DSCN5112-1London has some of the greatest restaurants in the world and for hungry fashionistas looking for great meals during London Fashion Week and Vodafone London Fashion Weekend there’s something for every person’s taste and budget. Here are just a few amazing choices! 

Bob Bob Ricard New Club Room, 1 Upper James Street, London W1, t: 0203 145 1000, http://www.bobbobricard.com. Russian, English, classic. Piccadilly LU, 10 min walk. Club Room: Thurs-Sat 7pm-1am. Ground floor restaurant: Mon-Sun 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-1am

DSCN5086-1Dazzling venue and perfect for looking cool and wearing your best and latest fashions! Visiting last Thursday, by 8.15pm the Club Room was full and the bar crammed with a lively upscale crowd. The place is glam and glitzy with a stylised take reminiscent of the legendary Orient Express train but without the grand piano in the dining car and instead a backgammon designed dance floor and great disco sounds!  This is a fantastic place for an aftershow party or for that matter an anytime party. Tables are large comfortable and good for private conversations. Press the “Press for Champagne button” and your sommelier will be there as quick as you can say Tattinger Brut Réserve that arrives in elegant heavy well cut glasses.

DSCN5082-1We can recommend kicking off with a couple of mini zakuski and Imperia vodka shots at -18 ̊ C.  Zakuski are traditional canapé sized starters and we  went for the  Russian pea, carrot Salad and Truffle choice, and a Russian herring and caviar version – both were delicious! You take a couple of sips of the vodka first then have some zakuski then finish off the excellent vodka shot.

DSCN5094-2Impressive too is starter of Truffled Potato and Mushroom Vareniki, an incredible potato dumpling dish with a few shimeji mushrooms and onion rings. We split it and absolutely loved it. Adding the sour cream sauce on the side lifts the dish even more. On the oysters, for something a bit different from the usual rocks, opt for the Brezhnevs that come baked with an exquisite parmesan and black truffle. Also yummy are the grilled Mitterrand oysters with parsley and a light garlic butter. Hungry mouths will find the Venison Steak Tartare starter substantial and highly enjoyable. Pour the contents of the small raw quail egg over the steak for a great taste. At £9.50 it’s good value but for those with cash to splash the Imperial version loaded with 12g of Petrossian Alverta Caviar for £34.75 is fantastic a friend told us.

DSCN5097-1The extensive menu has twenty-four mains to choose from. Beef Ongle, a 28 aged scotch beef comes up medium rare with caramelised shallots and green peppercorn sauce at £20.50 was good but the Filet Mignon Rossini (pictured left) served with seared foie gras and truffle gravy even better and well worth £28.50. We paired it with a well-priced Château Patache D’Aux Medoc Bordeaux 2007 at £9.75 a glass. Truffled Mash Potato side was one of the best mashes we’ve ever tasted whilst the carrots and parsnip side-dish were excellent too. For vegetarians, push the boat out and try the Hand-Rolled Pasta with King Oyster mushrooms, truffle, poached egg and lemon. Fish lovers have a choice of classics such as salmon tartar, lemon sole goujons, lobster burger through to Dover Sole.

One of the great things we loved about this place is the sophisticated sound system designed to play good volume above your heads that magically lets you have a normal dinner conversation without having to resort to shouting and getting a sore throat.

On fashion crowd it’s a mix of high end Diane Von Furstenburg, Matthew Williamson and Stella MacCartney plus high end high street Reiss and Ted Baker. On men’s it’s a combination of Savile Row, Jermyn Street, Dunhill good quality plain jackets , striped shirts often without ties and classic elegant footwear.

DSCN5113-1Save room for desserts you won’t want to miss them. The Eton Mess En Perle is a misnomer arriving as a beautifully dressed sphere of lime meringue filled with a constellation of flavours including berries, strawberry sorbet and raspberry marshmallows and cream. More glitzy dressed in gold leaf is BBR’s signature Chocolate glory whose jivara mousse and passionfruit orange jelly is outstanding.

Service is very friendly and informative with an abundance of obliging staff on hand. For a bit of extra entertainment there was live performance on the dance floor of some slick cirque du soleil style juggling and dance cabaret. For a more chilled out dining experience book a table on the ground floor that offers the same menu, without the nightclub music vibe.

We skipped the fine selection of dessert wines and liquors. A meal for two with drinks is about £200 and the service is great. The Club Room is definitely a place to return to again and again!

DSCN4065-1Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, The Halkin Hotel, Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DJ, Tel: 0207 333 1234.

New Basque Cuisine. Hyde Park Corner LU, 10 min walk, Tue-Sat 12.30pm-2pm, 6.30pm-10pm. http://www.comohotels.com/thehalkin/dining/ametsa

You’ll find some of the most photogenic dishes in London here. It’s no wonder it is a popular haunt of fashionistas. Best time to arrive is 8pm with things really hotting up by 8.30.

Modern bright décor with startling abstract art stalactite ceiling that is sure to be a conversation piece. The best action is in the main dining area. They do sometimes open the private dining area to extend the restaurant when it is not in use. Lunchtimes are quieter. Service is slick, highly knowledgeable and we found it worth having the fascinating dish explanations as the menu creation is by one of the top chefs in the world, Elena Arzak. Foodies opt for the tasting menu, a truly memorable gastronomic journey. Don’t worry if there isn’t something you don’t like as they are more than happy to swap dishes for you.

