A place to note our travels, share our musings, hot new tips and the most recent must-see, do, go-to places to have caught our imagination; the very best of London and further afield. Bon Vivant is London's leading luxury travel and concierge service which offers travel planning, restaurant bookings, exclusive events and a complete VIP lifestyle.
A ‘dirty’ vegan pop-up, chicken sunday roast in Mayfair, a new Tortilleria in Borough Market and an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant opens in Marylebone.
Read our guide to the restaurant openings and news in London this March.
Mark Jarvis (Anglo in Clerkenwell and Neo near Oxford Street) will launch a new venture – Stem – offering modern seasonal British dishes.
There will be both à la carte and short tasting menus – typical dishes will include Smoked eel, celeriac and white chocolate; Pigeon, coconut, salted peanut; and Pineapple, olive oil, lime and salt.
Le Poulet du Dimanche – Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze’s gastronomic approach to the Sunday roast returns this month.
The new four-course roast chicken menu, Le Poulet du Dimanche, will be served in her restaurant at The Connaught on weekends.
The main event on the menu is a roasted chicken, sourced from the Tauzin family farm in Les Landes, to share between two.
Le Poulet du Dimanche is available at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught every Saturday from 12-3pm and Sunday from 12-3pm and 6.30-9pm.
Dirty Vegan Pop-Up
The team behind Dirty Bones will launch a new plant-inspired comfort food concept – Dirty Vegan.
Born from a desire to make comfort food accessible to everyone regardless of any dietary requirements or preferences, the Dirty Vegan menu will feature a number of plant-inspired vegan twists on Dirty Bones’ signature dishes.
Dirty Vegan will launch as a pop-up concept with two initial sessions hosted at Dirty Bones Shoreditch on 5th and 12th March.
New Design and New Menu at Orrery
Orrery, the French restaurant in Marylebone, will mark its 21st anniversary by re-opening with a new interior by Sagrada and a new menu from Chef Patron Igor Tymchyshyn.
The menu features new dishes of fillet steak tartare with a sourdough and truffle dressing and a signature Kentish lamb wellington with salsify and garlic.
Tomos Parry, formerly of Kitty Fisher’s, will open his debut restaurant, BRAT, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch.
Originally a colloquial term for ‘turbot’, BRAT draws on Tomos’s Welsh heritage and influence from the Basque region of Northern Spain, with a menu favouring seasonal British produce, cooked on an open fire wood grill.
Paladar is a restaurant, wine bar and bodega showcasing the best of Latin America in SE1.
The menu takes a ‘mix and match’ approach to Latin American flavours, drawing most inspiration from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.
Brazil’s influence is felt through music and cocktails; Argentina and Chile are well represented through wines; while Cuba and Nicaragua bring rum and cigars to the party.
The new addition to the Farm Girl family has arrived in Chelsea with the first all-day restaurant and bar.
Expect signature brunch dishes alongside, for the first time, a dinner menu and cocktail bar.
Tortilleria El Pastor
El Pastor, the Mexican taqueria in Borough Market, will open Tortilleria El Pastor this month.
The tortilleria, or taco factory, will make fresh tortillas from scratch every day, using Mexican heirloom corn.
Tortilleria El Pastor will seat 26 and take away will be available. The tortilleria will be open for Thursday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch times.
Delamina, an 80-cover Eastern Mediterranean restaurant from husband and wife team Limor and Amir Chen, has opened in Marylebone. Limor and Amir’s first restaurant, Strut & Cluck, opened in Shoreditch in 2016.
Limor’s recipes are influenced by her interest in healthy eating – grilling, roasting and using herbs and spices to celebrate the raw ingredients, including many vegetarian dishes.
Pasta Masterclasses at Luca
Italian / British restaurant Luca is offering the opportunity to discover the joy of making your own pasta in their Pasta Room.
Luca’s chefs will teach the techniques and history behind Italian pasta making. During the masterclasses, you will learn to make fresh egg Tagliatelle and Ravioli.
The masterclass is currently available on Saturdays and includes a five course lunch.
Doors have recently opened to the latest in the Caprice Holding’s Italian-inspired suite of restaurants: Harry’s Dolce Vita.
This place embodies a warm, long-lived, sultry and brilliant 1950s and ‘60s nostalgia with a modern boot-shaped kick.
There is an excitement that arises upon stepping through Harry’s monogrammed door.
