Sunday, 20 July 2014

New Domain Begins With Launch Of .bar & .rest

New domain names are set to make the food, drink and hospitality sectors more visible online as Nina Koo Seen-Lin discovers.

Drinks and digital speak - two things you wouldn’t necessarily think to come across recently at The Sanderson Hotel. Nevertheless, the hotel managed to combine the two subjects and quite successfully actually. Cocktails made with Beluga vodka were shaken or stirred together and served for the celebration of the newly launched global domains for bars and restaurants: .bar and .rest.

Punto 2012, a Mexican-based company, created the .bar and .rest domains to improve the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and visibility of bars and restaurants. Services in the food and beverage industry will be able to create their own directory in the crowded .com space and make their businesses hyper clear on the internet.

It makes sense, and it’s a wonder why this hasn’t been thought of sooner. The Generic Top Level Domains (gLTDs) will organize and categorize the Internet like never before and domains can be placed into categories that define what a business is and what services they provide.

The inception of this will evolve the Internet into a broader and easier-to-navigate global landscape. No longer will the dull and excessively used .com or be seen as the only option. Gone will be the days when your friend tells you about a quirky little eaterie with an obscure name that makes it a task to search for online.

Will it work? Time will tell, but from the looks of things it seems positive. Since early June 2014 bars and restaurants have been reserving new premium gTLDs before domains were released to the general public on 14 July. It’s what the company call the “Land Rush” period.

The leading restaurants that have put in bids in so far include Geranium in Denmark, Grub in Los Angeles, and Casellula in New York. Meanwhile, brands such as Harrys Bar, Wynn Resorts and Moet Hennessy have secured names ending in .bar during the exclusive trademark registration period.

“Restaurants, bars and related food and beverage industries now have an incredible opportunity to grab the perfect domain name that defines who they are and what they do,” says Aaron Grego, CEO of Punto 2012. “More descriptive names will give businesses the exposure they need to be found easier online.”

It’s all very exciting and therefore certainly something to celebrate. Thank goodness the Beluga vodka cocktails kept coming in various forms. The most interesting was definitely a Beluga Collins boozy pastille sweet by cocktail confectioners, Smith & Sinclair.

With over 19.5 million restaurants worldwide, with at least 70% using the internet to attract more customers, the demand for more domain names has never been needed more. Also, it’s never been so important to find ways of standing out from the crowd. With the launch of .bar and .rest, the possibility to be searched for easily by hungry and thirsty punters is set to become searchable reality.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Photos: Chateau Marmot London Pop-Up Restaurant & Lower Marsh Saturday Food Market

Fluid London’s Christian Rose-Day discovers Chateau Marmot, a pop-up dining experience that is popping up around London.

Last week Fluid London was invited along to the new Lower Marsh Saturday food market just behind Waterloo station along what is fast becoming a cool, hip and trendy (yes, I just used all three of those words in the same sentence) Broadway Market area of south London.

To celebrate and highlight the fantastic work of the small, independent charcuterie, cheese, bread, cake, pie and almond milk producers at the market - all yummy - pop-up dining restaurant concept, Chateau Marmot decided to take up residence in a disused shop on Lower Marsh for a couple of days. The menu they create for the pop-up event was exclusively sourced from the producers in the market that day. What a lovely idea!

Being suckers for pop-up restaurants and supper clubs in unusual London locations, Fluid London decided to go along to see what the Marmot could deliver.

The location.
The assembled diners.
 The Chateau Marmot chefs.

The setting.
 The Marmot artwork gallery, naturally.
Chateau Marmot own brand beer. 
 Charcuterie from Cannon and Cannon at the Lower Marsh Saturday food market with piccalilli and chilli jam.
 Wild mushroom, shiitake dashi, wakame, benito and soft poached (biodynamic) eggs from Orchard Eggs.
 Hansen and Lydersen smoked salmon with winter veg, blood orange gel and kolrabi. 
This was followed by an Eton mess with almond milk and vanilla custard from The Pressery with palm sugar jelly, chocolate soil and passion fruit.
Theo Cooper, the founder Chateau Marmot, serving up come almond milk.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Every little ‘Alps – London’s best après-ski themed bars

Following on from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Fergus Price discovers that you don’t need snow in London to enjoy the post skiing sensation.

