Tag Archives: london

Hixter Bankside

I’m a big fan of Hix in Soho, which is probably why Mark Hix just opened up a whole new Hix right next to my office. For those of you that don’t stalk me regularly, that’s near Borough Market (London Bridge). It’s called Hixter though, not Hix.

 

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The restaurant has only just opened – it’s housed within an old metal box factory, and it’s a bit of a tardis, as it happens. Walk through a huge bar and there’s a big, light restaurant where you can see the chefs bustling about. There’s also, of course, much fancy looking artwork (Hix’s other restaurants include pieces by masters like Damian Hirst).

 

The idea is simple: it’s chicken or steak to share.

 

You can order bits of meat in various sizes, all sourced with perfect precision from (mostly) Great British producers. There’s mighty-marbled Himalayan salt dry-aged steak from hand-selected cows and barn-reared chicken from Swainson House Farm in Lancashire.

 

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There is also another Mark’s Bar in the basement, but it’s much bigger than the Soho version. This one’s even got table football and a tiny tube carriage you can get drunk in! There’s a market for that now, what with actual drinking on the tube being banned in a terrible oversight a few years ago.

 

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The restaurant currently does a lunch menu for a perfectly reasonable £9.95, with quite a big selection of dishes (sandwiches, burgers, salads etc.)

 

We tried a few of the sandwiches – the Cock ‘n’ Bull – that’s a half chicken, half steak sandwich, the Swainson Farm chicken sandwich and a chicken, Sillfield Farm bacon and summer vegetable salad. All came accompanied with more chips than four people could possibly eat, which is never a bad thing.

 

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The food was, on the whole, a little underwhelming. The sandwiches were cold (we didn’t think they were supposed to be) and the chicken in the salad was a bit dry, but on the whole it wasn’t bad. If Hix’s other restaurants are anything to go by I’m sure things will improve…

 

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££

 

6/10

 

Gluten Free? Yes – quite a few options.

 

Hixter Bankside
16 Great Guildford Street,
SE1 0HS

http://www.hixterbankside.co.uk/

 

 

Hixter Bankside on Urbanspoon

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London’s Talking Statues

Ever thought London statues were a bit… quiet?

 

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I’m with you. And so are the people behind new project London’s Talking Statues, which launched today. Iconic statues all over London are coming to life, so lonely passers by can talk to them.

 

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The project has been organised by Sing London, and will enable people to swipe their phones on a  tag next to statues, after which they’ll receive a call from the famous figure on the plinth.

 

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Actors have recorded monologues by respected writers, there are loads to try. Have a quick chat with Queen Victoria in the City (as imagined by journalist Elizabeth Day) or tell Brunel all the latest gossip in Paddington (you’ll actually be talking to Hugh Bonneville, though, don’t get too excited).

 

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Other statues on the London trail include Isaac Newton, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan and Dick Whittington’s cat, while the long list of contributors features names such as Jeremy Paxman, Patrick Stewart, Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Jenna Louise Coleman, Frank Skinner, Simon Russell Beale, Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

 

You can even write the words for new statues which are yet to find a voice! Enter the London’s Talking Statues competition here. Winners’ chats will be recorded in time for Christmas. Ages I know, but it takes time to bring metal lumps to life, alright.

Exploring the John Lewis Roof Garden

To celebrate turning 150 years old John Lewis has opened a lovely little roof garden, at the top of its gargantuan Oxford Street store.

 

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The rooftop is fully covered in turf, and fitted out with deck chairs, gazebos and little conservatories full of random garden objects. Even ruined radios. Everyone’s got a ruined radio knocking about in their garden, haven’t they?

 

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You can also refuel on the roof with fresh juices and snacks from “Joe and the Juice”.

 

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It’s all down to the work of Designer Tony Woods, who takes an innovative approach to traditional garden design by utilising British landscape features with the zeitgest of today. Planting has been carefully selected to ensure that the garden provides an abundance of colour and scent throughout John Lewis’s 150 celebrations, and gardeners from the store’s own Longstock estate also helped transform the space.

 

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The plants are nectar-rich and include favourite plants of yesteryear, such as roses and lavender. More contemporary planting includes blocks of textural grasses, peppered with wild flowers, and living wall schemes to encourage biodiversity.

