Food Matters

Food Matters
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French & American Brasserie at Counter Vauxhall

Nestled under the arches of Vauxhall Station, you’ll find COUNTER, an all-day bar & brasserie that draws its inspiration from America and France.

On the face of it, you’d have to say that it’s a rather strange combination that doesn’t really go together, but this isn’t ‘fusion’ cooking, it is two separate menus; the breakfast & brunch menu getting the American influence, while the French inspire the all-day menu. Now that makes much more sense!

The front-of-house staff are welcoming and knowledgeable, and the whole experience is just that little bit … different. And that’s before we get to BackCOUNTER (described as COUNTER’s naughty little brother).

It starts with the venue itself, said to be the longest bar in London thanks to it taking up a whole archway – approximately 60 metres long. Decorated with comfortable booths, mirror adorned walls, brass fittings and reclaimed Teak flooring, it is rather beautiful, in a non-hipster cool way. But what of the food?

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Wine and Dine at 28°-50°

Located in the heart of Mayfair, 28°-50° is a Wine Workshop and Kitchen, a ‘wine & dine’ bistro owned by the successful team behind the Texture restaurant group. The Maddox Street venue is the newest addition to the award-winning group, backed by Michelin starred Chef Patron/Owner Agnar Sverrisson.

As you’d guess from the description, 28°-50° specialises in all things wine related and prides itself on having one of the most unique wine lists in London, with Head Sommelier Clement Robert MS putting together an impressive list which changes every three months.

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Chai Wu's Festive Menu

Harrods of Knightsbridge are world famous for what they offer; a destination venue that is synonymous with high quality, good living and the finest food.
Located on the fifth floor of Harrods, Chai Wu is very much part of that global success.

Chai Wu offer a blend of contemporary and traditional Chinese cuisine, served in a restaurant designed to incorporate all five elements that are crucial to the Chinese philosophy: wood, metal, water, earth and fire.

The team at Chai Wu have over thirty years of experience in catering for high-end events, from corporate heavyweights, charity fundraisers through to society weddings, their service offers a collection from Harrods, delivery to the venue or even a team of chefs at an event to create their perfect blend of Pan-Asian cuisine.

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QP LDN's Eden Brunch

It seems only yesterday that QP LDN were celebrating their relaunch with a host of celebrity guests, vintage Aston Martin’s, champagne and paparazzi. But that really was just the start.

Drawing inspiration from the infamous brunch parties of the modern art scene in New York and Miami, QP LDN recently announced their ‘Eden Brunch’ event; a fantastic blend of Perrier Jouet champagne, live musicians, DJ and fashion designs from iconic design houses such as Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana, with of course, the collections being fashioned by beautiful models.

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Italian Glamour at QP Lounge

This September saw the re-launch of the Mayfair-based Quattro Passi restaurant.

Now more informal and relaxed, even the name has been revamped into something a little less formal; QP LDN.
The ethos behind the restaurant is to serve fresh, high-quality ingredients and inventive Italian cooking beautifully presented in a relaxed and vibrant setting. It does that and more.
The ingredients are flown in daily from Italy, and under the direction of two Michelin-starred chef / owner Antonio Mellino and his two sons, Raffaele and Fabrizio, the restaurant serves culinary delights based on the cuisine of the Amalfi coast.

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Dine The Night Away Circus Style

CIRCUS is London’s premier destination cocktail bar and cabaret restaurant; it draws on the rich inspiration of its location to bring an eclectic mix of pan-Asian cuisine, theatre, cocktails and of course, circus style.

It’s housed in London’s Covent Garden, the site was originally Coulson’s Garage & Stables, home to many of the animals that performed in the West End shows of the time, shows that boasted ‘whirling dancers’ and ‘swarthy figures’.

In keeping with the mystique, there are no neon lights, signposts or billboards advertising the location, just a solitary black steel door that teases you into wanting to know more; what could possibly be located behind such a plain yet mysterious façade?

The answer is anything but plain; entertainment ranges from acrobatic performances right through to the divinely named ‘Kitty Bang Bang’ – the “whisky-soaked, fire-breathin', chopper ridin’ Princess of British Burlesque”. Gosh.

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The Eccentric Delights Of Mr Foggs Tavern

Mr Fogg’s Tavern is located just a short walk from Leicester Square, they proudly serve handmade and authentic Victorian food and serve beer in tankards - good old-fashioned pewter tankards (none of this modern day nonsense of intricately shaped glasses to allow the aroma to build, or keeping the bubbles bubbling). Most of the beer served is local, craft beer and the setting really is unique, perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but you just can’t help admiring the details and getting in to the swing of it.

However, special mention must go to the Gin Parlour and Salon that is tucked away upstairs; whilst tourists and revellers are happy mixing it up downstairs, you need to sample the delights, the serenity and the taste (sartorial) of the Gin Parlour.

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Evenings at Brother Marcus

If you take a walk along Chestnut Grove in Balham, you’ll be surrounded by a myriad of different retail outlets, all shouting for your business. It would be quite easy to miss Brother Marcus though, their signage is all rather understated; no flashing neon, no pretentious signs, just quite literally “Brother Marcus”.
The team behind this culinary delight - Alex Large, Arthur Campbell and Tasos Gaitanos would prefer to let their food do the shouting for them, and it certainly does that.

You can clearly see that these three school friends have a passion for high quality, organic food, but a quick read through of the menu shows that they’re having fun whilst serving up modern, tasty food; The Pollocks, Hamma Mia and The Notorious P.I.G all feature somewhere on the menu.

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Japanese Tapas at Kurobuta Chelsea

Drawing influence from the ‘Izakayas’ (a type of pub) in Japan, Kurobuta on the King’s Road in Chelsea has been wowing customers and restaurant critics since opening following a hugely successful pop up just down the road.

Kurobuta came about after the Australian born Scott Hallsworth decided to leave his role of Head Chef at Nobu and create more than just signature dishes; his vision was to create a new brand, based upon the Japanese pub culture, using Japanese ingredients but with a modern, and sometimes, Western twist. Together with the ex-Nobu Financial Controller, Andrew Stafford, they created what is surely one of the most ‘must visit’ restaurant experiences in London.

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Fresh seafood at Estiatorio Milos

What does Montreal, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Athens have that London doesn't? Nothing worth mentioning now, because the Estiatorio Milos chain has finally come to London, and how very glad we are that it has. Estiatorio Milos Restaurant is not popular worldwide, in all the main cities of the globe for no reason, and now it's located at 1 Regent Street, it's never been easier to go and visit to see what all the fuss is about. The building is a grade 2 listed building, previously British Columbia House.