Newsletter 22 May 2013

Summer Gardens, Immersive Dining Experiences, plus the latest foodie news!

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


News & Events…


1634 Newsletter 22 May 2013

Summer Rooftop @ Queen of Hoxton, EC2. Throughout Summer

The Queen of Hoxton is defying the ropey weather to transform its toasty winter incarnation into a summer solace.  The outdoor rooftop space in Shoreditch will see a series of fun activities and events taking place throughout summer, including the popular Rooftop Film Club.  Visitors will also be able to relax in loungers whilst enjoying tasty BBQ treats, reliving their youth over Coke floats and sipping on cocktails.

Tanqueray Botanical Garden @ Carom, W1. Throughout Summer

Located in the heart of bustling Soho, the Botanical Gin Garden provides an elegant glasshouse space for guests to indulge in botanical inspired mischief.  Imagine long balmy evenings of imaginatively infused cocktails and delicious pan-Indian dishes amongst the garden’s fragrant living wall of herbs and natural flora.   The Garden will also host a series of events throughout the summer, including Botanical masterclasses, Foraging sessions and gin matched supperclubs.

1628 Newsletter 22 May 2013
Belgraves’ Edible Garden, SW1. 21-25 May

Belgraves Hotel has transformed its Terrace into an Edible Garden to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show.  The Terrace features a living wall of edible flowers and an interactive cocktail station where mixologist Salvatore Maggio will muddle together palatable petals and botanical spirits to create inspired flowerful cocktails.  Visitors are also invited to join daily ‘Edible Flower Cocktail Classes’ and ‘Food & Flower Pairing Tutorials’.  Access to Belgraves Edible Garden is complimentary but advance reservation is required by emailing

1632 Newsletter 22 May 2013 Tutti Frutti Boating Lake @ Kew Gardens, 25 May-1 September

Kew Gardens has teamed up with culinary curators, Bompas & Parr, to create a stunning installation that highlights ‘IncrEdibles’ – their summer festival that celebrates the delicious diversity of edible plants.  Not ones to do things by halves, the duo will the pond in front of the Palm House into a giant fruit salad boating lake and participatory artwork.  The centre piece of this display will be a floating pineapple island that can be reached either via a walkway running across the water or by small rowing boats decorated as slices of tropical fruits! Tickets from


TOAST Festival @ Red Gallery, EC2. 1-2 June

TOAST is a weekend-long celebration of food and ideas which will bring together chefs, writers and producers to discuss and showcase the big ideas behind what Londoners eat and drink.  From debates on sustainablility, entrepreneurship and the future of food writing, to a food photography workshop, urban foraging walk and Bompas & Parr’s talk on toasting, there’s something to feed every food obsession.  Tickets for the various events are available from, with proceeds going to Action Against Hunger.

Britain’s Biggest Bordeaux Wine Tasting, NW8. 5th June

Leading wine merchant, Bibendum, is hosting the biggest Bordeaux tasting in the UK, offering wine enthusiasts an exclusive opportunity to taste a range of vintages from the world’s most celebrated vineyards.  The tasting provides an opportunity to sample the just-released 2012 vintage, alongside older vintages, and to meet the winemakers from the very best chateaux.  Whether you’re a serious oenophile or casual enthusiast, it’s an unmissable event in the wine calendar and a great day out.  Tickets are £40, including plenty of wine samples.


New Openings…


Tanner & Co., SE1.  Pay what you want from 23-27 May!

Having opened in one of London’s most exciting foodie streets, it’s no surprise that Tanner & Co will offer all day dining in a curious retro gym-inspired setting.  The menu provides cause for conversation with its bold contemporary take on comfort food dishes including Crispy spam fritter with piccalilli; Ale braised oxtail and mushroom spring rolls & onion mayonnaise; Poached hake, smoked leeks & curry sauce.  A range of ‘Packed Lunch’ sandwiches and salads will also compliment the menu for those looking for a lighter option, whilst those after a more lively experience will no doubt enjoy exploring the locally inspired cocktail list.  Best of all, visit during 23-27 May and guests will pay what they think their meal is worth.

Kitchen Party, EC1

Kitchen Party is a new fully immersive dining, drinking and entertainment concept curated by the ever-imaginative heads at Bourne & Hollingsworth.  Turning typical dining tradition on its head, Kitchen Party is actually a collective of three or four ‘restaurants’ in one – a menagerie of multiple experiences, tastes, flavours and sights.  Tasked with contributing to the experience are a host cutting edge foodies, including Blanch & Shock and The Robin Collective as well as interactive installations such as Russian Revels.   On any particular evening, options for diners can include sipping on a Gin fizz from a flowery wandering cocktail bar, watching a breath-taking culinary performance or venturing into the basement for dressing up, dancing and raucous feasting.

