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restaurant news

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Your guide to what's happening on the restaurant and bar scene WORDS BEN NORUM


Congratulations to chef Nuno Mendes,

hotelier André Balazs and all the team at

Chiltern Firehouse for becoming this

season's BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant. This isn't a case of us

being blinded by the stardust of celebrity sightings: here is a restaurant

that's been an unquali­ed hit with customers and critics alike. 'Chiltern

Firehouse seems to be a successful venture,' a beaming Mendes agreed

with typical understatement. 'We're very happy to have won. It's good for

the whole team to reap the awards, we've all worked a lot of hours.'

But Chiltern Firehouse's win was by no means a foregone

conclusion and the past six months have seen a raft of

compelling new openings. Angela Hartnett's Café Murano,

Gordon Ramsay's London House and Ollie Dabbous's

Barnyard each shows the biggest names on the restaurant scene ­zzing

with new ideas, while Polpetto is a welcome return to Soho for chef

Florence Knight, the brightest star of Russell Norrman's Polpo group.

But the combination of a London-based Portuguese chef with a

Hungarian-born, New York-based hotelier won by doing what London

does best: a glamorous take on in’uences from all around the world.

Square Meal editor B e n M c C o r m a c k

congratulates Nuno Mendes on his award

Wareing it well

Former Gordon Ramsay protégé Marcus

Wareing has had a capital idea. Late last

month he relaunched his two-Michelinstarred

restaurant at The Berkeley hotel after

an extensive refurbishment, changing its

name to MARCUS, rejigging the menu, and

making it more relaxed in the process. Food

(pictured) is described as 'modern European

with British in‹uence'. Wareing, who runs

The Gilbert Scott at St. Pancras, has also

announced plans for another, more casual

restaurant in Covent Garden. Tredwell's

will open on Upper St Martin's Lane in

July, serving dishes with an international

in‹uence, but made using almost entirely

British produce. It takes its name from the

butler in Agatha Christie's The Seven Dials

Mystery and will be overseen by Marcus

Wareing's group operations director

Chantelle Nicholson. The move sees Wareing

take the all-important step from chef

to restaurateur, following in the footsteps

of other Ramsay-raised chefs Jason Atherton

and Angela Hartnett. A new empire rises?



Café Murano

Chiltern Firehouse

London House



Hawksmoor is to open a fifth

restaurant in June, on Yeoman's

Row in Knightsbridge


For the latest news, views and industry

whispers, follow us on Twitter

@squaremeal and find all our new

reviews on

Corbin and King bring

Vienna to Marylebone

Restaurant royalty Chris Corbin and Jeremy King will open Fischer's on Marylebone

High Street next month in a spot they admit they have been 'stalking' for years -

the space was formerly occupied by Cotidie. Like their other sites, it will take grand

European cafés as a reference point and it is said to evoke early 20th-century Vienna.

The all-day restaurant will serve Austrian-inspired food matched with an exclusively

European wine list, of which the vast majority will be available by the glass and carafe.

It will join the duo's other venues Colbert in Chelsea, Brasserie Zédel at Piccadilly

Circus, The Delaunay on Aldwych and The Wolseley on Piccadilly. Fischer's follows

other high-pro­le openings in Marylebone including newly relaunched The Lockhart

and Nuno Mendes restaurant, Chiltern Firehouse (see our BMW award story, above).


Congratulations to chef Nuno Mendes,

hotelier André Balazs and all the team at

Chiltern Firehouse for becoming this

But Chiltern Firehouse's win was by no means a foregone

conclusion and the past six months have seen a raft of

compelling new openings. Angela Hartnett's Café Murano,

Gordon Ramsay's London House and Ollie Dabbous's

Thirteen years ago I went to the opening party

for Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's - as lavish a  rstnight

bash as I can remember attending (memories

are, of course, necessarily hazy). A year later, I

travelled north to interview someone who seemed

to personify the polar opposite of Ramsay's

celebrity-chef persona: an awkward and virtually unknown

young man named Simon Rogan, who had just opened a

restaurant-with-rooms called L'Enclume in remotest Cumbria.