 

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Tony Woods became the RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year 2013 for his ‘Escape to the City’ urban garden. His winning design conveyed how you can achieve tranquillity and escape, even in an urban garden. Tony is founder and owner of The Garden Club London.

 

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John Lewis Roof Garden Opening Times: 

The John Lewis Roof Garden is accessible through the shop and open daily 10am – 4pm (Sunday 11.30am – 4pm) until 31 August .

 

John Lewis Roof Garden,
John Lewis

300 Oxford St,
London
W1A 1EX

 

johnlewis.com

The Delaunay, Strand

The Delaunay opened its doors in 2012, the latest glitzy London restaurant from two of the nation’s most accomplished restauranteurs, Jeremy King and Chris Corbin.

 

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Other than a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, The Delaunay is almost identical to its King and Corbin predecessor, The Wolseley. Decor is once again inspired by Grand European cafés of Vienna, Zurich and Budapest, cafes which I can only assume are infinitely more glamorous than our shoddy greasy spoons.

 

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The end result is a David Collins-designed wonder – dark green leather seating, many a piece of polished brass, antique mirrors and acres upon acres of marble so shiny you could eat your dinner off of it.

 

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The menu here is an all-day one, but a posh all-day one, you understand. There’s Soups, Starters, Eggs, Weiners, Crustacea and Caviar, Plats du Jours, Fish, Schnizels, Entrées, Savouries, Cakes and Coupés. There’s also Afternoon Tea. And breakfast! That’s what we came for…

 

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The breakfast menu is a piece of parchment almost a mile long, complete with almost every kind of breakfast you could possibly want or need. These range from more traditional choices like the good old full English to pancakes, waffles, granola and viennoiserie.

 

Then of course there are slightly more unusual options such as the Viennese breakfast, a kind of all you can eat breakfast buffet inspired dish of cold meat, egg and a big old pretzel. You can also have eggs cooked in any way you can dream up, so go on… be creative.

 

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They also serve bowls of coffee. This, one assumes, is how people drink coffee in Europe. The burns must be appalling.

 

Almost the entire table opted for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, presumably reassured by the alliteration – always the sign of a good meal, I find.

 

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I, being a rebel, went with a fresh fruit salad, accompanied by camomile tea and Champagne. We were celebrating, I’d like to add. I don’t breakfast on Champagne every day, much as I’d like to.

 

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The fruit salad was delicious, and came in a small bucket you could probably swim in, if you felt like it.

 

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs received much applause from the table, its deliciousness apparently accentuated by the many gallons of butter used in the eggs.

 

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If you do visit beyond the realms of breakfast time take a look at the Coupé menu and you’ll find the most delectable little tribute to Lucian Freud – The Wolseley’s biggest fan. He ate there every night. I kid you not. Every single night. He had his own table. And what did he get in return? An ice cream. It’s a threesome of hazelnut, almond and pistachio ice-cream on a Freudian couch with whipped cream and butterscotch sauce. Eat it.

 

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The Verdict: A brilliant breakfast spot in a great central location. Almost as good as The Wolseley, but in terms of atmosphere and service The Wolseley just about wins.

 

8/10

£££

 

The Delaunay Website: thedelaunay.com

The Delaunay on Urbanspoon

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Review: Hootananny Brixton

Have you ever been in a pub and thought to yourself… what this place needs is a shitload of passive aggressive people, sweating profusely and jumping up and down to the sounds of some kooky rock band that never quite made it but wholeheartedly refuses to give up…?

 

You HAVE? Fantastic!

 

Let me tell you about Hootananny, Brixton’s weirdest (i.e. worst) night out.

 

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So, What’s It Like?

Like a pub, designed by someone who hates pubs. One half of this grime-encrusted netherworld is really very much like a good old public house, it’s got a snooker table and everything.

The other is more of a school assembly hall, with a stage at the end. Massive velvet curtains too, harbouring small colonies of undiscovered species. There’s also a bar, but it’s been carefully hidden behind a monstrous crowd of slobbering drunks, so you might not see that.

Outside there are many marquees, and street food vendors selling some sort of garlic coated pizza thing, presumably in an effort to add a smattering of halitosis to the rich and varied scents drifting about the place.

There are also patio heaters, conveniently placed in the centre of the marquees, threatening to sizzle the skin off of anyone brave enough to attempt to pass them. So that’s fun!

