You can be excused, therefore, for possibly failing to spot one or two new bars, restaurants, pub and club openings that have launched in London this year. To rectify this temporary imbalance (we'd knew we'd get you back onside fairly quickly), here are 7 new bars and restaurants in London that might have escaped your radar.
If you have been a clever little London social butterfly, collect one point for each of the below that you've visited already. If you've managed to collect all the extra points too, you need to contact Fluid London immediately because we want you to come and work for us.
1) Chef Mark Hix has created a new east London home, Tramshed in Shoreditch, where you'll find an original, specially commissioned, Damien Hirst cow and cockerel suspended from the ceiling, as well a simplistic chicken and steak menu that caters to the carnivorous clientele who detach themselves from their complicated City meat leanings (Hawksmoor, Gaucho, Marco Pierre White) and wander towards the realm of simplicity. Extra point if you order the 1kg mighty-marbled Glenarm sirloin steak and chips. Book your place using this handy calendar:
2) You've seen him on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen and Celebrity Masterchef, and you may have even purchased one of his bestselling cookbooks for your nan, so chances are you already know celebrity Indian chef, Vivek Singh. You've no doubt eaten at his Cinnamon Club restaurant in Westminster too, but now you've got the opportunity to experience his expertise at his new Indian restaurant, Cinnamon Soho in a less formal setting. Vivek's usual quirkiness still applies on the menu, so expect surprises. Extra point if you were able to sip the spicy berry martini cocktail without showing emotion on you face. Book your place using this handy calendar:
3) We're officially awarding the new cocktail bar and alfresco terrace, Skylounge, near Tower Bridge station the titular privilege of London's best bar for fantastic views because it boasts Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, City Hall, the Shard, the South Bank, the river Thames, St Paul's Cathedral and the Gherkin as just some of the wildlife highlights from the rooftop vista. This is the ideal bar for a first date in London. Extra point if you ordered the refreshing Hanoi High cocktail, and got a smooch.
4) Ambling through Hyde Park, shopping on High Street Kensington, or perhaps getting a little peckish before the big performance at the Royal Albert Hall? The new Spaghetti House restaurant is one of a pair and whereas its Soho sibling is a hectic beast, this place is much more laid back (and mostly, kid-free). Again, simple, authentic menus are the key ingredient here. This is as far removed from the world of Pizza Express and Strada as you can possibly get whilst still maintaining the essence of Italian cooking. Extra point if you, like us, ordered the veal with sauteed potatoes (yum!). Book your place using this handy calendar:
5) Two words for you: Fullers and canal. The former - west London's famous brewing company - has taken over the occupancy of the rather splendidly located Union Tavern on the banks of, you've guessed it, the canal near Notting Hill. Therefore, you can expect gorgeous sun-filled alfresco afternoons on the canal terrace, sipping craft beers from exotic places like Belgium, Germany and Hackney, whilst munching through some home-smoked meat and/or freshly baked bread. Extra point if you had the soft shell crab bap with red cabbage coleslaw and pickle, slipped down with a pint of Beavertown Smog Rocket. Book your place using this handy calendar:
6) From a view of the ducks quietly coasting along the canal, to a view of the West End hoi polloi as they busy themselves with street performer entertainment, shopping, and the London Transport Museum. Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has been buying up former Chez Gérard restaurants around London and giving them his own French twist instead. The best of the new bunch is the flagship Brasserie Blanc Opera Terrace which houses an alfresco roof terrace (our three favourite words) high above the Covent Garden Piazza. The pre-theatre options are very reasonably, considering the area, so keep an eye out for deals to be had. Extra point if you pushed the boat out and ordered a Chateaubriand for two out on the terrace.
7) We're not sure about you but here at Fluid London HQ we think the simplicity of a restaurant that serves the cuisine of just one nation sounds a bit, well, basic. Where are the splintering sub-sections and nuances? Take Soho's new restaurant, Ceviche, for example. Not content with only offering the umbrella cuisine type of “Peruvian" to London, the chefs here decided they should dig deeper, hence you'll find Coastal Peruvian cuisine, Andean Peruvian cuisine, Amazonian Peruvian cuisine, Japanese Peruvian cuisine, Chinese Peruvian cuisine, and Afro-Peruvian cuisine on the menu. Disappointed not to see British Peruvian cuisine, to be honest, be maybe that's stretching it a bit far. Extra point if you had their Soho Pisco cocktail, combining chilli and cucumber.
Image courtesy of copyright Damian Hirst 2012.
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