So it turns out there are a few upsides to the winter months after all. ‘Tis the season for skiing, for a start – or (if you can’t actually make it out to the slopes) at least dressing up in outrageous lederhosen and hitting one of the city’s many après-ski themed bars.

The gold chalet standard for such venues is, of course Bodo’s Schloss, an Austrian pine wood farmhouse (pictured above) that has been bafflingly transplanted to Kensington and populated by affable, sophisticated winter wanderers. As the resident DJ blasts out the hits and the hot toddies start to flow, you can almost convince yourself that you’ve just choppered in from Davos.

Galante of Kensington know how to do winter properly – in late February, undeterred by the drizzle-soaked realities of this most inclement of seasons, its sleek, intimate interior was temporarily transformed into a cosy winter wonderland by means of some subtle flourishes – ice luges liberally dispensing vodka, endless fondue, that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, the Jones Family Project restaurant and bar in Shoreditch – an area not normally noted for its Arctic climates – is one of many trendy London venues that laid on the shtick with wild abandon, and Gluhwein a-plenty. The raised restaurant platform in the basement has been converted into a ski lodge complete with animals heads and mocked-up wintery scenes, for the full seasonal impact (minus the bone-chilling cold, naturally).
Bank’s Coq d’Argent bar and restaurant is well-known for its Lodge d’Argent Alpine terrace (pictured above), a treasure trove of fairy lights, heavy blankets and a star-gazing telescope, all available for exclusive hire in the evenings for up to 100 people.
And a little further afield, The Leather Bottle of Earlsfield boasts five intimate ski chalets (pictured above), each based on a famous resort and equipped with toasty heaters and blankets.

So if you’re London-bound in winter, and can’t see a light at the end of the grey, damp tunnel, do not despair – all the glamour and glitz of the slopes is right on your doorstep, and without the chore of actually doing any skiing beforehand to boot!

Friday, 28 February 2014

Photos & Video: City of London Strip Club and Lap Dancing Bar Reopens

Fluid London checks out the erotic moves of the gorgeous girls at the newly opened Charlie’s Angels club near Aldgate.

Last night, Fluid London’s Deputy Editor had the pleasure of investigating the changes that have occurred at what is now called Charlie’s Angels strip bar and lap dancing club in Aldgate.

This City of London private dancing club was previously known as Club Oops, but after a recent refurbishment and a few sexy additions to the girls who dance there, the club has become a different kind of erotic adventure. Gone are the sports TV screens and the awkward front bar; and in come the heated outdoor seats and lounge bar appeal that provide more opportunities to relax and chat freely with the stunning group of girls at Charlie’s.

Below are some photos and a couple of sneaky yet saucy videos to enjoy of the new look strip bar and lap dancing club. How does it compare to all the other great strip bars and gentlemen’s club in London?

Hot tip: Sign up to this voucher and get free admission, a free drink ad half price on drinks until midnight.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

11 Bars, Restaurants & Hotels For Celebrating London Fashion Week

Fluid London’s Nathalie Bonney uncovers the most stylish London Fashion Week hotspots.

With the spring/summer 2014 collections now being unveiled at London Fashion Week, the fash pack will be in need of low-cal, energy-zapping lunches, designer cocktails and celebrity haunts to keep them going.

To give them a helping hand, here’s our roundup of the best LFW restaurants, bars and hotels to visit this week.

Afternoon Tea

Cupcakes, the cronut and macarons; fashionistas would think nothing of eating rehydrated space dust, if it was on trend. Choose between these LFW-related afternoon teas.

ME hotel London
Musicians and models go together like scones and clotted cream so it makes sense that ME Hotel’s BRITs exhibition and floral afternoon tea are a marriage made in fashion heaven. Feel like a celeb sitting in the hotel’s low-lit downstairs bar and foyer area, otherwise known as the Marconi lounge bar.

