It's been a funny old year hasn't it? Restaurateurs have worked so incredibly hard in very challenging circumstances - and for some (touch wood) things are starting to look much more positive. For us, Kolae landed in Borough Market - our undeniably brilliant new Thai spot; Tom Cenci and 1 Warwick's Nessa opened to massive acclaim in the heart of Soho and Luca was quite rightly awarded its Michelin star five years after opening. Far too much to mention - but these are some of our personal and professional highlights.
Next year we hope to see more independents opening to keep central London fresh and exciting; for our much loved classic restaurants to stay buoyant; and we can't wait for the return of Jeremy King to the capital either. Here's to the maddest month of the year for the hospitality industry - may you have good luck, good customers, and a good rest in January 2024.
THE COAL SHED announces relocation to new, bigger Brighton site in spring 2024
Celebrated Brighton steak restaurant The Coal Shed is on the move, heading to a bigger site on Brighton's bustling North Street. The new restaurant space from Razak Helalat and his team will welcome more than twice as many guests to enjoy its meat and seafood dishes, cooked expertly over flaming coals. Fans of the Boyce's Street location need not fear - a new concept from the Black Rock team is in the works for the much-loved spot... Read more here.
TASHAS is now open, bringing elevated all-day dining to Battersea Power Station
We're excited to share that tashas Battersea - the highly anticipated UK debut of Natasha Sideris's South Africa-hailing café concept - has opened its doors at the south London landmark. tashas serves an elevated take on all-day favourites - with classics including Texas Salad and Dr Paw Paw - under the hanging art installation in its elegant dining room. It's a good job it's open from morning to night, as you won't want to leave. Read more here.
What's on this month
The festive season could not be more upon us, so why not fully immerse yourself at Flea London's Christmas markets at Vinegar Yard and Hackney Bridge, and pick up some handcrafted gifts while you're at it. Keep it cosy at The Beaumont, which is now offering a "Toast Your Own S'mores" service on its Le Magritte terrace, or indulge in a five-course White Alba Truffle feast at Michelin-starred Luca. There's a treat in store for wine buffs at Wiston Estate every Friday evening, where a Top Drawer Tasting & Dinner showcases the vineyard's rarest and finest wines. Over in Bristol, Paco Tapas is offering lunchtime diners its Menu Del Dia for just £35 per person, offering a taste of Michelin-starred Spanish dishes from Peter Sanchez-Iglesias.
Dish spotlight: Brussels sprouts
Mezzi paccheri at Luca
The humble sprout gets a Michelin-starred makeover in this pasta dish, tossed into an exquisite ragu bianco with chestnuts and parmesan.
Gnocchi at Pastaio
Stevie Parle's Soho pasta spot has a new festive favourite for you - this pillowy potato gnocchi is bejewelled with sliced sprouts, chestnuts and pancetta.
Raise a glass, it's New Year's Eve
Ring in 2024 at Nessa with a 70s-inspired menu complete with caviar and spiced Ritz crackers, or dine at JOIA before heading up to the rooftop for the midnight fireworks. Hogmanay at The Palmerston means fruits de mer and some very special wines, while London's The Colony Grill Room will nod to the Scottish celebration with a midnight piper. End 2023 with a luxurious meal-to-remember at Mauro Colagreco or Saison at Raffles London, while Bristolians can enjoy Italian and Spanish feasts from Peter Sanchez-Iglesias at Casa and Paco Tapas. Looking to dance the year away? Acme Fire Cult and 40FT Brewery's Yard Party will host live DJ sets from Pam Hogg, Arveene and Primal Scream's Simone Butler.
Evening Standard reviews KOLAE: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
by Jimi Famurewa
"A sophisticated, scintillating shot in the arm for a beloved genre — and about as authentically brilliant as it gets."
The Mail On Sunday reviews KOLAE: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
by Tom Parker Bowles
"A southern Thai restaurant to make the tastebuds tumescent and the gut giddy with sun-drenched joy."
Time Out reviews KOLAE: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
by Andrzej Lukowski
"They were astonishing, but in a way so transcendent of the usual characteristics of the humble mussel it’s hard not to sound faintly mad talking about it."
The Sunday Times reviews ACME FIRE CULT: 7.67 out of 10
by Giles Coren
"The pork is smooth and dense, lifted with spice and sour and studded with chopped onion and chive, then smoothed out with the warm bean puree underneath. Historic."