WHAT’S GOING ON?
This is the weekly update of “What’s happening?”, “What’s opening?”, “What’s new?” and “What’s good?”. This lists events, openings, streetfood, bars, plus anything interesting which has sprung up on my radar. It IS NOT a comprehensive listing, as there are way too many in our great city and there are others already doing a great job of that right now.
That was one extremely busy week – Apologies for the lack of posts (and the delay of this one). Apart from The Whisky Show, London Cocktail Week, Rum Fest and other events, The Powerbook Pro I’ve been using has become a little stale and has had three ‘open iOS surgeries’ at the Apple Store so I’m playing catch up.
This is my ‘must do’ photo/write up list. So please berate me if they don’t appear by Wed 30th Oct!
- The Pig Restaurant (New Forest)
- Newington Green Market (New Food Market)
- Far Rockaway (US Diner with awesome street art, Shoreditch)
- Merchants Tavern (Angela Hartnett’s new Shoreditch venue)
- Gymkhana (Karam Sethi’s new Mayfair venue)
- London Cocktail Week (Highlights of 2013)
– Champagne & Fromage (Cheese & Champgane, Brixton) OPENED Tue 15th Oct
– Tonkotsu East (Ramen Noodle Bar, Shoreditch) OPENED Tue 15th Oct
– VQ24 – Thu 17th Oct (24h Diner, Bloomsbury) OPENED Thu 17th Oct
– Running Horse (Pub & Cocktail Bar, Mayfair) OPENING Tue 22nd Oct
– The Cornwall Project at The Dissenting Academy (Modern British, Newington Green) OPEN NOW
NEW STREET FOOD MARKETS:
– KERB W9, Every Sat 10h00-15h00
– Newington Green Market (Newington Green), Every Sun 10h00-14h00
– Street Food Union (Soho), Every Fri & Sat 11h00-18h00
SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR LONDON
– World’s 50 Best Bars
– Top 10 Cities in the World
Champagne & Fromage (Cheese & Champgane, Brixton)
OPENED Tue 15th Oct
This second store in Brixton is so new that they didn’t even have a press release when I originally contacted them! However it is expected to be similar to its Covent Garden sibling with a focus on French Champagne, cheeses, and charcuterie. With the popularity of Spanish charcuterie such as of José and Bar Tozino can venues like Champagne & Fromage and the excellent Casse Croute bring the same crowds to the Gallic side?
“…our five family producers are all members of the association ‘Vigneron Independents’. There is a strong offering of excellent quality and competitively-priced NV Champagnes, the medals recently awarded to 4 French Bubbles’ wines at the 2010 IWC are testimony to this. However, French Bubbles is also committed to encouraging wine lovers to discover the special qualities and value of their Vintage wines as well as Grand and Premier Cru styles which are a permanent feature of their Grower offer.'”
Source: Stefano Frigerio on www.frenchbubbles.co.uk
Champagne & Fromage are reported to have a long term plan to open five stores across London. The owners Maud Fierobe and Stefano Frigerio are focused on small champagne producers rather than the huge ‘mega-brands’, so this may be one for those who are keen to try out new products.
CHAMPAGNE… AND PROTESTS?
COMMENTARY: This venue was the target of a “Yuppies Out Street Party” Facebook Event. Evening Standard journalist Rosamund Urwin probably isn’t on their Xmas list after her feature on events at the “Anti-Gentrification” protest who rightly pointed out that upon “Scanning the attendees list, I found an “Archie”, a “Balthazar” and a “Jemima”.”.
I was formally a sabbatical at UCL Student Union and found that the majority of the student ‘Left Wing’ movement tended to be ex-public or private schoolchildren from extremely privileged backgrounds. This has always perplexed me. Perhaps it’s a ‘self guilt’ issue which one self confessed middle class left wing acquaintance has admitted.
Rosamund Urwin: Brixton’s new fizz bar is not the enemy here
Tonkotsu East (Ramen Noodle Bar, Shoreditch)
OPENED Tue 15th Oct
Shoreditch dwelling fans of the Soho ramen noodle shop, Tonkotsu, will be stroking their hipster beards in glee to the opening of Tonkotsu East. As one of only two ramen specialists with an imported noodle machine I hear they are proudly showcasing the robot in action, making it visible from the dining area. As one of the first in the ramen noodle revolution, they also seem to be the first to move out east… let’s see if competitors Shoryu Ramen and Bone Daddies will join them.
