Here is an archive of links to all of my reviews that I have written for other websites.
In this month’s column, I will be enjoying a bottle of Metaxa 12 Stars as well as the cocktails you can make with it.
Metaxa, also known as the ‘Greek Spirit’, is often mistaken for a brandy or cognac, but in actuality it is a unique and distinct beverage. Back home in Greece, the distillery is symbolised by the Salamina Warrior (a symbol of risk-taking and courage), inspired by a medallion found during construction.
Having had the opportunity to visit Mr Fogg’s Tavern on occasion, I am already a fan of its particular brand of Victoriana. As such, I jumped at the opportunity to explore their new cocktail offerings at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in the heart of Fitzrovia.
While the Tavern is styled like a patriotic pub from a fanciful version of the Victorian age, the House of Botanicals feels more like a conservatory in an impressive country pile.
Evan Evans Tours – one of the city’s biggest (and oldest) sightseeing companies – are offering an exciting new tour aimed at tourists visiting London wanting to see two of the most iconic Royal Palaces: Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
And given that Windsor is a good 20 miles outside the capital, this tour provides an excellent opportunity for visitors who would otherwise have to rely on public transport to see both of these top attractions in a day without any of the hassle. It’s hassle free as your Evan Evans Royal Palaces Tour guide will meet you outside the Royal Mews opposite the luxurious The Rubens at the Palace Hotel. They will then guide you to the Palace entrance… and through the rest of your day.
Situated just outside Finsbury Circus near Moorgate is the South Place Hotel. And tucked away at the back of this modern hotel is a hidden bar called the Secret Garden. Well away from the hustle and bustle of busy London streets, this summer has seen the South Place Hotel transformed into an Acapulco pop-up created in association with Cointreau. The big occasion? To celebrate the 70th birthday of the Margarita cocktail.
As its name suggests, The Rubens is located just a short stroll away from Buckingham Palace – its address is actually 39 Buckingham Palace Road, and it’s directly across from The Royal Mews – making the exquisite English Grill a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. The food is exceptional, and we were constantly made to feel like royalty as the waiters and sommelier tended to our every need. And to top it all, the menu is generously priced for the quality of the food and service provided.
Meeting at Westminster tube station, the Evan Evans Harry Potter Walking Tour will take you on a tour of 11 filming locations used in the Harry Potter film series. Filming locations on the list include the entrances to the Ministry of Magic, the route of the Knight Bus, and the Divination Tower. Some of the known and suspected influences on JK Rowling‘s writing are also pointed out along the tour, such as the inspirations for both Diagon and Knockturn alley.
Featuring luxurious beds, the rooms are spacious given their central location and have a large amount of storage. The beds are very comfortable… perfect after a long walking tour. The walk-in shower is invigorating with a large shower head to help wash away the cares of a long day exploring the city. All the rooms are decorated in a unique style to make you feel at home for the duration of your stay.
Nestled in Hampton at the edge of the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames in London, England, Hampton Court Palace has a commanding location on the Thames and is easily reachable via a direct train from London Waterloo. Initially it was the personal palace of Cardinal Wolsey before it was seized by King Henry VIII, and is one of only two palaces belonging to the King that survives to this day (the other is St James’s Palace).
Just off of Trafalgar Square is the LIBRARY London, a private members’ club launched by entrepreneur Ronald Ndoro.
While the entrance may be unassuming, once inside the hallway opens up into a delightful bar area. At the end is a small stage and above are two mezzanines with leather armchairs to relax in. In the basement, there is a discreet speakeasy with its own bar that caters to smaller groups. Finally, there are also private rooms and a restaurant available for hire.
Agent, your mission is clear. First make your way to Chelsea and locate the World’s End Market. This unique restaurant and bar hides a secret that you must uncover. You may wish to rest awhile in the upstairs bar and enjoy their hospitality while you steel yourself for the mission ahead (I would recommend the Sazerac).
Just inside Fitzrovia near Soho lies the London EDITION, a boutique luxury hotel (and part of the Ritz Carlton group) in central London that’s been transformed from a Georgian building by Ian Schrager into a unique, modern experience. Upon entering the building, you are immediately greeted by The Lobby Bar with its notable silver-orb (designed by Ingo Maurer) hanging over the centre of the room. Low lighting, green velvet sofas and subtle wooden furniture evoke a more halcyon era. All these trimmings seem at home under the expansive Edwardian ceiling.
Not far from London’s Piccadilly Circus, about halfway down Piccadilly, lies the Maison Assouline. A luxury bookshop selling books as objects of art, its high vaulted ceiling and wood panelling are reminiscent of a library. And within this old bank building, Swan’s Bar serves a variety of cocktails and small snacks.
The interesting surroundings, as well as the unique book collection on the shelves, make this the perfect place to unwind after a long day working in the city. Table service ensures you feel truly pampered, and certainly lends a little extra class. It’s a perfect place to while away the hours in a luxurious location.
A short walk down from St James’ Palace and Trafalgar Square on Pall Mall in London is 67 Pall Mall, an exclusive private members bar founded by wine lovers for wine lovers. Set in sumptuous rooms with a newly renovated upper floor, this fine establishment provides great food and a diverse wine list in one of the UK‘s most exclusive venues.
Currently open to new membership applications, the club boasts 500 wines by the glass and an impressive 5,000 by the bottle. Members may also store their own bottles of wine at the club to drink at their leisure.
A short walk from Goodge Street station on the ever-culinary Charlotte Street lies Lokhandwala. In a distinctively decorated, colonial style, this Indian tapas restaurant is part of a wave of new restaurants re-imagining what a curry house can be.
In the 1930s this was the haunt of authors, artists, and other cognoscenti. While they may no longer relax on the sofas, artwork representing the more famous patrons adorns the walls. One of these was author Agatha Christie. In order to celebrate Kenneth Branagh’s adaption of her book Murder on the Orient Express, Manetta’s Bar has created a range of cocktails inspired by the carriages of this famous train.
Just north of both Covent Garden and Leicester Square is the Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredo. The restaurant has two large rooms with their own bars as well as several rooms available for group bookings. And, perhaps best of all, they have just launched a new guacamole and tequila bar offering eight different guacamoles made fresh right in front of you.
Situated just west of South Kensington station is Squirrel, a healthy, casual food and drink concept where a sumptuous salad bar takes pride of place under acorn shaped lighting in front of murals of… yes, you guessed it… squirrels. Past the salad bar is a modest dining area styled in a slightly more nautical theme…
Some might not consider a few beers down the local to be the lap of luxury. Throughout autumn,Young’s are aiming to change that with a bevy of brewer-led events to train your palate with an appreciation of everything to do with hops….
The Elgin holds a commanding spot on the corner of Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill in London. A short walk from Portobello Road, this recently refurbished pub is injecting a Victorian vibe into this vibrant area. Its ‘Game and Wine Nights’ are further placing a desire for the traditional to the fore…