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The demise of high street retail over the past five years has been uncomfortable to watch. Last week more statistics were revealed about another drop in footfall on Britain’s town centres and the latest swathe of shops going into administration is worrying. In addition, I read yesterday that the fashion retailer Next is ready to speak to its landlords who are allowing Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), claiming it gives an unfair advantage to its competitors.

A savvy landlord will realise that experiential offerings, like hospitality, are what keeps people coming to their estates. Yes a lot can be done via the internet now, but the pleasure of breaking bread in a restaurant cannot be replicated online. Yet rents have become so prohibitive in central London that something is going to need to change – before dining out follows the same path as retail.

On a slightly more boring note, due to the law changing, we need you to opt in to receive the CODE Bulletin. Please click here to do so.

Have a good week.


Brother Marcus

Already a hit in Balham, where it serves Mediterranean sharing plates, the Brother Marcus team will open a second, larger branch in Islington next month. The new restaurant will also be open in the evenings for more of the Cretan-inspired dishes that have proved so successful for founders Alex, Arthur and Tasos – and there's a feisty-sounding cocktail menu too.


There’s no shortage of Chinese restaurants in Soho, but new arrival Baozilnn sounds worth a visit. It’s by Wei Shao, who opened Barshu back in 2006 – itself a revelation in Sichuan food. Baozilnn will specialise in all-day Cantonese/Sichuan/Hunan-influenced dim sum. The 80-cover restaurant – the name translates as ‘people’s canteen' – is open now on Romilly Street.

World Restaurant Awards

A month ahead of the ‘World’s 50 Best’ restaurant ceremony comes the announcement of a new and different international awards. The World Restaurant Awards – backed by IMG, who run the Taste events, and fronted by Joe Warwick – is planned to be a televised event next February. The parameters and scope of the awards were discussed at a workshop event last week. Watch this space…

Ta Ta Eatery

Brilliant news for west London – the Ta Ta Eatery has taken over the kitchens at Kensal Rise space Borough Wines & Beers for three months, as part of the site’s Chef Development series. Rather than a set menu, Zijun Meng and Ana Goncalves are serving small plates with their usual inspiring range of influences; these will be matched with drinks from Borough Wines’ creative list.

Giant Steps

Want to eat al fresco but just don’t have the space? Giant Steps is here to help. The vast outdoor site, operated by the people behind Brilliant Corners, opens in Hackney Wick on Saturday. Every weekend until September, from 11am-11pm there will be barbecue food (from Brawn and Morito, among others), natural wine, craft beer and cocktails, plus music at a new indoor live venue. Sounds like a hit for 12-hour party people.

Home Grown

Meanwhile in the more rarified environs of Marylebone, a new private members’ club for 'entrepreneurs, investors and business innovators' will open in January. Home Grown, from the Home House stable, will be across four Georgian townhouses on Great Cumberland Place, and will feature bars, a restaurant and 35 bedrooms – all designed by Russell Sage Studio. Somewhere new to work, rest, play and pitch.


New pub klaxon! The third of Henry Harris’s new ventures, The Hero of Maida, has just opened, giving west Londoners a taste of the classic dishes they’ve been raving over in Clerkenwell at The Coach. Meanwhile chef Tom Oldroyd has announced that his new place, The Duke of Richmond, in Hackney, throws open its doors this Thursday. And for a swift pint, Nathan Outlaw and Sharp Brewery’s Cornwall pub The Mariners has a one-night pop-up at Outlaw’s at The Capital in Knightsbridge on 11 June, with tickets on sale on 29 May.

...and closing

After posting losses of £3.8m for his restaurant group, Gordon Ramsay has announced that his Mayfair restaurant Maze is to close next year. Ramsay’s company Kavalake intends to open a new concept restaurant in its space. At the other end of the scale, the very popular ‘greasy spoon’ Arthur’s Cafe in Dalston, which has been in business for 80 years, is closing, a few months after Arthur himself died, aged 91. And finally, on Saturday Native closed its doors in Covent Garden for the last time… However it will open in Southwark Street in June.

Ollie Dabbous

Hot on the heels of opening Hide (for which reviews have been extremely varied), Ollie Dabbous has concluded his association with Henrietta, the restaurant in the eponymous hotel in Covent Garden. It will relaunch as a bistro in June with head chef Sylvain Roucayrol, late of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels.

Stefan Leser

Stefan Leser has been appointed as CEO of the Langham Hospitality Group, bringing 30 years of experience across several sectors of the travel and leisure sector to the position. Leser was most recently with Jumeirah International and will be based in Hong Kong, working across the hotel group.


Assistant Manager, Smokestak

Smokestak are looking for an experienced Assistant Manager for their Shoreditch restaurant.

We are now recruiting for an experienced, driven and committed manager, who can thrive off a busy service alongside the team and encourage business development. A composed, organised and positive personality is key, keeping consistency and standards amongst the team high at all times. If you think you've got what we're looking for then please do get in touch.

Click here to read more and apply

Chef de Rang, Sorrel


Due to overwhelming demand, Steve Drake’s new restaurant Sorrel, in Dorking, Surrey, is recruiting an experienced Chef De Rang and an Assistant Sommelier.

The right candidate will have worked at a minimum of two AA Rosette standard and, preferably, Michelin star level. Good communication skills, ability to work in a busy environment, and excellent attention to detail are needed. Sorrel is closed three days a week plus Christmas and New Year. C.V required plus covering letter.

Click here to read more and apply



Infatuation London reviews The Coach, Clerkenwell

Time Out reviews West Kitchen, Peckham

The female couples remaking the restaurant industry

Monocle 24 | The Menu

Tues 22 May

Wed 23 May

Thurs 24 May

Fri 25 May

Sat 26 May

Sun 27 May

Mon 28 May

Congratulations to the industry’s very own royal couple, Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick, who also tied the knot on Saturday. The Dumbwaiter hears Tom Parker Bowles managed to attend both weddings.

The endless number of memorabilia for the Royal wedding didn’t do much to interest The Dumbwaiter but drinks business Karma Cola stole the show with their special edition bottle of their Gingerella drink with Prince Harry on it, aptly named ‘Gingerfella’.

It’s Chelsea Flower Show this week and many of London’s restaurants, hotels and retailers will be in full bloom. However, it looks like Richard Caring’s Annabel’s has stolen the show. The Dumbwaiter saw on Instagram that the whole townhouse in Berkeley Square has been covered in flowers. Let’s hope the doormen don’t suffer from hay fever.

Maureen Mills is the doyenne of the London restaurant PR world. Over a celebratory dinner at Six Portland Road last week, Mills recalled one bit of advice she got from Fay Maschler back in the day when she started her business. “Get a fax machine.” 

From Bloomsbury to Borough. Click here for The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.


Sunday - Thursday | Up to 50% off food

Nine Lives

Tuesday | 25% off drinks


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