"The Mason's Arms, Knowstone This was our second visit and happily chef's Waterside pedigree shone through. The pub-style Mason's Arms is obviously more modest than the Thames-side three-star crowning glory of the Roux empire, but the quaint little mid-Devon village of Knowstone is more than adequately represented on the fine dining map by Mark Dodson's restaurant. Every dish was good and the service much improved by comparison with our previous experience here. The seared peppered tuna and oriental salad starter was something I had enjoyed before and it was still well up to standard, the pigeon breasts with a clever curried brussels sprouts purée were much appreciated, and the smoked duck salad with duck liver parfait and delicious cherry dressing also went down well. The mains continued the winning streak, the fish dish of monkfish in prosciutto with smoked mackerel croquettes and scallops almost upstaging the seasonal game offerings of local venison loin with pear done in red wine and a blue cheese gratin and partridge breast "en crépinette" beautifully balanced with caramelised apple and cranberries, both of which were first-class. Chocolate cheesecake and honeycomb ice cream was possibly justifiably the preferred dessert, although my spiced pumpkin crème brûlée matched with a lovely cinnamon ice cream definitely competed for the top of the podium. Everything considered this was an excellent meal and the icing on the cake, as it were, taking into account the aperitifs, wine and coffee, was the amazing value for money the bill represented. A most satisfactory evening."
"Nathan Outlaw You just cannot beat this - the three-star, 10/10 food and wine, the three-star, 10/10 service, the three-star, 10/10 setting, it all adds up to one of the very best fine dining experiences you'll get anywhere. French and German chefs and gourmets have dined here and come to the same conclusion: Nathan Outlaw is at the top of the class and if he is some day rewarded with three stars and 10/10 it will be no more than he deserves. It is a constant source of wonder for us how the chef, ably aided and abetted by Head Chef Chris Simpson, manages to conjure up so many variations on the fish theme. Being located in Cornwall is a guarantee of a regular source of quality ingredients, of course, but we are sometimes reminded of dishes we've had here before when we look at the menu, only to be confounded by a completely new take on the main element and accompaniments which produces yet another masterpiece. This was perfectly illustrated by the first of the two amuse-bouches, salt-cured monkfish, something we know and love, but this time with terrific pickled artichoke, sour cream and ginger, the latter an incredibly good partner for the fish. The second had cubes of apple cleverly cutting the richness of the hen crab's brown meat mousse which in itself was delicious and with the addition of watercress and apple jelly just superb. Then, who would actually think of coupling preserved herring with cold-smoked mackerel? Put them together with roasted sweetish onion and a parsnip crisp and you have a match made in heaven. Again, try balancing perfect red mullet with sweet tomatoes and mint, rocket and anchovy sauce plus cubes of raw courgette. If you can bring it off, chapeau, you have an out-and-out winner. One of chef's signature favourites is the unforgettable Porthilly (lobster) sauce, and we're always happy to treat our tastebuds to it in combination with sea-fresh fish, this time bass, with fondant potatoes and an interesting green in the form of chopped and reconstituted hispi cabbage. Marvellous. And it's not just the fish dishes - the cheese on this occasion was a Ragstone goat's cheese made special by a wonderful beetroot chutney and purée, and, via a lovely palate cleanser of raspberry crème brûlée, two excellent desserts, satsuma granita dovetailed with brandy and tarragon cream, and a tasty, crunchy spiced quince and hazelnut tart to finish. Ab fab or what?!"
