Rejoice - January is over! The month of scrimping, saving, sobriety and spin classes has finally come to a close, and what better way to celebrate than by trying out some of the capital’s hot new restaurant and bars. Whether for a romantic Valentine’s Day, an overdue catch up with friends or simply a treat for yourself, London Calling has your February covered with delicious food and drink.
For those who stuck to dry January (big well done to you!), it’s time to tantalise your taste buds with some well-deserved alcohol. Thankfully, gin powerhouse Sipsmith, have teamed up with Hamyard Hotel to bring the first ever hot gin bar to London, Hot Gin Roof. Situated on Hamyard’s beautiful rooftop bar with stunning views of the city, here you can sip on some of your favourite gin cocktails with a warming twist. Snuggled under blankets, try their hot gin martini with a deep fried olive or their ‘Proof’ cocktail which promises to be just as much a fire spectacle as a tasty drink. The bar is open on evenings from Wednesdays-Sundays until the end of February, so go online to book your tickets before it closes.
Photo credit: Hot Gin Roof
If gin isn’t your tipple of choice, head to South West London to visit the new Streatham Wine House. Smack bang in the middle of Streatham High Street, this little vendor is selling an impressive collection of wines from around the globe. Founded by a team who spent years travelling the world and tasting wines in a campervan, the staff here know their grapes. With a variety of wine tastings and events, hosted by renowned experts and vineyard owners whom they met on their tour, this place is a wine lover’s haven. Don’t like wine? Fret not, as this venue also serves craft beers, ciders and spirits alongside salty cured meats and creamy cheeses; something for everyone!
Streatham Wine House
If you are down in South West London, you can also get a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine at a new Balham pop up from Borough Market stalwart, Brindisa. Stocked with a range of Spanish produce from cheese, chorizos, oils and cured meats which can be sliced for you there and then, this shop is the perfect way to inject some sunshine into your cooking this winter. And with the introduction of food service, including their coveted tapas and small plates, this little pop up is one to keep an eye on.
One new restaurant which has no plan of popping away is Neil Rankin’s meat-mad restaurant, Temper, based in Soho. Rankin has been sharpening his knives at other cool hotspots throughout the capital, such as Bad Egg and Smokehouse, but this is his first solo venture, and boy does it pack a punch. Meat here is served by the 100g and is cooked on a fire which blazes in the middle of the restaurant, filling the trendily decorated basement with a smoky haze. From slow cooked goat, to pink, juicy beef and fatty, tender pork, the meat here is cooked with a lot of love. But the meat isn’t the only star of the show; the sides, which use unusual ingredients and flavour combinations, are delicious and creative. The raclette new potatoes are artery-clogging bites of indulgence and the miso aubergine is interesting and moreish.
If your New Year resolution was to be more charitable, a new exciting pop up on Commercial Street may be the place for you. The Café from Crisis has teamed up with Kheera Kitchen for a two month residency, serving affordable, delightful Indian food which focuses on fresh and clean flavours rather than heaps of heat. And the best part? Whilst you are tucking into your Lamb Kati Roll or Grilled Chicken and Cardamom Bowl, you’re supporting Crisis and their tireless efforts to get homeless people off the street and into hospitality, providing them with invaluable training and experience. Head on down to The Café from Crisis for a curry with a conscience.
And while they may not be new kids on the block, Street Feast Dinerama and Hawker House have now reopened after their (blissfully) short winter break. Who said street food was just for summer? Under heated canopies, you can sample some of London’s best street food vendors in a fun, buzzing atmosphere. Much loved stalls such as Duck ‘n’ Roll, Yum Bun and You Doughnut are returning to feed the hordes, alongside some new faces. Prawnography will be a new addition to Shoreditch’s Dinerama, serving black tiger prawns with Szechuan butter fries and crab meat fries with Thousand Island dressing.
Photo credit: James Honeyball
January may have been the month of hibernation, but with this team of new openings and pop ups cropping up over London, it’s time to grab your card, your friends and your tastebuds for a seriously delicious February.