Located in a characterful Edwardian building on one of Mayfair’s most elegant streets, Gazelle is a new stylish dining and cocktail destination, launched by two hospitality heavyweights. The first is one of SL’s favourite mixologists, Tony Conigliaro – the man behind Bar Termini, Untitled, 69 Colebrook Row and Zetter Townhouse – who’s partnered with El Bulli alumni Rob Roy Cameron to create an atmospheric spot that places as much emphasis on cocktails as it does its modern European dishes (the team’s ‘mushroom layers’ plate is deceptively named – this is masterful cookery). Accessed by a private lift, the first-floor restaurant is flooded with natural light during the day, but transforms into an intimately lit, vibrant dining room come evening. A bold cocktail bar on the second floor is accessed via a bespoke spiral staircase, giving it a secretive air. Make sure to sample the team’s signature sip, the Babydoll.
48 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4DH
One of our favourite openings of 2016, Native opened in Neal’s Yard to tremendous praise, particularly when it came to its sustainably-sourced, inventive use of foraged ingredients. Now the team has upped sticks around the corner from Borough Market – providing yet another reason for foodies to pay the area a pilgrimage. Much larger than its Covent Garden original, the new Native offers an expansive dining room decked out with parquet wooden floors, complete with exposed brick, trailing greenery and widely spaced table – a rare joy in this part of town. More joyful still is the seasonal menu: highlights include the likes of potato risotto with fermented truffle, tamari and spenwood cheese; fallow deer with caramelised cauliflower, carrots, carrot tops and salsa verde; followed by Braeburn apple pie with chamomile cream, smoked caramel and pistachio. Even the drinks incorporate naturally sourced ingredients: the sea buckthorn negroni is not to be missed.
32 Southwark Street, London Bridge, SE1 1TU
Yes, this one technically launched at the start of July, but the summer heatwave managed to derail the smooth opening of Yottam Ottolenghi’s newest site – the restaurant was closed for weeks while the team battled to restore its broken environmentally-friendly kitchen heat-recovery unit. Thankfully, it’s reopened – and to much fanfare. Here, vegetables are the main event – all sourced from small-batch supplier and farmers, naturally – but there’s also a focus on fermentation and cooking over fire: think Jersey Royals smoked on top of hay; hand-dived scallops with cucumber kombucha or peaches grilled over fire. Meat also makes it onto the menu – one of the highlights includes onglet skewers with beef fat mayonnaise and fermented green chillies – while the Insta crowd has rightly gone nuts for the crumpet lobster toast. All this is served in a bright space in Fitzrovia, resplendent in natural woods and red furniture: it all makes for an extremely pleasant place to spend a Saturday with friends.
59 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, W1A 3AE
As its Michelin-starred sister Tamarind of Mayfair closes for a refurb, Soho’s Tamarind Kitchen has stepped into the limelight, with a brand new menu of its own. Offering a taste of what’s to come once the Mayfair site relaunches, the menu offers a light combination of small plates that smash the perception of Indian food as heavy and cream-laden. Expect to sample the likes of crispy grilled oysters with pickled vegetables with coriander mint sauce; Scottish hand-dived scallops with green apple and fennel said and curried lentil sauce and chargrilled baby chicken with chilli and garlic wafers. The Russell Sage Studio-designed space offers a relaxed but contemporary feel – we’re a big fan of the antique mirrors and individual ornate wooden booths that seat four.
167-169 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 8WR
Launched by twins Alberto and Arian Zandi, Kensington High Street’s Zuaya is a new Latin American restaurant that focuses on flavoursome fine dining. An influencer’s dream, this stylish two-storey restaurant transports diners to a tropical paradise spiked with antique chandeliers, quirky curiosities (we like the flamingo lighting) and a plethora of greenery. We’d begin with a colourful cocktail at the marble-topped bar, before taking a private velvet-curtained booth for dinner. Here, small plates mix Mexican staples with highlights from Peru, Brazil and modern Europe – think sea bream ceviche, salmon tacos and presa ibercia cooked over a robata grill. Can’t decide which cuisine to try? We recommend the seven-course tasting menu, which comes in at £40pp: the aged Peruvian rib-eye manages to be both punchy and light. A rolling range of DJs throughout the weekend transform Zuaya from date hotspot to late-night bar in moments.
35 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 5BA
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