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  • C

    Cuckoo Club

    Why? It’s rare to find a good nightclub that does good food, (normally it’s one or the other). If you dine here then  you can stay all night at this celeb hotspot, with Jimmy Carr, Paris Hilton and Franz Ferdinand just the tip of the varied celebrity iceberg that have visited the club. Oh, and did we mention Prince William and Prince Harry have visited? Several times!

    Where? Just off Regent St in Central London, W1. Nearest Tube: Picaddilly Circus / Oxford Circus

    What to Eat? Luxurious modern European would be the best way to describe the dishes at The Cuckoo Club. Head Chef Rupert Blease’s delicate selection of flavours ensure that the mouth is bursting with taste throughout the meal. We started off with a divine selection of steaming warm breads with fig bread and olive bread especially outstanding. Then there was an amuse bouche of salmon tartare on a crisp before starters of artichoke and mushroom and duck salad. My date and I  throroughly enjoued our mains of King Scallop (for him) and Veal (for moi) and since the main courses were so good, we had to try dessert. The chocolate  Ganache with Lemon Thyme, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Crumble was an interesting take on a heavy cake like chocolate fondant. It featured a bit of crumble and the chocolate sauce that you find inside a fondant without enduring boring cake ‚Äì perfect.

    What to pay? £40 for two courses, £48 for three courses.

    Contact: The Cuckoo Club is located on Swallow Street W1B 4EZ, 0207 287 4300 The Cuckoo Club Website

    Cecconi’s

    Why? Open from the A.M, Cecconi is a top restaurant dedicated to serving the best Italian food. It’s also a celeb haunt frequented by everyone from Madonna to Tim Burton and Helena Bonham and there’s a good likelihood you’ll sees someone you recognise when you visit.

    Where? Mayfair, London W1S. Nearest Tube: Green Park

    What to eat? Take your pick from the risotto to the  mouth watering taglitala. However, one of the specialities of Ceconni is cichetti ‚Äì the Italian version of tapas ‚Äì with dishes designed to share.

    What to drink? The Cataracco Sicilia chardonnay went down a treat when we dined their friends last week.

    What to pay? The restaurant offers a set menu for £46 so  you can select from a variety of delicious dishes.

    Contact: Burlington Gardens, Mayfair London W1S 3EP. 020 7434 1500

    Click here to visit Cecconi’s website

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  • Shoreditch House

    Why? Shoreditch House is a contender for the best roof terrace in London with a heated swimming pool (see photo above) and views over the city of London from the 6th floor restaurant / bar. Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum and Kate Moss are just some of the beautiful people that like to hang out at Shoreditch house and admire the views.

    Where? East London, London, E1 6AW. Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

    What to eat? The menu has something for everyone and every appetite. If you’re on a healthy eating kick we recommend the Chicken Ceaser Salad or the warm Mackerel salad, but if you need comfort food then you can’t beat the famous cheeseburger served with crunchy fries or a light and crispy pizza cooked in a traditional wood oven. If you like canapes (like us) you’ll love the sharing sized plates like calamari and sausages that are 3 for £15.

    What to drink? Indulge in something fizzy with a good selection of Prosecco and Champagne or celebrate being in the open air with some refreshing rose wine from the extensive wine list.

    But we also recommend the cocktail list – Shoreditch House does an awesome espresso martini (below).

     

    What to pay? Starters  from £5 with the average main meal costing £12. All desserts are just £6!

    Contact: Shoreditch House, Ebor Street, London, E1 6AW, Tel: 02077395040

    Click here to visit the Shoreditch House website

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  • B

    Blue Elephant


    Why? Making a trip to the Blue Elephant is like stepping into another world. If you close your eyes and let your senses take over, you could be fooled into thinking you were in Thailand itself. The food is fresh, the tastes are new, the decor is lush and it’s also a great place to go celeb spotting. With the restaurant being a stones throw away from the Chelsea football ground, players such as Frank Lampard and John Terry are regulars, along with pop stars Matt Cardle and X-Factor judge Tulisa.

    Where? Chelsea, London, SW6. Nearest Tube: Imperial Wharf overground.