Chabrot Bistrot des Halles, EC1

The team behind Chabrot Bistrot d’Amis, the authentic bistro discreetly tucked away in Knightsbridge, has launched its second restaurant in Smithfield.   Known for his traditional Southern French bistrot dishes, Chef Thierry has dedicated a large part of the menu to meat in recognition of the heritage of Smithfield Market.  Small dishes to start have been designed for sharing, whilst mains feature grilled meats and French classics.  The look and feel also echoes the restaurant’s classic French roots, with dark oak panelling, scarlet brushed-velvet seating and walls adorned with mirrors and monochromatic photography.


Oblix @ The Shard, SE1

1633 Newsletter 22 May 2013 With renowned restaurants such as Zuma and Roka already to his name, Rainer Becker already sits head and shoulders above most chefs.  With the opening of Oblix, Rainer also hopes that his latest venture also sits at the top of the pile – both figuratively and literally!  Located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, Oblix moves away from the Japanese cuisine that Rainer has become renowned for to create a New York grill style venue.  If the spectacular view was entertaining enough, Oblix also houses a stunning bar where live music will keep guests tapping their toes till late every evening.  Moreover, general prices may be sky-high, but go for their £25 lunch buffet and you’ve got yourself a bargain!

Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill @ The Savoy, WC2

1631 Newsletter 22 May 2013 Located at the prestigious Savoy Hotel and with panoramic views of the River Thames, Kaspar’s has opened to provide an informal yet luxury dining experience, presented in a glamorous Twenties-style setting.   Whilst a show stopping seafood bar takes centre stage, the restaurant and bar provides an all-day menu to satisfy all palettes and appetites, with dishes including Smoked salmon sausage, apple sauerkraut with horseradish sauce; and Smoked brown shrimp & eel cocktail.  Desserts, meanwhile, include the iconic Peach Melba, a dish that has featured on the menu since Auguste Escoffier invented it for Australian soprano Nellie Melba at The Savoy over 120 years ago. 

Try This Week…

1630 Newsletter 22 May 2013 Fortnum & Mason Shortbread

Biscuits don’t get much more comforting than a rich, buttery shortbread, so whilst you wait for summer to arrive, grab yourself some of these delicious treats from Fortnum & Mason.  The crumbly, crunchy and moreish biscuits are made all the more irresistible by being available in a variety of delicious flavours, including Earl Grey, Mocha and Traditional.  Moreover, with the kind of beautiful packaging that you’d expect of a Fortnum’s product, they also make a great gift idea.  £6.95 from

Ceracraft Pans
1629 Newsletter 22 May 2013If you’re looking to give your kitchen kit a colourful lift, look no further than these psychedelic pans from Ceracraft.  More than just a stylish addition to your utensils, they are also fantastically constructed to make cooking your favourite dishes a cinch.   The ceramic coating provides a safe non-stick cooking surface that’s scratch resistant and easy to clean, whilst the forged aluminium construction and stainless steel base ensure consistent heat distribution.  The health conscious amongst you will no doubt also be impressed that the pan’s non-stick properties mean you can significantly reduce the amount of oil required to cook.  Available in a variety of sizes starting at £20 from


Drinks Cabinet Special

1635 Newsletter 22 May 2013 One of the world’s original orange liqueurs, Cointreau has provided the backbone and indeed the inspiration for innumerable all-time classic cocktails.  Indeed, the Sidecar, Margarita and Cosmopolitan all call for a healthy splash of Cointreau.  In recent times, it has often been substituted with generic orange liqueur (ie. brands of Triple Sec or orange curaçao) and not dissimilar to replacing Mo Farah’s bowl of pasta with a dirty burger before a run, the result is likely to be disappointing.   Still produced to a recipe that dates back 150 years, the ingredients and fastidious attention to detail in the production process are second to none.  A combination of bitter and sweet orange peels are macerated and distilled in copper stills to extract the essential oils, resulting in a beautifully aromatic and balanced liqueur.  If all this sounds like hyperbole then take the taste test yourself – we did and it’s the only reason we’ve written this article!

1636 Newsletter 22 May 2013
Cointreau Fizz Cocktail

Although widely used, Cointreau has suffered a case of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ in cocktails by playing second fiddle to a base spirit such as Cognac or Vodka.  Now the liqueur has a chance for its day in the sun with the deliciously refreshing and versatile Cointreau Fizz.

Just squeeze ½ lime into an ice filled glass, add 50ml Cointreau and top off with soda.  From here, the world is your oyster as you can then add a variety of garnishes to tailor the flavour to your occasion, including a summery strawberries & mint version and a zingy passion fruit & pepper cocktail.  For more inspiration, check out