Diners and drinkers alike are greeted to a boutique-style, swathe of plush wood, stylish leather and charming décor, and a subtly created, black and white movie world, transporting you in an instant to an era of exactly that: la bella dolce vita.
Known for its cocktails, an evening or lunchtime here can only begin thus. Twists on classics include the house sparkling Negroni with a hallmark ‘H’ stamped into the block of ice.
Blue dotted water glasses add a pretty talking point to appropriately labeled bottles of ‘Bolle Stille’ – a nod too to where Diego Cardoso, chef director, most recently cut his culinary career: Angela Hartnett’s Murano.
On order from his new menu, with the happy familiarity of Daphne’s, you’ll find similar stalwart offerings on the menu.
Current seasonal recommendations include the tuna tartare and warm, delicious truffle-grazed, creamy bocconcini di bufala.
To this we add Italian table-staple, fried zucchini flowers and Harry’s Tagliolini – gratinated tagliolini pasta, served at the table from its own copper saucepan.
Pretty floral decorated crockery hosts truffled albese chicken, and crab and scallop ravioli, while we eagerly ogle the Veal milanese arriving at other nearby tables.
Low-lit lounge lamps pepper the white linen, etched into slim place through the rest of the art-deco inspired decoration.
Golden-framed ceiling lights in the shape of boxes snap between the frosted glass panels dividing dining and bar, and reflect up into the mirrors at every other angle.
On the walls are a mish-mash of Italian prints and pictures – my own favourite of which is a huge painting showing limbs lounging over the side of a teak framed boat, floating on the water, sun beating down on bronzed skin.
A reminiscent view of any decent Italian art-house film.
This 70 cover restaurant is narrow but uses the space well, meaning that desserts arrive through a graceful weaving of well-trained, ever approachable staff.
Silky tiramisu, decorated with a fine cocoa dusting, a golden coffee bean and a dish wrapped in similarly expensive silver napkin ring is a highlight.
But, stuffy this place is not. This is a restaurant that imbues a classy casual-ity often difficult to achieve.
It is underscored by a soundtrack that provides a cosy, yesteryear romance and romantic nostalgia.
Expect food that will be inspired by the Amalfi coast where Sorella chef Robin Gill spent considerable time learning his craft.
Chucs is opening a new site this month inside Harrods, adding to its Mayfair and Notting Hill locations.
The restaurant, specialising in the flavours of the Italian Riviera will launch in Harrods’ new Fine Watch Room, with direct street access and late-night opening.
Evelyn’s Table, from siblings Layo and Zoë Paskin (The Palomar, The Barbary), is an intimate eleven-seat kitchen bar serving modern European dishes located in the former beer cellar of The Blue Posts in Chinatown.
Seating only eleven at a marble counter facing an open kitchen, the space aims to be warm and informal, with plates being passed straight from the range to the guest.
Great British Bab Off
Stephen Tozer and Ed Brunet, founders of Soho’s gourmet kebab restaurant Le Bab have announced they will host the first Great British Bab Off on Sunday 11th February.
The charity event, in partnership with Action Against Hunger, will see Le Bab compete with four London restaurants for the title of the capital’s best kebab with all proceeds going to the charity.
The restaurants confirmed to take part in the inaugural Great British Bab Off alongside Le Bab are Yosma, Ikoyi, El Pastor and Pitt Cue Co.
Read our guide to the new London restaurants to look out for in 2018 – plenty to look forward to this year!
Tomos Parry, former Head Chef at Kitty Fisher’s, will open his first restaurant in Shoreditch on Redchurch Street in the Spring 2018.
His Welsh heritage and Basque cooking styles will influence the food, which will be cooked over an open fire.
Chefs Nieves Barragan and Jose Etura, formerly of Barrafina, will open their own restaurant in Mayfair in January 2018.
Sabor will be a Spanish restaurant, bar and asador on Heddon Street where food will focus on recreating an experience like the tapas bars of Andalucía, the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia.
Opening in January 2018 in Clapham, Sorella will be a new Italian restaurant from The Dairy Group.
Expect food that will be inspired by the Amalfi coast, where Sorella chef Robin Gill spent considerable time learning his craft.
Simon Rogan (L’Enclume and formerly Fera at Claridge’s), will bring Roganic back to Marylebone.
Opening in January 2018, Roganic first appeared as a pop-up concept in 2011 but this time it is returning to Blandford Street as a permanent fixture.
