1 | For Some New Year Novelty: Sky Garden (above)
Brand new this week is Sky Garden, which opened on Monday – three floors of restaurants at the top of the City’s Walkie Talkie, boasting the capital’s highest rooftop gardens. Otherwise known as 20 Fenchurch Street, this is a modern London landmark for you to make the most of. If you never liked the look of the building anyway, then you may as well be looking out of than at it, and if panoramic skylines are your thing, then this is definitely for you.
Looking after the food is “rhubarb” food design, known for its luxury restaurants in top art galleries and VVIP events service. The fanciest of the three restaurants here is the Fenchurch Bar & Grill on Level 37 – the top floor. It serves oysters, caviar, dressed crab, 10oz steaks, you name it. We’re salivating at the smoked bacon butter and thyme brioche that comes with the truffled Jerusalem artichoke soup. Then kick back with a cocktail (classics and new inventions) on the terrace (January weather-permitting) and take in the skyline. This is a new one to impress with come date night.
20 Fenchurch Street (via Philpot Lane), London, EC3M 3BY; rhubarb.net
2 | For Detoxing In Style: Pure Taste
January: the month of misery and hunger. And even if you’re not denying yourself life’s edible pleasures, then chances are that your other half is. Whether you stand in solidarity by joining in (snapping at each other as you starve) or try your luck with a spot of affectionate taunting (whilst scoffing a burger, obviously), mealtimes have probably turned into a minefield of some sort. But if you’re clued up about this kind of stuff, then you’ll know about the most fashionable of all current regimes, the paleo diet. And there is a now a whole new restaurant devoted to its practice.
Pure Taste started life as a pop-up in Sussex and, one Kickstarter campaign later, is a swish new restaurant in Notting Hill. As a general rule, if a caveman didn’t eat it, then neither can you. So that means no dairy, gluten, grains, animal fat, legumes or alcohol but plenty of meat, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds and anything that a hunter-gatherer could have found for himself. The restaurant’s menu looks deceptively ‘normal’ thanks to the inventive techniques of its chemistry-graduate head chef, and it even features biodynamic wines and gluten-free beer. Who said dieting had to be dull?
115 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UP; puretasterestaurant.com
3 | For Screwing The Detox: Canvas
You might take an alternative view of January and use its innate gloom as a reason to treat yourself. Hell, there’s nothing else to look forward to right now, so how about booking a 16-course pick’n’mix tasting menu? Throw in the wines to match, while you’re at it. Michael Riemenschneider’s Sloane Square restaurant is reopening on Tuesday after a refurb (it now has fireside seats for your preprandials and a champagne dining room in case you’re really splashing out), and diners can compile their own menus of anywhere from one to 16 courses from his epic selection.
Our tip is to go for the surprise menu: six-courses chosen for you by the chef, taking all stressful deliberations out of your hands. It’s not a gamble either – your waiter will take a list of foodstuffs you’re not so keen on (with no judgment, promise), which the kitchen uses to cater your dishes accordingly. Every plate is dainty, delicious and a bit of fun, and the sommelier places the perfect cherry on top (his Bostonian Rieslings are a marvel). If you haven’t totally bankrupted yourself for the new year and could use some post-festive cheer, then rock up here to top up your indulgence levels.
1 Wilbraham Place, London, SW1X 9AE; canvaschelsea.com
4 | For A Post-Christmas Festival: KERB at The Clubhouse
Street stall foodies KERB have set up shop in Hackney Wick, opening the doors to a an old mirror factory turned covered food market every weekend until March. Christmas may be over, but there is still plenty of brilliant food to be had, and all accompanied by live music and DJs, late into the night.
Amongst the ever-changing guest vendors, there is a sterling line-up of regulars; Fundi Pizza are serving up slices from a mirror ball mosaic pizza oven, Crabbieshack have soft shell crab with fries and cockle popcorn, there are barbeques, there are tacos, and a special Hackney Wick burger from The Bleecker Box. Plus doughnuts to finish. Throw in cocktails and craft beers, and let the party continue.
Friday and Saturday nights, 6pm to midnight
05 Monier Road, London, E3 2PS; kerbfood.com