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In between meetings last Thursday I found myself sitting in the lobby of the Edition hotel in Fitzrovia with some time to spare before my next appointment. With my iPhone charging in the safe hands of the hotel concierge, I had 20 minutes without technology to while away. This gave me time to sit back and watch hotel lobby life.

I’ve always found hotel lobbies rather magical places – a cocoon in a city that may or not be home, with a vast mix of people going about their lives. From the business traveller arriving to check in, to a group of ladies enjoying a glass of champagne after some retail therapy next to local media executives catching up over flat whites. It was a reminder that as handy as the sharing economy is when it comes to travellers renting apartments – there’s no replacing hotels and the hospitality that comes with them.

Have a good week.



They will be feeling the heat at Tower Bridge this summer – Harneet and Devina Baweja are planning to open both a second Gunpowder (pictured above a sample dish) and a bakery/wine bar in the Duchess Walk development. The bakery, Custard, will launch first – in July – and is inspired by the coffee shops of Kolkata. Visitors to the 40-cover all-day site will find everything from butter chicken puffs to sour nanrangi custard tart with pistachio meringue.


Another blunt single-word title for another new restaurant… Bucket, which opens at the end of May in Westbourne Grove, is named for the food it will serve – buckets of seafood such as prawns, mussels, whitebait and calamari. It’s the idea of Georgie Godik Hayward and husband Adam Hayward, previously of the Gaucho Group. The 78-seater will have an open kitchen and bar but, they say, “no fishing nets or anchors in sight”.

Paddington Central

Ahead of the completion of the Elizabeth Line (please hurry up!), the restaurant offering at Paddington Central is being bolstered. The canalside development by British Land has signed Lords of Poke, Coco di Mama (Italian dishes) and Huckster – which as a pseudo-street-food site will have a range of vendors, and karaoke. They join already-open London Shell Co, Pergola Paddington and Darcie & May Green.

The Bonnie Badger

Out-of-London news, but it’s a major one – the celebrated chef and restaurateur Tom Kitchin is opening a pub with rooms. Together with wife Michaela, he’s taken over a 12-bedroom site in Gullane on the east coast of Scotland and plans a menu of elevated pub classics focusing on Scottish ingredients. No opening date yet, but sounds like one to watch for a delicious mini-break.


Last weekend saw the launch of Mark Sargeant’s latest project – Sargeant’s Mess, at the Tower of London – and it’s on soft-opening third-off prices till tomorrow. The menu is full of crowd-pleasers like fish and chips, pie and mash and hearty sandwiches. Also a certainty are the success of Brigadiers, the latest from JKS Restaurants, which has announced it will open in the Bloomberg Arcade on 6 June, and Bright, from the P Franco stable, which launches tomorrow in London Fields.

...and closing

Sad news for Hoxton with the announcement of the closure in June of The Typing Room. The popular restaurant had been open since 2010, first with Nuno Mendes and, since 2014, Lee Westcott. The site will be repurposed; Westcott has not yet announced his future plans. Also shutting its doors (but this time temporarily) is Tamarind, which will undergo a major refurb and plans to have more of a ‘private club’ atmosphere when it returns in autumn.

Corbin & King

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King haven’t even opened their first out-of-London site yet, in Bicester Village, but are planning a further expansion. They have acquired the site in St John’s Wood which was until recently a Carluccio’s and plan to open an as-yet unnamed new restaurant there. The area is not well served for places to eat after jaunts to Lords or Regents Park, so it’s great news for NW London.

John Barber

John Barber has been at Bar Boulud in London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel for nine years (after some time in the hotel’s kitchen development programme) – and now he’s been appointed executive chef. Barber replaces Thomas Piat, who has gone to work with Hélène Darroze on a new restaurant project in Paris. Ahead of taking over, Barber has just spent two weeks in New York with Daniel Boulud, pictured above right.


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David Sexton reviews Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden

Tom Parker Bowles reviews Core, Notting Hill

Chain, chain, chain

The inbetweeners

Tues 8 May

Thurs 10 May

Sat 12 May

Sun 13 May

David Beckham celebrated his birthday last week in London. The Dumbwaiter is always keen to see where Beckham dines, usually with a glass of Sassicaia in hand, and it seems the choice this year was the new Annabel’s. Posh.

After receiving the insignia of the Companion of Honour at Buckingham Palace on Friday, Sir Paul McCartney celebrated with a lunch at the River Café.

Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg is bringing his burger restaurant to London. Along with his brothers Paul and Donnie, Wahlburgers will open in Covent Garden later this year. And if you don’t get a chance to catch the Wahlbergs at the opening, The Dumbwaiter hears that they will regularly be beamed in to large screens in the restaurant to chat to diners.

With a heavy heart, we’d like to dedicate this week’s edition of CODE to our friend and stalwart of the restaurant scene Reg Gadney, who died last week.

From Claridge’s to Covent Garden. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.

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