Berners Tavern – We are starting to warm up to this former favourite of ours again

This upmarket restaurant in Berners Street in Central London’s Fitzrovia used to be our go-to place for Sunday brunch for a few months, until we had several bad experiences in a row. Rude staff, long waits, and major cock-ups on the food, to name just a few of the issues. So for a whole year we avoided Berners Tavern. A few months ago, a couple we’re friends with suggested we meet up there, and we were curious, so agreed to the location. We’ve been back for brunch two more times after that, and overall we enjoyed ourselves each time. Located inside boutique hotel inventor Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotel, the main dining hall is one of the most beautiful spaces on the London restaurant scene. Two huge chandeliers, inspired by the ones in New York City’s Grand Central station, dangle from the nearly 6m tall ceilings, counteracting the pompousness of the […]

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Ivy Victoria – pleasant enough, like all Ivy Brasseries

I recently checked out the new Ivy Victoria. Already when you enter the premises, you can see references to the mothership like stained glass, retro floor tiles, plenty of brass and some wooden panelling. I sat down at the bar and studied a curious poster to the wall on my right that explained the order of the different royal orders, information that can always come in handy, often in the most unexpected situations. After a quick look at the menu I opted for the salmon and smoked haddock fish cake with crushed pea and herb sauce, a poached egg, and watercress for £14.50 and a non-alcoholic mocktail called Beet It, which, you guessed it, was mainly beetroot-based (with some added lemon, ginger, and apple juice) for £4.50. My pie arrived after less than ten minutes, which is great, because most people who come here for lunch don’t have any time […]

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RedFarm, Covent Garden

Ms B and I have just returned from a late lunch at the once much talked-about RedFarm restaurant. It is located next to another New York import, Balthazar, in Russell Street, next to the Royal Opera in the centre of Covent Garden. From inside it is bigger than it looks from outside, with nearly one hundred seats over three floors. RedFarm has been founded and, from what we understand, continues to be part-owned and run by Brooklyn-born, Chinese cuisine scholar and restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld (he’s got nearly 60 restaurants under his belt) and dumpling master chef Joe Ng, who grew up in Hong Kong. Their first of now three restaurants opened in Greenwich Village, NYC, nearly ten years ago (the remaining one is located on the Upper Westside). The London outlet opened last year. Ranking a relatively low #2,330 of 20,000 London restaurants on Tripadvisor with 8 out of 96 […]

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Our second visit to Beso, Covent Garden, now re-invented as Italian restaurant

Earlier this year, in January, to be precise, Ms B & I had been invited to check out the then still relatively new Beso in Covent Garden (review here) and we rated it 5 out of 5. The food back then had been labelled Moorish, basically a mix of Moroccan, Spanish, and other Mediterranean cuisines. There were distinctly Moorish design elements including an ornamental nine-seater table with traditional tiles. Recently I was on the way to a meeting in Covent Garden and passed by the restaurant. To my great surprise they had re-invented themselves as Italian Mediterranean restaurant and changed their interior decoration accordingly. When checking their menu I could see that these were not the only changes: the prices had gone up significantly too (their pre-theatre three-course ‘deal’ sets you back £24.95 and included no combination of even only vague interest to me).   After some deliberation I decided […]

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Boisdale, Mayfair – Lovely Steak

Last Saturday for lunch, Ms  B & I decided it was time for a juicy steak, so we walked the short distance over to Boisdale Mayfair, next to Marble Arch. Ms B, or voucher-chick, as her schoolfriends used to call her back in the day, had found a 50% off deal on Open Table. She had already visited the Boisdale Canary Wharf a few months ago with work colleagues and highly recommended the steaks (I had previously only been there for drinks). There are two more branches, one in Bishopsgate and one in Belgravia. Boisdale is the brainchild of self-styled enfant terrible Ranald Macdonald  , a man admiringly described by Tatler, the pompously posh periodical or manicured millionaires’ magazine, as “the most politically incorrect restaurateur in Britain.” The younger of Clanranald and eldest son of the 24th chief and captain of Clanranald, Macdonald’s background sounds as if he spends his […]

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