @ Odean Whiteleys, W2

We saw Heston attempt to revolutionise cinema food not too long ago, but Rowley Leigh appears to be the first proper chef to achieve it with the opening of The Lounge.  Comprising of 5 screens with just 50 reclining leather seats each, it’s certainly a posher and more intimate affair than your local cinema and Rowley’s dishes follow suit.  Each seat has its own call button, allowing guests to order without missing a moment of their film, with dishes including Hamburger ‘royale’ with fillet steak; red mullet risotto; gourmet popcorn; and some interesting ice-cream flavours.

Pitt Cue, W1

1310 Newsletter 18 January 2012

2011 may have been the year of ‘market stall’ eating but 2012 is looking like the year where we actually return to more conventional dining establishments.  Hot on the heels of Meat & Liquor (borne out of the Meat Wagon) comes a fixed abode for Pitt Cue, another one of 2011′s market-stall meat sensations.  The US style barbecue serves up a simple but achingly tempting menu of dishes such as pulled pork, beef brisket and beef ribs, all cooked as a proper barbecue should over wood and charcoal.  With prices under £10 and just 30 seats, hordes are expected so there will probably still be a bit of waiting around in the cold, but at least you can eat with a roof over your head!

Old Tom’s Cheese & Charcuterie Bar

1311 Newsletter 18 January 2012Inspired by Leadenhall Market’s centuries old history for selling the finest poultry and cheeses around London, Old Tom’s opens as a decidedly British watering hole with a difference.   Step off the cobbled lanes, descend the winding staircase and you will find yourself in a small but perfectly formed bar complete with nooks, crannies and cosy corners. Exclusively British hams hang from the ceiling whilst a variety of cheeses, hand-crafted pies, Scotch eggs, chutneys and fresh breads serve to tempt all who enter.  Old fashioned butcher tiles contrast with vintage wooden furniture and worn leather armchairs to create a comfy and relaxed bar where traditional London pub meets the tapas bars of Seville and Andalucia.

Caparossa Convivium Italia

Southern Italy comes to South London with the opening of the somewhat elaborately named Caparossa Convivium Italia in Putney Wharf.   Promising an authentic experience, diners can choose to eat either in the main restaurant or at the deli counter.  The menu offers traditional Neapolitan dishes such as Paccheri alla Genovese and sharing plates, including pizzette and antipasti with fresh buffalo mozzarella flown in daily from Italy.  Head chef Nicola Buono even personally selected 50 Parma hams from the Parma region over 6 months ago, which have been cured and brought to Putney!  Wines are also exclusively Italian, with over 100 labels available.

Giovanni Rana Restaurant, NW1

In the UK Giovanni Rana is best known as the bloke who has put his name to the range of fresh pasta that fills our supermarket shelves.  However, jump over to Europe and the guy who has spent the last 50 years perfecting the art of ready-made pasta is also known for an impressive portfolio of over 25 restaurants.  His first foray on UK soil has seen Giovanni create a classic trattoria style experience, complete with informal bench seating, where visitors can pop by for a coffee and a pastry, an easy-going lunch or a hearty dinner.  Pasta will obviously feature heavily on the menu, but diners will also have a choice of charcuterie and regular mains of meat and seafood.

Try This Week…

1312 Newsletter 18 January 2012Juiceology

We might be attempting a relatively healthy lifestyle this month but that doesn’t mean we have to resign ourselves to a diet of weird (and generally disgusting) health drinks.  Top mixologist Joe McCanta has developed a great tasting line-up of all natural juices perfectly suited to help remedy the effects of holiday over-indulges. Available in 4 flavours, ‘Apple, Lime and Mint’, ‘Mandarin, Citrus and Cardamom’, ‘Lychee, Berry and Basil’, and ‘Coconut Water and White Guava’, all four blends are fortified with milk thistle – a plant extract renowned for its healing remedies and repairing damage to the liver. For those not ready to give up drink, but looking for a little help along the way, the flavours are also designed to be mixed, shaken and stirred with a favoured spirit for a sophisticated cocktail.  Available for around £1.69 from Whole Foods, Harvey Nichols and online

Fuel Granola

1313 Newsletter 18 January 2012If the early morning rising is still proving to be a bit of a challenge after all of those Christmas hangovers/lay-ins, this new cereal should give you the perk-up you need. The delicious chunky breakfast granola is packed with vitamins and minerals essential for getting our bodies in shape for the rat-race.  More importantly, the combination of high fibre content and guarana extract provide the perfect blend of slow-release energy and a solid caffeine hit first thing in the morning.  Available in 70% Chocolate Chunks and Fruit Loaded flavours for around £3.69 from Tesco nationwide.