Ollie Dabbous, will make his return with Dabbous this Spring with a large new restaurant in Mayfair.
Teaming up with Hedonism Wines, the restaurant will be a 250-cover venue over three floors.
In the Spring, Chef Andrew Wong will open a new restaurant, Madame Wong, in the new Bloomberg Arcade.
The restaurant will offer all-day dining based on interpretations of classic Chinese dishes.
After a brief closure, Kettner’s Townhouse, now owned by Soho House group, is reopening in January 2018 with more French food and Champagne in Soho.
Kettner’s Townhouse will also feature 33 bedrooms.
Bob Bob Cite
Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard is opening a second restaurant in London at the start of 2018.
Bob Bob Cite will be located on the third floor of the Leadenhall building with chef Eric Chavot at the helm. Look out for the ‘Press for Champagne’ button.
The team behind Kitty Fisher’s restaurant in Shepherd Market will open a second restaurant in the Spring in Covent Garden.
Sushisamba Covent Garden
Sushisamba is due to open at Covent Garden’s Opera Terrace within the historic Market Building in early 2018.
Expect the same mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food as the original on Bishopsgate (and a big bar too).
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Read our guide to The Best Hotels in Elounda, a small town on the northern coast of the island of Crete.
Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel
Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel is one of three sister hotels (including Elounda Mare below) that form a part of the same resort that share some facilities.
Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel is the most secluded of the three, set on a peninsula with its own private beach.
Every suite has a sea view and a private, heated swimming pool – be careful if you are partial to swimming naked as on one side of the pool you can be seen by passers-by from the waist down!
Many of the suites are split over two floors with the ground floor sitting area (with sofa bed) opening on to the pool and an upstairs bedroom which opens on to a private terrace.
These are good options for friends sharing as there is a bathroom on each floor.
For dining options, Calypso serves up gourmet French dishes with a view, and Koh, although closed during my visit at the end of the season, is a Pan-Asian restaurant with an excellent location on the rocks stretching out over the water.
The hotel’s facilities include a luxurious Six Senses Spa, a nine-hole golf course, an excellent children’s club, a range of water sports, three tennis courts and a beautiful sailing yacht for private cruises.
Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites
Elounda Gulf Villas is a family-run, boutique hotel built on the hillside overlooking the magnificent Gulf of Mirabello.
All ‘rooms’ are villas or suites and are designed to offer complete privacy and relaxation (as well as breathtaking views).
The Villas (ranging from 120 to 350 sq.m) offer 1 to 4 bedrooms and all feature large private swimming pools with Jacuzzi and expansive terraces with sun-beds and panoramic sea views.
The spa pool villas also feature a private spa, including private gym, sauna and steam bath.
Rather odd, perhaps, but if spa treatments are really your thing, book one of the new massage pool suites where the whole lower ground floor is a private massage suite.
The design of the villas and suites includes the use of bold colours and accents, although the soft furnishings could do with being updated.
Located ten minutes’ drive from the Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites, the hotel offers a daily private shuttle service to the beach.
For children, there is a crèche and kids’ club catering for children from 4 months old to 12 years old that meet the UK Ofsted childcare standards.
Elounda Gulf Villas is set on beautiful grounds with huge villas and suites that offer total privacy and you can sense the family-run approach in its operations and level of service.
A refresh of the design of the rooms would elevate the hotel to the highest level.
An understated and elegant property, Elounda Mare (part of Relais & Châteaux) is the sister hotel to Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel featured above.
The hotel is the most charming of the three sister hotels, especially with its 36 individual bungalows scattered around the grounds.
The décor is classic and traditional throughout with old stonework, dark wood and antiques that have been collected from the owners’ travels around the world.
The Yacht Club is a Mediterranean beach restaurant offering fresh seafood and traditional local dishes, while the star is the Old Mill, set around an ancient millstone, specialising in Cretan cuisine created from local ingredients.
The best hotels in Elounda
While Crete doesn’t have the chicness of Santorini or the energy and scene of Mykonos, Elounda is a good option for those looking for a slice of Greek life, especially for families.
Santo Remedio, CORE by Clare Smyth, Jean-Georges at the Connaught – these are, in our opinion, some of the best new restaurants in London for 2017, in no particular order.
CORE by Clare Smyth
Core is the debut restaurant of Clare Smyth, who was previously head chef at the three Michelin-starred Royal Hospital Road.
