Reviews

Little Black Book to London 2018

Londoners don’t know how to stay in - and why should we? In a city where every evening brings another pop up bar or bijoux bakery, there’s simply far too much fun to be wrung out of the city.
Here’s our guide to the capital’s coolest new spots

 

Kettner's
Iconic London venue Kettner's has flung open its doors following a two year refurbishment by The Soho House Group and early reviews are glowingly good.
Kettner's - whose high profile past guests include Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde - now houses a champagne bar (that’s open until 2am) and a restaurant serving French comfort fare. Expect a Vol-au-vent of kidneys, sweetbreads, black truffle and vegetables, Omelette with smoked eek and hollandaise and Poulet de Bresse au foin (chicken cooked in hay) - all washed down with Ruinart.
If you’ve overdone the drinking, wander upstairs to the 33 bedrooms which boast William Morris wallpaper, twenties chandeliers and velvet fringed armchairs.
Kettners Townhouse, 29 Romily Street, London, W1D 5HP (http://kettnerstownhouse.com/)


Dominique Ansel

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Cafes and coffee shops abound all over the capital but the buzz right now is  about Dominique Ansel - the first London branch of the famous New York bakery.
On arrival, chances are you’ll be dazzled by the display of Cronuts ®  - a croissant-doughnut hybrid created and cannily trademarked by Monsieur Ansel. We doubt there’s a single food group in them but even girls who survive on a diet of spirulina and soups, have been known to go loopy over one of the most talked about sweet treats in history.
Once you’ve managed to drag yourself away from the cake counter, sink into plush banquette seating and wait for your goodies to arrive. In addition to the celebrated Cronuts, there’s the ‘DKA’, a caramelised deep-fried croissant and Dosa Mille Feuille - Puff pastry dosa shell, hazelnut coffee, whipped chantilly, lemon curd and candied lemon peel - to get stuck into, as well as a good selection of sandwiches and soups (we can vouch for the Avocado toast and Creamy roasted pumpkin & Yorkshire soup).
Cappuccino (£3) and a Cronut (£4.80) here can be a pricey experience, but it is special and staff are charming.
21 Elizabeth Street, London, SW1W 9RP (http://dominiqueansellondon.com/)


The Blues Post

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The folks behind Barbary London and The Palomar have opened The Blue Posts - a three storey food and drink emporium over on Rupert Street.
The ground floor is given over to a pub boasting a menu of independently brewed cask ales, craft beers & ciders including Mondo Brewing’s flavourful Denis Hopp’r, Sussex SeaCider, and  ‘World’s Best Pale Ale’ winner Sambrook’s Wandle.
More of an oenophile? Head upstairs to The Mulwray - a stylish cocktail lounge (expect a marble-clad bar and comfy velvet seats) where the drink to order is Forget It Jake, aka a Margarita with a twist.
Last but not least there’s Evelyn Table - a teensy, tiny 11-seater restaurant, led by The Barbary’s head chef Nacho Pinilla specialising in Modern European plates that all scream for attention.
Encompassing all things under one roof, this quirky, unconventional place shows what it’s possible to do with an old Boozer. Someone has done their homework here and it definitely shows.
28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ (http://theblueposts.co.uk/)


Hoppers
 

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If you have ever visited Sri Lanka and want to recapture that feeling, head here.
The Sethis, who are basically Midases of the restaurant world having brought us Gymkhana, Bubbledogs and Bao to name but a few, have opened a second branch of Hoppers - their acclaimed Sri Lankan restaurant.  Happily however for those who are averse to queing for hours on end, the new outpost is bookable.
Hoppers 2.0 is spread over two floors, with an extra 16 seats outside and a private dining area split into four private dining ‘vaults’.
The menu features signature Hoppers dishes from the original site in Soho - read String hoppers ( a bowl shaped breakfast dish made from fermented rice and coconut batter and filled with curry) and hearty mix of rice and curries, as well as new dishes such as Jaffna beef rib fry and Tuna and tapioca cutlets with avocado sambol.
Finish with a sensational watalapam - spiced ‘set’ coconut custard that’s addiction on a plate. If you’re in St Christopher’s Place this is a culinary must.
77 Wigmore Street, W1U 1 QE (ww.hopperslondon.com)


