Author: Joanne Jenkins

Diciannove

What Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar near Blackfriars. Experience Diciannove is an Italian restaurant situated on the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Blackfriars. Formerly known as Refetorrio, the restaurant has reopened with a refurb and the addition of a new deli and so I went along to try it out. This was my first time eating around Blackfriars and I have to say that I was slightly dubious about what I could expect from a hotel restaurant. Unsurprisingly, the place has a very international feel and was littered with business suits and hotel guests but we were settled in to our own cosy corner by the lovely waitress and left to look over the extensive all-Italian wine menu. This made us feel right at home. During the evening there is a 3-course menu and our selections included the spaghettini all’ astice (fresh lobster, Pigato thyme and fresh tomato), filatto di manzo (beef fillet, potatoes tortino, sautéed leeks and veal sauce) and mozzarella di bufala (Buffalo mozzarella, roasted balsamic beetroot, mixed leaves and beetroot …

Cocktails in the City: Mayfair

What All you cocktail swiggers out there will be pleased to know that Cocktails in the City are back for another three day cocktail party from 10th-12th March in one of Mayfair’s’ most beautiful Grade II listed buildings. Twenty pop up bars will be spread over four floors, and this year that includes an international floor with guest mixologists from Amsterdam and Paris. Don’t miss your chance to lap up some of London’s tastiest tipples all under one roof. Another exciting edition for this year are the bespoke cocktail master classes that will be taking place on Thursday and Friday. They all look pretty impressive. I’ve added “What if Tequila were British?” with Oxo Tower and Patron Tequila, as well as “Tales of the Sazera” with Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar and Rittenhouse Rye/Maxime Trijol to my Filofax. I’m heading down ASAP on the Thursday, so can expect another tragic weekday hangover on Friday. Why wait?! Where One Mayfair Cost Tickets are £15 and can be found here: http://cocktailsinthecity.designmynight.com/cocktails-in-the-city-london

Capish? at The Hat and Tun

What Launch of Italian-American style street food Capish? at The Hat and Tun for two weeks in February. They will be serving their 3 most popular dishes from Wed 17th – Fri 19th and Wed 24th – Fri 26th between 5.30pm and 9pm. Where Hat and Tun, Hatton Wall, Farringdon Experience After watching the final episode of Sopranos last week, I was bewildered and ratty, and felt, suddenly, very alone. So when I received the invite to try the new Italian-American pop up menu at Hat and Tun, I figured that this was just the event I needed to stop me from comfort eating chorizo and to ease me back into some sort of a normal life. Capish?, a street food company based in Hackney, have been trading their take on Italian-American classics on Roman Road market since 2012. They use locally sourced, sustainable ingredients to create what Londonist declared to be, the “best meatballs in London”.  Oh marone! I really like the Hat and Tun as it’s cosy and they sell good beer, so …

Calçotada at Tramontana Brindisa

What Tramontana Brindisa has added another feather to its cap of authentic, Spanish experiences; the Calçotada. Unknown to even many Spanish people, the Calçotada hails from the North-Eastern region of Catalonia, well-known for its gastronomy, tourism and football, and less well-known for its large, spring onion-esque vegetables. It is, essentially, a festival to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and indeed these fresh, quality ingredients, artfully prepared and delivered almost as entertainment, are quite something to celebrate.  Where Available at: Morada Brindisa Asador 18-20 Rupert St London W1D 6DF   And Brindisa Tramontana 152 Curtain Rd London EC2A 3AT   Experience Before arriving at Brindisa Tramontana on a cold, rainy Tuesday evening, I had little idea of what a Calçotada festival actually was. Intrigued, I waded my way towards the Shoreditch restaurant, struggling to imagine how a re-enactment of a Spanish Spring festival could possibly be achieved in weather such as this. And little did I know that the Calçotada was to be held outside. I needn’t have worried; as I was shown out the back …

Celebrating Diwali with Kricket at Pop Brixton

Where Kricket, POP Brixton What An evening to celebrate Diwali with Indian restaurant Kricket and British light artist Rupert Newman. Experience POP Brixton is a playful courtyard of bars, restaurants and shops housed in old shipping containers near the arches of Brixton train station. It is also an event space and Indian inspired restaurant Kricket, who normally occupy one of the shipping small containers upstairs, took over the decidedly more grand barn like building for a night to celebrate the ancient Hindu festival of light, Diwali, in collaboration with British light artist Rupert Newman. The placed looked pretty incredible. There were 3 long tables set with runners and stoneware plates and Rupert’s colourful bespoke visuals bouncing around the room. I was dubious about how well British chefs were going to be able to carry off the diverse and intricate Indian cuisine but they weren’t trying to imitate. The food was Indian inspired but considerably meatier and served with lots of different flavoured mayonnaises and dips to suit the English taste. The spiced rum and masala popcorn …

Chinatown Trail for London Food Festival

Where Chinatown, London What For the second year running Chinatown has taken part in the London Food Festival, putting together six of its best restaurants to form a specially guided food trail with the aim of allowing visitors to experience a variety of the Malaysian, Vietnamese, Szechuan and Classic Cantonese meals the area has to offer. Experience The decision to go on a Chinatown food crawl with a relatively significant hangover could obviously have gone either way. I did the food trail last year with Sarah so I knew what was in store. There were no taster sized portions but each restaurant offered up an entire meal (that’s six meals each with a beer…) so we came out the other end feeling a bit sleepy and delirious but quite drunk and happy. To start we headed to Dumpling’s Legend because I love dumplings and I didn’t want to run out of room. They seemed a bit confused as to why we were there, and we were sashayed around a few tables before being seated upstairs …

Champagne Plus Fromage 

What An evening of Champagne tasting at Champagne Plus Fromage Where Champagne Plus Fromage, Brixton Village Experience On a rare smoking hot summer evening I headed down to Brixton’s Champagne Plus Fromage to enjoy a taster evening with co-founder Maud Fierobe. Champagne Plus Fromage is a collaboration between French Bubbles who import award winning limited production grower champagne and Une Normande à Londres, a family owned company who bring to London the very best artisan cheese, cured meat and preserves from across France. The shop and bistro (there is also one in Covent Garden and another recently opened in Greenwich Village) serve beautiful artisan food within their bustling rustic interior with shelves piled high with jars of terrine, rillettes, cassoulets and delicious confits. Their Fromagerie serves over 50 different types of soft and hard cheeses and a selection are expertly paired to compliment the 4 different Champagnes we would be drinking that evening. The bistro is as charming as Maude herself who stood at the head of the table and introduced all of the wines to …