The ten hottest tables in London

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Newsletter: FT weekend

Scotts, W1

Sunflowers arrived at Scott’s Mayfair Seafood Institution this fall © Ben Carpenter

This fall, Mount Street’s beloved seafood institution will be overtaken by a Van Gogh-inspired sunflower installation designed by Event Imagineer Tony Marklew. In addition to the usual la carte offers such as scallops with yuzu kosho butter and lobster thermidor, guests can also enjoy sunflower desserts such as The Sunflower Palette – a limited edition dessert made from petits fours artfully arranged around passion fruit parfait and decadent chocolate mousse and a sunflower-inspired gin cocktail until the end of September. scotts-restaurant.com


Ave Mario, WC2

The menu is as OTT as the decor at Ave Mario in Covent Garden

The menu is as OTT as the decor at Ave Mario in Covent Garden © Jérôme Galland

A riot of colors and kitsch patterns, the third London outpost of the Parisian restaurant group Big Mamma, which opened to a great roar this summer and, with its black and white striped walls, plush red benches and religious iconography, is a Mecca for maximalists and Gucci lovers. The menu is just as OTT – with decadent plates such as pizza with caviar sprinkled with crème fraiche, huge ravioli carbonara and a 60 cm high tower made of stracciatella ice cream cake. bigmammagroup.com


Sessions Arts Club, EC1

The Sessions Arts Club combines seasonal cuisine with events and exhibitions
The Sessions Arts Club combines seasonal cuisine with events and exhibitions

St. John’s co-founder Jon Spiteri, architect Russell Potter and artist Jonny Gent have teamed up to create the Sessions Arts Club – a stunning new restaurant, wine bar and gallery space in the Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell. The light and airy dining room is located on the top floor of the listed former courthouse from the 18th century. With ex-Polpetto cook Florence Knight at the helm, the kitchen serves seasonal dishes such as grilled friggitelli with sea salt, sea bream, fig leaf and sorrel, lamb sweetbreads with salad and lovage, ricotta and cherry cake, while a rotation of weekly events and exhibitions brings together luminaries from the fields of art, fashion, music, wellness and theater. sessionartsclub.com


Ritas Soho, W1

A “confluence of culinary cultures”: Rita's Soho

A “confluence of culinary cultures”: Rita’s Soho

After nine years of pop-ups and residences, Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce have finally found a permanent home in Soho for their popular modern American gastronomy concept. It is inspired by the confluence of culinary cultures in the United States, with a particular focus on Mexico and Italy. While they wait for the restaurant to fully open in a few weeks, diners can enjoy plates such as roasted corn and cheddar fritters, jalapeño popper gildas and a Cubano sandwich on cuddly turmeric bread on their covered terrace. Much of the produce is supplied by local growers like Max Onslow of Bateman Road in Chingford who will work with Flynn and Pryce to grow specialty ingredients for the restaurant like cucamelon and tomatillos. ritasdining.com


Slide, W1

Folie hopes to attract a well-heeled audience to Golden Square with opulent interiors and Mediterranean cuisine
Folie hopes to attract a well-heeled audience to Golden Square with opulent interiors and Mediterranean cuisine © Yann Deret

With its opulent interiors, designed by Paris-based studio KO to evoke the glamor of the French Riviera in the 1960s and 1970s (think midnight blue plush velvet chairs, matte gold lamps, and Art Deco-inspired geometric terrazzo floors), Foil pulls a suitably well-heeled floor Crowd to Golden Square. The menu, led by Chef Christophe Marleix, is inspired by the Mediterranean coast with dishes such as grilled octopus, truffle croque monsieur and rum baba with raspberry and vanilla chantilly. folie.london


34 Mayfair, W1

Star-studded 34 Mayfair is bringing a dose of Palm Springs to the capital this month

Star-studded 34 Mayfair is bringing a dose of Palm Springs to the capital this month

Tucked away behind Grosvenor Square, the star-studded seafood and grill restaurant has served everyone from Kate Moss to Pharrell Williams. This month, the celebrity hangout is bringing a dose of sunny Palm Springs to Mayfair, complete with palm trees, pink flamingos, and pink and white striped awnings. Guests can enjoy a limited menu with a salmon poke bowl, Korean BBQ chicken with kimchi coleslaw and a passion fruit parfait with Alphonso mango and black sesame – all rounded off with the Malfy Gin Rosa cocktails. 34-restaurant.co.uk


Louie, WC2

“Stretched out over a five-story townhouse”: the glitzy new Louie in Covent Garden

Founded last year by Guillaume Glipa of Chiltern Firehouse and the Paris Society restaurant group, Louie – named after King Louis XIV and Louis Armstrong – is a dazzling new fusion restaurant in Covent Garden. The restaurant extends over a five-story townhouse and is reminiscent of the glamor and hedonism of Paris and New Orleans in the age of jazz with a huge fish counter, fringed lampshades and a vintage jukebox. The kitchen, run by Mississippi-born chef Slade Rushing, serves French Creole dishes such as oyster po’boy eclairs, Creole-flavored lamb chops with thyme-infused black-eyed peas, and praline bread pudding. louie-london.com


Maison François, SW1

Maison François pays homage to the great French brasseries with its Art Deco-inspired interior and classic dishes
Maison François pays homage to the great French brasseries with its Art Deco-inspired interior and classic dishes

A tribute to the great brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace, Maison François is a chic all-day dining restaurant near Piccadilly Circus with elegant Art Deco-inspired furnishings and tables surrounded by barred glass and Wooden panels are separated. The menu offers brasserie classics such as Céleri Rémoulade, Oeuf en Gelée and Jambon Noir de Bigorre, but the real eye-catcher is the pudding trolley with several drawers that rolls around between the tables and loaded with delicacies such as Paris-Brest pralines, macarons, madeleines, canelés is and more. maisonfrancois.london


Café Cecilia, E8

Max Rocha in his kitchen in London for How To Spend It

Max Rocha in his kitchen in London for How To Spend It © Andrew Nuding

“Simple and no frills” at Café Cecilia in Hackney

“Simple and no frills” at Café Cecilia in Hackney © Jacob Lillis

Café Cecilia, a recently opened brunch spot on the canal in Hackney, was created by Dublin-born chef Max Rocha, whose résumé spans top culinary destinations like the River Café and Skye Gyngell’s Spring. Rocha hired his father, fashion designer John Rocha, to advise on the minimalist interiors, while his sister, fashion designer Simone Rocha, designed the staff’s aprons, making it a stylish family affair. The menu, which includes simple and no frills, like Guinness bread, boiled eggs and coolea for breakfast and slow-cooked rabbit ragù with tagliatelle for lunch, is inspired by dishes her mother Odette prepared for them when they were growing up in Dublin. cafececilia.com


Joe Allen, WC2

Joe Allen is officially reopening this month with a revamped menu

Joe Allen is officially reopening this month with a revamped menu © Charlie McKay

Dubbed “West End’s Canteen,” Joe Allen has drawn glittering audiences since it opened in 1977 and has played host to the great and the good of the theater world. After a long 18-month closure, the hallowed restaurant will open its doors this Thursday with a “preview” menu and will officially reopen on October 15th. At the top of the revised menu with American brasserie classics is ex-Ivy chef Gary Lee, who in addition to new dishes such as crispy duck with watermelon, cress and cashew nuts and pumpkin specialties such as the complete rack of oak-smoked baby back ribs with raw coleslaw serves pie brulee, while lighter dishes like steak tartar toast and potato cigars with truffled blue cheese are available in the redesigned bar, which is inspired by downtown Manhattan pubs. joeallen.de


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