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I’m penning this from the stunning interiors of the recently opened Heckfield Place hotel in Hampshire, as the rain falls outside and the open fire flickers in the drawing room. I’ve always been slightly apprehensive about staying in country house hotels in the UK – the combination of chintz, mediocre food and the British weather usually has me reaching for the passport instead.

But Nick Jones’s Babington House and Robin Hutson’s Pig hotels have gone a long way to improving places to stay around the UK and the recent trend of restaurants with rooms – with Coombeshead Farm leading the way – means a staycation shouldn’t be seen as the second-best option.

Skye Gyngell is in charge of the restaurants at Heckfield Place. The house has a history centered on entertaining and food and Gyngell also plans to collaborate with Fern Verrow on the houses’s walled garden. This country house hotel should definitely be up on everyone’s hit list.

Have a good week.



It doesn’t open its doors till December, but next week sees the launch of applications for membership to TRADE, a brand-new members’ club strictly for the hospitality community. The Soho HQ, founded by Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney, drinks experts and co-owners of Cabotte, will give industry people a place to network, and socialise. Founder memberships cost £100 and there are deals for those under 25 years old. Email for more information.

The Parrot

Not all celebrity-endorsed hospitality enterprises thrive, but CODE is intrigued by the news that Idris Elba is one of the team behind new bar The Parrot. The cocktail bar that the actor, with partners Lee and Nicky Caulfield, will open next month will be within the Waldorf Hilton and will also feature live music. Elba’s love of music is well-known, and The Parrot promises unannounced secret shows – something to mull over with one of the tropical-themed drinks on the menu.

Zelman Meats

CODE remembers when Zelman Meats was surf’n’turf specialists Rex & Mariano, so it’s good to see a fun throwback happening when, from next Monday, there will be a ‘black cod and Wagyu’ pop-up at the Soho restaurant. The takeover, in the bar area, is being overseen by executive head chef Olly Bird and the combo dish will be £15 at lunch and £20 at dinner, which feels like a reasonable way to experience two prime products.

Francis Mallmann

The fabled South American chef Francis Mallmann will be at CUT at 45 Park Lane for three nights next week, serving a six-course tasting menu that showcases his Argentinian take on the steak for which Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant is known, together with CUT’s executive chef David McIntyre. Mallmann, a star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, will also bring some signature dishes from his Patagonian repertoire.


Late October is looking busy with confirmation that the latest from JKS, Berenjak, will launch on the 23rd, while in Covent Garden, The Oystermen’s Seafood Bar & Kitchen, a relaunch with more space, opens on 22nd. And the much-anticipated biggest Barrafina yet, at Coal Drops Yard, starts full service on 26th.

...and closing

Alan Yau’s Turkish pizza joint Babaji Pide, on Shaftesbury Avenue, has closed, amid reports of financial woes for the veteran restaurateur’s company.

Helena Puolakka

It’s good to see the chef Helena Puolakka take on new expanded duties at D&D London - she is adding the role of executive chef at Skylon (which she originally worked at back in 2007) on the south bank to her existing job of chef patron at Victoria’s Aster. Puolakka has an enviable 22 years of experience in high-end kitchens.

Richard Wynne

Richard Wynne, founder of Callooh Callay (ten years old this month) and Little Bat, has appointed Sarah McAnulty and Jon Everid to the senior board of the Lounge & Liquor Hospitality Group. McAnulty will be communications director, while Everid will be head of creative – both in place to oversee new projects.

Account Director and Executive, Gerber Comms

Gerber is an Integrated Communications and PR agency specialising in restaurants, bars, travel and lifestyle. We operate in London, the UK, and internationally.

We work closely with our clients and the media to create compelling, sustainable and impactful campaigns, whether that be a restaurant launch, a one-off event, ongoing social media and digital support, or brand collaborations.

Click here to read more

Restaurant Manager, Trullo Restaurant


Trullo is an artisanal Italian restaurant in Islington focusing on traditional, skilled cooking techniques with a young, vibrant and innovative FoH and Kitchen team at its heart.
Since opening in June 2010, we’ve been a spearhead for the seasonally focused restaurant scene in London. 

Our charcoal grill and pasta sections and attentive, informal service make our bustling neighbourhood restaurant a dynamic and rewarding place to work and grow.

Click here to read more

PR Executives, Network London PR

Network London, the Wimbledon Village-based PR consultancy to top chefs, restaurants and hotels, both in London and throughout England, is looking for two new staff who are passionate about the hospitality business.

We are looking for both a relatively junior and a more experienced candidate to fill the two positions. Our team is small, allowing everyone full interaction with both clients and media contacts.

Click here to read more

Merlin Labron-Johnson, after serving a stellar preview dinner over the weekend, gave a secret tour of The Conduit club’s not-yet-open spaces – including a super-chic library and roof terrace. The Dumbwaiter and Noble Rot’s Dan Keeling (who’d brought his own wine) narrowly avoided getting stuck in a glitchy lift.

Nick Jones celebrated his birthday in style over the weekend by hosting a sleepover with a number of his friends including Giles Coren and Clerkenwell Boy at the recently opened Soho House Amsterdam.

Meanwhile over in Corsica, chefs Jason Atherton, Tom Sellers and Claude Bosi gathered for their mate Tom Aikens's wedding.

Gymkhana is still attracting the A-listers. David Beckham was spotted there a couple of weeks ago and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jason Statham dined there during the week.

From Soho to St James's. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter's best bites of the week.

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