"Rasoi A feast for the eyes is a cliché, but when you look at the dishes served here your senses are assailed first by the visual beauty, then the spicy, perfumed aromas and you cannot resist tucking in and savouring the wonderful flavours. There is much to be said for traditional curry-style meals and there are still very good restaurants specialising in what we in Britain generally consider to be Indian food. However, when a top-class chef brought up in the old style but keen to make the cross-over with modern techniques and ideas to modern cuisine does so successfully enjoyment is guaranteed on a different level, especially when it is backed by good service and a well-chosen wine flight enthusiastically and knowledgeably served by the restaurant manager. The prestige menu was preceded by a whole range of canapés including the lightest of poppadums with a set of chutneys, the stand-out of which was a beetroot version, a yummy masala rice ball, and a chilli garlic scallop beautifully balanced with a coconut-chilli-kaffir lime leaves-tomato soup/sauce. The first of two entrées was tandoor-smoked salmon under an old-fashioned cloche to retain the smoke which came with a terrific honey and mustard coating and strategically placed dabs of saffron cream. The second was foie gras with a spicy crust complemented by a thoroughly delicious saffron and cardamom cream and saffron caviar and a specal treat of a truffle-laced mushroom naan. There were also two main courses separated by lychee sorbet with mint jelly doused at the table with champagne, an excellent palate cleanser. The black tandoor-baked chicken tikka was several classes removed from the sort of thing you get in a takeaway, the proper taste of the bird enhanced with sesame seeds sprinkled liberally on top and the tomato semolina upma and the tadka dal makhani giving the dish a touch of distinction. Just as good, though not at all in the same style, was the dehati lamb chop which we found anything but rural with its refined presentation in a coating of mustard seeds and the accompaniment of a keema lamb mince samosa with a stunning rogan josh sauce and three different naan breads. Our colourful dessert was a gajrela carrot pudding with kulfi ice cream, almond truffle and an amazing coconut soil, which again demonstrated the talent of the chef not just in the kitchen but also in the planning of the menu as a balanced whole."
"Breakfast middle eastern"
"Cooking here knocked ny socks off. I'd heard good things but wasnt really expecting it to be this good. Beautifully situated dining pub well worth a trek out."
"A gem of a village bistro. Well crafted French influenced menu superbly delived by the chef proprietor. Tiny little family operation that delivers every time.Fish soup is killer."
"comes into its own in winter. Feast on far better than average pub fare in one of Leeds' most iconic rooms. A true classic."
"Want a burger? Go nowhere else. Top notch "dirty" food. Bit up itself but go with it, its great."
"French classics done very well indeed at this Holbeck institution. Its not Noma but its very good. Every time I go I remark how i shold visit more often. Extremely convivial hosts make the experience complete."
From 10 November
Roll up, roll up, the circus is coming to town this winter! The Gun, Docklands, has teamed up with the delightfully curious Hendrick’s, to transform its riverside marquee into a spectacular Victorian big top. Prepare for weird and wonderful circus delights including vintage carnival games, taxidermy animals, candy floss and popcorn machines, complete with your own private bar. The Victorian Circus serves up a selection of Hendrick’s winter cocktails, including Mr Micawber’s Hot Gin Punch and Hot Elderflower Toddy. The Gun’s seasonal canapé and bowl food options are also available.
The area is available to hire for groups of 40-150 guests, every Monday-Friday daytime and evening until the show ends in February 2016.
From 11 November
We might not have had the Indian Summer we'd been hoping for in London, but how about an Indian Winter instead? Cinnamon Kitchen's chic bar Anise is hosting a Winter Indian Ski Lodge from now until 9 January 2016. Styled by the same interior designers behind Kensington’s Alpine-themed restaurant, bar and disko Bodo’s Schloss, guests will find reindeer antlers and traditional wooden sleds on the walls, chunky candles, furs, tartan throws, blankets and cushions. Cocktails (£9 each) include: The Solong Nala (Burnt pineapple tequila infused with Mescal, triple sec and kaffir lime shaken with fresh pineapple juice and served with candy floss); The Gilmarg Gondola (Red and rose wine with homemade hibiscus syrup, vanilla and winter spices steeped together for 24 hours with lemon, orange and apple); and The Après Ski (Havana rum, fresh lime juice, Chambord, Frangelico and rose petals blended into an ice slushie with hibiscus).
Subject to availability during peak December dates. Please call ahead (020 7626 5000) to check on availability or book a booth online at www.anisebar.com.
