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.


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