Madison at One New Change

Little Black Book to London: part two

“Cool never stays in one place for long. By its very nature, it’s always looking for the next place to hang out, to drink, to try not to dance too zealously to the freshest tunes.”

So scribbled journalist Clive Martin.

Martin wasn’t wide of the mark.

Here’s our guide to the capital’s coolest new spots and events for spring/summer 2018…

Smoky cocktails at The Royal Exchange


Smoked flavours are having a moment in cocktail culture and the trend has found it’s way to The Royal Exchange – one of London’s most iconic buildings – at Threadneedle Bar.
The new menu offers smokiness to cocktail aficionados in two ways: through intrinsically smoky ingredients such as whisky and mezcal which feature prominently throughout the menu, and by infusing key serves with wood smoke for a robust flavour and unique immersive experience.
Each cocktail boasts its own distinct personality and has been carefully crafted for depth of character and complexity.
Choose from the Smoky Mandarin (Black Label whisky, Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, Talisker 10yo, cinnamon sugar), Mexican Negroni (Mezcal, Campari, Martini Rosso), The White Lord (Tanqueray Gin, Suze, Martini Bianco), The Lumberjack (Woodford Reserve infused with bacon, maple syrup, orange and angostura bitters) or JAT favourite The Art of Rum (Ron Zacapa 23yo, cherry liqueur, banana syrup, orange bitters).
All cocktails on the smoky menu are priced at £12.00 and available until the end of 2018. Smokin!

Mad Lab at Madison
Shake, rattle and stir your way to killer cocktails with Madison’ s MadLab sessions.
Don a lab coat and learn three cocktail techniques – carbonation, infusion and foam.

Learn how to make a foam with the help of a blender and vegan emulsifying/stabiliser agent using a nitrous oxide cartridge – and then how to integrate the foam into a cocktail.

Make an instant infusion with a cream whipper and a nitrous oxide cartridge. You’ll then create a cocktail with the infused spirit and learn how to use a torch to caramelise the garnish.

Master a carbonated cocktail with a cream whipper and CO2 cartridge, before using the torch to scorch the garnish.

You’ll get the chance to create molecular twists on three Absolut Elyx vodka based cocktails, with the finished serves yours to enjoy while drinking in the views of the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral from the top of the Jean Nouvel designed One New Change complex. Chin chin.

Grease is the word

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Pink Ladies get ready! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Grease, TV streaming service NOW TV is creating a slumber party pop-up experience.
On 10 and 11 May only, fans will be able to visit an exact replica of Frenchy’s bedroom: expect patterned pink wallpaper, plush carpets and satin-fringed curtains, Rydell High flags and even a giant panda toy poised to paw Rizzo’s silky drawers.
Slumber party guests will be able to take their pick from a Grease inspired prop box, bursting at the seams with rollers, hair nets, jackets and much more, to transform themselves into a Pink Lady and step back to the fifties – all they’ll need to do is battle it out for the role of Sandy and Rizzo
Food and drink straight out of the fifties will be available as guests get comfy on Frenchy’s patchwork bedspread and settle down to watch the iconic film.
Even better? Fans can enter the Eventbrite ballot for the chance to win free tickets to one of the seven sessions  (day and evening times) available, here

Bluebird flies into White City


The celebrated Chelsea restaurant and café has spread its wings and opened its doors at one of London’s hottest venues: take a bow Television Centre White City.
Opening out onto a piazza overlooked by the Television Centre’s famous circular core, Bluebird Café White City is at the heart of the £8 billion regeneration that has opened this iconic location to residents, diners and revellers for the first time in its history.
Bluebird’s new sister encompasses a café, bar and spacious all-year-round terrace spread out over 5000-square-foot space serving a modern European menu: think Nduja crusted yellow fin tuna with grilled onion and green sauce, Butter chicken curry with basmati rice and burnt chilli and Spiced King prawns with yoghurt and pistachio.
The interior has been designed by David d’Almada’s Sagrada and incorporates a mix of British styling from the 1960s and modern Bluebird Chelsea glamour, while the artwork has been sourced by Fraser Scott and features works by young British artists as well as designs inspired by Bridget Riley and Celia Birtwell.

