With today, Monday 15th January, traditionally known as ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly being “the most depressing day of the year”, we thought we’d try to cheer you up a little with a roundup of some new menus and offers that are happening in and around London this month. And don’t forget it’s Burns Night on 25th January, so you might also like to read our recommendations on what you can do next Thursday evening.
The Rib Room in Knightsbridge
Located on the ground floor of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower just off Sloane Street, the elegant Rib Room & Bar Restaurant, which has recently been awarded three AA Rosettes for culinary and service excellence, has just launched its new season Sunday Roast, offering diners a complimentary Red Snapper and ride home.
For those of you unfamiliar with this iconic British culinary institution, The Rib Room has been serving diners for over 50 years now and is committed to seeking out the best seasonal British fayre, which can be fully experienced and appreciated with their Sunday Roast.
To welcome in 2018, you will be offered you a Red Snapper cocktail on arrival whilst you decide on whether to start with a traditional prawn cocktail or iron bark and ginger velouté with toasted pumpkin seeds. Whilst the roast rib of Aberdeen Angus beef and good old Yorkshire pudding will be the obvious choice, some of you may prefer a seasonal roast Norfolk pheasant breast served with crispy sauce croquet, savoy cabbage and covered in treacle cured bacon and blackberry jus. You can then indulge in a warm chocolate and Guinness brownie with walnut ice cream or if you don’t, the kids probably will. And there’s no need to worry about parking or weekend engineering works on the Tube, as the hotel will be happy to whizz you back home in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Mini Clubman if you happen to live within a one-mile radius of the hotel.
The three-course Sunday Roast, which includes the welcome cocktail (or soft drink for the kids) plus tea, coffee and petits fours, is priced at £55 per person and just £27.50 for under 12’s, making it the perfect Sunday family occasion. The Sunday Roast lunch is available every Sunday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm and may I suggest booking in advance by calling them on 020 7850 7250 or visit: www.theribroom.co.uk/sundayroast
The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch
Renowned for its Mac n Cheese, The Jones Family Project are inviting you to warm up with their ‘Marvellous Mac & Malbec’ offer, which includes a delicious bowl of truffled Mac ‘n’ Cheese for two served with a sharing charcuterie board, side salad and bottle of Malbec, all for just £40.
To reserve a table simply e-mail: email@example.com
Many people choose to make January a dry month and so with this in mind, the bar team at The Jones Family Project have creates a selection of ‘Low and No Cocktails’. They are made up with Lean & Green (no alcohol), which is made with Seedlip Garden non-alcohol spirit, watercress, peashoots, lime juice and topped with ginger ale and costs £6.50. Sugar & Spice (no alcohol), is made with Seedlip Spice non-alcohol spirit, Poire William, chocolate bitters, lemon juice, sugar and topped with apple & cinnamon foam and is also priced at £6.50. A Nip & Tuck (low alcohol) is a mix of Seedlip Spice non-alcohol spirit, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, elderflower, orange bitters, egg white and soda and is also £6.50.
For those of you who are not observing a dry January, then you might like to warm yourself up with a nice warm cocktail, which I have tried and is delicious! It is named the ‘Hot Nut Choc Sip’ and is made with Calvados brandy, Mozart chocolate liqueur, Aperol, Monin hazelnut liqueur, apple juice and served warm of course! It is priced at £8.50.
Batty Langley’s in Spitalfields
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in London that is a little bit different and packed with character, then can we suggest Batty Langley’s in the heart of Spitalfields, which is offering room rates this January from just £250 per night including taxes. The hotel was listed as one of London’s six best hotels on Conde Nast’s 2017 Gold List.
This small boutique hotel is quintessentially British and packed with little touches of eccentricity which we love, such as open fireplaces, four poster beds, an honesty bar and those wonderful freestanding baths which you can sink into and relax on these chilly January evenings and enjoy the luxurious REN toiletries.
Batty Langley’s is more like staying at someone’s beautiful country home than a hotel in the heart of London and has a menu to match if you fancy staying in and ordering room service. Perhaps some fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli or smoked Scottish oak smoked salmon, before heading downstairs to make yourselves a cocktail at the honesty bar and sinking into one of the comfy sofas in the cosy library or Parlour. And while you’re at it, why not pamper yourself with breakfast in bed the next morning.
Get the new year off to a good start with a light and healthy breakfast from London’s newest Nobu opening in Shoreditch. This is the only branch to serve breakfast, and the menu at Nobu Shoreditch offers early birds a unique selection of Nobu-style ‘Healthy and Fruity’ breakfast options, including Acai ‘Donburi’ with banana, fruits and sesame granola, and Soba Gaki oatmeal and buckwheat porridge with dried fruits, buts, brown sugar and soy milk. Being a firm believer in a hearty breakfast myself, this place sounds right up my street.
