Category archive

The Chap Dines

hawksmoor-borough
The Chap Dines

Hawksmoor Borough

By now, Hawksmoor Borough has delighted and beguiled a vast number of carnivorous types. Excitement can be seen writ large on the faces of each meat-eater at the magnificent treats that lie in store. ‘The finest meats, exceptional wines and cocktails and a wonderful setting – what could possibly be better?’ The answer, you will be unsurprised to hear, is ‘not much’. The latest London outpost in Huw Gott and Will Beckett’s empire – now present in Edinburgh- does everything that you’d expect from this superbly accomplished group of restaurants, but adds a few twists that show that there’s plenty… Keep Reading

cinnamon-club
The Chap Dines

The Cinnamon Club

The epistle that I received from this magazine’s editor was a tragic one. “I regret to inform you that I have been taken unwell, following an unfortunate trip to Cornwall. You shall have to do the next review as a solo endeavour.” This was enough to bring a tear to my eye, although my sorrow was swiftly dampened by the knowledge that I would be lunching, albeit with less elegant company, at the Cinnamon Club, the doyen of London’s sub-continental restaurants, situated in the shadows of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. If Gymkhana is a dashing son and… Keep Reading

san-carlo-regent-street-london
The Chap Dines

San Carlo St James’s

When one turns up for lunch at one of Piccadilly’s more salubrious establishments, one expects a certain level of decorum. Waiters with white shirts and whiter smiles; napkins that have the freshly pressed gleam of the dry cleaner about them; and, of course, the readily offered cocktail, in this case a sublime Bellini. What one does not expect is to see one’s dining companion in a Pearl Jam T-shirt, however freshly laundered it might be. ‘Sorry’, the handsome chap opposite me smirks. ‘Laundry day.’ Nonetheless, the London outpost of San Carlo is sufficiently interesting and versatile to be able to… Keep Reading

galvin-at-the-athenaeum
The Chap Dines

Galvin at the Athenaeum

The Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff, have quietly taken over much of London’s dining scene over the decade, and yet they’re not household names. It’s doubtful now that they ever will be, and that probably suits them fine. With their growing portfolio of restaurants encompassing everything from Michelin-starred fine dining to upmarket pubs, it’s interesting to see what their latest opening, a relaunch at the Athenaeum, will accomplish. Will it be dwarfed (literally and figuratively) by their top-floor establishment round the corner, Galvin at Windows, complete with its celebrity maître’d Fred Siriex? Not a bit of it. The Athenaeum has… Keep Reading

cancun-grill-doral
The Chap Dines

Cancun Grill Doral

Mexican cuisine in Britain has, for many years, experienced the unfortunate reduction to the role of fodder for hen parties and twentysomething birthday bashes. The restaurants themselves have been partly to blame, decorating them in too-bright colours and offering cheesy chaps in sombreros and fake moustaches as entertainment. The new wave of Mexican eateries in London swerve away from this by offering street food in a simple cantina atmosphere, but fine dining Mexican cuisine is not easy to find outside of Mexico City. Unless you happen to be in Miami, Florida, where new chain Cancun Grill has two branches, the… Keep Reading

grand-hotel-eastbourne
The Chap Dines

The Mirabelle

The Sussex seaside town of Eastbourne is an odd place for a gentleman, especially two chaps dressed as if auditioning for a regional theatre production of Death in Venice. My dining companion and I shuffle along the seafront, bright linen suits attracting the glare of the sun; the confused glances of the mostly octogenarian citizens making us eager to reach our destination. Upon sweeping into the elegant gardens of the Grand Hotel, built in 1875, we immediately feel safe in the lee of bright white Victorian architecture and bustling concierges. The Mirabelle is The Grand’s main in-house restaurant for guests… Keep Reading

The Chap Dines

Great British Restaurant

‘GBR’. It sounds, does it not, like something out of the Sixties? ‘Great British Rail’, at best, or ‘Godawful Bloody Rations.’ So at first glance, the none more upmarket Duke’s hotel in Mayfair – on impeccably swank Duke Street no less – might be forgiven for giving their new premier restaurant another name. With none other than the brilliant Nigel Mendham at the helm, skilfully defying the dictum that no man called Nigel save Mansell, Planer or Williams can be capable of anything worthwhile (we’ll ignore Farage), one awaits both an interesting concept and delicious food. And thankfully, mes élèves,… Keep Reading

The Chap Dines

Simpson’s in The Strand

Lunch at somewhere as legendary as Simpsons-in-the-Strand cannot be taken at a hurried pace. At least half an hour should be spent on pre-prandial chit-chat with the knowledgeable Joshua, Senior Bartender in Simpsons’ tastefully refurbished upstairs cocktail bar. Thankfully the extent of the refurbishment seems to have been no more than a lick of Farrow and Ball and some new upholstery on the plush sofas and armchairs. From a selection of imaginatively constructed concoctions that refer to the glorious past of Simpsons and its venerable historical guests, I chose an ‘Artful Dodger’ (Dickens was a regular) purely because the word… Keep Reading

The Chap Dines

Petits Pois

I used to live near Hoxton, many years ago, before it was gentrified. I remember when just mentioning its name elicited a giddy thrill of horror amongst polite people; one friend of mine, unironically, told me that I was ‘very brave’ for going there, unchaperoned, after dark. How times change. Now, it’s no longer the epicentre for all things trendy and sophisticated, but it’s also crawling with top-notch bars and restaurants. And they don’t get a lot better than Petit Pois, a take on a traditional French bistro that serves up food as good as you’ll find anywhere round here.… Keep Reading

sophies-soho
The Chap Dines

Sophie’s Soho

Sophie’s steakhouse in Chelsea is one of those places that’s called ‘a London institution’, but then so was Bedlam, and nobody would think of going there any more. Yet the comparison is an unfair one. Sophie’s, which first opened in 2002, was ahead of the curve of the apparently never-ending Goodmans and Hawksmoors that came after, and acquired a deserved reputation for excellent steak, top-notch cocktails and a clientele who might occasionally have been known to don pink shirts and red trousers, and perhaps be called things like Hugo and Henrietta. Yet now Sophie Bathgate – the eponymous Sophie –… Keep Reading

0 £0.00
Go to Top