For those who would prefer to dine in, London Restaurant Festival has curated 'Feast at Home' menus, served by the capital's leading chefs and restaurants
London Restaurant Festival, across London
In solidarity with the hospitality industry, the London Restaurant Festival returns this October with a series of in-restaurant and virtual events. For its 12th year, the festival will bring more than 60 culinary experiences to the capital, including signature chef-hosted events with culinary stars such as Michel Roux Jr, Ollie Dabbous, Jackson Boxer and Claude Bosi — all of which can be booked for groups of up to six people. LRF At Home, meanwhile, will bring the festival to those who prefer or need to stay at home, with meals from 20 of London’s leading restaurants available for delivery via the fine dining delivery app Supper, including Sexy Fish, Gymkhana and Dinings SW3. Five additional menus will see leading chefs join festival guests for dinner via a live stream.
When: 1-31 October
Noble Rot opens in Soho
Named after a grey fungus that grows on grapes in wet conditions, Noble Rot, the award-winning wine bar and critically-acclaimed restaurant near Holborn, has opened a second site on Soho’s Greek Street, in the building that was formerly the historic Gay Hussar.
Head chef Alex Jackson (ex-owner/head chef of East London’s Sardine) and executive chef Stephen Harris (of the Michelin-starred The Sportsman, Whitstable) oversee a menu of fine Franglaise-style cooking. The wine list, directed by sommeliers previously of St John and Hawksmoor, includes everything from the undervalued to the hard-to-find, and last year won the World’s Best Wine List at the World Restaurant Awards (and Wine List of the Year at the National Restaurant Awards for three consecutive years before that).
For autumn, Noble Rot has introduced a set-course lunch menu. Two courses cost £18; three courses, £22. Dishes at the Soho outpost include salt cod salad basquaise; onglet with cep butter; and fig leaf panna cotta. Book now to see what all the fuss is about.
Location: 2 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4NB
Evelyn’s Table welcomes Luke Selby to its kitchen, Piccadilly
Located on Chinatown's Rupert Street, Evelyn’s Table is an intimate, romantically lit restaurant that sits in the basement of The Blue Posts pub near Piccadilly. From 27 October, Luke Selby (Great British Menu Finalist 2019, National Chef of the Year 2018, Roux Scholarship Winner 2017) and his brothers will be helming the kitchen. A fixed menu of small plates will combine British ingredients with French and Japanese flavours, including squid noodles with mushroom dashi, venison with chestnut and sansho and tarte Tatin served with miso and clotted cream. Guests can begin the evening at The Mulwray, the first floor wine bar run by Ex-Noma sommelier Honey Spencer.
When: Reservations can be made from 20 October. Sittings will take place at 6pm and 8pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Price: £55 for five courses
Location: The Blue Posts, Cellar, 28 Rupert Street, West End, London W1D 6DJ
Bentley's Oyster Bar reopens in Mayfair
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, the famous fish restaurant on Swallow Street, has reopened following a six-month closure. As well as benefitting from a light refurbishment, a few new additions have been added to the all-day menu, served at both the gleaming marble-topped Oyster Bar and in the clubby Grill restaurant. These include salmon tartare with potato waffles, seaweed and cucumber pickle; steamed sea bass with shellfish broth and seashore greens; and a Wellington of partridge and grouse with romesco sauce. Bentley’s signature dishes – shellfish cocktail, lobster bisque, gargantuan fish pies and Cornish fish stew, among them – remain on a menu, which, since 2005, has been overseen by Irish chef Richard Corrigan.
Location: 11-15 Swallow Street, Mayfair, London W1B 4DG
Brunch at Wild by Tart, Victoria
The coolest women in catering Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison launched their standalone restaurant Wild by Tart in Eccleston Yard at the tail end of last year, severing wholesome, seasonally-changing and sustainable dishes within a light-filled industrial space, framed by greenery. This October, it launches its first brunch menu, a continuation of the restaurant’s farm-to-fork ethos with seasonal British produce predominantly sourced from the founders’ family farms in Northumberland and Somerset. Book a table for sharing dishes of kedgeree croquettes, breakfast tacos with slow-braised pork and a special cocktail menu including a ‘seasonal Bellini’.
