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This is the last bulletin of the year and team CODE would like to take this opportunity to wish the whole hospitality community a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We know for many there won’t be any respite until January, so we also wish you good luck for the coming, very busy days.

It’s been an interesting year for restaurants, bars and hotels – the real economic challenges and predicted post-Brexit struggles are never very far down a conversation between operators, but there’s also much to celebrate. Some new and vibrant restaurants got recognised by Michelin, and Clare Smyth was also noted as the world’s best female chef. A new world restaurant awards were launched, and food on TV had something of a reinvention (although the jury’s still out on The Final Table).

In 2019, we will be there every week to alert you to the biggest and most interesting hospitality news, and every season with our informative, entertaining Quarterly magazine, which also makes a great last-minute Christmas present. More info here.

Until 7 January, our very best wishes,

CODE Hospitality


There’s a bit of a frenzy of vegan-related news at this time of year, but a new curry house in Walthamstow, opening on 29 January, sounds genuinely interesting. SpiceBox was previously a street-food operation out of KERB, but founder Grace Regan will have a permanent site at Hoe Street, serving Indian classics, minus meat and dairy – although the classic accompaniment, Cobra beer, is on the menu.

The Oak SW11

Restaurateur Jasper Gorst is opening his fourth site next month. The Oak SW11, in Battersea, will serve Italian-inspired small plates and pizzas with 120 covers and although similar in feel to sister restaurants The Oak in Westbourne Park Road and Goldhawk Road, and The Bird in Hand in Brook Green, it will serve breakfast too (we like the sound of a ‘full Tuscan’).

Belmond Hotels

The Belmond hospitality group has been sold to luxury goods brand LVMH, for £2bn. The hotels in the group include the Cipriani in  Venice and Splendido in Portofino, but of local interest is how it will affect Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the about-to-open revamped Cadogan hotel in Knightsbridge, with Adam Handling running its restaurants.


It's the name of a character in World of Warcraft, but we suspect the inspiration for Jackson Boxer's next project, Orisay, is real, even if it is far, far away. The Notting Hill restaurant, to open in spring, will have seafood as the focus and will serve produce brought in daily from the Scottish highlands where Boxer has been holidaying since childhood. 


In positive news for the POLPO group (who lost their Polpetto chef last month), their New York-inspired restaurant Spuntino has opened at Heathrow Terminal 3. And for which Christmas and New Year travellers will be most grateful… From Friday, Other Side Fried will operate a permanent kiosk at Leicester Square, serving up its signature, yes, fried food – for which west end revellers will be most grateful too!... Meanwhile on Albert Embankment, American  (but not Trump) inspired restaurant POTUS has launched.

... and judging

The newest global restaurant competition has announced its longlist of nominations across its many categories, including Ethical Thinking, Off Map Destination, No Reservations Required and Atmosphere of the Year. The World Restaurant Awards has also detailed its international panel of judges, drawn from 36 countries. The awards themselves will be unveiled in February... And entries are now open for the annual Fortnum & Mason food awards (worth entering to attend the brilliant party).

Tom Cenci

Tom Cenci, the long-serving head chef at Duck & Waffle, has announced that he has left. After six years at the restaurant at the top of the Heron Tower – first with Dan Doherty and latterly solely in charge – Cenci is taking some time off before his next move, commenting that he’s planning on “staying as close to sea level as possible”.

The Pearmans

The popular duo who launched, and then left, the Lucky Onion group of hotels and pubs have announced their new venture. Sam and Georgie Pearman will relaunch The Talbot, a 17th century pub in the Yorkshire village of Malton, working with Tom Naylor-Leyland, whose family have owned it for many years. With their reputation for stylish interiors and a buzzy atmosphere, the February re-opening will be worth a visit.

Yard Sale Pizza is an exciting and award winning pizza business with four locations around North East London offering dine in, take away and delivery. 

We have ambitious expansion plans and are looking for an individual to take line management responsibility of our shops and to develop all our systems and procedures to help us manage our growth.

Click to read more

Salt Yard Group was set up in 2005 with the opening of Salt Yard in Fitzrovia and have gone on to open Dehesa, Opera Tavern, and Ember Yard. All four sites specialize in charcuterie, cheese and small dishes. They are all however different in style, atmosphere and menu.

We are looking for experienced and passionate General and Assistant Managers who can offer a fantastic level of customer service and staff management

Click to read more

The Dumbwaiter would love Nigella Lawson to become a restaurant reviewer. She’s certainly an enthusiastic restaurant goer – as her Instagrams from Holborn Dining Room and A Wong last week prove.

We loved reading in ES magazine that Michel Roux Jr was mistaken for Raymond Blanc by a cabbie and can’t help wondering which other chefs have suffered the same fate. Sophie Michell and Marianne Lumb, for instance…

To the Drapers Arms last week for its very popular annual carol concert. Chef Dan Doherty was heard bellowing 'Five Gold Rings', but was totally outshone by his dog Miso, passed around the pub like a Christmas parcel.

Rumour has it a very popular private members’ club is looking at a big, big site on the outskirts of London… It would certainly make a handy stopping-off point between W1 and the Cotswolds.

From Grove Road to Great Portland Street. Here are The Dumbwaiter's Best Bites of the week.

restaurant of the week
La Goccia
bar of the week
Rake's Café Bar

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