VQ24 (24h Diner, Bloomsbury)
OPENED Thu 17th Oct
VQ24 (formally known as “Vingt Quatre” meaning “Twenty Four” in French) was the first real twenty four hour diner in London and is arguably the only London venue with a 24 hour drinks licence. (Even Duck & Waffle in the City has a small dry period in the early hours) Since the mid 90’s this venue has been the stop off of late night clubbers and insomniacs of Fulham for nearly 30 years.
As reported last year, following a change of ownership, the management plans to expand the VQ24 concept across London and other major cities across the UK. From my understanding this 120 cover venue at the base of the St. Giles Hotel is the first step with a further site expected in Camden. Great news for those looking for a midnight snack.
NOTE: Opening offer – 50% off food at this site from Thu 16th Oct until the end of October
Running Horse Pub & ‘The Whip’ Cocktail Bar, (Pub & Cocktails Bar, Mayfair)
OPENING Tue 22nd Oct
This is a two-in-one venue. The Running Horse is best known as the oldest pub in Mayfair (est 1738). This revamped pub is the first venture by James Chase of Chase Distillery and Dominic Jacobs (former Bar Director of Sketch). Downstairs will be a pub serving the best of seasonal beers, and bring in the best from independent food and drink producers. Upstairs will house ‘The Whip’, self described as “a refined, upstairs cocktail bar that will hark back to the glory days of the Kentucky Derby.” Unsurprisingly for a Kentucky Derby themed bar, it is expected to focus on The Julep with a nod to Seasonal British produce.
The Running Horse (Pub)
“Finding the Running Horse was a real gem. We can’t wait to put all of our experience from our year in the industry into this institution. Championing the best British producers, from the drinks at the bar, to the food we serve will be a labour of love. We aim to create an unrivalled, relaxed, seasonal public house & kitchen in the heart of stuffy Mayfair. The Running Horse is a place we intend to have a lot of fun with and are thrilled to be a part of its long history”
– Dominic Jacobs
The Whip (Cocktail Bar)
“Dom and I have always had a vision to create something we feel is game-changing – a new experience for London that allows us to showcase a few forgotten techniques along the way. We will stock a host of home made ingredients alongside the very best, independent spirits, offering our guests the chance to learn about each one of our suppliers.”
– James Chase (Chase Distillery)
The Cornwall Project at The Dissenting Academy (Modern British, Newington Green)
OPENED 23rd Sep for 3 months
This pop-up by The Cornish Project is due to open for 3 months from 23rd Sep. The Cornish Project aims to showcase and promote the best of Cornish Produce with the admirable goal of creating out-of-season Cornish jobs. These guys may not be a household name to your average Londoner, but they are extremely well known to London food connoisseurs and those in the trade as suppliers of great quality ingredients to popular venues such as Pitt Cue and Bubbledogs Kitchen Table.
I visited over the weekend and spotted this beautiful slice of meat at the table. Unfortunately I had just eaten so I will have to return to sample their produce. Feedback online seems to be encouraging and the visiting chefs from a well praised London venue were impressed!
For full details: www.thecornwallproject.co.uk/…dissenting-academy/
Ad: The Dissenting Academy Pub, 92 Mildmay Park, London N1 4PR (map)
CHEF: James Thomlinson
NEW STREET FOOD MARKETS:
Despite some ‘divisive’ commentary by The Telegraph, the London street food scene continue to thrive. There are three new street-food markets in London. One is a new venue for popular street food collective, KERB. Another is Newington Green Market in North London and the third is Street Food Union in Rupert Street, Soho.
KERB W9 (New Streetfood Market, Maida Vale)
(Every week from Sat 12th Oct 10h-15h)
Street food fans may be feeling a little lost on Friday nights as Street Feast is taking a well earned break after a phenomenal summer at Dalston Yard. However, KERB follows up from last Friday’s First Birthday celebrations with a new street market near Little Venice in West London. The market will be six streetfood traders and six producers. As of today, the streetfood vendors will be Fundi Pizza, Kimchinary, Miss P’s Barbecue, The Bowler and The Grilling Greek.
