Where To Take Her: Michelin-Starred French, Cocktails And A Nod To Halloween

Our guide to impressing your other half on your next night out

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1 | The Dinner: Les 110 de Taillevent (above)

The French original has two Michelin stars and quite the reputation to its name. Now, Les 110 de Taillevent is open in London as a fabulously chic all-day brasserie. Glamorously understated and swathed in deep green velvet, it quite simply has that hushed air of class that is so craved by many other establishments. And although it is super smart (and, you know, ‘nice’), it is a place where you can go and try out all manner of wines – some really rather swanky – in an affordable way. The ‘110’ refers to the number of wines on the list* and every single dish on the menu comes with four wine recommendations at different prices, which are available in glasses of varying sizes. So whether you fancy splurging or not, you can have wine ideally matched to your food, whatever you choose to eat, without being tied down to a tasting menu or some such.

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As for the food, it is – obviously – French in style and all overseen by the Parisian branch’s Executive Chef. It is intricate and refined but packs a satisfying punch in terms of flavour. Dishes range from comforting patés and foie gras, to a crab remoulade served in a martini glass, and a whole seabass adorned with beautifully colourful veg and lemon dressing, not to mention sirloin with marrow bone, and saddle of lamb with garlic and rosemary. We suggest the “remembering our childhood” desert, which is basically four in one.

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*A piece of trivia for you: it would be an even 100 except for the fact that saying “cent vins” out loud would be a bit misleading if you’re French… (we’ll let you work that one out).

16 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 9DD; les-wwo-taillevent-london.com/en

2 | The Pop-Up: House of Peroni

This is always a great party with lots of beer flowing, and yet it is so stylishly done that it suits all sorts of tastes and makes a suitably snazzy date option; that’s Italian flare for you. Open from today and until the end of November, entry into The House of Peroni on Brick Lane is free, opening up a lively – and slightly barmy – household to guests, who can try cocktails created by The Artesian’s Simone Caporale (recently named best bar in the world for the fourth year running).

And when we say house, we mean it: you can buy keys to unlock different rooms, ranging from the bedroom, to a wardrobe and even a snug where you can mix your own Peroni cocktails with the guidance of an expert. For a real treat, it would also be worth signing up for the full dining option, where you will get six courses of sumptuous Sicilian food prepared by Michelin-starred chef, Accursio Craparo. You’ll get things like chicken live paté with black truffle and pomegranate, braised beef cheek and, curiously, gorgonzola ice cream with pear crumble. And there may be one or two theatrics thrown in, just to spice things up.

29th October – 25th November
152 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RUl; thehouseofperoni.com

 

3 | The Drink: May Fair Bar

Situated just around the corner from Green Park on Berkeley Street, the newly reopened May Fair Bar is the perfect launch pad for a night around London’s most exclusive postcode.

The new bar has floor-to-ceiling windows and a live kitchen as well plenty of private booth space, meaning it manages to feel both vibrant and intimate enough for a good chat.

Cocktails are faultless: martinis, whisky sours, old fashioneds and a good range of champagne concoctions are expertly executed, while a new small plate menu, including Wagyu beef sliders, are properly portioned and delicious. A solid choice, particularly if you’re playing it safe on a first date.

Stratton Street, London, W1J 8LT; themayfairhotel.co.uk

 

4 | The Halloween Nod: Cabaret at Rosewood London

Rather than dressing up and trying to enjoy what would otherwise be normal drinks whilst feeling like a total moron, or else attending some hyperactive clubnight designed for students, take refuge in Rosewood London this Saturday, which is hosting an (actually good) Halloween night in the plush Scarfes Bar. The cosy library will be darkened to feel more like a haunted house as one of the hotel’s hugely entertaining Autumn’s cabaret nights gets underway – and then some.

In the guise of the poet Dante, your MC will introduce fire magicians, contortionists, acrobats, cabaret artists, a string trio and live jazz, just for starters. Along with the usual cocktail and bar snack menus (the latter full of Indian-inspired delights such as the chilli curry leaf pork scratchings with quince chutney - incredibly tasty), there will be special Halloween creations featuring the aptly ghoulish Crystal Head Vodka. These include a Devil's Punch with ginger, lime, basil, elderflower and nutmeg flavours, a take on a dirty martini named Vampire's Kiss, and the Dracula's Blood containing Balsamic berries and rosé vermouth. Fancy dress is “encouraged” and might help you get into the swing of things, if you can possibly bear it.

31st October
Scarfes Bar, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN; scarfesbar.com
Tickets cost £53.50 from seetickets.com

 

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