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October Selects

With the last of the summer spritzes well and truly sunk, we’re preparing to steep our sloes in gin, bake some cinnamon-scented crumbles, and welcome October in all its autumnal glory...

We’re always pleased when this special time of year arrives, thanks in part (ok, solely) to all the opportunities for cosy drinks and hearty meals it brings. Read on for the best places in London for a Sunday roast; our pick of the capital’s finest new bars, and news of two new restaurant launches. We’re busy, and we hope you are too - here’s to a month of feasting and toasting.

Autumn's best new bars

Raise a glass to the new season at one of these special new spots.

Downstairs at Morito

Fans of Morito (that’s all of us, right?) certainly have something to toast this month with the arrival of Downstairs at Morito, a bar that’s opened up on the floor beneath the much-loved restaurant’s Hackney Road site. This warm and welcoming spot serves the same Southern Spanish, North African and Easten Mediterranean dishes as in the restaurant upstairs, but with a casual late-night bar atmosphere and an added focus on cocktails. It’s open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with ticketed Morito Music nights running every Tuesday. Click here to book.

Le Magritte

Sleek, sultry, and more than a little bit special, Le Magritte in Mayfair's The Beaumont hotel is the latest go-to for those seeking sophisticated serves in striking surroundings. Having undergone a total refurbishment earlier this year, this beautiful bar reopened in August with a 1920s New York-inspired feel and Antonino Lo Iacono (previously of Rules, Dukes, and Mark’s Club in Mayfair) at the helm. Expect classic cocktails, American whiskies and bourbons, alongside snacks including corn dogs, oysters, and caviar. Find out more here.

Hector’s

Influenced by the cave à mangers of Paris and watering holes of San Sebastian, Hector’s Wine Bar and Bottle Shop opened earlier this year to rapturous reception from De Beauvoir locals and has quickly amassed a legion of fans from further afield too. Operating as a bottleshop selling a broad range of new school natural wines, classic appellations and rare gems from Wednesdays to Sundays 10am to 7pm, come 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays (and 2pm at the weekend), Hector’s transforms into a wine bar, offering a menu of small plates including Cantabrian anchovies soaked in olive oil with rose petals; courgette carpaccio with fresh cheese, and tins of sardines on toast.

Manthan

This much-anticipated new restaurant from chef Rohit Ghai has just opened its doors on Maddox Street, serving inventive Indian street food-inspired dishes alongside a whole host of creative cocktails. Each of its signature serves - which are named after the seven oceans of the world - features fresh exotic fruits, grilled and then muddled in the kitchen, as well as botanicals and an innovative selection of infusions and flavours that match and enhance the food. Our favourite? The Amrita, a cracking combination of Calvados, date-infused rum, tandoor-grilled spiced fig, and champagne. Book in here.

Sunday roasts

Roast season is officially ON. Here’s our pick of where to head for the ultimate Sunday service...

The Princess of Shoreditch

Featuring the highest quality British meat (including Yorkshire Dales sirloin of beef and Norfolk black chicken), plus rich gravy, a proper Yorkshire pudding and unlimited seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes, Great British Menu finalist Ruth Hansom’s Sunday roast at The Princess of Shoreditch is a serious plateful. And don’t even get us started on the Cauliflower cheese made with Keen's cheddar and (optional, but clearly essential) black truffle… Book here.

The Coal Shed

Sundays at The Coal Shed are a celebration of the art of charcoal cooking, with a succulent roasted 500g 35-day dry-aged sirloin on the bone served alongside beef fat potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, beef jus and trimmings. It’s designed for two to share which is...probably for the best to be fair.

The Laundry

Brixton’s favourite neighbourhood restaurant The Laundry’s Sunday roast features classic cuts including roast pork belly with apple sauce and sirloin of beef with horseradish, alongside roast potatoes, gravy, glazed carrots and seasonal roast squash. Catch us out on the gorgeous outdoor terrace under tartan blankets and heaters on crisp and sunny Sundays, or cosied up inside as the days get shorter...

Cocotte

For those seeking something a little different on a Sunday, allow us to suggest Cocotte, where you can find some of the best rotisserie chicken outside of France, served with homemade sauces, salads and sides. So satisfying!

A welcome return for Isla

To say we’re happy to see The Standard, London’s ground-floor restaurant, Isla, reopen this week would be a massive understatement. We’ve missed this gorgeous place, and have loved settling into its newly revamped terrace and exploring the menu of seasonal dishes including scallop XO; miso aubergine; whole lemon sole with seaweed butter; mussels, ‘nduja and sweet potatoes, and poached pineapple with bread ice cream. Who's coming with us next time?

We hope there’s enough here to keep you occupied for the next few weeks - we’ll be back in November with more, and news of a very exciting new venture coming to China Town…
Frances and the Tonic team.
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