The restaurant offers seasonal British fine dining in laid-back, light and airy surroundings and has received rave reviews since opening in Notting Hill in 2017.
After starting life as a pop-up before a brief stint as a full restaurant in Shoreditch, Santo Remedio is now firmly in a new location near London Bridge.
The ‘cantina and comedor’ is set over two floors – a taco bar with cocktails, mezcal and tequila upstairs and a proper restaurant on the ground floor.
Start with some guacamole and sashimi grade tuna tosdada, then try a selection of the excellent tacos including soft shell crab and 8 hour braised beef.
Hopefully a specials dish of chorizo quesadilla will also be on the menu.
Rambla specialises in the Catalan food of chef Victor Garvey’s childhood in Barcelona.
Named after the city’s most famous boulevard, Rambla’s menu is divided into three sections: Cru – raw and cured; Mar – seafood; and Muntanya – mountains with Bocatta de Butifarra Negra, or Catalan black pudding sandwich.
You may know chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten from his 30 plus restaurants around the world, including 8 in New York where he had 3 Michelin stars (until this year’s demotion to 2 stars).
His latest opening is at The Connaught where there are no Michelin stars but instead, a menu of big-hitting classics that you could return for several times a week.
Try the chef’s classic tuna tartare or the truffle pizza pictured above.
Jean-Georges at The Connaught offers informal dining, open all-hours, in a relaxed yet refined and really rather beautiful setting.
A fast food restaurant serving dishes inspired by the cuisine of Hokkaido, Ichibuns is located on Wardour Street in Chinatown.
One of the signature dishes is the ICHIBAN burger made using a Wagyu beef blend served in a unique sake yeast bun.
The three-story restaurant is decorated in a kitsch and eclectic Tokyo rock-and-roll style with walls lined in a variety of Japanese collectible items including Manga comics, old newspapers and Japanese fishing flags.
Pastaio is a restaurant entirely dedicated to pasta on Ganton Street in Soho from restaurateur Stevie Parle.
Pastaio combines striking interiors, art, and eclectic music with comforting plates of fresh, handmade pasta and a drinks list that includes prosecco ‘slushies’.
Seating is around communal tables and the restaurant is for walk-ins only.
Comprising of a hotel with 252 bedrooms, 9 restaurants, several bars, a members’ club with rooftop pool, basement bars, indoor pool, full service gym with boxing ring, hair salon, nail spa, men’s grooming salon, you could spend a weekend at The Ned without ever needing to leave.
Other restaurants include Malibu Kitchen, a healthy Californian-inspired restaurants that’s great for lunch; Millie’s which offers classic British and American dishes until 3am; and Zobler’s, a Jewish-style deli.
Ella Canta is Mexico City-based chef, Martha Ortiz’s first London restaurant.
Ortiz’s restaurant in Mexico City, Dulce Patria, is recognised as one of the top restaurants in Latin America and features on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Known for the use of colour in her cooking, Ortiz has brought the vibrancy and spirit of modern Mexico to London.
Her restaurant, Ella Canta, could be described as Mexican “fine dining” but it’s much more fun than that. The food itself might be refined, but the design, ambiance and staff make it a playful experience.
Following on from its two Michelin-starred counterpart in Hong Kong, Duddell’s London offers a relaxed take on Cantonese cuisine.
Set in St Thomas Church in London Bridge, Duddell’s London serves authentic Cantonese dishes and hand-crafted dim sum in a beautiful, grand space.
Meraki is a new contemporary Greek restaurant in Fitzrovia from the Waney family who were also beyond London favourites Roka and Zuma.
The restaurant has a ground level restaurant and bar, counter-dining and two alfresco terraces.
Try the fantastic Santorini cherry tomato salad with capers and goats’ cheese and the Pastitsio (oxtail ragu, paccheri pasta, graviera cheese & truffle).
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Claude Bosi (formerly of Hibiscus in Mayfair) opened his South Kensington restaurant at Bibendum in the Michelin building.
The restaurant has a seafood and oyster bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor. Claude Bosi at Bibendum is definitely fine dining but with Bosi’s contemporary and light flair.
Alex Harper, former Head Chef of The Harwood Arms, has returned to the kitchen to open Neo Bistro.
Neo Bistro has taken inspiration from the more relaxed bistros of Paris with a regularly changing menu of simple dishes that are modestly priced.
