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Local Area News

Dec 2021
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Thames Rocket - St Katherine's Pier/London Eye

Thames Rocket - St Katherine's Pier/London EyeWhen 007 chased a villain down the Thames in the "The World Is Not Enough", it was definitely a fantasy as London authorities were not, at the time, in the habit of allowing fast boats on that part of the river. However, due to a change in the law, there are a number of companies now offering thrill seekers the opportunity to emulate James Bond. The Thames Rockets are distinctively orange craft that can reach speeds of up to 55 km/h and will take only forty minutes to get from Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier and back.

Taking a trip on these speedboats is bound to make you feel like a Navy Seal or SAS strike force. You can revisit the thrilling 007 river chase while your real life crew combine daredevil skill with typically British humour and with a pop/classical soundtrack blasting out over the roar of the engines. With voice clips from a selection of British icons such as Winston Churchill, Dr Who and Michael Caine, Thames Rocket aims to present London as a feast for all the senses.
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Belvedere Restaurant - Holland Park

Belvedere Restaurant - Holland ParkPositioned between the Orangery and the Ice House sections of Holland House, The Belvedere overlooks the stunning Japanese Gardens of Holland Park. As idyllic settings go, this is one of the best locations to enjoy dinner anywhere in London. Seasonal English produce is teamed up with fine French touches as the menu combines firm favourites, such a duck confit, with intriguing combinations like pumpkin risotto topped with toasted chestnuts. Sunday lunchtime finds The Belvedere buzzing as the chefs serve up delicious roasts with all the trimmings. You'll even find yourself stepping out in between courses so as to enjoy the fabulously ornate Orangery which used to be Lord Holland's summer dining space.

At this time of year the roast lamb is simply a must. Reared on the salt marshes of mid Wales, the meat is delicately flavoured, succulent and tender. Rosemary jus and a delicate carrot mash are complemented by the robust crunchiness of the roast potatoes. There are some fine French reds in the cellar that will set you up for a pleasant stroll among the peacocks of Holland Park. There is hassle free parking within the grounds, making Sunday lunch at the Belvedere an exquisitely civilised affair.
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The Brass Rail - Selfridges Food Hall

The Brass Rail - Selfridges Food HallThe salt beef sandwich, like most comfort foods, is a simple affair both to prepare and serve. Beef brisket is cured in brine until pink and tender. Generous slices are piled onto rye bread with optional mustard and gherkin. The perfect salt beef sandwich must offer a balance between moist beef and sturdy bread without having the mustard overpower both. Opinions vary on which establishment sells the best example of the genre but it helps to know the source of the brisket being used. A Deli that cures it's own beef is a sure sign that your sandwich will be as near to perfection as possible.

The second sign of a good salt beef operation is where the Brass Rail excels. Some of their counter staff have spent decades in the trade and are experts in slicing portions that contain just the right combination of lean meat and fat and it's not uncommon to see regular customers hang back in the line (pretending to look for their money or something equally bogus) until their favourite veteran takes over slicing duties. Salt beef queuing politics? Oy! The Brass Rail is conveniently sited next to entrance of Selfridges Food Hall so if you feel inspired after a hearty sandwich, you can always go shopping for delicacies.
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