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chap dines

The Mirabelle

in The Chap Dines by
grand-hotel-eastbourne

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…

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Simpson’s in The Strand

in The Chap Dines by

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…

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Sophie’s Soho

in The Chap Dines by
sophies-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 –…

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