Divine Proportions

Divine Proportions is a new dining experience which runs from September 14th to January 12th at the Vaults in Waterloo, based on the story of Dionysus, God of Pleasure and Mischief. Blurring the lines between feast and fantasy, Shotgun Carousel presents an immersive party experience hosted by some of your favourite deities: ‘Five course banquet meets outrageous camp cabaret meets all night after-party’ Divine Proportions reimagines the story of the God (and sometimes Goddess) of theatre, dance and ritual ecstasy. Guests should prepare to be led on a journey to heaven and back, by your … [Read more...]

Bib Gourmand Restaurant on Charterhouse Street

Comptoir Gascon, north side of Smithfield, is a long-time Barbican gourmet bistro neighbour (opened in 2001). It is also one of Michelin starred Pascal Aussignac’s Gascony eateries and has held a Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2008 (‘Bibs’ are awarded for simple yet skilful cooking under £28). With so many new bars and restaurants opening around us it’s easy to be distracted from established classics such as this. Highest quality ingredients are sustainably sourced from small Gascony producers. Poultry is “Le Comité Renaissance” certified (highest standards for ethics and … [Read more...]

Business as usual at Gaucho

The recent news that the Gaucho Group has entered administration has caused some confusion, but the management team has confirmed it is ‘very much business as usual’ at each of its 16 restaurants around the UK.  There are at least two Gucho restaurants close by the Barbican, one on Charterhouse Street opposite Smithfield Market and one in the Broadgate complex. From London to Edinburgh, every Gaucho continues to trade through the administration period, and the sale of the business.  The company says a new owner is likely to be announced by the end of August.  “We are delighted to … [Read more...]

A Taste of the Middle East in Clerkenwell

Sarona is a modern, stylish restaurant honing in on fresh middle-eastern cuisine.  Yet another restaurant only a short walk away on Clerkenwell Road, the easiest way to get there is go walk down to Smithfield, turn right onto St John Street and turn left onto Clerkenwell Road. The frontage is branded with awnings, tables and chairs all in bright orange so it is easily noticeable after you turn the corner. Outside seating on Clerkenwell Road The pavement in quite deep here and so the hustle and bustle of the main road doesn’t intrude as much as you might expect.  The large windows … [Read more...]

New Bottles in Old Spitalfields

Bottles launched in early July 2018 in the remarkable Old Spitalfields Market as a new Italian wine bar.  This is a partnership between the co-founders of Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano, Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, and the pop-up restaurant concept, SOOD Family.  The focus is definitely on the wine here and the food (albeit delicious) is almost a mere accompaniment. Entrance on Brushfield Street With entrances on both Brushfield Street and from inside Old Spitalfields Market, this is a convenient spot with enough space for about 50 diners. The Market entrance is … [Read more...]

An Afternoon Tea Variety

Taking afternoon tea is very definitely becoming fashionable and very much a part of today's eating-out scene.  We have featured a number of options in the past few issues of Barbican Life and here's another selection prepared by the folk at Sauce Communications to highlight the offerings of some of their clients for National Afternoon Tea Week which is from 14th to 20th August The trendy one at Thomas’s Café at Burberry This year, celebrate Afternoon Tea Week at the fashionable Thomas’s Café in Burberry’s flagship store at 121 Regent Street. Take a front row seat in the heart of London … [Read more...]

Happy Hour Oysters at HIX Oyster & Chop House

Happy Hour Oysters Now being served every day 4-7pm, enjoy three British rock oysters for only £3.75 each. Order half a dozen with a glass of British sparkling wine 'Hambledon Classic Cuvee' for £15 No booking required. HIX Oyster & Chop House 36-37 Greenhill Rents Cowcross St London EC1M 6BN 020 7017 1930 … [Read more...]

New Italian restaurant on Whitecross Street

Da Giua is the new Italian restaurant you may have noticed which has just opened opposite Waitrose on Whitecross Street. There was a short-lived tapas bar (Sabor Iberico) before that and another fairly long established and well-regarded Italian (Alba) prior.  The short life for the tapas bar is a little worrying with respect to the location, but the new owners have the experience, for sure, with 2 other successful restaurants in London already established. The interior has undergone some refurbishment. Interior of the restaurant There is also plenty of spacious seating inside, … [Read more...]

Dining and drinks at the top of the Gherkin

Searcys, well known to Barbican residents for running the Osteria and Bonfire restaurants at the Barbican Centre, has relaunched its private members’ club at the iconic Gherkin skyscraper on St Mary Axe, as a public restaurant and bar called Helix and Iris. The Gherkin was the building that first changed the landscape of the new London skyline. And now it is reasserting its architectural worth as well as its culinary credibility in the face of its new sky-high neighbours. On levels 39 and 40 of London’s iconic Norman Foster-designed building, Searcys at the Gherkin relaunches with a … [Read more...]

Bowling us over

Bowling us over The Bowling Bird restaurant and wine bar is over to the West side of the Barbican tucked down Cloth Fair (a shortish street which runs parallel to Long Lane), opposite St Bartholomew the Great church and close to West Smithfield.  I have passed it literally 50 times to and fro and so I was really happy to be invited to the press evening where a bunch of journalists were presented with some taster fare.  There were a couple of reviewers from an online blog and one from the local paper over at Canary Wharf; a testament to how tempting our local restaurants are!  The … [Read more...]