Newsletter 16 October 2013

Chocolate Week, Foraged Cocktails, Shoreditch Super Venue plus the latest London foodie news!

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News & Events…


1722 Newsletter 16 October 2013

KERB Street Food Market @ Maida Vale Place, every Saturday

Despite sweeping through the rest of town, West Londoners seem to have largely remained untouched by the street food revolution.  However, the wait is over as renowned street food conglomerate KERB has just taken on a permanent residency in Maida Vale to give locals a taste of some of London’s most exciting food trends.  Traders expected on the day include Donostia Social Club with their regional Basque cuisine; fresh gyoza courtesy of the Rainbo crew; indulgent breakfasts from Original Fry-up Material; and Rola Wala with his Indian inspired wraps, including a truly delicious Goan-style pulled pork.  Running from 10am-3pm.

1719 Newsletter 16 October 2013 

Drink What You Sow – Foraging Special @ Reverend J W Simpson, W1. 26 Oct

West End bar Reverend J W Simpson is welcoming green fingered Londoners with a penchant for fine drinks to a very special seasonal workshop.  From edible plants and flowers to nuts and berries, this master-class offers London’s gatherers a chance to experiment with different flavours and techniques, and create one-off cocktails from foraged fodder.  Novices need fear not, for the evening also includes a session on the basics of cocktail-making techniques.  Tickets are £30 from

Eating Sound @ The Truscott Arms, W9. 29 October

Popular Maida Vale gastropub Truscott Arms has partnered with composer Sam Bailey for a special dining experience where food is used to deepen the understanding of sound.  Pieces for the harp, flute, saxophone and double bass together with surround sound audio processing have been developed in conjunction with a range of dishes created by chef Barry Snook, including Roast quail & confit leg, katifi egg, winter truffle, quail vinaigrette; and Slow cooked duck egg & consommé, pickled watermelon radish & cracked egg.  Tickets are priced at £70.

Welcome Italia @ Royal Horticultural Halls, 18-20 October

Londoners can have a taste of La Dolce Vita this weekend with a visit to Welcome Italia – a new event focusing on the food, wine and tourism of Italy.  Culinary delights on offer include wines from Sicily’s Conti Leopardi Dittajuti, ingredients such as succulent San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oils, traditional pasta and gelato made by Palmiro Bruschi – recently crowned ‘Italian Champion of Gelato’.  The event will also include a Cookery Theatre, where top Italian chefs such as Francesco Mazzei and Enzo Olivieri will show-off their skills in a series of demonstrations.   Tickets are free.


Featured Event

Salon du Chocolat, Olympia. 18-20 October

1724 Newsletter 16 October 2013 Salon du Chocolat, the world’s biggest chocolate show, is coming to London! This spectacular finish to a wonderful line up of Chocolate Week activities takes place 18-20th October at National Hall, Olympia. 


This is a unique chance to see exhibitors from top UK and International chocolate companies and chocolatiers, including Artisan du Chocolat, Paul a Young, Rococo, Hotel Chocolat, Marc Demarquette, Melt, Divine, Prestat, Lindt, Valrhona, Pralus and Bonnat, all under one roof. Special highlights include Salon’s world famous chocolate fashion show; an exclusive collection of couture chocolate dresses designed by top fashion designers and chocolatiers. 


Visitors will also be treated to demonstrations from Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, patissier to the stars Eric Lanlard and rare demonstrations from the Head Pastry Chefs of The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux quat’Saisons and Hakkasan. You can also relax at the show’s chocolate spa, marvel at Hotel Chocolat’s life size cocoa tree with real chocolate pods, or watch live Chocolate graffiti.

New Openings…


Drakes Tabanco, W1
The team behind Spanish favourites Copita and Barrica has turned to sherry as the inspiration for its latest venture.  A popular sight in Jerez, ‘tabancos’ are bars that serve sherry wines straight from the barrel.  Amongst the exclusive tipples on offer at Drakes is a limited release ‘en Rama’ sherry and a standout 30 year old Antique Palo Cortado.  With prices starting at just £2.90 per glass, Drakes is ideal for sherry newbies to explore this wonderful wine.  The food menu takes its inspiration from Andalucia, albeit with a few British twists, including a selection of charcuterie; a seafood board that includes air-dried tuna and smoked scallops; and larger dishes such as octopus stew and lamb breast.

1728 Newsletter 16 October 2013

Far Rockaway, EC2
From Queens to Shoreditch, Far Rockaway is an American style bar and restaurant inspired by urban street art and culture.  Visuals play a major part of the experience, including hand-painted totem poles, sculptures, canvases and a ceiling covered with hundreds of skateboard decks.  A 4000-strong library of DC and Marvel comic books is also on site so guests can find escapism from the rigours of the day, and offers a fantastic excuse to swing by solo.  The NY style food menu includes pizza by the slice, spit-roasted organic chicken, suckling pig and Knickerbocker Glory desserts.  Drinks include a selection of cocktails on draught as well as frozen margaritas and locally sourced beers.


