1 | For A Fantastical Feast: Mirror Room at Rosewood London (above)
Amandine Chaignot has been working on her new menu at the Rosewood – perhaps Holborn's most swish hotel – for months. It has certainly proved worth the wait. Since her background includes working at both Le Meurice and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris – as well as with Alain Ducasse – Chaignot’s ‘Woodland’ menu is unsurprisingly dainty and obviously très chic, but having used quintessentially British, her creations are unmistakably Anglo-Franco. Served in the darkened, salon-style setting of this dining room, it is also the perfect seting for a special date night.
Start with the canapés, which include girolles croquettes, or foie gras and blackcurrant lollipops, or unrecognisably elegant smoked Jerusalem artichoke (complete with smoke). Both starters and mains, at this time of year, are a feast of rich game, mushrooms, dark greenery and some lighter fish options, and all have blissfully creative wine pairings on offer – the icing on the cake.
Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
2 | For Tasty Indian Street Food: Hoppers
The Soho foodie hotspot of the moment is Hoppers, on Frith Street (just look for the long queue and you'll find it). Named for the crispy pancakes familiar to travellers in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Hoppers is the latest venture from London restaurant visionary Karam Sethi, of Trishna and Gymkhana distinction.
As well as the eponymous snacks (go for the egg hopper, which is even better than the plain), you can feast on short eats (we recommend the mutton rolls, spicy hot butter devilled shrimps and the amazing bone marrow varuval); terrific dosas with chutney; and a selection of moreish currys (or "karis", including black pork, guinea fowl and an extraordinary crab kari, which we had as a special).
The room is buzzy and convivial, the soundtrack is loud, the prices are extremely reasonable and the cocktails are as witty and innovative as you'd expect from Sethi. We recommend the Tapper's Tipple to start, to be followed by any number of Lion Lagers.
49 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SG; hopperslondon.com
3 | For Your Daily Exercise (Plus Groove): Skate Somerset House
Oh yes indeed. It’s that time of year again, when couples wrap up warmly to go and look mildly ridiculous skating round a picturesquely-placed ice rink. And Somerset House wins hands down for setting – you’ll end up with excellent snapshots. But it’s not all woolly hats and marshmallows, what with the club night schedule in place: Ministry of Sound, Ibiza Rocks, Rob da Bank and many more are on the bill come evening times, with the South London Soul Train even putting in a turn on 11 December.
If you can’t wait that long, book tickets for this Sunday, which is jazz night thanks to the EFG London Jazz Festival. What could get you into a skating groove better? And then collapse into the Fortnum’s Lodge to enjoy cheese fondue, some mulled cider or, our particular recommendation, a Sloe Royale (sloe gin and Fortnum’s champagne).
Strand, London, WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
4 | For A Hungover Brunch: Berners Tavern
Jason Atherton’s destination dining room in Fitzrovia has just added Sunday brunch to its list of reasons to visit, of which there were already plenty.
The service runs from 9am to 4pm to bridge that late-rising hole for all-day hangover food and to join the growing list of central London spots with well-crafted brunch menus that cater for the hearty and healthy.
Highlights include Moroccan fried eggs in tomato fondue, classic avocado and poached eggs, prawn brioche roll with fries and the memorable confit duck hash brown with poached eggs.
Wash it down with a coconut water, mango and lime smoothie torestore some nutrients. And a bloody mary, of course.
10 Berners St, London W1T 3LF, bernerstavern.com