The sky’s the limit at Jin Bo Law Skybar

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London has a new rooftop bar: here’s looking at Jin Bo Law.
Located on the 14th floor of the new Dorsett City hotel, Jin Bo Law offers panoramic views taking in key sights of the London skyline such as the Walkie-Talkie, the Gherkin, and the Shard, alongside quintessentially London landmarks including Tower Bridge and the Thames – as well  an innovative Asian-inspired menu.
Tipple to try include Pickled Think (Japanese spirit Shochu, pickled ginger and Japanese raspberries), Spice to Meet You(Chinese flavours, featuring gin and quince alongside fragrant five spice and Acacia honey) and Nikka-Bocker Glory – a unique play on traditional Vietnamese coffee, with its sweetened condensed milk and Japanese whisky, served like a milkshake.

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One New Change: Play in the City this Christmas

How One New Change style council member, Kaye Holland, does Christmas

Other than being involved with Style Council, what do you do?
I work as a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist which can be stressful but also exciting as it means no two days are the same.
When I haven’t got my journalistic hat on, I am about and exploring London with Talk of the Town ( - a walking tour company I co-founded in summer 2014. We’re on a mission to share our love of London with locals and tourists alike - we don’t want anyone to waste a minute lost in Leicester Square.
When I’m not working, you’ll find me patient visiting and presenting at Radio Harrow - a hospital radio station - or cheering on my football team, Watford FC, at Vicarage Road. I volunteer as a Vicarage Roadie - a team of Watford supporters who work to enhance the match-day experience for home and away fans. I’m also an also an active member of my local Liberal Democrat group.

What does being involved with One New Change and the Style Council mean to you?
Being part of the ONC style council is a deeply rewarding opportunity. I love being part of a team that shares my passion for One New Change - a place, which for me, has put the joy back into shopping. It’s the top of the shops- an iconic, environmentally friendly building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel, that’s filled with a carefully curated edit of chic shops and restaurants and is committed to the community. I get a buzz from introducing others to One New Change, one of London’s best kept secrets.

Favourite store to treat yourself at in One New Change?
Probably Hershesons Blow Dry Bar - you can get a swish blow dry or have your hair styled perfectly in just 30 mins. It’s a life saver on bad hair days during the party season.

Favourite place to eat in One New Change?
I’m mad about Madison Bar & Lounge (on One New Change’s rooftop) where the emphasis is on small plates that lend well to sharing with friends. And the views of the London skyline - expect to see The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Tate Modern and more - are unbeatable.

Which store is your go-to for last minute Christmas presents?
Whenever I need to grab a great Christmas gift, I can count on Oliver Bonas. You’ll find something for everyone - candles, bath and body care products, funky jewellery, Moleskin notebooks, retro kitchenware… You’ll want to buy everything.

Where are you going to pick up your go-to outfit for Christmas parties?
Definitely Topshop. They always have a great range of fun dresses to hit the dance floor in. And, unlike the Oxford Circus branch of Topshop, the One New Change outpost never gets too crowded - even in the run up to Christmas.

Best present you’ve ever received?
An embossed hot pink Smythson's luxury leather book. As a journalist, I always need a notepad, but wouldn’t splurge on Symthsons myself so this was an extravagant treat.

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition at home?
Decorating the tree. Every year I plan to try a new colour scheme but always end up defaulting back to red and gold.

What’s your favourite part of Christmas dinner?
Unlimited Prosecco…

What’s the best (or worst) Christmas cracker joke you bring out for the festive season?
Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?
Because they were two deer…. groan.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
To learn to cook- and to love it. I’m rubbish in the kitchen and would rather watch paint dry than master a new recipe.

Favourite Christmas movie?
Home Alone - it’s one of the few films that makes me feel Christmassy.

What’s on your Christmas menu?
I’m a veggie so definitely not Turkey! I suspect it will be a seasonal Beetroot gratin.

Any fun traditions around Christmas?
I typically spend Christmas morning at Northwick Park Hospital with my radio family. We’ll turn up with mince pies, Bucks Fizz and festive treats, visit the patients and staff on the wards and then present a special Christmas show playing all their requests.

What are you wishing for under the tree this year?
The new Watford FC home kit - preferably personalised with Deeney, no 9 on the back - or anything travel related. I’m travel obsessed.

London calling: Kaye Holland

TOTT group

Ahead of the two year anniversary of the Olympic Games, London based journalist and co-founder of Talk of the Town (a company specialising in entertaining tours of the capital), Kaye Holland, opens her little black book to reveal the best places to eat, shop and play in London Town


Where are you from?
I was born in Watford - the hometown of George Michael and erm, Geri Halliwell. Travel bible Lonely Planet once labelled Watford as the "kind of town that makes you want to travel." They weren't wrong: I escaped as soon as I turned 18 and spent my 20s living and working overseas in the UAE, Cayman Islands and China. But while Watford is a gritty city (you could never describe it as pretty), it always lures me back. I still have friends and family living in WD and if I've got a free Saturday and my beloved Watford FC are playing at home, you'll usually find me at Vicarage Road stadium cheering on the Golden boys.