 

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Don’t Miss

The toilets. Seriously, these funky-smelling things would give the good old festival toilet experience a run for its money… but that’s not even the best bit! The toilets at Hootannany also come with LIVE MUSIC!!

Here entertainment is provided by the attendants, who delight in screeching the most indecent of lyrics, stopping every so often to shout at you to hurry yourself up. Who doesn’t love to pee under pressure?

 

 

Will I Get In?

Hootannany Brixton reckons itself as some of member’s club, delusions of grandeur so hysterically funny you’ll forgive me for taking a few moments just to compose myself.

As you enter mysterious people in a hut whip a few quid from your desperate, nervous little hands, then glare at you as a strapping security guard frisks you to within an inch of your life. Only then are you presented with Hootenanny’s special membership card, which apparently gets you money off when you come back.

Why you would return after experiencing Hootannany once, though, is anyone’s guess.

 

 

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Will I Find Love?

No. You won’t. Because within minutes of being granted entry to this entirely tragic arena of awfulness you’ll feel so utterly dejected you’ll consider throwing yourself in front of a bus, before deciding that actually just going home would probably take the pain away.

 

 

 

Who Goes?

  1. People who hate music.
  2. Failed bands.
  3. People who want to fight you.

 

 

The Verdict:

Absolutely not.

 

 

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Hootannany
95 Effra Rd,
Greater London
SW2 1DF

020 7737 7273

Free Gin! It’s #TanquerayThursdays

Forget that World Cup nonsense. This Saturday is WORLD GIN DAY, a day so smashing that many find it entirely impossible to comprehend. In fact, some smart thinking types at Tanqueray love World Gin Day so much they’ve decided to extend it…

 

 

Now gin-lovers of the world will be able to enjoy two-for-one gin cocktails at ten of London’s finest cocktail bars every Thursday, for TEN WHOLE weeks, thanks to a wonderful new thing called #TanquerayThursdays.

 

Tanqueray was born nearly 200 years ago in London’s Bloomsbury, and it also happens to be the best-selling gin in the top 50 Best Bars In The World. So its seems entirely just that it should have more than one day on this busy calendar of ours.

 

 

To get your two for one cocktails all you need to do is show your bartender that you’ve tweeted something to do with #TanquerayThursdays. And boom. Double the gin for you. There’ll be ten bars participating. They are…

 

  • Bounce, Holborn
  • The King of Ladies Man, Battersea
  • The Lucky Pig, Fitzrovia
  • Earlham Street Clubhouse, Covent Garden
  • Cecil’s, London Bridge
  • Ruby’s, Dalston
  • The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Liverpool Street
  • Steam & Rye, The City
  • The Big Easy, Covent Garden
  • Callooh Callay, Shoreditch

 

#TanquerayThursdays will be running for ten weeks, from 9th June 18th August 2014. For a full list of the participating bars, information about each week’s featured bar and weekly opportunities to enter brand new competitions, visit the #TanquerayThursdays page HERE.

Cocktail Competition: Create Your Own Alcoholic Sweet

Fancy yourself as the next (tipsy) Willy Wonka? This just might be the perfect competition for you!

 

It’s called #eatyourdrink, and winners will see their cocktail candy creations made into real sweets for them to scoff to their hearts content, courtesy of brilliant sweetie cocktail makers Smith & Sinclair

 

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Simply tweet @imbibeuk with your ideal alcoholic candy and its ingredients – but don’t forget to add #eatyourdrink! The winning #eatyourdrink sweet will look a little something like this…

 

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Smith & Sinclair is a London-based brand famed for edible cocktails (aka alcoholic fruit pastilles). Bonded over their love of all things sweet they have paired the nostalgic texture of the ‘penny sweet range’, with a diverse selection of grown-up, palette-pleasing, cocktail flavours (including year-round favourites: ‘Whisky Sour‘, ‘Gin & Tonic Sherbet’ and additional seasonal concoctions including their ‘Spring Special’).

 

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They’re gluten free, made entirely by hand, and have no additional preservatives. Which means they’re good for you.

 

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Get your entry in for the cocktail competition of the YEAR and you could win 10 boxes of your limited edition sweet, which will also be distributed at Imbibe Live 2014 by the Candy Crew. You’ll also be featured on Imbibe’s website, newsletter, Twitter and Facebook. Runners-up will receive 5 boxes of their creation.

 

Here’s a bit of inspiration too…

 

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