We went for the full dinner tasting menu.  Our meal began with Kataifi with salmon chilli that was delicious. Like fashion designs there are illusions here.  The next  aperitivo dish,  Tomato with Iberian ham uncannily looks like there is ice in the dish but isn’t, whilst the next dish appears like pasta but was in fact a specially treated dish of Chorizo and  Mango. We found a Cava Colet Vatua paired well with these opening dishes.

??????????Scallops with Cassava “Souffle” were good but even better were the langoustines, spider crab and sweetcorn where you break the rice  and just have a sip of a rather strong  Manzanilla sherry. Looking great was the typical basque squid noodles. Here it is with egg – mix it up – it really works. See picture above.

Next,  the fish course,  San Pedro with the enigmatically named Red Root “Mojo” is a yummy John Dory with beetroot vinagraitte. Our sommelier matched this with a glass of Albarino, a white wine similar to a sauvignon blanc from Northern Spain.

DSCN4078-1Fascinating was the grouse with fig and grapefruit in the signature “Following the Ducks Footprint”. I had the duck version – matched with a glass of Hito 2010 medium red tempranillo .

Amongst the many varied fashion styles we saw were black, Dolce Gabanna trouser suits, or one shoulder dresses, sophisticated  Celine whilst around the dining area we spied men in Versace, Armani relaxed conservative suits and smart casuals.

??????????Desserts are amongst the most creative and beautifully constructed you’ll find on the London restaurant scene. Above are the signature “Moonstones”, an amuse bouche of sesame seed and a mix of citrus, grapefruit and a dash of Cointreau.

??????????Next we were delighted with Clove Custard, toasted milk and pineapple ice cream. This was followed by dessert called Apasionado matched with a muscatel from Alicante (pictured above). A perfect finish to an incredible meal.

Dining at Ametsa is a superb experience and one we can thoroughly recommend. Rooms at the Halkin are modern and of an extremely high standard for those wishing to stay the night!

DSCN4028-1Mirror Room, Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN. Tel 0207 781 8888. www.rosewoodhotels.com/London

British Cuisine. Holborn LU, 5 min walk. Mon–Sun 12.30pm-2pm, 6.00pm-10pm

This is a great place to relax out after an exhaustingly long day watching the fashion shows at nearby Somerset House in the Strand or Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden. Located inside, the beautiful setting of a 1914 Edwardian Belle Époque Grade II-listed building that is now the Rosewood London Hotel, you’ll find the Mirror Room an impressive salon strikingly decorated with of course mirrors, and a comfortable restaurant area for all-day dining and afternoon tea.

The menu is long with fourteen starters, fifteen mains and nine desserts. Many of the ingredients are southern England sourced.  Dress Cornish Stone Crab with lemon was delicious as was Heirloom Beetroot Salad with “Little Wallop” Goats cheese both at £12 each.

??????????Poached Turbot from Poole Day Boat Fisheries, Poole, comes with pistachio dressing is of good quality and one of the most expensive mains at £26 (pictured above). To push the boat out there’s the Chesterton Farm’s Rare Breed Rib of Beef  with Potato Purée and greens at the princely sum of £75 or the Shellfish Tower for the same price – something we’ll try when we we’ve won the lottery! In the meantime the Duck, Olive and Orange at £24 proved to be very enjoyable. For wine pairings the Fendi di San Gregorio di’Tufo went well with the Turbot and the Malbec nicely went with the Duck – both at £6.50 per glass.

Fashion-wise, the official dress code in the Mirror Room is smart casual and many diners keep to this. Surveying the room we saw men wearing dark suits, some with tweed jackets and light slacks but definitely no jeans whilst women went for a wide spectrum that encompassed Prada, Nicole Farhri, Karen Millen, Pringle of Scotland and Stella McCartney. Towards the end of the evening singing star Katy Perry with an entourage of music people swung in for a late night dinner.

In addition to the Mirror Room’s main area, there’s an array of private dining areas to choose from each with interesting sculptures such as a wall-mounted zebra head. Desserts at the Mirror Room are of a good standard. Soufflé of the day turned out to be Prune and Armagnac and was perfect. A “Nobel Sauvage” Sauvignon Blanc dessert wine from Marlborough, New Zealand, paired excellently with it.

DSCN4217-1Something more unusual and well worth a try is the Chocolate and Candied Chestnuts with vanilla meringue. A small glass of Ximenéz-Spinola  sherry went down a treat with it.

The Scarfes Bar is one of the best looking bars in London.  Warm, cosy and welcoming we liked the chandeliers, hand woven rugs and the roaring fire, at the far end of the room, a perfect focal point for upcoming cold winter evenings. Most nights we’ve gone there we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the live jazz music of Nick Shankland on piano and Kitty LaRoar on vocals. The cocktail bar is one of the best in London with cocktails reasonably priced at around £11. To crash out, plush de-luxe kingsize rooms start at £320 per night. Reserve early as rooms do get completely booked out.

??????????For the most fashionable places to shop in London, see our latest book Fashion Fabulous London 3rd Edition available from all good bookshops including Waterstones, Harrods, Selfridges, Foyles, Stanfords Travel, Rizzoli Bookshop at Somerset House, Daunt, The Fan Museum, 3939, Wall & Jones, Mania Mia, Nico Didonna, Bohemia Road, and Present-London. Internationally, it’s at Barnes & Noble in NY and bookshops in Italy, Japan, China, Australia, Russia, and throughout the world and on Amazon and many independent bookshop websites priced £12.99.

It reviews in detail the Top 200 fashion shops and 130 great venues where fashionistas eat and drink in London. Fashion Fabulous London 3rd Edition can also be ordered from our international distributor, Kuperard, telephone +44 (0) 0208 446 2440





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Fashion Fabulous 3rd Edition cover