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Focus on trade: Rounding up

Published:  23 July, 2008


The Ledbury, 127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
Make way for the gastronomic brat pack as 26-year-old Australian head chef Brett Graham helps to win The Restaurateur's Best New Restaurant of the Year 2005 for The Ledbury. Since opening earlier this year, Nigel Platts-Martin's latest venture (following success with The Square, Chez Bruce, The Glasshouse and La Trompette) appears to have gone from strength to strength. The menu is adventurous with real flashes of originality, such as a dessert of pineapple and passion fruit ravioli with lemongrass and lime. Sommelier Dawn Davis (featured in the Harpers interview, 16 September 2005) has also been receiving rave reviews from the vinous
point of view.

Brotherly ambition

Galvin - Bistrot de Luxe, 66 Baker Street, W1.

It's a family affair for high-flying culinary brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin following the opening of their informal but fine French eaterie Galvin.

They are both renowned chefs in their own right, having individually fronted the kitchens of some of London's most prestigious restaurants, including The Wolseley, Orrery and L'Escargot, but this is the first time they have joined forces. Dishes include parmentier of oxtail and black pudding and grilled calves liver, broad beans and thyme. The wine list is very French.

Sketching a new theme

The Glade, 9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1

Everyone who's anyone has heard of Sketch, even if they can't afford to eat there. And now there's a new restaurant in the fold. Situated in what used to be the West Bar is The Glade, a 50-cover restaurant that will open for lunch only. The man behind the menu is Pierre Gagnaire, and his creations will undoubtedly be worth a look.

Sam's the man

Sam's Brasserie and Bar, 11 Barley Mow Passage, W4 4PH

Lucky Chiswick,' said Rick Stein prior to the recent opening of his former protg's restaurant in west London.

Sam Harrison has held on to the Stein influence but created his own informal 100-cover eating house, which is intended to appeal to the whole neighbourhood. It's open all day, and custom for coffee and snacks is as welcome as for office lunches or an evening meal. The menu is made up of heartwarming staples, such as lamb's kidney on toast and pot-roast belly of pork with herb-and-mustard stuffing.

East end royalty

The Princess, 76 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE

Shoreditch is setting a cracking pace for London's wining and dining sector, and The Princess is the latest gastropub, or fine-dining restaurant with pub, to arrive. Owners Zim Sutton and Andrew Veevers, of The Easton in Clerkenwell, have put together some interesting combinations on the menu, such as seared scallops with broad-bean pur and wild-boar pancetta. The wine list has been laid out by style (such as fresh and crisp') rather than region, which ought to give a helping hand to the uninitiated.


Maze, 10-13 Grosvenor Square, W1K 6JP

Meum Cor, 308-310 North End Road, SW6 1NQ

Nobu Berkeley, 15 Berkeley Street, W1J 8DY

Polka, 58-59 Poland Street, W1F 7NB

Rhodes W1, The Cumberland, Great Cumberland Place,


Tugga, 314 King's Road, SW3



The county of Kent has been a hive of activity over the past year. Hengist (7-9 High Street, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7AX) has been taken over by Richard Phillips, who has already made a name for himself in the southeast with the Michelin-starred Thackeray's in Tunbridge Wells. According to the critics, there's a bit of work to be done before the food is up to the standard of its illustrious predecessor, but the potential's definitely there. Another new addition to the Kentish scene is Apicius (3 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HE). Tim Johnson, former student of three-starred Michelin chef Nico Ladenis, has branched out on this own and created a French-influenced, good-value, modern menu, which could well bring Johnson his own brand of success. But it's not all good news for the Garden of England. The Sandgate Hotel's Japanese restaurant Sugoi closed its doors in June after only eight months of service. While Japanese cuisine has topped the polls in London, with the rise and rise of Nobu and Wagamama, it would seem that Kent wasn't ready for this particular kind of urban chic.


Vincaff (Multrees Walk, Edinburgh) is approaching its first birthday. The critically acclaimed caf/shop/fine-dining restaurant was launched in autumn last year by the family-owned Valvonna & Crolla to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the long-standing delicatessen and Italian wine merchant. The restaurant was runner-up for this year's Newcomer of the Year Edinburgh Award, judged by The List magazine (Scotland's answer to Time Out). And it's also a haven for wine lovers, with top-end Italian wines available to try by the glass.

Coming soon

The next branch of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen will be in Cornwall. The celebrity chef has recently announced that The Extreme Academy's Beach House Bistro will be the third location for the Fifteen foundation (following Shoreditch in London, then Amsterdam). The restaurant is due to open in May 2006.