Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

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A Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea

7.5/10

Alice in Wonderland fans will love the new revival of the much loved book, brought to life in the form of the Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea in the 5-star Hyatt Regency London hotel. Available until 8th September, the afternoon tea is held in the beautiful Montagu restaurant, where all the best lines and phrases of the book are brought to life in food-form. Suits me to a T.

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Koji

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High end Japanese in Fulham with some of the best raw food

7/10

Trendy Fulham has a new-ish Japanese restaurant that looks properly the business and might rival Roka for style. It’s all dark wood and vintage glass, clever lighting and cream, feathered design touches. It’s both gorgeous and understated, and really very elegant. With an open sushi bar in the dining room and the sushi chefs working methodically away against a soundtrack of cocktails being concocted at the bar, there is a lot at Koji to take your breath away, at first glance anyway.

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T2 Tea

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Product Review: Tea from the Aussies

Teas are not all born the same, and neither are the companies and brands that sell them. There are the prestigious family-run institutions with histories that span decades and generations, and there are the newer brands whose sense of fun and frivolity combine with the serious business of proper tea in a marriage that results in quirky and unique products. T2 is one of the fun ones.

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Bubbleology, Soho

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Popping bubbles and tea at a quirky lab-themed cafe

6.5/10

Bubbleology is a quirky café with chemical formulas and compositions scrawled across the blackboard walls, and a mess of lab equipment at the till behind which the staff work tirelessly in their lab coats to create funky flavoured bubble teas. The science project lab-themed café is the perfect foil for a few highly processed drinks, and the geek in me feels right at home.

The concept of bubble tea grew legs in Taiwan a decade or so ago, gaining popularity around the globe until finally reaching London, and there are now numerous places to get your fix, from the smaller kiosks near Carnaby Street to larger chains throughout London. With branches in Soho, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge and Westfield Stratford City, Bubbleology is a mid-sized operation conceived through the efforts of ex-banker Assad Khan who, inspired by a trip to New York, decided to cash in on the popularity of the relatively new drink. Props to him.

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The Real Greek Covent Garden

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Casual cuisine at a Greek chain

6/10

The Real Greek has countless outposts across London, and serves an all-encompassing menu of Greek food which forays occasionally into other Mediterranean terrains as well as further into the dips and wraps of Lebanon. I’ve just been to Santorini, and adored the Greek food there, and so I’m excited to try out a London counterpart.

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The Piano Works

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A throbbing, strobe-lit underground arena of live music

8.5/10

Simple food, a few confidently made cocktails and a bit of live music are all things that make a great night out, and all three are done fabulously well at The Piano Works.

This late night newcomer is based in the heart of Farringdon, in a 400-capacity Victorian-listed warehouse. The premise at The Piano Works is simple – you write down whichever song you want to hear onto a napkin, give that napkin to a waitress who passes it on to the band. The band, formed of pianists, guitarists, saxophone players and an impassioned drummer, only play songs requested by napkin  – a fabulous medium in which to communicate, by the way.

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Scarlet’s

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A new late-night Leicester Square bar

6.5/10

Scarlet’s is the new late-night Leicester Square bar that sits on the corner previously occupied by Verve. Like its predecessor, Scarlet’s has a basement club and cocktails served all day upstairs, as well as the additional option of a brunch brimming with fresh eggs and avocados. Drinking and general merriment can continue unabated until 3am every Monday-Saturday night, with a personalized soundtrack provided by the residential DJ who plays songs by request.

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