The two venues could not have been more di‡ erent - one

as sumptuously appointed as you'd expect from London's

most iconic hotel, the other a labour of love with furniture on

loan from the local antique shop. Yet how times change: here we are in 2014, and Simon Rogan

is replacing Gordon Ramsay as the chef in charge of Claridge's (p.46).

Ramsay, of course, is still a big star (his Battersea newcomer London House gets the

thumbs-up on p.40), but we at Square Meal have a real sense that London is in the midst of a

new wave: not just with the all-conquering Rogan's arrival at Claridge's, but box-fresh projects

from up-and-coming names such as James Lowe and Stevie Parle (see Restaurant News,

pp.8-14) - to say nothing of our Best New Restaurant winner Chiltern Firehouse (p.32), the new

home of Nuno Mendes, which will bring the former Viajante chef to an international audience.

In short, there's never been a better time to be a foodie in London - whether you're exploring

the world of  ne dining (p.52) or checking out the latest hot bar (p.66). We're thrilled to be

reporting on today's scene - and we know you feel as passionately as we do. Happy eating.


Lucy Britner has been

writing about bars and

gastronomy for nearly a

decade. She is editor of

the World's 50 Best Bars

and has travelled to distilleries and wineries

all over the world - though she has also made

her own beer (using juniper berries, of course).

See The Next Big Thing, p.90

Easter eggs or spring lamb? My friend

Gemma's Easter Sunday spring lamb .

Followed by several Easter eggs…

Favourite place in London? Soho - it's still

rough and ready and there's food and drink

to satisfy any appetite and budget - and you

can wash it all down with the best espresso

ever at Bar Italia on Frith Street.

Favourite cuisine? Turkish, Greek and Lebanese.


Stylist and journalist

Philippa Clark is best

known for her Eclectibles

pages in the How To

Spend It magazine for

the Financial Times. She has compiled

these eclectic style pages since 1999.

See Most Wanted, p.112

Easter eggs or spring lamb? Spring lamb

with garlic and rosemary.

Favourite place in London? Borough Market,

especially on a bustling Friday lunchtime!

Favourite cuisine? Modern Asian Fusion.


An experienced lifestyle

journalist, Ben Spriggs is

a former associate editor

of The Sunday Times Style

and has written for the

Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and numerous

magazines. Living in East London, he's a

con� rmed design addict and foodie.

See Money Well Spent, p.122

Easter eggs or spring lamb? I have an

unhealthy addiction to Cadbury's Mini Eggs!

Favourite place in London? Columbia Road

- Sundays may be packed with tourists, but

I still love the vibrantly coloured blooms and

cheeky banter of the � ower sellers.

Favourite cuisine? Japanese is my favourite

by far. Sashimi is one of the few things I crave

and Kulu Kulu sushi drives me into a frenzy.

PUBLISHERS Mark de Wesselow, Simon White EDITORIAL Tel: 020 7840 6295 Editor Ben McCormack Managing Editor

Julie Sheppard Assistant Editor Laura Foster News � Online Editor Ben Norum Editorial Assistant Neil Simpson

Sub Editors Lucy Britner, Jill Cropper, Justin Hood, Ami Kang, David Mabey, Stuart Peskett, Katie Wyartt

DISPLAY ADVERTISING Tel: 020 7840 6273 Advertisement Director Charles Meynell Business Development Manager

Louise Tilley Lifestyle Manager Kate Stephens DESIGN ¥ PRODUCTION Tel: 020 7840 6294 Creative Director

Robin Freeman Art Director Meg Georgeson Art Editor Lauren Broude Printing Wyndeham Roche Ltd

MARKETING Tel: 020 7840 6269 Group Marketing � Events Manager Rachel Harty Events Manager Chloé Kingham

Senior Marketing Executives Mieke Kyra Smith, Paul Young Marketing and Events Co-ordinator Ed Warr

CIRCULATION Tel: 0870 141 6101 COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Julian Broad / Contour by Getty Images

