Posts Tagged ‘London’

La Trattoria Terrazza, Soho – London

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Chianti-FiascoMario & Franco’s La Trattoria Terrazza on Romilly St, in Soho was responsible for introducing Italian food and making it trendy in London in 1959. Mario Cassandro, a co-founder who just passed away this year at the age of 91, along with partner Franco Lagattolla, were both former waiters at the Curzon Street restaurant, Mirabelle in Mayfair. Many other places were spawned by former employees who borrowed (to put it nicely) the same menu and the minimalist style of decor. When Princess Margaret started to frequent Terrazza, it firmly placed it on the culinary map.

Italian cooking is extremely simple, most often the creation of “mama” rather than a famous chef, and depends wholly on good ingredients rather than complicated preparations, and is the reason most dishes are easily adapted for home cooking.

The Two Michelin Starred Ledbury Looted During Dinner; Patrons Robbed! – London

Thursday, August 18th, 2011


Ledbury Restaurant

The  Daily Mail reported that Two Michelin starred restaurant Ledbury came under attack as gangs of youths ran riot through London’s Portabello Road throughout Monday evening. Police advised residents of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Fulham to stay indoors as residents reported seeing men carrying machetes in the road. Chefs and waiters leapt to the defence of members of the public enjoying an evening at The Ledbury, an upmarket two Michelin starred restaurant in Notting Hill, London. Thugs and rioters armed with bats and wearing hooded tops forced their way into the two star restaurant before demanding diners hand over their wallets and wedding rings.
 But staff and others fought back with kitchen tools before leading customers into the wine cellar for protection.
Writing a blog about the incident, a tourist enjoying a celebratory meal, said: “Will and I were going to celebrate with a night out at 2 Michelin star restaurant The Ledbury.
“I had come to terms with the fact that it would be an expensive dinner, but boy, I had no idea how expensive. “Around the fourth dish of the tasting course, there were loud bangs outside. The restaurant staff was yelling at us to get away from the windows. Before I knew it, the front door, a solid piece of glass shattered and people came crashing in with hoods, masks, and random weapons.
“The looters were yelling at us to get down and throwing stuff all over the place. I got down and started taking off my wedding and engagement ring to hide somewhere, but unfortunately wasn’t fast enough.
“One looter came up and demanded my phone. I didn’t have it with me since it was in my purse and it was out of arm reach. I also didn’t want to lead him to my passport, so I said I didn’t have one.
“He told me to take off my rings and grabbed my hand, trying to yank them off. His friend tried to help too, but the rings wouldn’t come off and I just yelled at him that I’d take them off myself.”
After the initial attack, staff at the restaurant provided champagne and whisky to calm the nerves of diners.
But when rumours spread of the looters returning, guests were ushered into toilet cubicles and told to lock the door before being lead down to the wine cellar.
The unknown blogger added: “The kitchen staff at the Ledbury went beyond their call of duty by rushing up from the kitchen with rolling pins, fry baskets, and other dangerous kitchen tools and scared off the looters.
“Then they provided well-needed glasses of alcohol including champagne and whisky. When word came that the looters were coming back a second time, they ushered us into the bathrooms and told us to lock the doors. A few minutes later, they led us into the wine cellar and told us to lock ourselves in there.”

Selected Bars – London

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Bar LogoSelected London Bars

A chic cocktail lounge on the legendary Kings Road.
316–318 Kings Road,

A multi award winning bar, JuJu has just been named “Best Bar” at the London Club and Bar Awards 2011 and has previously been awarded “Outstanding Mixology and Best New Bar”. Located in the heart of Chelsea on the King’s Road, they serve the finest cocktails mixed by some of London’s best bartenders.

Bar Red

5 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PF.

Telephone: +44 0207 434 3417
This Soho favorite boasts some serious blending of cocktails. Spread over two levels, upstairs it’s all plush private booths and chandeliers, an ideal spot to relax and linger over a drink. For a livelier night go downstairs where live DJs play on most nights.

Icebar London

31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BN.

Telephone: 020 7478 8910
The only permanent ice bar in the UK, it’s kept at a constant minus 5 degrees. The ice is imported from Sweden and has been turned into bar.  Ice stools circle ice tables in front of ice art while ski suited barmen make vodka cocktails which are served in ice cube glasses. There’s a cover charge but that includes your first drink. The ice bar phenomenon may no longer seem as unique as it once did – the idea has been reproduced at a number of locations around the world – but still a memorable night out.