Full Details www.kerbfood.com/maida-hill-place
Newington Green Market (Streetfood & Produce Market, Newington Green)
(Every week from Sun 13th Oct 10h-14h)
I visited this venue on their first day (Sunday 13th Oct). The market is organised by the same team behind Haringey Market also in a school playground. Unfortunately on their debut the weather was pretty miserable however lots of popular vendors like Spit & Roast, Christobel’s and Born & Raised Pizza were on site. Additionally, Big Dirty Burger returned after a 1 year hiatus!
NOTE: For a list of traders on Foursquare on the opening week.
Street Food Union
Every Fri & Sat 11h00-18h00 starting Fri 18 Oct
Street Food Union is something that has just come up on my radar. I have not received a press release or any more details. However, I assume that it will be located in the cobblestone stretch of Rupert Street by Russell Norman’s ‘Spuntino’ between Shaftesbury Avenue and Walkers Court (a.k.a. Porn Alley, near the old Raymond Review Bar). Whether this is a new collective or a rebranding of the market that was there is unknown to me. However I have reached out to them for clarification. Will update when I hear back from them.
From their twitter feed it appears that breakfast specialists Original Fry Up Material are already signed up to trade from 07h00 with The Bunny Chow (South African stuffed bread), Rare Streat (Meat specialist), Yogi Yo (Korean Sushi & Grill) and Dixie Union (Bakery) serving from approx. 11h00 until 18h00. Other vendors including Kimchinary (Kimchi Tacos) and Mother Clucker (Fried Chicken) have shown interest too so this market is one to watch.
— STREET FOOD UNION (@streetfoodunion) October 14, 2013
Last week was amazing in London. With a new survey claiming that London is now the greatest city in the world you can see why. Although I have never heard of the snappily named “Anholt-GfK City Brands Index” I can say that London is absolutely fantastic for restaurants, street food and cocktails. It also appears that the World’s 50 Best Bars committee agrees with me.
World’s 50 Best Bars
Every year an academy of top bartenders votes for the best bars in the world. Every year London appears to be strengthen its grip on the leaderboard. This year FOUR of the TOP 10 bars are in London. Congratulations to Artesian Bar, Night Jar (Marylebone), Connaught Bar and Happiness Forgets (Hoxton). All these bars are fantastic and well worth a visit… if you haven’t been here’s your excuse!
WORLD’S BEST BARS – TOP 10
- ARTESIAN AT THE LANGHAM HOTEL, (LONDON)
- NIGHTJAR (LONDON)
- HIGH FIVE, (TOKYO)
- CONNAUGHT BAR, (LONDON)
- THE DEAD RABBIT GROCERY & GROG, (NEW YORK)
- HAPPINESS FORGETS, (LONDON)
- BLACK PEARL, (MELBOURNE)
- BAXTER INN, (SYDNEY)
- CANDELARIA, (PARIS)
- 28 HONG KONG STREET, (SINGAPORE)
Source (and the complete list): www.worlds50bestbars.com
Top 10 Cities in the World
Every two years the ‘Anholt-GfK City Brands Index’ (CBISM) measures the ‘power and appeal of each city’s brand image’. This year London climbs to number 1 in the world!
Top 10 “Best Cities” 2013
- New York
- Washington D.C.
- Los Angeles
The way they ‘measure’ this is unclear to me, but they claim the important factors are;
…the city’s international status and standing
…its physical aspect
…basic requirements, such as affordable accommodation and the standard of public amenities
…interesting things to do
…the economic and educational opportunities
For all you Aussies, you’ll be pleased to know that Sydney was voted the “safest city in the world, with the friendliest people”. However, the survey claims that “London wins first place as the city where visitors can “find people who appreciate my culture and with whom I could easily fit in”.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING:
London is an awesome city for events. I am asked what is happening a lot. There is no way I can cover everything happening, however there are several good sites to use, depending on what you’re seeking.