A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. We believe our facts are correct at the time of going to press, although inevitably information changes,

which means care must be exercised. Reviews are subjective. Neither Monomax Ltd nor its agents or employees can accept liability for omissions or

inaccuracies. No material can be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher. © Monomax Ltd April 2014. ISSN of 11,000 bars and restaurants nationwide,

plus venues for all your events:


Published by: Monomax Ltd, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane,

London, SE11 5RD Tel: +44 (0)20 7582 0222 Helpline: +44 (0)20 7840 6299

Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 5444 Email:


Welcome to Square Meal

Ben McCormack, editor | 3

2 |

restaurants � food

call of the

With six restaurants, two Michelin stars and a host of other awards to his name, it's fair to

say that Simon Rogan has made his mark, but he believes his highly anticipated London

opening at Claridge's next month will bring him the international recognition he craves



�rst interviewed Simon Rogan

in 2002, shortly after L'Enclume

had opened. 'What we've got

here,' the Southampton-born

chef told me, 'is an opportunity

to put Cartmel on the national

map.' It seemed a fanciful claim.

Not only did Rogan's restaurantwith-rooms

have a sta„ of just

�ve, it was situated in a Cumbrian

village well o„ the Lake District

tourist trail and where the only

gastronomic claim to fame was

sticky to„ee pudding.

Fast-forward to 2014 and

L'Enclume's groaning mantelpiece

of awards - including two

Michelin stars and Square Meal's

Best UK Restaurant accolade in

2010 - has foodies from all over

the country making a pilgrimage

to south Cumbria, most famously

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in

2010's TV series The Trip. Rogan

now employs 100 people in

and around Cartmel: as well as

L'Enclume, he owns the more

casual Rogan � Co, village pub

the Pig � Whistle and a 12-acre

farm that supplies as much

produce as possible for his

restaurants. He also employs

two foragers who search high

and low for L'Enclume's more

recherché ingredients.

London calling

What's more, last year Rogan

opened two very well-received

restaurants at Manchester's Midland hotel,

The French and Mr Cooper's Garden. He ran

the two-year pop-up Roganic in Marylebone

from 2011 until 2013, and early May sees

him return to London to pull o„ his biggest

coup to date: opening Fera in the dining

room formerly home to Gordon Ramsay

at Claridge's. It's as impressive a restaurant

portfolio as any chef in the UK can lay claim

to - and vindication of Rogan's original vision.

'Putting Cartmel on the national map is

what I always set out to do, but I never knew

if I was going to achieve that or not,' Rogan

tells me 12 years after our �rst conversation.

'In life you can only do what you're good at,

and you hope that maybe one day you'll get

rewarded for it. But things have turned out

even better than I hoped.'

Yet until relatively recently,

this level of success would

have seemed just as fanciful

as Cartmel being spoken of

in the same breath as other

restaurant meccas Bray and

Padstow. 'Six or seven years

ago, I was changing things so

much you never knew which

L'Enclume you were coming to,'

Rogan says. 'It might have been

a Greek phase or a Japanese

phase. The menu didn't even

read like a menu, it was more

like a poem. I thought it was fun

but a lot of people mistook that

for me being arrogant.'

The mid-to-late noughties

were the apogee of Ferran

Adrià and elBulli's fame, and

Rogan was heavily inŸuenced

by the technology and cooking

techniques coming out of

avant-garde restaurants in Spain

and elsewhere. 'I was insecure

and I wasn't happy with myself,'

Rogan admits, referring to 'the

silly stu„' surrounding the midphase

of his career.

Location, location

Salvation came when close

friends in the restaurant world

told Rogan to concentrate

on L'Enclume's biggest asset:

its location. That might seem

like strange advice given that

almost every review you'll

read of L'Enclume begins

with a complaint of how hard it is to get

to - especially for London-based restaurant

critics. 'In the beginning our location was

a real hindrance,' Rogan says. 'Now we've

turned that geographical isolation on its head

and our location is everything. We are heavily

linked to our surroundings and our ethos is

all about being natural.'

Around the same time as the change of


'In life you can only do what you're

good at, and you hope that maybe

one day you'll get rewarded for it'

Full colour: L'Enclume's

venison in coal oil



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