Newsletter 29 February 2012

Free Breakfast, Pay what you want Lunch, Cinematic Drinking plus the latest foodie news

For this week’s coolest events, latest restaurants & bar news, as well as delicious food & drink ideas and exclusive offers, check out our free weekly e-magazine! (And don’t forget, this is just the archive version. If you want this news delivered to your inbox on-time every Wednesday, simply subscribe to the newsletter by filling in your details in the form on the right!)

News & Events…


Free Breakfast & Gig with The Drums @ Floradita, W1. 1 March

New York Bakery Co has signed up New York band The Drums to treat Londoners to an exclusive early morning gig over a bagel breakfast.  The Drums will travel from Brooklyn to serve up a bite-sized 20 minute acoustic set for hungry Londoners who want to kick start their working day the New York way.  The morning gig will start at 08:15am at Floridita on Wardour Street.   Sign-up for free tickets at

1350 Newsletter 29 February 2012
‘Pay what you want’ lunch, Fridays & Saturdays  @ Pips Dish, N1

Pip Dundas has become a bit of a food hero up in Islington, mostly due to his somewhat virtuous approach to business.  Firstly, back in December, he took over an old Citroen garage and together with the owner of Farm Direct, created a food space selling some great produce by day and hosting suppers using the produce by night.  Now, he has decided to operate a policy of ‘pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth’ on Friday and Saturday lunches.  Why? For no reason other than to fund free lunches for groups of local pensioners.  Somebody pass this man a knighthood!  

‘La Festa Della Donna’ @ Cantina Del Ponte, SE1. 8 March

‘La Festa Della Donna’, known worldwide as International Women’s Day, is a celebration of the achievements of women in history, but in Italy is also used as an annual excuse for a girls’ night out. This year, Cantina Del Ponte is celebrating the occasion in true Italian spirit with a fabulous 3-course dinner, Prosecco all round and most importantly, a line-up of topless waiters!   Tickets are £50, with proceeds going to Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Great Daffodil Appeal.

New Openings…


Boqueria, SW2

1351 Newsletter 29 February 2012Named after Barceolona’s famous food market, Boqueria has born out of a desire to showcase the very best of Spain.  Opened by Barcelona-born Jaime Armenter, the restaurant promises great tapas in a contemporary setting that no doubt reflects Jaime’s mere 24 years of age.   A theme of stylish simplicity runs throughout the bar and restaurant, with handmade tables and doors, as well as photo exhibits to add warmth and colour.  Dishes on the menu stay traditional, including Bunuelos Bacalao (cod fritters), Canelones Cantalanes (Aubergine cannelloni with goats cheese and mushrooms) and classic Tortilla’s and Croquetas; as is now de rigueur for Spanish restaurants, selections of cured meats including Jamon Iberico and Lomo Iberico are also available.

The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker, EC1

1352 Newsletter 29 February 2012Marc Dalla Riva and Matt Rix have taken over and revived the beautiful old Queen Boadicea on St John Street to create their ideal drinking den – a traditional alehouse and gin palace with an old-school look but a youthful feel.  With their roots in Yorkshire, the boys are all about providing an honest and welcoming pub experience, so expect great quality British food and straight-talking drinks.  Cocktails are kept to the simple and traditional, whilst a regular roster of guest ales also features.  The no-nonsense menu features a selection of bar snacks, including Black pudding scotch eggs, Potted duck and British cheeses, as well as daily changing roasts and hotpots.  Guests will also be kept entertained with a regular calendar of live music and pub quizzes.

Ambar @ Odeon Swiss Cottage, NW3

Remember when you were younger and you used to get hammered before you went to the cinema, or perhaps used to take a cheeky tipple into the screen with you? (or maybe it was just me!).  Well, like all great ideas, Ambar has decided to exploit and premiumise misspent memories of youth with the opening of a swanky new bar at the Odeon in Swiss Cottage.  Arising from the £3 million restoration of the 1937 built cinema, the late night bar offers cinema goers a plush place to settle for a few cocktails and bar snacks before heading into their movie; because we’re grown-ups now, you can even take the drink into the movie with you.  With everything from Belvedere vodka cocktails to Dom Perignon (at £35/glass!) available, it’s certainly a far cry from the bottles of White Lightening that you probably had the first time round!

Orchard, WC1

Vegetarian restaurants have historically had a tough old-time convincing London’s meat hungry crowd that they are deserving of their custom.  However, Vanilla Black has more than established itself as a serious player with numerous accolades including a Michelin recommendation to its name.  Owners Andrew Dargue & Donna Conroy have now embarked on their second vegetarian restaurant with the opening of Orchard.  Comprising a small grocery store and an all-day restaurant, diners can expect rustic dishes based on seasonal British ingredients.  The menu includes dishes such as Toasted parsnip bread, Ribblesdale sheep cheese & cracked hazelnuts; Mixed beets & picalilli with soda bread soldiers; and various pastries and sweets such as Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake with Ale Ice Cream.   11 Sicilian Avenue, Holborn, London, WC1A 2QH. Tel: 020 7831 2714

Try This Week…

1353 Newsletter 29 February 2012

Mozart Chocolate Liqueurs

We’ve started to notice a rising trend in dessert-style cocktails of late and we all know that you can’t have a dessert menu without a few chocolate options.  When it comes to chocolate liqueurs, the bartenders choice is by far and away this range of chocolate liqueurs by Mozart.  Like the famous composer’s finest musical pieces, these liqueurs provide a bitter- sweet symphony of flavours that are ideal for cocktails or perfect enjoyed over ice.  Available in range of flavours, including Dark, creamy Gold and White, the Mozart range will satisfy the most passionate chocolate fans.  Available from good spirits retailers, including for around £14.  

The Tomato Stall

1354 Newsletter 29 February 2012From soups and sauces to salads and ketchup, it’s pretty difficult to go any length of time without coming across the humble tomato in your diet.  In fact it’s probably fair to say that this most versatile, delicious and healthy of fruits (technically it’s not a veg!) is taken for granted.  However, the people at the Tomato Stall have decided that it we should be championing tomatoes, so have come up with a range of products all based around them.  Using a variety of tomatoes that they grow themselves on the Isle of Wight, the range includes everything from fresh Tomato Juices made with super-sweet piccolo cherry and yellow limoncita tomatoes, to delicious relishes that are ideal for a meat and cheese platter.  Widely available from quality retailers and online at