Example dishes incldue Cornish fish with white anchovies and sea purslane and Herdwick lamb with aubergine and smoked eel.
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Two restaurants from Caprice Holdings in the form of Harry’s Dolce Vita in Knightsbridge and Granary Square Brasserie in King’s cross; Korean store and restaurant Mee Market in Soho; Simon Rogan returns with Roganic and an immersive cocktail experience at The Berkeley.
Read our guide to the restaurants opening in London this December.
Harry’s Dolce Vita
Caprice Holdings (Scott’s, 34, Sexy Fish), launches two new restaurants, both opening on Wednesday 6th December – Harry’s Dolce Vita and Granary Square Brasserie.
With stylish décor, seasonal Italian plates, and “all the elegance and glamour of 1950’s Italy”, Harry’s Dolce Vita is a nod to the namesake Harry’s Bar in Venice.
From breakfast through to dinner, the menu at Harry’s Dolce Vita will feature Italian classics from Chef Director Diego Cardoso, who has previously worked at Murano in Mayfair.
Granary Square Brasserie
Granary Square Brasserie, located in King’s Cross, will offer all-day dining seven days a week.
The 250-cover restaurant will offer a modern British menu with classic dishes from around the globe. There will also be a large alfresco dining area.
Out of The Blue at The Berkeley
The Blue Bar at The Berkeley has created ‘Out Of The Blue’, an immersive experience where technology and mixology combine, enhancing sights, sounds and scents to create a unique drinking experience.
The idea is that you are presented with 4 cocktails but you have no idea what each one is. Sip each cocktail whilst watching the accompanying video before having the ingredients revealed at the end.
In partnership with Bacardi Limited, ‘Out Of The Blue’ is a feast for the senses for cocktail lovers.
Restaurateur and entrepreneur Linda Lee, will launch new ‘table & market’ concept Mee Market on Archer Street, Soho, this December.
Mee Market follows Linda’s successful ventures with Korean restaurant Koba, in Fitzrovia, and popular Korean street food outfit On The Bab – which now has four sites across London.
Mee Market will open its doors to the public on Monday 4 December.
Chef and Restaurateurs Simon and Penny Rogan are to open a permanent site of their previous pop-up Roganic on Blandford Street in Marylebone.
Roganic will feature elements of L’Enclume, Simon’s two Michelin star restaurant in the Lake District.
The Coach Makers Arms
Opening in December 2017, The Coach Makers Arms on Marylebone Lane is the latest addition to Cubitt House’s portfolio.
The food menu at The Coach Makers Arms will focus on seasonal British produce, offering a selection of daily specials displayed on blackboards and the group’s largest selection of lager, ales and craft beer.
Jack Solomons Club
Jack Solomons Club, a new Soho speakeasy bar will launch on 1st December 2017 in the basement of 41 Great Windmill Street,
The design will ‘epitomise a bygone era of London clubs in opulent style with plush finishes including pewter-metal bar counters, shaded velvet furnishings and red leather walls’
Sticks’n’Sushi, which offers traditional sushi alongside grilled yakitori skewers, opens its fifth restaurant in London in Victoria on Friday 8th December.
Opening inside the new Nova development, Sticks’n’Sushi Victoria will have two open-plan dining areas, on the ground and first floors, with the upper floor set under a canopy of arches.
From jazz to blues and everything in between, read our guide to The Best Restaurants With Live Music in London.
Quaglino’s is a Mayfair institution that dates back to 1929. The vast space creates a sense of grandeur and a big, bustling atmosphere.
The modern-European cuisine is nothing special but dining at Quaglino’s is more about the whole package – décor, music, drinks, dancing – making it a fun night out.
Opened by the British saxophonist Ronnie Scott in 1959, this legendary Soho institution made its name as the first club to host American jazz musicians in the UK.
Sultry, cool and relaxed, the club books a wide variety of acclaimed artists featuring the biggest names from the world of jazz and also artists from other genres such as soul and blues.
The menu offers average British/European dishes but the music, atmosphere and drinks more than make up for the food!
Boisdale is a group of Scottish themed restaurants across London – Canary Wharf, Belgravia, Mayfair and Bishopsgate.
A restaurant modelled on the idea of a Scottish gentlemen’s club, it embraces every Scottish cliché with the emphasis on whisky, cigars and fine wine.