100 Wardour St, London, W1F 0TN.

Telephone: +44 020 7314 4000
Taking its name from the famous bar in Havana where Hemingway once drank. The clientele is the usual upmarket London lot, credit crunch or no (which is fortunate as prices veer towards the steep). The music is Latin and appealing and, daiquiris aside, the regular cocktails are also pretty special: excellent mojitos and some decent contemporary concoctions. Also, being a Cuban bar, they offer a large range of cigars.

The Connaught Bar

The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7499 7070
The Connaught Hotel – the grandest of London’s grande dames – has had a bit of makeover. Already it has unveiled the divine Coburg Bar and now we have this, a glorious room designed by David Collins and housed in the hotel’s former American Bar. The ever so elegant space is bedecked in metals, marble and leather with art deco detailing. The cocktails are true classics, impeccably executed with the very best ingredients, and there’s also a large selection of champagnes and fine wines. Bar food comes care of the hotel’s new resident chef Helene Darroze. None of this comes at a low price, of course, but that’s to be expected: the Connaught is a world class bar in a world class hotel that has embraced 21st century style without sacrificing any of its considerable character.

The Library/The Garden Room

Lanesborough Hotel Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA.

Telephone: +44 0207 5599
Too often bars feel like bland copies of each other. These days retro-minimalism has been done to death and retro-futurism is not far behind; it’s at times like this you long for a return to a world of classic drinking. The Lanesborough has created The Garden Room, for those who believe the life went out of the London bar scene along with the smoke. An extensive collection of Cuban cigars is offered for those who want to complete their evening in style

Trailer Happiness

177 Portobello Road, London, W11 2DY.

Telephone: +44 0207 727 2700
Think Tiki drinks and you immediately imagine the South Pacific. Although, when poured properly, there is nothing so delicious as a tropical cocktail and who better to bring the first authentic Tiki bar – Trader Vic’s apart – to London, than King Cocktail himself, master mixologist Dale DeGroff who trained staff at the Player and the Match bars. Set in terminally trendy Notting Hill on the boho-chic Portobello, the décor is palm-tree retro kitsch, with dark walls, bright splashes of colour to match that in the Sours and Sunrises, and the odd Tretchikoff on the wall – South Africa’s master of the kitsch genre. The crowd is typical Notting Hill cool – celebrities, media tarts and fashionistas are a dime a dozen in these parts – but the bar is every bit as laid back and fun as was intended. And well priced too: a masterful cocktail for £4 in Notting Hill?


131 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 5BB.

Telephone: +44 0203 008 7763
You’ll need to ring a door buzzer to be allowed into this elegant members’ club in Fitzrovia, but hold your nerve because it’s rather wonderful inside: all glimmering, glittering white with subtly shifting lighting and rippling water features. Long white curtains hang around each small table allowing a measure of privacy to those seeking an intimate evening. The cocktail list is full of exciting combinations; we’re particularly taken with the combination of gin, honey water and champagne. Staff are efficient and know what their drinks. The dinner menu is not cheap at £90 for three courses, but it is inspired (the head chef has a background littered with Michelin star establishments), think lobster tagliatelle with chilli and garlic or a dessert of chocolate brownie with salted caramel mousse and tonka bean ice cream

Rules Bar

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7LB.

Telephone: +44(0)207836 5314
Rules is, without argument, a London institution. The oldest restaurant in the city (dating back to 1798), this Covent Garden survivor exudes the tradition and elegance of a past era. Rules cares not a jot for fads and fashions; it continues to serve its hearty English food to those who appreciate it, but while cocktails have always been served at Rules it is only recently that a dedicated cocktail bar has been opened on the restaurant’s upper floor. Glamorous in the most understated way, the bar is dedicated to the crafting of classic drinks; there are just ten choices on the list but they are all impeccably and lovingly prepared.

Pied à Terre Restaurant – London

Monday, September 27th, 2010


Contributed by Carole Chung

Pied à Terre
34 Charlotte Street
London W1T 2NH
020 7636 1178

Pied à Terre’s narrow, understated premises makes it difficult to find, as it blends in with many other restaurants and design studios on the street. When you plan an evening at Pied à Terre you might be looking forward to the modern, stylized French cuisine of Shane Osborn, Australia’s first Michelin decorated chef; what you might not have anticipated is the best value menu of this standard in the city.
There are two dining rooms downstairs, with tables set far enough apart and some comfortable banquettes in the back one, with the bar and another private room above.
A couple of extraordinary dishes: deep-fried snails bathed in a feather-light batter; best end of lamb was slow cooked by the sous vide method and literally melted in the mouth.
Service is good while not being overbearing.
The restaurant has an excellent wine list and a few unexpected wines by the glass to pair with all the dishes.