Jack Solomons
There’s a new speakeasy bar in town: take a bow Jack Solomans which opened at the end of 2017, on Soho’s Great Windmill Street.
Inspired by the legacy of Jack Solomons, an iconic Soho character whose boxing gym was located here throughout the 1940s and 50s, Jack Solomons Club epitomise a bygone era of London clubs: look out for the pewter-metal bar counters, shaded velvet furnishings and red leather walls.
Entry is via a hidden door accessed via an after-hours street-side deli, that brings you to the bar area where a live band play. Descending the stairs you’ll pass a glass wall peering into the neighbouring kitchen’s butchery chamber before reaching the basement - home to a subterranean speakeasy cocktail club to one side, and dance floor to the other.
Even better? Entrance to this pleasure pit is absolutely free, all of which means that a night out in Soho doesn’t necessarily equal financial destitution.
41 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7NB (www.jacksolomons.com)

View the post at: http://www.justabouttravel.net/2018/01/25/little-black-book-to-london-2018/

RAK fireworks clinch Guinness world record

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) - one of the seven emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates - now holds the record for the world's largest fireworks aerial shell, according to Guinness.

Powered by 1,089.545kg of fireworks, the New Year’s Eve extravaganza lasted over 10 minutes and was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of revellers.

The record trumps the 2014 title set by the Kounosu fireworks festival in Sitama, Japan, which saw 464.826kg of firecrackers launched on 11 October  2014.

RAK’s shell reached a whopping 1,100 metres from the ground to the top-end of the display, measured 1km in diameter and took 15 seconds to reach its apex - before bursting into a kaleidoscope of colour.

But it’s not just record setting fireworks that have thrust Ras Al Khaimah firmly onto the world stage. The Middle Eastern emirate has also hit the headlines, having been selected as the host of World World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018 (https://www.worldtravelawards.com/event/middle-east-2018).

Graham Cooke, Founder and President of World Travel Awards – widely dubbed the Oscars of the travel industry – said: “It will be an honour for World Travel Awards to visit Ras Al Khaimah for the first time in April 2018.

“Described as ‘the rising emirate’, RAK offers an enticing combination of luxury, outdoor activities, sandy beaches along the Persian Gulf, stunning scenery and a history stretching back 7,000 years.

“Make no mistake: this little know emirate will soon rival Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a hot UAE holiday destination.”

https://plus.google.com/+worldtravelawards/posts/GhKEEhXroZ3

 

Hot in the city

When summer hits, London comes alive like nowhere else on earth. Make this one your best summer yet with JAT’s guide to the capital’s coolest new spots

 

Brixton Beach

 

Credit: Brixton Rooftop

When summer rolls around, nothing beats sitting in a deck-chair on the sand with a drink in hand and feeling the warmth of sand between your toes. But landlocked Londoners need not despair… those who want to be beside the seaside in the capital, simply need to head to Brixton Beach up on Brixton Rooftop.
The seaside-inspired pop-up first hit south London in summer 2016 and, new for this year, is Brixton Beach's BBQ Thursdays which sees London’s BBQ specialists and chefs take over for one evening filled with fab food, creative cocktails, Latino beats and Salsa sessions.
On Thursday 3 August, Brixton Beach will welcome James Whetlor, founder of kid goat meat specialists, Cabrito for an evening filled with barbecued goat meat, while on Thursday 24 August, the rooftop space will be transformed into a Caribbean fiesta, taking guests on a trip to the streets of Havana courtesy of BokitLa who will be serving up their Guadalupan special sandwiches. Finally on Thursday 31 August, Brixton Beach resident food trader, STAKEhaus, is scheduled to  host a Surf n Turf Beach BBQ.
Whichever night you rock up, be sure to bring your salsa shoes: Richard Voogt from Dsantos Dance UK is hosting Salsa sessions on the beach, while DJ Dennis The Chemist has his heart set on transporting everyone to the heart of Havana.
Bottom line: who needs Brazil when you have Brixton?
Brixton Beach, Pope’s Road, SW9 8JH, www.brixtonrooftop.com