Don’t recline on the plush leather seating for too long though because aside from savouring the afternoon tea treats (mental note: save enough space for the top tier cakes: the orange flower and marmalade sponge and lychee, raspberry and rose tart are sublime), there’s an exhibition of photo portraits to celebrate the BRIT awards.

Images of everyone from Michael Jackson during THAT performance of Earth Song, Justin groping Kylie and a happy-looking Amy Winehouse are some of the iconic pictures on display.

The Berkeley
Want a Mulberry handbag and Burberry Mac for £39? Head to swanky Knightsbridge hotel The Berkeley for it’s Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea (pictured above) served in The Caramel Room. Alongside these cute biscuits, the rest of the cakes take inspiration from the fashion world with a Miu Miu chocolate mousse wrapped in an orange scarf and an Anglomania Vivienne Westwood mint macaron. Look out for its new Spring collection tea launching in April too.

Pont St
Wheat free cakes and bread, AKA any food that doesn’t give you the unattractive football belly, are the holy grail of the fashion crowd. Chef Sophie Michell’s at Pont St restaurant at the Belgraves Hotel has created a wheat-free afternoon tea with miniature scones and homemade jam, pistachio cakes, macarons and a light-as-mousse chocolate delight; not forgetting smoked salmon on rye open sandwich and coronation chicken patties. Available Thursday-Sunday for £35 per person.

Low-Cal Eats and Treats

Catwalk models may look like they haven’t eaten a proper dinner in weeks, but the rest of the fashion world still needs food. Try one of these places for a David Gandy serving of a meal; as tasty as it is healthy and absolutely beautiful to boot.
Regularly visited by A-listers such as Stella McCartney, Colin Firth and Princess Beatrice, Mayfair restaurant, Babbo (pictured above) is offering diners a three course “healthy” meal for London Fashion Week. The superfood-charged menu of zingy crab salad, tuna carpaccio and mint sorbet is available for diners to enjoy until 18 February for £45.

The Trafalgar Hotel
Not only are the dishes in The Trafalgar Hotel’s Express Super Foods Lunch menu light - under 400 calories each - but the hotel also promises to serve food within 15 minutes of ordering; perfect for fashion journos needing a pit stop between catwalk shows. A welcome change from Pret and Eat for everyday nine-to-fivers.

The dishes - served in the Rockwell bar - are packed with wholesome, nutritious ingredients. Try the Rockwell super food salad full of cooked beets, tomatoes, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, quinoa, pomegranate and toasted sunflower seeds.

Those looking for a liquid lunch can either play it teetotal with a Roispresso - a mix of rooibos tea and selected superfoods or go for something stronger courtesy of the Stylist cocktail (pictured right, £11.50), which combines vodka, honey liqueur and creme de violette mixed with agave syrup, lychee juice and lemon.
Take a visit to table tennis bar, Ping, in Earls Court during London Fashion Week and bring back the bitchy with one of the Skinny Bitches pizzas, which each contain just 500 calories. The pizzas are made with a wholewheat crust, light cheeses and healthy toppings such as bresaola and spinach and have each been given a fashionable name, such as Kate, Cara and Claudia. Low cal cocktails, containing everything from tequila to Apple vodka will also be sure to get diners courtside and playing table tennis at this West London ping pong hall during LFW.

Mr Chow
Lunch in Knightsbridge for £24? Thank you very much. A £24 lunch that won’t leave you feeling guilty about the calories consumed? Double thank you. The Light Lunch Menu at Mr Chow’s Chinese restaurant in Kensington (pictured right) includes squab with lettuce, prawns, chicken, scallops and sea mushrooms sauteed in wine. This dish has been name checked by fashion week frontrower Gwyneth Paltrow no less.

Blueprint Cafe
Enjoy the Design Museum’s Paul Smith Exhibition with a glass in hand courtesy of its special Curator dinner on 17 February at Blueprint Cafe in Shad Thames. As well as a drinks reception and tour of the exhibition led by the museum’s head of Curatorial, Donna Loveday, guests have the chance to ask questions  and sit down to a three-course menu for £65.

