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Sitting down to a dinner in the Lecture Room at sketch last week, owner Mourad Mazouz, raised a glass before the meal to welcome guests and celebrate 15 years of his eccentric temple to food and drink on Conduit Street. The restaurateur described the four years it took to refurbish the Mayfair townhouse, how much it went over budget and humorously mentioned some of the less positive reviews it first received – including Matthew Fort calling the design "a lot of bollocks."

The next day I was sitting in the new Annabel's, which has opened a couple of doors up from the original basement site in Berkeley Square. It has some similarities to sketch – a huge space, with numerous restaurants and bars, and a female CEO. Fifteen years ago when sketch opened, I've no doubt many Londoners had never seen the likes of it before – the same will probably be said now for Richard Caring's latest opulent venture.

Have a good week.


Wolseley at Bicester

Details are under wraps, but it seems certain that a marriage of two very stylish brands is happening. Bicester Village (the smart bargain-hunters’ favourite) will be the location for Corbin & King’s very first site outside London later this spring. Although CODE is aware that the founders of The Wolseley et al have been keen to expand – and recent investment is significant – the company has taken its time to find the right place for an all-day cafe (with food-to-go and a shop, we hear).

George's Bar

Marcus Wareing is known for his precision, so the cocktails at George’s Bar, his latest venture, are sure to be special. Opening next week in the St Pancras Hotel, the elegant-looking bar (named for the building’s fabled architect Gilbert Scott, whose first name was George) will be managed by Dev Eames, and its cocktails will reflect something historic or seasonal, plus in-house infusions and champagne from the historic Gosset house.


Another pair of stellar food and drink collaborators is Tony Conigliaro and Rob Roy Cameron – and the news is that they’re planning to launch Gazelle, a dining-and-cocktail destination in an 1820s building in Albemarle Street later this year.
It’s a departure for Conigliaro, he acknowledges, as the all-day site will be as much about food as drinks. (Is it too much to hope that Supergrass’s front man and that model known as ‘The Body’ will be invited to the launch, geddit?)


CODE is a little surprised by the site for the first Eataly in Britain (one of – gasp – 40 planned worldwide). It’s been confirmed that the Italian ‘food emporium’ will open in Bishopsgate – which is not a natural food destination. However the Elizabeth line’s arrival and the major revamp of the area will have played a part. The Eataly team were inspired by Borough Market, so all eyes will be on the 2020 opening; work on the huge retail and experience space will start once current tenants RBS move out.


Hide – Ollie Dabbous’ forthcoming new restaurant – is now in plain sight. The April launch is in a huge space at 85 Piccadilly (that much we knew) but it’ll have – he says – the most comprehensive wine list in the UK, which makes sense since this venture is in partnership with Hedonism Wines. There will be a basement bar, an all-day ground floor casual restaurant and, on the first floor, a menu of Dabbous’s signature culinary adventures. All from 7.30am till 1am, seven days a week.


Meanwhile on a more modest scale, a new wine-focused restaurant is opening in Dalston next week. Sapling will see chef Jon Beeharry design a short, British menu around an evolving, eclectic wine list, masterminded by wine-maker and seasoned sommelier Dan Whine (yes, he’ll have heard all the jokes). A creative, cosy neighbourhood restaurant that you can book? Sounds promising.


It sometimes feels like you can’t move for news about v-word ventures (a vegan Baileys caught our eye last week) – and the creativity keeps on coming. Crosstown doughnuts – the Piccadilly branch of which CODE runs to when on deadline and needing a boost – is opening a purely vegan site in Marylebone. The sweet treats include flavours like tropical compote with pineapple and coconut glaze, and forest fruit with vanilla crumble and there will be coffee and vegan drinks too. See you in the queue at the end of the month.

Two Tribes KX

Two tribes coming to Kings Cross? Sounds like a face-off between The Guardian and Facebook but no, this is a new beer, street-food and music space which will also host cook-outs and gigs. We can expect Two Tribes’ own onsite brewery, pizzas plus other food – Patty & Bun, we hear – and an arrangement with Island Records to keep things rocking, from 9 April. And when (when?) the weather improves, there’s a huge terrace at the Tileyard Studios space too.

Tom Kerridge

How clever of the Corinthia to snap up Tom Kerridge. The Michelin-starred chef is set to open his first London restaurant inside the hotel later this year bringing, it’s promised, some of the relaxed-luxe of his Marlow spaces The Hand and Flowers, The Coach and The Butcher’s Tap to the five-star property. The ‘British brasserie’ will be designed by David Collins Studio and we don’t doubt that Kerridge’s legions of fans will be beating a path to Northumberland Avenue come September.

Santo Remedio

The Mexican restaurant and bar on Tooley Street owned by husband-and-wife team Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes has two personnel updates. Joining the London Bridge site from the Salt Yard group as general manager is Anna Hughes (second left). And new head chef Martin Sweeney (far right), who previously worked for Hix Restaurants (most recently as head chef of Tramshed), will be in charge of creating the authentic cuisine from the kitchen.


Head Chefs, Temper



Temper is the award winning concept from celebrated chef Neil Rankin. We focus on whole animal BBQ and live fire cooking in both of our restaurants, based in Soho & the City.

We are looking for strong head chefs to lead our kitchen teams. The right applicants will need to be able to work seamlessly under pressure in a high volume capacity and be able to ensure the highest levels of consistency. Creative ability, time management and an eye for detail are all prerequisites.

Click here to read more and apply

Recruitment Evening 8 March, The Hurlingham Club

Prestigious private members’ club, The Hurlingham Club, in west London is recruiting for a variety of chef and waiter positions during the summer months. Apply for their recruitment evening 8 March.

Click here to read more and apply


Grace Dent reviews Sorella, Clapham

Tom Parker Bowles reviews Sabor, Mayfair

Yes, bacon really is killing us

Mastering the art of the tense dinner party

Mon 5 March

Tue 6 March

Weds 7 March

Thurs 8 March

While Samantha Cameron was at the Ned hosting a fashion brunch on Saturday morning, her husband was spotted out and about buying some bread in Borough Market surrounded by two burly bodyguards. 

The rumour on the snowy streets of Mayfair last week is that the former site of Dover Street Market has apparently been acquired by a nearby private members' club that is looking to turn the former fashion emporium into a spa.

Bryn Williams hosted a bash last week to celebrate the opening of his restaurant at Somerset House. The Dumbwaiter spotted Mark Hix and Ewan Venters at the event, while across town at the new Annabel's on Friday lunchtime both Ben Elliot and Arnaud Bamberger were holding court in the covered garden restaurant.

From Rivington Street to Rupert Street. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter's best bites of the week.

Serge et le Phoque

Tuesday - Saturday | 30% off food + free corkage

Benares Lounge

Sunday – Wednesday | 25% off total bill

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