What's the first thing you do when you get to London?
Grab a Flat White - I am a complete caffeine addict. Luckily for me, despite the fact that London is traditionally renowned for tea drinkers, the friendly bubble of coffee perkingcan now be heard all across the capital. Bar Italia is a Soho institution that has witnessed many fascinating glimpses of passing theatrical life. Situated opposite Ronnie Scotts, it's loved as much for the stories it could tell, as it is for its authentic Italian coffee. Caravan in the new Kings Cross development is another favourite and I love the newly opened Soho Grind - the sister to Shoreditch Grind (an East London institution). These guys also serve booze if you want something a little stronger than coffee beans...

Madison at One New Change

What is your favourite hangout?
Oh wow - that's an impossible question! It largely depends on which side of the river I'm on and also the season. Right now it's summer and the sun is (unusually for London) out so I'm loving the rooftop terrace at One New Change. Confession time: I'm part of their 'Style council' so have an affiliation with One New Change but even if I didn't, I would still head up to the terrace which serves up spectacular views of the London skyline: expect to see The Shard, St Paul's Cathedral, London Eye and Tate Modern to name but a few London landmarks. You'll also find the fabulous Madison there. The restaurant gets rave reviews for its generously portionedBritish fare, but I prefer the more fun tapas bar where the emphasis is on small plates that lend well to sharing with friends (the sesame flat breads are to die for). Of course you can just drink here: top notch cocktails include the cheekily named 'Hot bitch martini' but in such stunning surroundings, it would be criminal not to try the Thai Chi– a champagne cocktail with cucumber, ginger, apple juice, lemon juice, vodka and a Lanson champagne top - right?!

What is your favourite restaurant?
I have to say that I am not very faithful when it comes to restaurants and rarely return to the same restaurant twice. I'm always forcing my friends to schlepp across town andtry the latest new opening; I'm sure I drive them bonkers. That said I do have a soft spot for Jeremy King and Chris Corbin's restaurants: their the dynamic duo responsible for The WolseleyThe DelaunayBrasserie Zedel and the just opened Fischer's in Marylebone- the celeb hang out du jour. Closer to home (I’m a Harrow girl), I love Incanto - a wonderful Italian restaurant situated on the summit of Harrow on the Hill in what was once a post office. For lunch on the run in central London, I'll head to tibits - a Swiss vegetarian restaurant. Located in the heart of Heddon Street, it's a refuge from the madness of Regent Street and the food from head chef, Brian Mesmain, is incredible. I’m a veggie but even my most carnivorous friends agree! The colourful interior by the Designers Guild – one of the foremost luxury home furnishings brands in the world – is a further treat.

When a man is tired of london

What was the last exhibition you saw in London?
That would be Matisse: the Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern. I’m not really an art aficionado (I wish I was but alas it’s a taste I’ve yet to acquire) but John (one of Talk of the Town’s co-founders and tour guides) dragged me along and I’m glad he did. The Cut Outs is an exhibition of the colour-saturated works Matisse made by cutting out shapes from pre-painted sheets of paper during the last 17 years of his life and the sensual shapes and vibrant colours makes for a visual feast. The exhibition runs until 7 September if any readers are interested...

What was the last gig you saw in London?
I went to Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park a few weeks back and had a blast. Traditionally I’ve not been a fan of festivals in the UK - who wants to spend two hours queuing for a beer or sleeping in a soggy field with a few thousand fellow festival goers, all of whom you can be sure will want to use the 10 toilets at exactly the same time the next morning? - but Wireless was a great day out. John Newman, Outkast (their first UK appearance in 13 years), 80s sensations Salt-N-Pepa, Sean Paul and Clean Bandit all performed before the headline act - Hawaiian crooner, Bruno Mars - took to the main stage for a huge performance. On the theatre front, I saw All My Sons at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (a steeply raked auditorium slap bang in the middle of one of the capital’s prettiest parks). Arthur Miller’s breakthrough play about a family confronting the cost of capitalism remains just as relevant today as it did when it was written nearly 70 years ago.