Fiz bar, Soho

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Image: KH

Get fizzical at Fiz Bar - a fabulous sparkling wine pop-up that's running at eclectic neon art gallery Lights of Soho until 13 August.
The brainchild of three friends - take a bow Barnaby Lewis, Max Bigland and Jordan Nadian  - London’s first sparkling wine bar has been inspired by the vibrant food and drink scene found in the backstreet cava bars of Barcelona. As such, prepare to say goodbye to pretentious, pricey champagne bars and the formality of traditional wine bar-restaurants and hello to a continental eating and drinking experience, with guests mingling and paying prices that allow them to sample more than one bottle and share multiple items of food.
The drinks menu covers the classics from France and Italy, but also includes a pink Prosecco and Cava together with a host of options (available by the bottle and glass) that come under the ‘something a little different’ category. JAT can vouch for the unfiltered Ca di Rajo “Lemoss Frizzante’ from Italy - which zings with notes of lemon and lime - and Black Queen from Australia, a sparkling red that has hints of cherry.
On the food front, there’s reasonably priced cheese boards to share with friends and brioche buns filled with Pork belly and Pastrami with pickles to get stuck into.
Someone has done their homework here and it shows: gold star.
25 Brewer Street, W1F 0RX, www.fizbar.com

 

tibits Bankside

 

 

Image: KH

tibits -  voted ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant’ in the prestigious Cook Vegetarian  awards - has opened a brand new London outpost: take a bow tibits Bankside.
tibits 2.0 lies within easy walking distance from Southwark tube and is just minutes away from London landmarks such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern.
As per the original tibits over in Heddon Street, aka Regent Street’s foodie quarter, the star of the show is the ‘food boat’ featuring over 40 mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian dishes dreamed up by head chef, Brian Mesmain. Standouts from the summer menu include Spelt risotto marinara, Peruvian quinoa salad and Bangkok peanut curry noodles.
Customers are invited to create their own meal -food is priced by weight (£2.50 per 100g at lunchtime and £2.80 per 100g in the evening) meaning you are in complete control of what you eat, how much you eat and how much you pay - and then enjoy their veggie fare in a style. Expect exposed brickwork and piping, living plant walls and graphic tiling designed by Atelier O and Emrys.
The restaurant also has a 10-seated private dining area as well as a garden room should the British weather choose to play ball.Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities: fans of the first London tibits include Hollywood actress Ellen Page, British comedian Alan Davies, Bianca Jagger, Premiership footballer Joey Barton and iconic British designer Pam Hog.
124-128 Southwark St, SE1 0SW; www.tibits.ch

 

Jamaican Garden Terrace at Boisdale of Canary Wharf

 

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Never made it to Jamaica? Then make a beeline for Boisdale of Canary Wharf  who have turned their terrace - one of the city’s most popular outdoor spaces - into a beautiful and exotic Jamaica Garden Terrace in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board.
The 130m terrace, which was officially opened by His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom on the 3 July with former England footballer, Sol Campbell, and award-winning saxophonist, Yolanda Brown (who performed the Jamaican National Anthem; in attendance) is reminiscent of the rain forest fringed shores of Port Antonio with lush tropical plants and cascading palm trees.
It’s the perfect setting in which to enjoy a selection of meats (think pork, chicken and specials such as lobster and shrimp) from the jerk spice barbecue washed down with Appleton rum packed Caribbean cocktails and plenty of Jamaican Rum Punch - created especially for the occasion by Boisdale mixologists.
But food and drink is only half of the draw… live DJs promise to keep the party going until late.
In the words of the late, great Bob Marley: “Every little thing gonna be alright.”
5 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14 4QT; https://www.boisdale.co.uk/

 

http://www.justabouttravel.net/2017/07/28/hot-in-the-city%E2%80%A8/

What to wear to Wimbledon

Stock up on strawberries and cream because Wimbledon 2017 is upon us!

