October Highlights

Bon Vivant’s Best Bits From The Past Month

Continuing with last month’s first feature where we summarise our best bits from the previous month, here’s our summary of Bon Vivant’s October highlights.

We spent a lot of our time in some of London’s best hotel bars – the new Rosewood London hotel on High Holborn has a wonderfully cosy bar with deep, comfortable chairs, an open fire and live piano music.

The Scarfes Bar

The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch has given its lobby bar area a bit of a facelift – it’s as cool and buzzy as ever, while The Langham near Oxford Street has launched a Gin Palace in the hotel’s Palm Court each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 7pm until midnight until the end of November.

The new Edition Hotel in Fitzrovia also has a glamorous lobby bar and a bit of a secret ‘Punch Room’ bar at the back of the hotel that has a reservation-only policy. The dark wood walls and stylish seats offer a calming retreat with great cocktails.

The Punch Room London Edition

‘Tavern’ seemed to feature heavily with our restaurant visits – Berners Tavern (above), also in the Edition Hotel, is the latest addition to Jason Atherton’s portfolio, with one of the most stunning dining rooms of recent times. A starter of crispy Romney Marsh lamb breast with lamb and marrow crumble is excellent, as are all the fish mains.

Across town in Shoreditch, Angela Hartnett’s recent collaboration, Merchants Tavern, opened to the public in a former warehouse that has been given a lovely make-over – think exposed bricks, low lighting and green leather banquettes.

Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch

Starters were the real highlights, especially beautifully presented scallops with crushed pumpkin and trompette de la mort, and Hogget broth with a cheese on toast accompaniment.

Sky high dining featured heavily on the menu at opposite sides of the city. The experience of dining and having a few drinks at Aqua Shard is truly enchanting – I love the atmosphere at night time, but if you want to relish the view during the day, they have just launched an afternoon tea menu.

Afternoon tea at Aqua Shard

We made a return visit to Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows on the 28th floor of the Hilton Park Lane for fine French food with impeccable service. The (fairly) recent renovations have made the bar far more inviting as a standalone venue for drinks as well.

Elsewhere in Mayfair, we visited some of our favourites – Caprice Holdings’ 34 Restaurant radiates glamour and an old-fashioned charm to accompany a menu that focuses on meat and game – a baby grand piano in the corner next to the bar and the sound of the live jazz only compounds this feeling further.

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are getting darker earlier, autumn really is in full force.

A dinner with friends at Bocca di Lupo offered the perfect autumnal dish – pumpkin & amaretti cappellacci with butter & sage. This will make the long, dark nights ahead far more bearable.

Tomorrow we will post our recommendations for the month ahead – from new openings to pop-ups and everything in between.