Fat-free drinks

J Sheekey Oyster Bar
Alongside half a dozen West Mersea Pearl Oysters, sip a glass of Pol Roger Pure for £18.75 at the J Sheekey Oyster Bar in Covent Garden. Brut nature Pol Roger Pure contains no added sugar, making it light and elegant to drink, and with calories to spare. Available until 21 February.

One Aldwych
Cult fragrance Fracas and hotel One Aldwych in the West End have worked together to install a floral display (pictured right) in celebration of London Fashion Week at the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibition in Somerset House. What better way to appreciate florist Mark Siredzuk’s efforts than by sipping a Fashion Galore! cocktail, with jasmine syrup and topped with bergamot foam and rose petal garnish, this gin cocktail is equally flowery and served in a black frosted glass. Costs £12.50 or £22.50 with a ticket to the nearby Isabella Blow exhibition too.

Head straight to the bar of Benares Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair to enjoy one of its LFW inspired cocktails, named and inspired by the world’s four most fashionable cities. Choose between The London, a gin-based (obs.) cocktail infused with cardamom, star anise, black pepper and fresh berries muddled with vanilla sugar and topped with sparkling wine; The New York’s vodka base, strawberry, visciolata cherry wine, passion fruit puree and gomme syrup infusion; The Paris - Martell VS, chocolate liqueur and chocolate infused with chilli; and The Milan - Milan Campari, grapefruit, fresh lime, fresh ginger, gomme syrup and homemade bitters. Available until 5th March.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Photos: 23 New Bars & Restaurants for London Drinkers and Diners

Fluid London’s Christian Rose-Day shares glimpses into the latest bars and restaurants to open in London.

London has been, over the last couple of months, in a festive mode, drinking and dining through a number of Christmas party celebrations and end-of-year Champagne catch ups. Yet the pace at which London’s drinking and dining scene expands has not slowed in the slightest, with new bars and restaurants opening all over the capital.

Here is a collection of photos to provide you with plenty of visual impetus to start compiling a ‘must do’ bucket list for 2014.

5 new bars recently opened in London

BrewDog Shepherds Bush
This Scottish brewing company opened their first bar only a few years ago. Now there are 13 BrewDog bars in the UK, with BrewDog Shepherd’s Bush (pictured above) proving the third such bar in London, after successful branches in Shoreditch and Camden. The bar has 40 draught beers available in a variety of sizes. Perfect for a pint prior to a gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Gangsters Tequila Paradise
It seems Londoners are never quite comfortable at ground level. The number of bars and restaurants at great heights is growing by the week. As is the old London favourite: the basement bar. New cocktail bar, Gangsters Tequila Paradise (pictured above) near Oxford Circus, is the second Fitzrovia venue from the team behind the London Cocktail Club who have this time brought a bit of LA Noir graffiti drama to the streets of our capital.
Possibly central London’s best sports bar, new venue Riley’s on Haymarket (pictured above) provides three ping pong tables, seven pool tables, four bars, the largest sports screen in London (apparently), plus 34 TVs screening 70 different sports channels from around the world. If they’re not showing it, then the match probably never happened.
Simmons Camden
One of our critics paid a visit to the new Simmons Camden bar (pictured above) recently and came away stating, “Simmons bar is exactly what Camden has been crying out for: a well thought out, fun loving cocktail bar with passionate bartenders.” Following the cocktails-in-teacups and skull-shaped disco ball popularity of Simmons in King’s Cross, they’ve wisely done it all again for the Camden crowd.
Zinc (pictured above) - the new bar and club 31 floors up Tottenham Court Road’s iconic Centre Point - has just been launched, offering cocktail and DJ-fuelled Friday and Saturday night fun with one of the best views in London.