As tennis Grand Slams go, Wimbledon is without a doubt the best. SW19 oozes prestige whereas Flushing Meadows is unpredictable, Melbourne Park is unbearably hot and Roland Garros is dusty.
 

But before you schlepp to SW19, you need to think long and hard about what to wear to the oldest tennis tournament in the world - it doesn’t take much to upset the wardrobe department at Wimbledon, as Lewis Hamilton learnt two years ago.

The Formula 1 ace was barred from the Royal Box at Wimbledon 2015 for turning up to watch the Centre court show-down between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic dressed in a floral shirt and suede shoes and sans tie.

 

Technically, today, “torn jeans, running vests, dirty trainers and sports shorts” are the only forbidden items of clothing but, in reality, everyone turns out smartly.

Which is why I found myself spending the Sunday pre Wimbledon, over at One New Change.

I want to look stylish and well put together for this year’s SW19 outing and had an inkling that One New Change, with its carefully curated mix of fashion stores, would be the answer. (I find shopping in Westfield and its sister, Westfield Stratford, to be something of a urban endurance course - too many stores and floors! The array of size, styles and labels on offer is enough to make my head spin and keep my wallet shut.)

First up I thought about following in the footsteps of the female tennis players and opting for a white dress from Cos (https://onenewchange.com/shops/cos ) but changed my mind before I reached the cash desk.

White is notoriously tricky to pull off - particularly if, like me, your prone to spilling your Pimms and your pins are milk bottle white. Plus the Cos number was sleeveless and this being Britain, who knows whether the weather will play ball?



I found my perfect Wimbledon ensemble at Oliver Bonas (https://onenewchange.com/shops/oliver-bonas) - courtesy of their Abstract Double Layer Dress (£75) which was recommended by sales assistant Jennifer Le,  who was helpfulness personified doling out Wimbledon fashion advice while taking my idiosyncrasies (I loathe my legs and bust) into account.



The playful print of Oliver Bonas’ Abstract Double Layer Dress screams summer, while the midi length is SW19 appropriate (let’s face it, no one wants a repeat of the 2013 Victoria Beckham black-nightie incident). Even better? The double layer jersey top: I can slip it off when the sun makes an appearance or on, should the sun be hiding.

 


Dress sorted, I needed some shoes…. one of the wonderful things about Wimbledon from a spectator’s stance is that you do minimal walking (as you spend most of your time sitting watching the on-court action and scoffing strawberries) meaning that that the world is your oyster when it comes to footwear.

With this in mind, I opted for an Asymmetric Strap Court Shoe in an eye catching metallic hue - sure to help me serve up some serious style on Centre court. And an absolute bargain at just £30 (reduced from £75 in the Dune summer sale, https://onenewchange.com/shops/dune-london).

Game, set and match to One New Change….

Read the post here: https://onenewchange.com/articles/style-council-blog-kaye-hollands-shopping-game-wimbledon-15871

All night long

As of tonight, London will become one of a handful of world cities to offer a 24 hour weekend tube service – and here at JAT headquarters we couldn’t be happier for the colourful, cosmopolitan capital is no Cinderella. London doesn't shit down when the clock strikes midnight so we've never understood why the tube does.  Yes we have had late night services in London before on New Years’ Eve, but nothing on a regular basis.

True the long awaited night tube isn’t perfect: it will only run on Friday and Saturday nights and on the Central and Victoria lines (to be followed by the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern in the autumn).

