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LONDON A cut above

A quintessentially English dining experience, Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar is to launch at the end

of March. Located in the five-star London Marriott County Hall hotel, the outlet boasts views of the

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and is named after James Gillray, a famed caricaturist of the late 18th century, whose work punctuates the menu and will be exhibited on the walls. The 110-cover bar and restaurant’s menu features nine cuts of steak, and the1kg Bulls Head

steak – a butterfly cut, double rib steak with the bone in – is the signature dish. “Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar is all about indulging in great English produce – we want it to

speak English at every level,” said Denver Jeffrey, director of food and beverage. The interior design is sophisticated but unpretentious, featuring classic lighting and furniture

pieces, such as a Chesterfield sofa and Waterford chandeliers, all of which are bespoke crea- tions by designer Blacksheep. The bar offers a selection of 29 gins, and an impressive cocktail collection created by head

bartender, Carlos Santos. The menu is ordered by historical era, from the Georgian era – with cocktails such as National Debt, Wife & No Wife and Very Slippy Weather each taking their name from popular James Gillray sketches – through to contemporary concoctions and mo- lecular mixology. The bar menu also lists 10 English beers and two Scottish brews from Innis & Gunn, and

five English vodkas. London Marriott County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Southbank, London, SE1 7PB

Two Brakspear pubs are undergoing major re- furbishments at a total cost of over £500,000. The Crown at Playhatch near Reading has closed for a complete redevelopment and will reopen in late February, while The White Hart at Nettlebed, near Henley-on-Thames, is opening seven new bedrooms. The Tailor Made Dining Company, owned by Ted Docherty and Dion Ko- rving, runs both pubs. The Crown, one of Brakspear’s most suc-

cessful food pubs, is being redesigned through- out. The result will be a more open, airy pub- restaurant with additional tables for diners and a re-sited, larger bar area. The Barn Room, used for wedding receptions and other functions, is being redecorated; the kitchen is being refitted, and all 10 letting rooms are being completely refurbished. Outside, the garden and patio are- as are being re-landscaped, doubling the space available for al fresco dining.

Harveys Cellars BRISTOL

Bringing sherry into the 21st century

The Harveys Cellars in Bristol re-opened as a contemporary sherry and tapas bar in January, in collaboration with sherry brand, Harveys. The opening taps into the revival in sherry

as a popular drink, consumed both straight and chilled, as well as mixed in cocktails. It also brings sherry back to Denmark Street, once central to Bristol’s sherry trade. Originally designed as a restaurant in 1961

by Sir Terence Conran, the newly renovated Harveys Cellars retains much of the 1960s feel but also features a new island bar, separate VIP area, music room and private hire room. The new venture is expected to be a hit

with the local business market, theatre crowd and tourists. The bar serves sherries from Harveys,


Shepherd Neame KENT

Two new looks

Kent-based Shepherd Neame has enhanced two of its pubs. The Bear Inn in Faversham has enjoyed a £60,000 refurbishment, while The Imperial in Southborough has new licen- sees and a new look following an investment of £125,000. The Bear Inn is Faversham’s oldest pub

including the award-winning VORS range, matched with tapas dishes. Maxxium UK senior brand manager for

Harveys, Jane Wilson, said: “We are witness- ing an emerging trend for new sherry and tapas bars in the UK, which is inspiring con- sumers to explore sherry and encouraging them to include it in their drinks repertoire.”

12 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

and has retained its historic charm, such as its traditional three-bar system, while boosting modern comforts. “We have kept a lot of the memorabilia, as well as putting up some origi- nal pictures from the pub and the local area,” said licensee Chris Annand. In Southborough, meanwhile, The Imperial

has been transformed by combining contem- porary design with comfortable and stylish furnishings. The new interior includes a glass

Meanwhile, developments at The White

Hart in Nettlebed mark the second phase of this pub’s transformation, following a £250,000 investment in April last year. The focus this time is on accommodation, with the addition of six new bedrooms and one new honeymoon suite, bringing to 19 the total number of rooms at the site. “These are challenging times for pubs, but

we’re confident that our investment in both these very successful sites will be worthwhile,” said Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive. “Talented tenants like Ted and Dion are

managing to grow trade, despite the downturn, by offering customers the ‘pub essentials’ of great food and drink, consistently high stand- ards and a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.”

Playhatch, Reading, RG4 9QN and 28-30 High Street, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DD


£500,000 investment

lobby, a chandelier of wine bottles, an open fireplace with feature mirrors above it, a mod- ern bar, and a traditional games area.

3 Market Place, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7AG and 29 London Road, Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 0PB


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