The Mondrian London – South Bank
Lumiere London, the spectacular light festival will once again be lighting up the city between 18th and 21st January and the Mondrian London at Sea Containers on London’s South Bank are offering some exclusive room packages to celebrate the event, starting from £172 plus VAT per night which includes breakfast for two, two special Lumiere cocktails and popcorn plus of course two tickets for the Lumiere London VIP hub. You might also like to treat yourself to a relaxing treatment in the hotels’ subterranean spa to wash away those January blues.
Over 40 UK and international artists will be lighting up some of London’s most iconic buildings and streets that you will be able to see right across the city from the South Bank and Westminster to the West End and King’s Cross in north London.
CircusXO in Mayfair
CircusXO, the recently launched destination cocktail bar within Mayfair’s StreetXO, have created a non-alcoholic ‘XO Drivers Experience’ for those of you wanting a dry January and features two new and exclusive Seedlip-based drinks as well as soft adaptions of the bar’s most famous cocktails. Expect the unexpected here, with drinks that offer the right balance of sweet, salt, sour and bitter flavours, even for those of you wanting to avoid the alcohol bit.
Craft London has launched its new seasonal menu this month bringing together the best seasonal ingredients with proven health benefits and all sourced as locally as possible, such as Nettle dumplings which is served in a mushroom tea with foraged greens, pickled chanterelles and brown butter.
Duddell’s in London Bridge
Duddell’s, which opened recently in London Bridge is offering a variety of light, fresh and healthy dishes for the health-conscious this month. You can enjoy a diverse menu of traditional Cantonese cooking with a distinct modern twist which includes a range of soups, such as the Double-boiled matsutake soup with sea whelk, chicken and baby cabbage, as well as a range of lighter dishes, such as Steamed Turbot with Matsukake mushroom, Serrano Ham and Supreme broth and a delicious selection of steamed dim sum at lunchtime.
Blakes Restaurant in Kensington
This January Blakes Restaurant have partnered with with Seedlip and have created a range of delicious mocktails, including ‘The Yakuza Slap’, with Garden, Yuzu, Shisho syrup and a splach of lime juice and tonic. The there’s the ‘The Kokio Sour’ with a spiced hibiscus base, topped with cranberry juice, lime juice, egg white and hibiscus.
Blakes have also developed a new vegan pizza menu to pair with the drinks. The pizza base is made with a delicate balance of cauliflower, hazelnuts, hempseed and gluten-free flour and offers diners a wide variety of vegan toppings to choose from.
Mortimer House Kitchen in Fitzrovia
To accompany their lunch and dinner menus this January, Mortimer House Kitchen have extended their selection of mocktails, such as ‘Deep Red’, which is made with orange and blueberry juice, egg white and grenadine and ‘Exotic illusion’, which is a mix of passion fruit and pineapple juice, ginger and coconut milk.
They have also added a number of lighter options to their breakfast menu, such as a delicious Avocado Royale and range of healthy ‘bowls’ including Chia seed pudding with mango, banana and cashews. There are plenty of guilt-free options available on the lunch and dinner menus as well, including smoked aubergine with Greek yoghurt and basil cress’ and courgette spaghetti with pistachio pesto and smoked ricotta.
Dinings SW3 in Chelsea
Contemporary Japanese restaurant Dinings SW3 have launched two new menus this month using only the highest quality produce. Each menu begins with a non-alcoholic cocktail as well as edamame with a spicy yuzu dip. You then get to sample a range of sashimi, salad, a main straight from the Josper Grill and round off your meal with sushi rolls and Hoji Cha green tea.
Crocker’s Folly in St. John’s Wood
If you head up to St. John’s Wood this month, you’ll find Crocker’s Folly are offering 50% off your total food bill on weekdays when you quote CROCKERS50.
This north London Gin Palace has a range of of mezze dishes, spiced meats, freshly baked breads and beautifully seasoned fresh vegetable dishes as openers on their menu. You could for example choose their pumpkin kibbeh, which are deep fried croquettes of pumpkin and bulgur wheat with a delicately spiced filling, or their maqaneq, which are mini lamb sausages, pan-fried with fresh lemon, butter and pomegranate molasses.
Choices for mains include a range of charcoal grilled meats or their delicious Koussa warak inab and stuffed aubergine, vine leaves, courgette and aubergine stuffed with rice, minced meat and parsley, all cooked with lemon juice.
We do hope that one or two of these tickles your fancy and help make this dreary old month just a little less blue for you.
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.