Test Drives

Test drive

Hotel Terravina - world class wines in the New Forest

Barely 90 minutes from London's Waterloo station, the Hotel Terravina is a pretty much perfect overnight stay for anyone who is interested in food - and more particularly wine. It's owned and run by Gerard and Nina Bassett whose provenance as far as hotels go is impeccable - Gerard spent six years at Chewton Glen, Nina was a hotel inspector and together (with partner Robin Hutson who now runs Lim…

Read more: Hotel Terravina - world class wines in the New Forest

There’s been a lot of chat on Twitter about the launch of Cantina Laredo in London – mainly speculation about this upmarket Mexican restaurant chain’s pricey guacamole. Hot Dinners accepted an invitation to try the Covent Garden branch out to see if it could live up to the price tag.

The first (of many?) UK outpost for this American chain, Cantina Laredo bills itself as a gourmet Mexican experienc…

Read more: Cantina Laredo and the £7 guacamole

Roux at Parliament Square - traditional, but good

Michel Roux Jnr’s new place just opposite the House of Commons has polarised the critics.  The first wave decried it for being too old-fashioned, too staid while the latter reviews mainly heralded it for its unabashed traditionalist approach to fine French food. Having been invited to try dinner there, Hot Dinners can see a little of both sides – but on balance we’re coming down on the side of th…

Read more: Roux at Parliament Square - traditional, but good

Watching the world row by at the Bingham

Earlier this year, in the announcement of the Michelin awards for 2010, there was a surprise new entry in the form of newcomers for London which had slipped under most people's radar. The Bingham, a boutique hotel in Richmond, had been awarded a Michelin star when many more famous central London restaurants has been left off the list. Invited to try out the restaurant, Hot Dinners took up the off…

Read more: Watching the world row by at the Bingham

Test driving Byron Burgers Islington

There's been a lot of talk (too much, dare we say it) from food bloggers mainly, and critics, about the quest for the best burger in London. On blogs across the capital, great swatches of digital column inches have been taken up with dissecting patty density, the right consistency and provenance of melted cheese and the quality of the bun itself. We've even heard of people queueing two hours for a…

Read more: Test driving Byron Burgers Islington

Stunning food in the East End with Viajante

We have to admit to having been really excited in a geeky, far-too-interested-in-eating-than-can-be-healthy sort of way about our lunch at Viajante. We'd been following the exploits of chef Nuno Mendes via the foodie blogosphere for over a year while he wowed visitors to his Loft project - an endeavour Mendes had set up following his departure from Bacchus when the gastropub changed direction. Th…

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Bar Boulud London marks a triumphant arrival for Daniel Boulud

Judging from the sheer weight of positive tweets and blogs flooding the internet since it opened its doors just over a week ago, Bar Boulud will be a huge success. And why wouldn’t it, when you discover how carefully it was put together. As the first UK outpost for New York’s most famous chef, Daniel Boulud, this restaurant was thought out, planned and prepared with a degree of care and attention…

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Polpo's EnoClub Wine tasting

One of the most interesting developments we’re seeing in the London restaurant scene right now, is the increase in restaurants coming up with innovative ways to get the punters in, particularly on quieter days of the week.

This rise in food and wine-pairing evenings, tutored wine tastings, special menus with lectures serve a number of functions. They give Londoners a chance to chat and connect ove…

Read more: Polpo's EnoClub Wine tasting

Casa Brindisa Monday supperclub review

It's been twenty years since Brindisa first began importing the best of Spanish food and drink to London. Now, in addition to their Borough Market stall they have three Tapas restaurants, one of which - Casa Brindisa in South Ken - plays host to a series of Supper Club and Masterclass tasting evenings. 

Each event focuses on a different area of Spanish food and wine and Hot Dinners was invited to…

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Election Eclairs at the Arch London

When we set out to the Arch London hotel to review the election éclairs – a very topical take on the hotel’s bar snacks which had been creating something of a stir in London’s bar circles – we didn’t expect to find a hidden gem of a bar and restaurant that we’re slightly loath to tell anyone about.

Opened at the tail-end of last year, this hotel is the brainchild of the family behind the utterly d…

Read more: Election Eclairs at the Arch London

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