Tag Archives: Mayfair

Lunch at London’s latest hotspots: Kitty Fisher’s and Ham Yard

They’ve both received glowing reviews and are two of the hottest places on London’s restaurant scene at the moment, but Kitty Fisher’s and Ham Yard restaurant are rather different culinary experiences.

It could be a size thing: Kitty Fisher’s, tucked away in a corner of Shepherd Market is tiny, just six tables upstairs and not much larger downstairs, which gives it a cosy, intimate feel. Ham Yard in contrast is vast: acres of dining space, dozens of banquettes and tables of all sizes. A massive bar stretches the length of one room, there are high ceilings, pillars, mirrors and lights everywhere and it is a riot of bright colours and activity.

kitty fishers
Kitty Fisher’s, named after an 18th century courtesan, is tucked away in a corner of Shepherd Market in Mayfair

Both restaurants have celebrity connections: Kitty Fisher’s is part-owned by actor Oliver Milburn and entrepreneur Tom Mullion, whose wife Emily Sheffield is David Cameron’s sister-in-law (the Camerons have been, as has Nigella Lawson). Ham Yard is also where the celebrities hang out, including the Fox acting dynasty who partied there after the opening night of Dear Lupin, and Adele who recently held her 27th birthday party there. Continue reading Lunch at London’s latest hotspots: Kitty Fisher’s and Ham Yard

El Pirata: the friendliest tapas in London’s Mayfair

Tucked away behind the grey anonymity of Park Lane’s high-rise hotel district which includes the Dorchester, the Intercontinental and the Athenaeum, El Pirata‘s tapas bar is a welcome sight.

In spite of being in one of London’s grandest postcodes and near to high-end establishments such as Nobu and its most recent addition the Playboy club, El Pirata feels more like a cosy neighbourhood restaurant.

el pirata tapas mayfair
El Pirata has been serving up tapas in Mayfair since 1994 and has been praised by the likes of Johnny Depp and Brian May

Celebrating its 21st birthday this year – a lifetime in the London food scene –  El Pirata has the rustic charm of a restaurant more than twice its age, with hundreds of bottles propped up behind its lengthy bar, pictures all over its walls and the subdued lighting and low ceiling giving it an olde worlde feel. Continue reading El Pirata: the friendliest tapas in London’s Mayfair

The Athenaeum, London: small but friendly Piccadilly hotel

All hotel visits linger in the memory afterwards but some leave a physical presence too – and in the case of the Athenaeum Hotel, it was Arthur. The teddy bear guarding my room was so sweet he just had to be liberated and taken home, and at just £8, he was certainly the best-priced item on the room service menu.

There were other teddy bears down at reception – Paddington fever was gripping the capital – but it had to be Arthur. Any hotel that has a friendly house bear – Chewton Glen is another, and Chewton bear was duly added to the family collection – promises a certain amount of charm and thought behind the mere provision of rooms, and so it turned out with the Athenaeum.

hotels in piccadilly
The Athenaeum is right on Piccadilly and opposite the suitably green spaces of Green Park

While it is a smaller hotel than the likes of grander five star London hotels such as the Ritz, Savoy or the Dorchester for example, by thoughtful interior design, friendly staff and pleasant little touches the Athenaeum has been turned from what could have just been a soulless tourist hotel into something rather more personal. Continue reading The Athenaeum, London: small but friendly Piccadilly hotel