From 16 November 2015-25 February 2016, 10 am-10 pm
Children £9 (aged 4-13)
Family ticket: £35 (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children)
This winter, Broadgate has been transformed into a spectacular festive haven for the City of London. Situated just seconds from Liverpool St station, London's longest running outdoor ice rink returns to Broadgate again this year. Nearby, dining hub Broadgate Circle will be transformed into a magical winter terrace complete with 25ft Christmas tree, and surrounding restaurants will be on hand to provide festive fare and warming cocktails.
From 19 November
This winter, traverse the slopes of Clerkenwell and leave your ski boots at the door of The Well. The gastropub has teamed up with artisanal London distillers Sipsmith to transform the downstairs cocktail lounge into a traditional alpine ski lodge. The ski lodge will be serving up a selection of Sipsmith’s winter cocktails including Mulled Sloe Gin and Dainty Damsel. There's also a selection of seasonal canapé and bowl food options.
The Sipsmith ski lodge is available for exclusive hire for groups of up to 70, every evening until February 2016.
Restaurateur Des McDonald’s latest pop-up project on the Roof at Selfridges, Oxford Street, is an autumnal woodland. Their latest collaboration will offer comfort food and seasonal cocktails throughout the cooler months. The menu includes hot pots, grilled meats and fish and seasonal vegetable dishes. The Cabin Bar, situated on the terrace, which has its own entrance, serves Choctails (that’d be hot chocolate cocktails), seasonal ales and warming mulled wine and cider.
Escape the pandemonium of central London and enter through The Churchill Bar’s magical wardrobe doors to its very own enchanted land of Narnia. there's everything from cosy fur-lined seats to cashmere throws and hot water bottles for the chillier winter evenings. Of course, no winter terrace is complete without a delicious array of warming cocktails and Churchill's is curated by Green & Black’s. On the menu: Turkish delights dipped in chocolate fondue and savoury cheese fondue.
Rooftop Winter Cinema @ The Berkeley, Mayfair
- £65 pp includes mince pies and hot chocolates
- £85 pp includes wine and canapés
The Berkeley Health Club & Spa has transformed its roof-top terrace into a cinema once again this December. Hotel guests and Londoners can book to watch 'Miracle on 34th street' or 'Polar Express' on the big screen, whilst nestling between warm down feather Moncler blankets and hot water bottles.
This magical outdoor theatre is London’s only private cinema featuring just six seats. Screenings will take place for the duration of December and there will be two screenings per night at 5 pm and 7 pm on weekdays and 7 pm on weekends. Two special Winter Cinema packages are available for Londoners. Movie tickets are available for both residents and non-hotel guests everyday, weather permitting (Excludes 24/25/26 of December).
From 1 October
The historical Courthouse Hotel located just at the top of Carnaby Street, is set to transform it’s summer rooftop space – the Soho Sky Terrace, into a cosy Soho Ski Terrace this October. Designed to look like the retro ski chalets of the 1950’s, the terrace will be decked out in blankets to snuggle under and candle lit lanterns.
From 8 October
After feeding the hungry Alpine explorers of Balham to such acclaim last year, The Lodge is back by popular demand in 2015. This time they've exchanged the peaks of Balham for the mountains of Clapham with a bigger venue. The usual hot toddies, wild game and throat-clearing Genepi will be served alongside fondue.
And if you fancy your very own Alpine party, both the dining room and restaurant are available for private hire. Emailbookings@jimmyspopup.com to find out more.
From 30 October
Guests are invited to wrap themselves in luxurious blankets as they enjoy toasty tipples and head chef Will Stanyer’s festive fayre - raclette, venison kromeski, and rainbow trout with horseradish mousse. Sweet treats include coconut and lychee snowballs and baked Alaska. Enjoy all these canapés plus two cocktails each for £30 per person.
On the terrace, you'll find an open fire by which to enjoy the York & Albany’s own Winter Spiced Old Fashioned with home-infused vodka; or Chilled Mulled Cider – a mix of cider and Prosecco topped off with apple flavoured ice. Open from 30 October 2015-28 February 2016 excluding Christmas Day and Valentine's Day.
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