Valentine’s Day

If you are set to spend the big date night alone this Valentine’s Day, fear not, because Tastecard have crafted a pop-up restaurant in Hackney, London where you don’t need anything else but your own company. How? Why, with mirrors of course! The twist comes at the end when the person is revealed who sat at the other side of your own reflection. Tastecard also crafted contradicting messages, it seems.

For those of you who have a date and would like things to be a bit clearer, there are plenty of options for that romantic dinner this coming Valentine’s Day. From a meal with a view to candle-lit dinners and personal serenades, we’ve got you covered.

Veganuary in numbers

Veganuary last month was big, bigger than ever in fact. Worldwide, a record 400,000 people signed up to the campaign that was started in the UK in 2014. Only three countries have not had any signatories participate, but plenty of businesses are creating and selling more and more vegan products.

Rising rents equal restaurant bankruptcy

The last week has been less jolly for the Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation. Two of their Michelin-starred restaurants entered administration due to unpaid taxes. The Square was shut down by administrators in the middle of lunch service. Umu, which specialises in Japanese cuisine, continues to trade while administrators seek interest from potential buyers. In a statement, the corporation explained that it had not been able to keep up with costs due to a dramatic rise in rents and rates in the last few years.

New Padella

Restaurants come and go, but we hope the latest Padella branch is here to stay. The pasta joint is due to open its second restaurant on Phipp Street in Shoreditch, just before Valentine’s Day. You’ll find Borough Market classics such as pici cacio e pepe and beef shin ragu, and some additions as well, such as fritti on antipasti.

Big Jo bakery

We’re also extremely excited about Jolene’s new Big Jo bakery to open in North London’s Hornsey Road, although this won’t happen until May this year. Its current bakery-restaurant-hybrid in Newington Green is a neighbourhood favourite and has seen rave reviews. Set the date in your calendars, because the Hornsey bakery will be huge, with everything from grain silos to pizza ovens and even a small fermentation lab for drinks.

Coronavirus and racism

The coronavirus from Wuhan in China is on everybody’s mind these days, but have we given thought to how it could wrongly be associated with a person’s food culture and race? Let’s stick to the facts and take precautions such as washing our hands whenever we go outside and come into contact with anyone.

Olympic Park restaurant

For those of you in the Stratford area, look forward to the huge ‘flying saucer’ restaurant which will open at the entrance to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park within the next year. The new landmark building, called The Pavilion, will be a three-floor restaurant made almost entirely from sustainable timber, with a ground floor café and brasserie, first-floor restaurant, and rooftop bar with views over the park. Summer 2021, we’re ready for you!