Archive For The “European” Category

El Pirata in Mayfair – tapas review

El Pirata in Mayfair – tapas review

Mayfair is one of the swankier neighbourhoods in London. It has everything the well-heeled might need: classy boutiques, jewellery, galleries and some great restaurants …expensive great restaurants. And then there is the gem that is known as El Pirata. There isn’t much in Mayfair that could possibly be described as cheap – not even good…

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Pied à Terre for Dinner – Restaurant review

Pied à Terre for Dinner – Restaurant review

This is, at least for me, a box-ticking restaurant.  I guess we all have our own individual preference boxes, but there can’t be too many of those that wouldn’t be garnished with a big golden tick after a visit to Pied à Terre. This Michelin-star restaurant was established in 1991, with the support of the…

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COMO The Halkin for Afternoon Tea by Ametsa – restaurant review

COMO The Halkin for Afternoon Tea by Ametsa – restaurant review

Who doesn’t enjoy a good afternoon tea? It’s a delicious British institution and comforting. We know exactly what to expect – a 3-tier stand with sandwiches on the lowest deck, a few scones in the mid-section and an array of sweet treats on the top. It’s traditional, and marvellous when done well. But one might…

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Opera Tavern for Paella Sundays – restaurant review

Opera Tavern for Paella Sundays – restaurant review

Opera Tavern is a beautiful two-storey bar and restaurant in the heart of central London’s theatreland. Located on Catherine Street opposite the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and seconds from the eponymous Opera House, it’s a stone’s throw from The Strand. Read my dinner review here. Catherine Street has been a thoroughfare since the 1600s. Its…

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Ember Yard for a Sunday Feast – restaurant review

Ember Yard for a Sunday Feast – restaurant review

Ember Yard is the fourth restaurant from the celebrated Salt Yard Group. It has an enviable location off Oxford Street. Yes, ‘off’ is preferable to ‘on’ in this case. These streets are for those in the know rather than those who are lost on the way to Primark. There is great food to be had…

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The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh, Suffolk – review

The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh, Suffolk – review

This is a classic English coastal town. It has a long and wide Blue Flag shingle beach which is dotted with fishing boats and fresh-fish shacks. It’s a draw for those who want to catch some rays and go for a paddle, and also those who would love an early morning summer walk to watch…

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Eneko at One Aldwych for Sunday Brunch – restaurant review

Eneko at One Aldwych for Sunday Brunch – restaurant review

Located near Covent Garden in the heart of London’s West End, Eneko at One Aldwych is one of this writer’s favourite eateries. It is a delightfully stylish restaurant and wine bar from the acclaimed Basque Chef Eneko Atxa. This basement space takes advantage of a 2-storey ceiling at one end which offers diners in that…

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Afternoon Tea at Savini at Criterion, Piccadilly – restaurant review

Afternoon Tea at Savini at Criterion, Piccadilly – restaurant review

Both afternoon tea and The Criterion are icons. The first is quintessentially British; the second a long-standing London destination for fine food, and one which has been frequented by the great and the good for around a century and a half. Thomas Verity, a British architect, won a competition to build The Criterion; work began…

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Eneko at One Aldwych for dinner – restaurant review

Eneko at One Aldwych for dinner – restaurant review

One Aldwych is a smart and celebrated hotel and, as its name suggests, occupies the front near-side corner of that sweeping crescent called Aldwych. Eneko is its latest restaurant, taking the basement place of Axis, which I had always enjoyed. Eneko opened in London last year. It’s a sibling of one of the Basque region’s…

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The Garden House Restaurant, Leatherhead – review

The Garden House Restaurant, Leatherhead – review

This truly is a ‘garden’ house with the intimate character of a cosy cottage. (Read more about the Garden House here.) It’s part of the Beaverbrook Estate and the smaller of two hotels, the other being the lavish and imposing main house which was once the home of Lord Beaverbrook, one of the most influential…

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Savini of Milan – at home in London – restaurant review

Savini of Milan – at home in London – restaurant review

Discerning diners in Milan and the great and the good from the rest of the world will know of Savini. It will likely have been the venue for their international business meetings, smart lunches, family celebrations and perhaps a marriage proposal or two. It is, in short, a restaurant of impeccable pedigree and holding the…

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Luton Hoo to Stay – hotel review

Luton Hoo to Stay – hotel review

Luton Hoo is an English country house and estate with easy access to London. But what is a ‘hoo’? The unusual name “Hoo” is a Saxon word meaning the spur of a hill. Luton Hoo is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but a family called de Hoo lived on the site for four hundred…

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La Mancha, Chiswick – restaurant review

La Mancha, Chiswick – restaurant review

[This venue is now closed] The name La Mancha will be familiar to all in West London and many from further afield. It was a veritable culinary institution in Putney but it’s found a new home, and to my mind a better one. La Mancha is, in fact, a history-rich region of central Spain, south…

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Canela Café at Seven Dials – restaurant review

Canela Café at Seven Dials – restaurant review

Yes, if you look for them, there really are seven dials and they are affixed to a column at the intersection. A blue plaque commemorates the spot where Beatles manager Brian Epstein had his music management company, NEMS – North End Music Stores. The plaque was officially unveiled in 2010 by the late Cilla Black….

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Donna Margherita, Lavender Hill – restaurant review

Donna Margherita, Lavender Hill – restaurant review

This classic Italian restaurant is on Lavender Hill. The street’s name comes from the lavender that was once grown in market gardens around here. After the opening of Clapham Junction station just up the road in 1863 the surrounding area was built up with terraces of cheap housing for the workers who moved there from…

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Olive Tree, Southampton – restaurant review

Olive Tree, Southampton – restaurant review

This was my first visit to Southampton but finding good food wasn’t going to be a challenge: I had a recommendation!  A French/Seafood restaurant called Olive Tree. But I knew nothing of Southampton. Southampton became a popular spa town in 1740 after the discovery of a spring of chalybeate (mineral-rich) water. It became a popular…

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Hotel TerraVina Dining – restaurant review

Hotel TerraVina Dining – restaurant review

Hotel TerraVina is a gem. It’s a well-appointed house – well, it seems like someone’s home (read the accommodation review here). A line of colourful wellies in the hall welcomes the arriving guests. The rooms are individually designed and the beds are the best I have ever slept on! One might not want to leave…

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Travels & Tapas in Basque Country – travel review

Travels & Tapas in Basque Country – travel review

We have likely heard of it but if pinpointing this region on a map was a capital offence then it’s probable a few of us would be hung; but mention San Sebastián and more people will say that they know about it, and usually with regard to tapas. It’s an attractive seaside city and municipality…

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Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master – bar review

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master – bar review

Vermouth has been ubiquitous in and on cocktail bars since mixed drinks became popular more than a century ago, but many of us have no idea what it actually is, apart from being the bottle that stands at the back collecting dust. Now it’s enjoying something of a revival since the days of the ubiquitous…

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Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere opened in the heart of Soho in February 2012, but that neighbourhood dates back centuries. In the Middle Ages, what is now Soho was known as St Giles Field, land belonging to the Convent of Abingdon, with its leper hospital. In 1536, the land was taken by Henry VIII as a royal…

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