18 new restaurants recently opened in London

We all know how well Soho restaurant, Ceviche, was received. Martin Morales, its founder, has recently opened Andina (pictured above) too, turning seasonal British produce into Peruvian Andes dishes in Shoreditch.
Augustus Harris
West End theatregoers, there’s a delightfully cosy new bàraco called Augustus Harris (pictured above) to enjoy before or after the performance. Hide away in the basement restaurant, or take a stool at the upstairs copper bar and keep an eye on the action.
Cafe Football
Before you ask, yes that is Premier League legend Ryan Giggs and his mate Gary Neville in the above picture. Football is now edible thanks to the Manchester United players’ new restaurant at the Westfield Mall Stratford called Cafe Football.
Chotto Matte
Japanese inspired Nikkei cuisine got a street art overlay recently with the opening of Chotto Matte (pictured above). This Soho restaurant is split over three floors and includes a sushi bar, robata grill and lounge.
Ember Yard
As the name suggests, the new Ember Yard restaurant (pictured above) in Soho utilises the smoky aromas of charcoal to cook the Spanish and Italian dishes on its menu. If you liked Opera Tavern, Salt Yard and Dehesa you’ll probably want to visit this, the fourth restaurant in the Salt Yard Group.
And if it’s charcoal grilled food you’re after, check out the new Foxlow restaurant (pictured above) in Clerkenwell. Two-floors of action, yet again. I sense a trend.
This rather snazzy looking booth table belongs to the new Indian restaurant, Gymkhana (pictured above), in Mayfair. An old school British feel coupled with a Tandoor oven menu and a bar list that includes Indian punches, absinthe, arrack and Indian pale ales.
Hudson’s House
The proximity to Tottenham Court Road tube station makes the new Hudson’s House bar and restaurant (pictured above) an attractive option when that “one for the road” urge hits you in central London. No problem if it goes beyond that time limit though; the restaurant is part of a hotel with plenty of rooms available. Ding dong!
Jones Family Project
Split level restaurant? Check. Grilled meat? Check. Plush, cosy booths? Check. The trend(s) continues in 2013 with the opening of this new Shoreditch restaurant (pictured above), which goes by the name of The Jones Family Project.
Now here’s something a little different. A Mexican restaurant minus the walls filled with colourful lucha libre masks and strange, potent varieties of hot sauce; instead just minimalist interior design and, intriguingly, “tequila lockers” for regular customers. Plus, Peyote (pictured above) is situated in Mayfair. Full marks for being unique.
Also popping up recently on the streets of Mayfair is new restaurant, Rextail (pictured above), the second establishment from Russian restauranteur, Arkady Novikov; this time focusing on fish, meat and game dishes.
The Rum Kitchen
So brand new is the new Soho branch of The Rum Kitchen just off Carnaby Street, that we don’t yet have an image of the restaurant itself. So here’s a record instead. Expect much of the same Caribbean flavour as the Notting Hill restaurant; and yes, plenty of rum.
Sign of the Don
The new Sign of the Don restaurant (pictured above) has 400 types of wine, champagne and cocktails on the menu. Oh, and some food. But 400 types of wine, champagne and cocktails: hello!
The wine list across town at new Marylebone restaurant, Sixtyone (pictured above), has a meagre 200 bins. Enjoyably, 20 of these are by the glass. Again, as this is a restaurant, there is also food available.
Strip Bar and Steak
I’d like to shake the hand of whoever named this new Farringdon restaurant Strip Bar and Steak. When browsing through Google, and on the strength of the name, you might hope for more than appears in the photo above. However, be assured that there is plenty of flesh on the menu.
The busy walkway between the South Bank and Waterloo station has been crying out for more drinking and dining choices. The new Topolski art cafe and live music venue (pictured above) is the answer.
In the centre of town at 3am and fancy a very late burger? Perhaps you yearn for breakfast at 9 in the evening? Providing around-the-clock munchies for hungry Londoners is the new 24-hour restaurant, VQ (pictured above), next to Tottenham Court Road tube station in Bloomsbury.
Wright Brothers
Following the success of their Borough Market restaurant, the Wright Brothers have flown over to Spitalfields Market in the City of London and opened a new restaurant there too (pictured above). Key seafood fan fact: the onsite sea water tanks contain 1400 live crab, oysters and lobsters!