Bipolar weather, brown leaves crunching underfoot, and mince pies with sell-by dates well before Christmas making an appearance on store shelves: these things can only mean that Autumn is officially here. To help you through the chilly transition, we’ve put together a list of the eight best new bars & restos to cut the ribbon in our capital over the last couple of months...
Take Dining to New Heights by Eating in a Tree Pod
The Flying Pig The newest addition to the BBQ movement, Pig prides itself on its hefty lineup of craft brews, w/ 14 daily rotating taps putting out several local barley pops from Beavertown, Kernal, Redchurch, Weird Beard & more, all of which are backed up by 100 bottles from other UK hopsmiths (Dark Star, Tempest, Wild Beer, Pin-Up...), as well as European and US hop-houses. Soaking it all up is a fire-baptized menu of 'cue goodness such as pulled pork w/ maple bacon, baby back ribs, and huge cajun-spiced calamari.
Koya Bar This sophomoric offering from Koya has swung its doors right next to the original, but this time with a slightly different, more inventive approach; they’ll still be serving a couple old favs (chilled udon noodles in hot broth, etc.), but in addition, they will be putting out English Breakfast (with egg, bacon, and udon), as well as a whole bunch of other newness, like venison miso, braised pork belly in cider, and even fish & chips.
Sager & Wilde After a crazy-successful pop-up series last winter, husband & wife combo Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde have finally set up a proper brick & mortar spot out in Hackney, offering a bar full of 30-plus premium wines by the glass. The vino often comes in uber-small batches (that are thrown out of rotation once they're gone to make space for some other amazing grape-hooch), and they're also slinging a delicious lineup of cheese & meat charcuterie.
Gin Joint Situated in an area that was once known as "the gin capital of the world" (yes, Barbican. It seems so reserved now!), Gin Joint features -- surprise -- approximately 40 juniper juices, and even some Broker's on tap. Between 5pm-8pm, they offer a "Gin Democracy" (read: happy hour) where you can try any of the various bottles for £7.50, while in the food department, they've got you covered with a gin-influenced British menu for the likes of duck sausage w/ pickled shallots, scallop, and juniper.
Marianne After almost winning MasterChef: The Professionals, Marianne Lumb has gone and opened potentially the smallest fine-diner in London (or anywhere??) with only five tables and 14 seats. The dishes are all uber-seasonal, so right now expect rainbow chard, ricotta & Parmesan tortellini, and dressed Cornish crab.
Berners Tavern Yet another spot from super-so-hot-right-now Chef Jason Atherton (of Little Social/ Pollen Street Social/ Social Eating House... basically anywhere social), this time, he’s teamed up with Studio 54 founder Ian Schrager in the new hotel Edition -- think ornate ceilings, random portraits everywhere, massive bronze chandeliers, leather sofas, and delicious food like Orkney scallop carpaccio, chargrilled quail, and grass-fed beef.
Hoxley and Porter Decked out like a '20s colonial chic adventurer's train carriage (harking back to a time when, if you were a real man, you would explore the jungle, discover a tribe, predict an eclipse, and contract a horrible tropical disease), H&P are serving up signature 'tails from their rum & gin-heavy bar, including a crazy colour-changing number (that gradually moves from blue to bright purple) garnished w/ an absinthe-coated scorpion, while the solids have cider-braised pork belly and a massive pan-fried sea bream.
Bo Lang Surrounded by dark leather and velvet, Bo Lang backs up its crazy-sleek Chelsea atmosphere with delicious dim sum (blue swimmer crab, short rib puffs, etc.), their own house-smoked duck, and an equally slick bar-full of Oriental-inspired cocktails.