Olympic Cafe & Dining Room, SW13

Olympic Studios, the famous London recording studios that in its day played host to such musical legends as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, has reopened its doors in a new guise as a Cinema, Private Members’ Club and Café and Dining Room.  Swedish-born Andreas Engberg (ex-Racine and Garnier) has been installed as Head Chef to create an all-day menu of British dishes with a European twist.  A ‘Pastry Kitchen’ is also open throughout the day for everything from pancakes and waffles in the morning, to pies, grills, puddings and pastries later in the day.  Most impressively, the venue houses two state-of-the-art cinema screens showing everything from the latest releases to classic and art-house movies.


VQ, the 24 hour diner that has been feeding and watering Chelsea’s night-owls and early-birds round the clock for 18 years, has come to the West End for its second venue.  Located on the ground-floor of the St Giles Hotel, visitors are just as welcome to turn up at 2am for a burger after a night on the tiles as they are if they fancy an all-day breakfast at 11pm; those with regular eating patterns need fear not, for VQ also adheres to normal breakfast, lunch and dinner menus!  We love the fact that even the lighting has been arranged to cater for its 24 hour diners, including a huge light-wall that changes imagery and colour tone at different times of the day.  Visit between 17-31 October and you can even get 50% off your meal.

Keeper’s House @ The Royal Academy of Arts, W1

1723 Newsletter 16 October 2013Distinguished culture meets quality cuisine with the redesign and relaunch of Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts by serial gallery based restaurateurs Peyton & Byrne.   The venue now boasts private rooms, a walled garden for guests to enjoy a few cocktails, a 40-seat restaurant, and the chic ‘Shenkman Cocktail Bar’.  The restaurant menu keeps things firmly British and seasonal, with dishes including Flamed leeks with ewe’s milk & squash; Scottish partridge with hazelnut, black cabbage and crisp pear; and Damson & sloe jam rice pudding.  The bar also keeps to the seasonal theme, including the use of foraged ingredients in drinks such as Greengage with Absinthe, gin, citrus & bitter lemon tonic.

Try This Week… Chocolate Week Treats!

1721 Newsletter 16 October 2013 Godiva Truffes Legendaires Selection

Whist the modern generation of chocolatiers are busy messing around with yuzu, chillis, Marmite and all manner of weird and not always wonderful ingredients, it’s great to see old-school bastions of cocoa, Godiva championing more traditional truffle varieties. In particular, the recently launched Truffes Legendaires selection comprises a historical selection of truffles, each representing a highlight in Godiva’s 60 year history.  Delights on offer including the Truffe Draps -  the original master chocolatier’s very first truffle, dating back to 1946, featuring intense dark chocolate cream in fine dark chocolate and rolled in pure cocoa powder; and Truffe Mathilde made from coffee ganache and a dark chocolate shell.  Available in-store and as a gift box from

1726 Newsletter 16 October 2013

Baileys Chocolat Luxe

Imagine a job where all you’re paid to do is essentially eat chocolate and drink whisky.  Well that’s pretty much what Anthony Wilson’s job has been at Bailey’s over the last few years.  After personally tasting over 200 varieties of the world’s finest chocolate and 839 failed attempts at creating the ultimate boozy molten chocolate drinking experience, Wilson’s obsession has finally come to life in the shape of Baileys Chocolat Luxe.  This year’s must-have cream liqueur combines luxury ingredients, including Madagascan Vanilla, smooth Irish whiskey and over 30g of real Belgian chocolate per bottle to create a velvety, smooth and lusciously decadent taste.  Serve it on the rocks or shake it up with a touch of vodka, rum or whisky for the ultimate Chocolate Martini.  £16.99 from Harvey Nichols.

1725 Newsletter 16 October 2013

Stoli Chocolat Kokonut

The latest in Stoli’s ‘Sweet Indulgent’ flavoured vodka range has proven to be another belter.  Not dissimilar to a boozy version of a Bounty Dark Chocolate bar (do they still make them??), Stoli Chocolat Kokonut blends bold coconut and rich cocoa aromas with hints of vanilla and roasted hazelnut.  Serve it straight from the freezer and you’ll experience clean distinct flavours of chocolate and coconut, with a slightly creamy texture (despite it being a clear liquid) and a silky smooth finish.  Use it for a tropical twist on an espresso martini, with raspberries and lime for a quirky long drink or even shake it up with a cream liqueur for great dessert style cocktail.  Around £20 from good spirits stockists.

674 Newsletter 16 October 2013