The menu offers simple Scottish and British inspired dishes, all to the backdrop of jazz.
The live music – curated by Jools Holland – features some of the best jazz, soul and blues artists.
Pizza Express Jazz
Pizza Express Jazz in Soho has presented thousands of world-class musicians in its basement jazz club since 1976.
The basement setting is nothing to write home about and the menu is the same as any other Pizza Express restaurant.
But the jazz club hosts regular music sessions and attracts some big names – Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Lianne Carroll, James Brown, Jamie Cullum, Amy Winehouse have all played here.
There is also plenty of opportunity to see some excellent emerging talent and lesser-known acts.
Keep reading our guide to The Best Restaurants With Live Music in London…
100 Wardour Street occupies a large space in central Soho with all-day lounge and restaurant, plus a downstairs restaurant with live music.
Every week from Monday to Saturday, live bands and DJs offer an array of musical genres.
Mondays are dedicated to acoustic piano session, Tuesdays are devoted to Jazz, Wednesday is Soul and Motown night, Thursday is for 90s and 00s music and the weekends offers the best of Soul, Funk, Pop and Dance.
The menu is extensive with an intercontinental flavour and the restaurant serves dinner until 2am.
Park Chinois on Berkley Square is a feast for the senses with its stunning décor and Chinese menu.
The restaurant has brought back the dinner-dance experience of the ‘30s – in the dining room upstairs, live jazz bands play as guests dine, while Club Chinois downstairs has more of a laid-back, modern vibe with DJs playing late into the night.
Blues Kitchen Shoreditch
Serving up hearty Texan BBQ, Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch is a restaurant, bar and music venue that brings Southern soul to East London.
Decorated in vintage music posters imported from Nashville with light fixtures made from gramophones and luxury leather style booths, there are live music artists almost every night of the week playing everything from rock ‘n’ roll to swing, blues to Motown, roots and gospel.
Amid the grandeur of The Ned’s historic 3,000 square metre lobby with 92 verdite columns and rows of Grade I-listed banking counters, there are seven restaurants.
Choose between Italian at Cecconi’s, Asian-Pacific cuisine at Kaika, American at the Nickel Bar and British dishes at Millie’s.
Every evening and on weekends in the centre of the lobby area on a raised bandstand, jazz trios, blues bands and singers fill the hall and restaurants with music.
34 restaurant is located just off Grosvenor Square and serves a modern, seasonal menu with international influences.
With its polished oak parquet, soft lighting, colourful contemporary art collection, it is an elegant restaurant that is relaxed, enjoyable and unstuffy.
A live jazz trio plays every weekend in the bar, which adds to the atmosphere.
Bringing a touch of elegance to London’s Mexican restaurant scene is Mayfair based Ella Canta.
Located at the back of the Intercontinental with its own standalone entrance and sought-after address of 1 Park Lane, Ella Canta comes from Mexico city-based chef, Martha Ortiz.
Martha’s restaurant in Mexico City, Dulce Patria, is recognised as one of the top restaurants in Latin America, and features on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Martha is known for the use of colour in her cooking and with that she has brought the vibrancy and spirit of modern Mexico to London.
Start with a bowl of guacamole topped with grasshoppers while you read the descriptions of the dishes ahead, including “firedanced” sea bass and “vampire” ceviche.
But try not to roll your eyes at the way the menu is broken down into ‘Overture’, ‘Main Act’ and ‘Final Curtain’.
The vampire ceviche with mango and sangrita sorbet was excellent: fresh, zingy and bursting with colour.
Sopa de frijol negro, chicharon y foi gras con mezcal (velvety black bean soup, pork skin, foie gras with mescal) was true to its name and was pleasantly soothing after the fiery ceviche.
‘Main Acts’ include ‘firedanced’ seabass with cabbage tortillas and beef fillet with black chichilo and aubergine.
I had to leave before the final curtain, but I’ve heard the Mexican churros with caramel and chocolate are worth staying for.
Ella Canta was designed by David Collins Studio, which has managed to make a large space in a hotel look anything but corporate by breaking up the room into smaller sections, each with its own life and atmosphere.
The restaurant features contemporary Mexican artwork and a hand-carved floor to ceiling walnut installation runs along the full length of the space.
Ella Canta could be described as Mexican “fine dining” in one sense, but it’s much more fun than that. The food itself might be refined, but the design, ambiance and staff make it a far more playful experience.