When: brunch at Wild by Tart is served between 11am-3pm on Saturdays and 11am-4pm on Sundays
Location: 3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London SW1W 9AZ
Laura Jackson's 'Make A Meal Of It' restaurant kits
Throughout lockdown, television presenter, chef and all-round arbiter of good taste Laura Jackson encouraged her Instagram followers to #makeamealofit by creating beautiful tablescapes at home. Through her lifestyle brand Hoste, Jackson has launched ‘Make A Meal Of It’ restaurant kits, which include everything you need to bring a sense of occasion to dining at home. The new 'Friendsgiving' box serves an autumnal beef or wild mushroom and onion bourguignon dinner for two with mashed potatoes and heritage carrots, followed by a gloriously sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and clotted cream. Also in the Hoste box: a bottle of craft cordial from Saft Drinks with four exclusive cocktail recipes; two natural wax tapered candlesticks; two Irish Linen Hoste dinner napkins; two menu cards; a box of Hoste Matches; and a Friendsgiving playlist.
Restaurant kits are priced at £62 and will be available to pre-order from 3 October, restaurantkitsuk.com
Stoney Street by Night, Borough Market
Last year, the team behind 26 Grains in Kings Cross opened a second site in Borough Market called Stoney Street. In the evening, this intimate, tastefully understated space now transforms into a candlelit wine bar, with a focus on natural wines from across the globe. The drinks menu is accompanied by small plates including merguez sausage wrapped in filo and served with peach chutney, seeded crackers with pickles and duck rillettes. This atmospheric new offering has got date night written all over it.
Location: 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL
Balthazar reopens in Covent Garden
Those pining after Paris but not ready to commit to two weeks quarantine will be pleased to hear that French brasserie Balthazar London has reopened its doors in Covent Garden. Open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the bistro offers a diverse menu of French classics. Fill any Eiffel Tower-shaped holes with towering dishes of fruits de mer, escargots with garlic and butter and moules frites, or raise a toast with accompanying French wines, champagne or a house cocktail.
Location: 4-6 Russell Street, WC2B
HIDE unveils a new al fresco terrace, Mayfair
Mayfair's Michelin starred restaurant, famed for its elaborate wooden central staircase, has launched a new al fresco dining space on Piccadilly, offering views of Green Park opposite. The terrace comes with heaters and parasols and tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Head chef Ollie Dabbous has also created some new dishes, including steamed day-boat turbot and crushed nasturtium broth. For dessert, try the soaked orange blossom cake with olive oil and strained yoghurt. Wash dishes down with wine from Hedonism, co-operators of HIDE.
Location: 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 7NB
Afternoon tea resumes at Palm Court at The Langham, Marylebone
The Langham, the first hotel to serve Afternoon Tea in 1865, has re-opened its resplendently ritzy Palm Court with a new afternoon tea menu from chef Michel Roux Jr and executive pastry chef Andrew Gravett. Together with the traditional warm scones, homemade preserves and finger sandwiches, diminutive delicacies are served alongside a JING tea trolley offering a range of 20 single origin and garden teas. A selection of pastries are inspired by Britain’s favourite biscuits and cakes: chocolate digestives, custard creams, fig rolls, iced gems and the bakewell tart, all served within the glittering surrounds of the hotel's plush Palm Court lounge. Celebrating all things best of British, these will now be paired with award-winning English sparkling wine from Gusbourne.
Location: 1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1JA
Selfridges supper club with Anna Barnett, Oxford Street
Selfridges is hosting a series of convivial supper clubs every Thursday during October with chef and food writer Anna Barnett. Served in The Corner restaurant at the Oxford Street department store, the four-course menu will focus on Mediterranean flavours, with sustainability in mind. A chicken 'Kiev' with rillette stuffing will be served with roasted artichokes, followed by a creamy Buttermilk Panna Cotta with fresh figs and wild honey.
Price: £45 per person for four courses (wine is available by the glass or carafe)
When: 8, 15 and 22 October, 6.30-9.30pm
Location: The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar, Selfridges, 2nd Floor, London, W1A 1AB
Website: book tickets via eventbrite.com