Still while we’d like to see the night tube extended to the suburbs on all lines – including the much maligned Metropolitan – every single day of the week, it’s nonetheless a welcome start. And it means that locals and visitors alike will no longer need to endure a mad dash across town to catch the last tube, a long journey on a battered, beer soaked night bus or an expensive cab ride home. Huzzah!

Ready to discover London in the early hours? Here’s the low-down on a few of our favourite summer late night hang outs…

 

CENTRAL
Aqua Spirit
When the sun shines, Aqua Spirit – a stunning Regent Street rooftop terrace – is our destination of choice. This is partly for the fabulous views of the Soho skyline and partly because of Aqua Spirit’s killer cocktails. The Carrabbas – Santa Teresa rum, fruit liqueurs, fresh orange juice and cinnamon syrup – is the bijoux bar’s best seller but in such stunning surroundings, it seems a shame not to sip a champagne cocktail.
Fifth floor, 240 Regent Street, W1, Open until 1am Mon-Sat

Bar Italia
Alternatively if you’re tee total, make a beeline for Bar Italia. Coffee bars come and coffee bars go, but this little gem opposite Ronnie Scott’s is a Soho institution that has witnessed many fascinating glimpses of passing theatrical life. Make no mistake: Bar Italia is as loved for the stories it could tell, as it is for its authentic Italian coffee. The cakes are also heavenly, so ditch the bikini diet and give into temptation… After all, life’s too short to exist solely on salads this summer.
22 Frith Street, Soho, West End, London, W1, www.baritaliasoho.co.uk, Open daily until 5am

EAST
SushiSamba
SushiSamba has been making waves in London ever since it opened in summer 2012. Situated at the summit of Heron Tower, SushiSamba boasts the highest outdoor terraces in London. Drinks – at £11-£12 a pop plus 15 per cent service charge – are on the steep side however, the views of next door neighbour, The Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Thames, more than compensate and help makeSushiSamba a serious destination bar.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY, Open until 2am

Beigel Bake
Of course all that drinking, will make you hungry. If you can’t afford to sup at SushiSamba (you’ll need to boast the budget of a banker), wander around the corner to the aptly name Beigel Bake which serves bagels, bagels and yes, you’ve guessed it, more bagels. This Brick Lane legend is open 24/7, making it handy for very late sorties.
150 Brick Lane, E1, Open 24/7

NORTH
The Cuban

Cuba is a recurring theme these days. If you fancy getting in on the revolution, try The Cuban. Drinks are reasonably priced as opposed to cheap nut they do serve a mean mojito and a comprehensive list of cocktails including a 15 year old versions of Havana Club rum. For cheap drinks, visit during happy hour (4-7pm Mon-Fri). You can also sign up for salsa lessons or, on Friday and Saturday nights, body bop until you drop to live Cuban bands and DJs.
Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1, Open until 2am

SOUTH
Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga is worth schlepping south of the river for. This tongue-in-cheek bar Battersea based, Italian themed bar serves top notch cocktails and cuisine in a colourful space dedicated to Italy’s finest icons, along with a huge helping of fun: in honour of the Rio Olympics, Bunga Bunga has transformed itself into Brazilian hub. Expect to find an Olympic-themed pop-up decked out with the flags of Brazil, palm trees, banana leaves, beach balls, exotic flowers and lounge chairs, a Caipirinha bar and sultry Samba dancers…
37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW1, Open until 1.30am Mon-Thu; 2.30am Fri & Sat

WEST
Kensington Roof Gardens

Originally designed in the 1930s, Kensington Roof Gardens compromises three beautifully themed gardens – the Spanish, Tudor and England Woodland – spanning across 1.5 acres and located 100ft above Kensington High Street. Arranged around the central Clubhouse, the gardens house over 70 full sized trees and a flowing stream with fish and wildlife – including four famous pink flamingos! (Yes really).
99 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA. Access to the building is via Derry Street. Open until 12 midnight Mon-Thu; 2am Fri & Sat