Sunday, 26 August, 2018
I have always been a fan of the Hotel Café Royal for afternoon tea and drinks, but found it strange that their main restaurant Ten was situated on the ground floor surrounded by passing traffic of people en route to the Green Bar or guests checking in, so was very intrigued to visit their new restaurant, Laurent at Café Royal, on the first floor following the hotel’s £5 million refurbishment.
With an interior designed by Piero Lissoni, Laurent is contemporary yet nods to the hotel’s rich heritage retaining grandeur and elegance and is headed by French chef extraordinaire Laurent Tourondel, and offers an international menu including both steak and sushi all prepared to perfection. I was interested to learn that Chef Tourondel actually worked weekend shifts at Hotel Café Royal when he started out as a young chef, so its absolutely fitting he returns at the helm thirty years later for his first European restaurant opening.
With an open “parilla grill” kitchen and sushi bar, you can choose between the small sexy dining room with its glittering bar facing Regent Street or the intimate balcony tables overlooking the fabulous Italian Murano chandelier taking centre stage in the refurbished hotel lobby.
I have eaten at Laurent a few times now and absolutely love the giant cheesy Yorkshire pudding which is served instead of bread, the in-house cured gin-salmon California rolls and (melt in the mouth) USA Creek Stone Farm beef fillet steak with salt and vinegar chips. And the desserts are simply exquisite.
London has an incredible repertoire of high-end eateries to choose from, but I have to say Laurent will be featuring high up on my list for both business and personal dining for the foreseeable future. Glamorous interiors, incredibly delicious food and warm knowledgeable staff are an unbeatable combination. I simply cannot wait to return! For more information or to reserve a table visit the website.
Sunday, 13 May, 2018
When talk started five years ago about the iconic Ivy restaurant opening a chain of Ivy-esque restaurants across the UK, I will admit I was expecting a watered down version of the original theatre-land legend, but I am in awe of what has been created, very much aligned to the heritage brand and delivering exquisite food, ambience and service.
The first one opened in Covent Garden in 2014, followed by Chelsea in 2015 and the rest is history with a total of 27 restaurants across the UK in the Ivy collection, with my local, Ivy City Garden, which launched last summer as a much needed addition to city eateries.
Located in the historic Bishopsgate Gardens – one of the City’s few garden squares – and next-door to the famous St. Botolph church, the Ivy City Garden brings the familiar luxury of The Ivy in the West End to the City of London together with a much needed green refuge from the steel and glass of the square mile. The Ivy City Garden boasts a sensational interior designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, and also has an outdoor space with a retractable roof, in which if the (at times unpredictable) British summer allows I hope to enjoy some al fresco dining over the coming months.
It is fast becoming one of my favourites having done number of client lunches here as well as great place to meet friends. I cannot wait to try the truffle beef Wellington sharing platter served with foie gras sauce and dauphinoise potatoes, which apparently is simply divine and exclusive to Ivy City Garden!
Highly recommend and if you visit be sure to try the Garden Collins cocktail – Beefeater Gin infused with rosemary & lavender from the restaurant’s own herb garden.
Cheers – here’s to a fabulous summer!
Love Sangeeta x
Monday, 4 September, 2017
Groucho Marx famously wrote in a letter …..
I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member
I don’t think the newly opened Curtain Club in Shoreditch, East London will have the same problem. To be honest I think it will be the reverse. As the hottest new opening in the area, it is set to rival Shoreditch House and give the eclectic local residents and workers a fabulous new space to work and play in.
Having walked past the building works on my way to the offices every day over the last year, I was intrigued to see the inside of the Curtain Club and so was delighted when it finally opened and I was offered the chance to go in and have a snoop!
The wow factor clearly comes from the rooftop restaurant and bar, The Lido, set in front of a year-round heated swimming pool and sun loungers, but all the spaces have been carefully and beautifully curated, and will transport you away from the, at times, gritty city surroundings.
Interestingly, it was the area that attracted New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum (of the acclaimed Gansvoort brand) to build his club in this area. As he says : “We spent almost 10 years seeking locations throughout London, with the last 7 years specifically focused on the emerging East London area. It’s in our DNA to create hotels in neighbourhoods that are not only ahead of the curve but also in areas that are growing. The Curtain is that vision come to life in Europe.”
In addition to The Lido, members have access to private club club spaces and bars as well as a 24 hr gym, spa and live performance space.
And foodies, both club members and the general public, can enjoy the delights of Marcus Samuelson’s iconic Red Rooster restaurant, bringing its Harlem cool to London, as well as an all-day taqueria and bar, La Tienda, which are both also on site.
Finally, the Club also offers 120 guest rooms, including five suites, but more on that next time!
Check their website for more information about the club and about applying for membership.
Image credits (except pictures 3, 6 & 7 : Adrian Houston)