    What to eat? The menu is split into three sections; Thai cooking of the past, Thai cuisine of today and Thai kitchen of tomorrow. We recommend trying the Memories of Siam Tasting menu which incorporates a little bit of everything from the full menu. We loved the Khang Khao Phuak, which is a combination of minced prawns, chicken and sweet spices stuffed in a golden taro pastry, accompanied by a chili sauce. The Tom Yam Koong soup was divine; the dish fused together Tiger prawns and Eryngi mushrooms and a spicy sour broth; we felt like this was health in a bowl. The créme de la créme was the Massaman Lamb, which is possibly the best dish we have had the pleasure of eating. The tender lamb curry of dried spices and coconut milk, is joined by Thai sweet potatoes, boiled peanuts and cashews. Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the mango sorbet is as refreshing as jumping in the sea, and the Jasmine cake gives your mouth a treat you will want again and again.

    What to drink?

    The cocktails are to die for and the menu is just as unusual as the food. We loved the frozen blue margarita and the Red Dragon, to give you the ultimate Thai experience. The bar itself is really sophisticated, you could easily come here just for drinks (although you’d need serious willpower to resist the tempting aromas coming from the kitchens)

    What to pay? Prices range from £7 for spring rolls to £28 for a crab curry. The Memories of Siam Tasting Menu is priced at £45.

    Contact: Blue Elephant, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road, London, SW6 2UB. 020 7751 3111.

    Visit the Blue Elephant website

     

    Benihana

    Why? How many restaurants have you visited that cook the food on your table, right in front of you?! Talk about fresh food… Plus it helps that stars like Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner and Mischa Barton are fans of this swanky Japanese restaurant group, which has won numerous awards over the years.

    Where? Chelsea, London, SW3. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square. Piccadilly, London W1S. Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus.

    What to Eat? The entertaining way in which the chefs cook the food in front of your very own eyes will make everything mouth-watering. We recommend anything from the Hibachi grill menu, cooked fresh on your table and accompanied with miso soups. The divine black miso cod and wagyu beef are special dishes to look out for. Make sure you leave space for desserts to try out oriental twists on ice cream including green tea and wasabi flavours! You certainly won’t leave here hungry.

    What to Drink? There is a separate bar in the Benihana restaurants but get in the mood of things and enjoy some Japanese tea with your oriental meal.

    What to Pay? Prices range from £3.50 for a miso soup to £65 for the wagyu beef.

    Contact: Chelsea Benihana, 77 King’s Road, London SW3 4NX. 020 7376 7799. Piccadilly Benihana, 37 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DQ. 020 7494 2525.

    Visit the Benihana website

    Brasa

    Why? Located a stone’s throw from Fulham Broadway Underground station and Chelsea FC, the chances are good that you’ll see a fit man / hot chick on the search for a fit man. If you don’t find another half or have one already then you’ll fall in love with the way the food is cooked on an open grill.

    As Brasa’s owner Brenhan Magee is super well-connected on the London nightlife scene, you will see some of his famous friends from time to time.

    Where? Fulham Broadway, London SW6. Nearest Tube: Fulham Broadway

    What To Eat?
    I expected juicy steaks and fresh fish cooked well on the state of the art Asador Grill, imported especially from the Basque region of Spain. However, I never imagined how succulent a rare steak could be nor would have predicted game like pheasant and partridge on the menu, which is even more flavoursome than usual due to being cooked over FLAMES. For starters, my date and I tried smoked eel , which thankfully fell apart in the mouth rather than being chewy like I’ve had in sushi restaurants (also a surprise). A starter of cockles and ceps was a generous size and came with a fresh garlic sauce. But the highlight was chocolate soup. This is like the best bit of a chocolate fondant (the goo) and served on a wide white plate. Utterly brilliant.

    What to pay? £6- £8 for starters, £10- £15 for mains and £5 – £7 for desserts including chocolate soup (I keep mentioning this because it was divine)

    Contact 74 – 476 Fulham Broadway, London SW6 1BY, Tel: 020 7610 3137.

