France wins oyster tasting competition

We do receive the occasional hugely self-indulgent treat from running this website and Barbican Life magazine and this week we were invited to participate in a GB/French oyster tasting competition hosted at Boisdale of Bishopsgate and sponsored by Boisdale, Wright Brothers and the City of London distillery.  Oysters are not to everyone’s taste, but they are to the writer’s, who participated with gusto. After an hour or so of judging and almost 1,000 oysters shucked, the results from this, the fourth Boisdale & Wright Brothers Oyster Championship 2019, a blind tasting was held to … [Read more...]

Bottomless Beef and Bottle at Gaucho Smithfield

Good news from our neighbours at Gaucho Smithfield. Earlier this year the Gaucho restaurants (first of which opened in 1976) successfully completed a significant organisational restructure and are now owned and run by the same group which operates the M restaurants chain.  There are two Gauchos close at hand - Gaucho Smithfield and Gaucho Broadgate and this review covers the Smithfield restaurant on Charterhouse Street, only a stone’s throw from the western end of the Barbican complex. Traditional dishes and emphasis on quality continue – big juicy, tender Argentine steaks from … [Read more...]

Hidden restaurant gem off Bishopsgate with live jazz

Boisdale Bishopsgate must be doing something right.  If you didn’t know it was there it would be tough to find – and it certainly won’t get any passing trade – yet it is long established in its location down a narrow dead-end alley (Swedeland Court) off Bishopsgate and behind Dirty Dick’s pub, almost opposite Liverpool Street Station.  Many years ago I ate there when it was Mr Bill Bentley’s seafood restaurant, but it has now been a Boisdale for nigh on 20 years.  It is obviously a popular venue for local business lunches, and offers live jazz most evenings. Boisdale styles itself as a … [Read more...]

Oyster Championships & Lunch 2019 at Boisdale Bishopsgate

GREAT BRITAIN VERSUS FRANCE – A Blind Tasting To Identify The Finest Oysters In The Uk & France - Founded By Boisdale & Wright Brothers  On Wednesday 6th November, Boisdale of Bishopsgate will celebrate the history of its premises by hosting the British Oyster Championship & Lunch 2019. Formerly Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill (1969-2001) the event will gather the very best in the restaurant industry for the world’s greatest ever blind oyster tasting. The oysters will be supplied by seafood experts, Wright Brothers, whose wholesale business supply over 300 prominent … [Read more...]

Two New Local Michelin Starred Restaurants

The new list of Michelin starred restaurants has just been published and it looks as though the area within close range of the Barbican, with a couple more local area restaurants achieving Michelin stars for the first time, is fast becoming a Mecca for top class eating experiences. The restaurants achieving Michelin star status for the first time are Mãos in Shoreditch, with one star and La Dame de Pic in the Tower Hill area with two stars.  These join the other local establishments with Michelin Stars – namely Angler (between Moorgate and Liverpool Street), Brat (Shoreditch), City … [Read more...]

South Place Hotel’s Gin Jungle co-operation with Tanqueray

The South Place Hotel has partnered with Tanqueray No.10 Gin, and has transformed its Secret Garden first floor bar into a Gin Jungle.from October 7th until the end of November when a new Christmas theme will replace it. The South Place Hotel is an 80-bedroom, luxury hotel in the City of London, about halfway between Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations. It is the first hotel from the restaurateurs D&D London, with Conran-designed interiors, two restaurants, three bars and five private dining and meeting rooms.Hotels website, www.booking.com rates it as one of London’s best hotels … [Read more...]

Richard Corrigan to open Daffodil Mulligan next month

Chef Richard Corrigan is set to open his third London restaurant, Daffodil Mulligan, this November on City Road, close to the Old Street roundabout, alongside John Nugent (Green & Fortune) and Tony Gibney (Gibney’s of Malahide). The Irish trio, who have over a century of hospitality experience collectively, bought the site previously known as Nuala in July 2019. Having spent several years in the Netherlands, Richard was then head chef of Mulligan’s in Mayfair in London.[8] His first Michelin star was awarded to him when he was head chef of Stephen Bull in Fulham in 1994, also in … [Read more...]

Murphia Games at the Jugged Hare – the excellent reality

We published a preliminary intro to the ETM Group’s Jugged Hare’s Murphia Games gourmet game dinner last week (See: Murphia Games highlights Jugged Hare game offerings) and can report that it comfortably lived up to the promotional hype with some brilliant food offerings, and wine pairings.  Altogether diners were treated to five courses, all from different. mostly Irish, chefs working in London.  Some of the dishes served were thankfully just tasters, otherwise the volume of food would have been far too great. On the basis of this event, and assuming other offerings in the series of … [Read more...]

Murphia Games highlights Jugged Hare game offerings

One of the closest restaurants to the Barbican is the Jugged Hare on the corner of Chiswell Street and Silk Street, and almost just across the road from Cromwell Tower and the eastern end of Ben Jonson House.  This is technically a gastropub, attached to the 5*Montcalm Hotel which occupies a part of the old Whitbread Brewery site. The Jugged Hare has gained quite a reputation for serving excellent quality food and wine and is consequently very well frequented so it is advisable to book ahead for lunch and dinner.  As the name might suggest, it specialises in game dishes in season and … [Read more...]

Fentimans Secret Spritz Garden in Farringdon this August

In the middle of bustling Farringdon, hidden behind ivy covered walls and unknown to passers-by, lies the Order of St. John’ Cloister garden, which will be taken over by Fentimans for three weeks in August as its Secret Spritz Garden.   It will be a hideaway filled with fragrant herbs, aromatic plants and Fentimans spritz cocktails. Created by the botanical soft drink and mixer makers Fentimans, the Secret Spritz Garden will be an oasis for after-work drinks and savoured weekend cocktails during the parched August days. Filled with medicinal herbs and plants, at the heart of the … [Read more...]