What is your earliest London memory?
I remember travelling into town with my Mum, Dad and brother one January - I must have been about six. We went to Trafalgar Square which is famous for the hordes of pigeons that frequent the area. Mum had told me that the pigeons land on your head and I didn’t like the sound of that so insisted on taking my cycling helmetup on the train and wearing it as "protection" from the pigeons. After we’d ticked off Trafalgar Square, we went to watch the Chinese New Year celebrations in China Town. I loved watching the lively parade and the acrobatics, traditional dance, theatre and song recitals and trying the traditional food but then disaster stuck... We lost my younger brother in the crowd... My parents went into a blind panic, but thankfully we FINALLY found him standing next to a policeman. Later, during our teenage years, when Keith (my brother) was behaving like Harry Enfield’s creation 'Kevin the Teenager’, I wished we hadn’t...

Brixton Market

What have you discovered recently in London? Brixton - I kid you not. Kensington and Chelsea has a certain picturesque charm and East London – in the aftermath of the Olympic Games – isn’t without its appeal, but when all is said and done they are… well London lite. A little bit vanilla, if you like. If you want to see the real London – the capital in all its magical multicultural glory – Brixton is where it’s at. David Bowie was born in Brixton, former Prime Minister John Major grew up there and singer La Roux still lives in the area where West Indian food stalls sit beside chi chi bars. And despite the fact that Foxtons (the estate agent we all all love to loathe) has opened a branch in Brixton and there’s a Waitrose on its way, the area’s strong sense of community remains intact.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day? That’s easy. I’d make the London Underground run 24/7 or at least until a much more civilised 2 or 3am. This would eliminate the need to make a mad dash across town for the last tube, endure a long journey on a battered, beer soaked night bus or an expensive cab ride home. London is no Cinderella: it doesn’t shut down, when the clock strikes midnight. Neither should the tube.


What are your top tips for tourists? Try not to succumb to the self imposed yet inescapable pressure of the ‘checklist’. You know - the one that demands you visit every site, every museum, every monument that you’re supposed to. Adjust your expectations and in doing so you’ll discover places - little streets, small independent shops - that you might not otherwise had done because you’d have been so busy trying to see everything you thought you had to. On a practical note if you’re travelling around by tube, avoid doing so before 9.30am and between the hours of 4-7pm - you’ll pay a premium during these hours and spend the entire journey squashed under sweaty armpits. Lastly - shameless self promotion alert - sign up for a Talk of the Towntour!

Where would you like to stay? I’m all about Airbnb - the San Francisco online marketplace which allows people to rent their homes or rooms to short-term visitors. It’s a characterful, affordable alternative to staying in an overpriced bland, beige hotel room. More than that, Airbnb can also help you meet Londoners and bring you closer to the local culture. I use Airbnb when I travel and it’s led to some great conversations and experiences. However if you are a hotel person, I’d recommend the luxurious Rosewood London. It’s not cheap (prices are as high as the Shard) but if you’re going to make the trip of a lifetime, you might as well do it in style! The hotel (which opened in October 2013) is housed in a beautiful 1914 Belle Epoque building that was once the headquarters of Pearl Assurance. Every conceivable luxury and comfort has been thought of - it really is impossible to exaggerate the glories of this place.

Iconic Selfridges

What is your guilty London pleasure?Selfridges. I’ll pop in for five minutes and five hours later I’m still there (this can happen). And preposterously priced cocktails with the girls in a hotel bar: right now Londoners are hanging out in hotels thanks to a slew of red hot and happening new openings such as Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel and Andre Balazs’s Chiltern Firehouse.

Thanks Kaye! To book a tour with Talk of the Town, click here


London’s top 10 rooftop hangouts

London is packed with rooftop restaurants and bars that are perfect for al fresco eating and drinking. Here’s our pick of the venues worth getting vertigo forAqua Spirit When the sun has got its hat on, Aqua Spirit – a gorgeous rooftop terrace on Regent Street –  is our destination of choice for fabulous views of the Soho skyline and killer cocktails. The Carrabbas (£10.50) is the bar’s best seller and after one sip of the Santa Teresa rum,fruit liqueurs,fresh orange juice and cinnamon syrup you’ll soon see why. But in such stunning surroundings, it seems a shame not to try the champagne cocktails. Still for all the excellence of the drinks and decor, it’s the little details (impeccably attired and attentive staff who treat everyone with respect) that help elevate Aqua from the pack. Fifth floor, 240 Regent Street, W1 (020 7478 0540;

The Boundary
Props to Terence Conran and the team behind the Boundary. Aware that in Britain, summer isn’t always synonymous with sunshine, they’ve added a sturdy steel, timber and glad pergola to their attractive rooftop bar. Translation? We get to enjoy views of London landmarks– whatever the weather. Open seven days a week from 12pm until 11pm weekdays and 10am until 11pm weekends, The Boundary serves up char grilled steaks, fish, simple salads, Mediterranean tapas and the popular Boundary Pan Bagnat: a nicoise inspired sandwich with beet patty, goat cheese, roast vegetables and salad. Go for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner or even just a drink – but do go. Entrance in Redchurch Street, 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DD (020 7729 1051;