    Visit the Brasa Website

    Bentley’s Oyster Bar

    Why? To dine in a classy environment that’s been enjoyed by tons of British TV personalities and actors including X Factor’s Holly Willoughby and Louis Walsh and actors Colin Firth and Hugh Grant

    Where? Central London, W1. Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

    What to eat? Seasonal oysters are served in both the formal Grill restaurant upstairs (photographed) and the more casual oyster bar downstairs. When I visited (at the end of October) I was impressed by delicious Malden Oysters from Essex. The Grill restaurant sources ingredients from top producers with melt in the mouth smoked salmon from Frank Hedderman in Ireland and beef from West Cork. Pre-meal breads are made in the restaurant’s on site bakery and served warm – mmmmm!

    What to drink? We think Champagne and oysters are the perfect match. However, we also tried a glass of Chapel Down, English sparkling wine, and were pleasantly surprised.

    What to pay? £120 for a decent dinner for two (inc wine and service)

    Contact 11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG. 020 7734 4756.

    Visit Bentley’s website

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  • A

    Altitude 360

    Why? This venue on the 29th floor of the Millbank Tower has sweeping views over the whole of London. You’ll fall in love with the London sights like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and The Gherkin, then climax with a spread of brunch classics including crispy bacon, pancakes and spicy Bloody Marys. Celebrities that have enjoyed the Altitude experience include Kate Moss, Lily Allen Lindsay Lohan, Sam Branson and David Walliams.

    Where? Westminster, central London. Nearest Tube: Lambeth North or Pimlico

    What To Eat? As much as possible – everything on the menu is divine!

    Start at the crêpe and waffle station, complete with its myriad of fillings, bacon, cheese, maple syrup and fresh berries. At the egg station meanwhile you can treat yourself to one of the best Eggs Benedict to be found anywhere in the capital. Or perhaps the fresh pasta station is more to your liking. There is always a delicious roast available with all the trimmings and, if you so wish, you can also tuck into an organic Full English!

    What To Drink? Wake up with fresh coffee and tea, or get refreshed with just-squeezed orange, apple and pineapple juice. Bloody Marys and Bellinis are available for those requiring a bit of help receovering from the night before.

    What To Pay? The set brunch costs £39 per person.

    Contact? Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP . 0845 500 29 29

    Click here to visit Altitude 360 online

    Awana

    Why?Awana has played host to an array of hungry celebs including Piers Brosnan, Beverley Knight, Jermaine Jackson, Jimmy Choo and the boys from JLS.

    Where? Chelsea, London SW3. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington

    What to eat? The menu offers a large choice of luxury Malaysian cuisine, from soups and curries to grills and stir fries. We sampled seared scallops, stuffed tofu, steak infused with ginger and a colourful prawn curry served in a pineapple! Each dish is complimented with chlli and soy dressings. There is also a Satay bar serving the finest cuts of meat in Awana’s speciality sauce. Delicate whiskey blends and exotic aromatic mixes on the cocktail front ensure a resounding thumbs up.

    What to drink? The cocktail menu will blow your mind! See the cocktail menu here We recommend the Guava Paradise – fresh guava juice, peach liqueur and Champagne

    What to pay? £15.00- £25.00 will buy you a hefty portion for your main course.

    Contact: 85 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DX. Tel: 02075848880.

    Click here to visit Awana online.

    Automat

     

    Why? This American Brasserie not only dedicates itself to its eloquent menu but it also manages to embrace its American culture and brings a bit of New York City cool to the capital. The ultimate NY man – JayZ – has given it his seal of approval as he chose it as the venue for the UK launch of his Armand de Brignac Champagne.

    Where? Mayfair, London W1S. Nearest Tube: Green Park

    What to eat? The Smoked Briskett Roll is enough for us to claim this is one of our favourite restaurants ever. Non meat eaters have plenty of choice with the soft shell crab Po Boy sandwich or a salad with all the toppings and if you’ve got a sweet tooth you’ll love the moist chocolate brownie or New York cheesecake.

    What to drink? The restaurant boasts an impressive but pricey selection of wine but you can get away with sticking to soft drinks. Burgers and cola go so well together!

    What to pay? If you’re not too fussy on your wine, then a good meal won’t cost you more than £100

    Contact: 33 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NF, 020 7499 3033

    Visit the Automat website

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