Eating on the Ned’s rooftop

The brand new Ned hotel, which has been opened in the old Grade 1 listed Midland Bank HQ building and which occupies a big area opposite the Bank of England between Princes Street and Poultry, has no less than nine eating options. The Ned (named after the building’s original architect, Edwin (Ned) Lutyens) is both an exclusive club and a 252 room five star hotel.  (One hopes that Scottish visitors are not put off by the name as Ned is something of a derogatory term north of the border!)  Two of its nine restaurants are only available for use by club members and hotel guests, which is a … [Read more...]

Piano Works in Farringdon – one for the bucket list

The Piano Works is on Farringdon Road a short walk up from the tube station and on the left hand side in a listed Victorian basement.  It is perhaps as much a night club as a conventional restaurant but is definitely a fun venue and around a 15 minute walk from the Barbican. Before starting to read this review and just in case you don't get to the end, I urge you to visit at least once.  The place is enjoyably different in that the music takes centre stage.  As you go downstairs from the entrance, you enter into an abyss of a basement with lots of types of seating and zones to get … [Read more...]

Indoor braai in Farringdon

Indoor braai in Farringdon Hammer & Tongs is a casual, and relatively low cost restaurant specialising in South African-style barbecue. Called a Braai, it is the most primal way of cooking and, in the restaurant’s opinion, the tastiest. Head Chef Richard Lloyd reckons to source only the highest quality meat, seafood & seasonal greens. The menu features traditional Braai dishes such as Sosaties  and Potjies and some originals such as sharing Lamb Ribs & Beer Can Onion. The restaurant  is a short walk up Farringdon Road from Farringdon Station and close to Exmouth Market and … [Read more...]

New Street Grill – More great food from D&D London

Set in an historic 18th Century warehouse near Liverpool Street, originally used by the East India Company, New Street Grill is a stylish contemporary restaurant, part of the D&D London restaurant group which is renowned for quality of food and service. As my dining companion and better half said, I can’t think of a D&D restaurant that I don’t like. Service was indeed excellent from moment one. We were greeted at the door by Sean Gavin and Alexis Meszoly, the very personable Senior General Manager and Manager. They offered us both a delicious glass of champagne and gave us a … [Read more...]

Aviary – Great New Venue with Birds Eye View of the City

Our review dinner at Aviary (opened in December), the new bar/restaurant atop the almost equally new Montcalm Royal London House hotel (opened in October) in Finsbury Square, and thus only a short walk from the Barbican, did not start well – indeed might have been something of a disaster.  I am currently rather unsteady on my feet courtesy of a stroke from which I am not yet fully recovered and when we arrived were directed to a lift which took us to the 9th floor where the restaurant reception desk is located and where one can leave coats etc.  So far so good but then was faced with a short … [Read more...]

Bridge Perfect

Jennie Blouet and Franco Barone travelled a little further to the South Bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge to another of D&D’s top restaurants – the Pont de la Tour - for a  top rated dining experience and commented as follows: You know when you hope that something will be perfect, but you expect that it probably won’t be?  And how, being human, there is comfort in finding out that you were right? This was the fourth time that I’d been to the Pont in (sigh) 20 years.  I had fond memories of lovely food in grand surroundings, excellent, formal service and views of surely one of the … [Read more...]

London Steakhouse Co. City

London Steakhouse Co is discretely tucked away around the corner from Dirty Dicks pub on Bishopsgate.  We tubed to Liverpool St. from the Barbican because I had a lazy partner in tow, but it’s not too long a walk through the Liverpool St station concourse and straight out the other end. I don’t see any mention of Marco Pierre White even though when it opened in 2008, the restaurant was the first and original Steakhouse to bear Marco’s name (followed a year later by another in Chelsea).  These two are the only restaurants worldwide in which White is a major shareholder. The interior … [Read more...]

Great Weekend Brunch at Coq d’Argent

Coq d’Argent is part of the D&D group of over 30 famous venues in London, Leeds and overseas.  A number of them, fortunately for us, are on our doorstep.  As I started to do my research on this restaurant and scrolled through the other restaurants in the group (Angler in South Place, Le Pont de la Tour at Shad Thames for instances) I realised that this might not be the casual brunch I had been expecting.  The D&D websites all have really full content, and as I checked out the menu, I gleefully put my diet on hold. Coq d’Argent is at No. 1 Poultry, which is at the Bank end of … [Read more...]

The Wright Brothers – Sumptuous Seafood in Spitalfields

Several years ago the writer ate several times at a great little Spanish Tapas Bar located in Old Spitalfields Market.  This closed a few years back and the space was taken over by seafood restaurant specialists, The Wright Brothers, who also have extremely well regarded establishments in Borough Market, Soho and South Kensington along with the Ferryboat Inn in Falmouth and operate their own oyster farm, also in Falmouth.  Thus I was very much looking forward to reviewing the Spitalfields outlet given that seafood, when fresh, well presented and cooked to perfection is probably my eating-out … [Read more...]

City Pub offers nice food in bright surroundings

The White Horse pub in Exchange Square, that offshoot of the Broadgate Centre located above the tracks at the north end of Liverpool Street station, has been described by some as a gastropub.  That might be stretching the definition a bit far, but it does provide decently upmarket pub food in a nice bright and cheerful space, with an outdoor area which comes into its own in good weather.  It is open throughout the day and evening providing breakfast for those on their way in to the surrounding offices from 7.30 am, through lunch and dinner with food service until10 pm.  People mostly tend to … [Read more...]