Kensington Roof Gardens
How time flies... the drop dead gorgeous Roof Gardens in Kensington is celebrating its 75th birthday throughout August. To mark the momentous occasion, the Roof Gardens has teamed up with Heartbreak productions to put on Romeo and Juliet under a canopy of stars on August 6, 11 and 12. 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. (020 7937 7994;

Madison at One New Change
There can’t be many – if any – better rooftop terraces than this, in town. Situated on the top of One New Change (a stunning glass shopping centre designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel) overlooking the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, the glorious views of the London skyline make for a spectacular experience. The food also elates: there’s a formal restaurant serving generously portionedBritish fare plus the more fun tapas bar: think small plates that lend well to sharing with friends. Of courseyou can just drink here: top notch cocktails include the cheekily named ‘Hot Bitch Martini’ (£9). Rooftop terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s, EC4. (0208 305 3088;

Named for its location (Radio is on the site of the old Marconi House), this new kid on the roof top block oozes glamour – think candles and Ibiza-esque sofas – and, as such, is where the well groomed set are winding down at the end of the working day. Be prepared for a long wait to get in (the line snaking along The Strand on Friday and Saturday evenings reminds us of the queue to get into a nightclub back in our teens) but the stunning south facing views – expect to see both Big Ben and the Oxo Tower – reward any effort involved. The cocktails hit the spot too. Don’t miss the Mile High Margarita, Radio-Active and AM/FM which you can enjoy until the wee small hours (Radio is open until a very civilised 3am). 10th floor, ME London, 336-337 The Strand, WC2 (0845 601 8980;

Sanctum Soho
Billed as “London’s first rock ‘n’ roll hotel”, the £10 million Sanctum Soho is the brainchild of larger than life Mark Fuller – founder of Embassy and The Sugar Reef, two of London’s best known celebrity haunts.There’s a lot to love about this boutique bolt-hole from the diamante door handles, glittering mirrors and plush private 45 seat cinema (which can be hired out for private screenings). However the icing on the cake is the 24 hour rooftop bar where you can sip champagne while submerged in a hydro spa that comes complete with multi-coloured underwater lights! Rock ‘n’ roll indeed. 20 Warwick Street, Soho,W1B 5NF (0207 292 6100;

Shoreditch House
Forget The Shard. Shoreditch House’s roof garden – with its new poolside and pantry bar, more changing rooms, comfortable furniture and volcanic blue tiling for the pool deck – is the sky high hotspot worth knowing about this summer. What’s more when the weather isn’t playing ball, the roof can be closed so apart from when you’re swimming, you’ll be warm and dry all summer long. The downside? Shoreditch House is strictly for members only. Grrrr! Ebor Street, Shoreditch, E1 6AW (020 7739 5040;

Soho Sky Terrace
A real hidden gem, the Soho Sky Terrace – a smart, secret escape onto of the CourtHouse Hotel – is fast becoming our favourite rooftop hangout. Refreshing cocktails, light bites and mellow grooves against a backdrop of the Soho skyline – makes for a spectacular experience. The Soho Sky Terrace is open to the public from 3pm to 10.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday (until September) so you can drop in for a (well deserved) after work drink under the summer stars or spend a lazy weekend afternoon lounging around in style, soaking up the sun – we like to look on the bright side here at Ultra Vie. 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, W1, (020 7297 5555;

SushiSamba has been making waves in the States and it’s set to do the same in London too. Situated at the summit of Heron Tower, SushiSamba boasts the highest outdoor terraces in London. The drinks list is a tad disappointing – it’s not the most imaginative and at £11-£12 a pop plus 15 per cent service charge, perhaps overpriced. However the views of next door neighbour, The Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Thames, more than compensate and will ensure that SushiSamba becomes a serious destination bar. Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY (020 3640 7330;

Vista at The Trafalgar
Vista bar at the Trafalgar Square Hotel has many points in its favour: a central London location, casually fashionable decor (lots of black wicker), classy cocktails and unrivalled views: you’ll get to gawp at Nelson’s Column, the London Eye, Big Ben and the Barbican. Yes, the cost of drinking and dining here can be as breathtaking as the views but Vista certainly ranks as one of the best rooftop terraces in the city and provides a welcome respite from the tourist trap down below that is Trafalgar Square. The Trafalgar, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS (020 7870 2900;