Tag Archives: Trends

Restaurant review: Amaru

This week I headed to St Katherine’s Dock in London to new Japanese-Peruvian (aka Nikkei cuisine, which is the same as Nobu serves) eatery Amaru. It’s small and a mix of take-out and eat-in food, but it’s brilliant value (think £4-£6 a dish) and amazing quality.

Toasted sesame-crusted tuna with truffle shavings at Amaru, London
Toasted sesame-crusted tuna with truffle shavings at Amaru, London

The miso soup was rich and dark and silky smooth; spicy edamame had a coating of sticky and delicious hot sauce, and sesame seeds for added crunch; the toasted sesame-crusted tuna with truffle and avocado looked almost too beautiful to eat. My favourite was the Peruvian cured beef, wrapped around shredded sweet potato with yuzu, although the rich chocolate ganache cake with mandarin wasabi was pretty dreamy, too (a bargain at £5). Light and airy, it was completely moreish – so much for the “one spoonful” that I was planning to eat!


This gem of a place seats just 15 and is designed to look like a Japanese izakaya bar inside – it’s the perfect place to try eating healthily without even realising it.


Find out more at @amaru_skd on Twitter.

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The shape of spring to come: interiors trends 2015

Want to know what all the best-dressed homes will look like this year? Here’s a taste of what’s in store for 2015 – ten easy interiors trends that are on the up

Burnished metals and rose coppers are having a moment, adorning everything from lighting to vases, even cutlery. “What better way to add a touch of luxe and glamour to your room?” says interior design stylist Sarah Slimm, who works with the likes of Hammonds Furniture. “Set to make an impact in the coming seasons these metallic finishes will dominate the lighting and accessories market with surfaces ranging from smooth and shiny to a worn and riveted.”

habitat copper

Go dark and moody, as seen at Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk) and Heals (www.heals.co.uk), or pale and feminine, a look espoused by M&S (www.marksandspencer.com) for spring 2015.


It’s no coincidence that Dulux’s (www.dulux.co.uk) colour of the year for 2015 is Copper Blush. “The powder pink and rosy metal story shows no sign of waning as the interior design world heads into spring,” confirms Alicia Kaper from Joss and Main. “The secret to making this interiors trend look feel sophisticated is to choose rosy homeware that sits of the duskier side of pink, allowing burnished copper to gleam against it.”


Botanic gardens

Take your cue from Kew Gardens this year and let fauna and flora into your living room and home design – and we’re not just talking about living plants. Leaf, floral and insect prints adorn everything from sofas and cushions to rugs and prints this season.


M&S SS15
M&S SS15


Look for papers and fabrics from nature-inspired Scottish designers Timorous Beasties (www.timorousbeasties.com), bold hothouse palms that unfurl at House of Hackney (www.houseofhackney.com), or for moss-green velvet sofas, fern prints, and cushions buzzing with bees and moths – make a beeline for M&S, whose Botanical collection has to be one of their strongest statements for years. “The vibrant greens and beautiful insect prints will rejuvenate your room for the spring – it’s my favourite interiors trend this season,” explains Amy Horlacher, Living Buyer for M&S.

House of Hackney’s Palmeral print

At Liberty (www.liberty.co.uk), The Secret Garden collection of fabric and wallpapers launches in early 2015, taking its inspiration from the classic 1911 novel. “The book is filled with wonderful textile, colour and design references and amazing narration of the natural world. A diverse series of flora, foliage and texture will reflect the hues of the changing seasons,” comments Emma Mawston, Head of Design at Liberty Art Fabrics Interiors.

liberty secret garden

For a lighter take on the trend, try Laura Ashley’s (www.lauraashley.com) whimsical Palm House range in apple green and topaz – think palm leaf-print wallpaper, hummingbirds and exotic flowers.


Grey bedrooms
Scandi-inspired, grey furniture adds a softness and calm feel to bedrooms. Yorkshire-based Time4Sleep’s (www.time4sleep.co.uk) new Camden bedroom collection comes in pebble, a muted stone shade; Loaf’s latest Clementine and Lourdes wooden furniture has a distressed, grey wash; and The French Bedroom Company’s (www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk) grey painted rattan bed (£1295).




Salvage, reclaim and up-cycling
Thanks to the BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge series people are painting up old cupboards, revamping furniture with new handles and patterns, and finding new uses for old things (suitcases as coffee tables or even shelves; baskets and lobster pots as light shades).

Junk shops and reclaim yards will be happy in 2015, as we breathe new life into pre-loved items to create unique pieces that add character to a home. Get some easy DIY home design ideas from Farrow and Ball’s website, or buy into the look at Loaf.com, whose rustic kitchen range has a very salvage feel about it – chicken wire lampshades and crate-style shelving, reclaimed from old buildings anyone?  loaf crate shelf loaf indiana lamp


Moody blues
Midnight hues, chalky Vermeer shades and bright cobalts – blue is the next “grey” for walls and interiors.

The new Abigail Ahern range for Sofa.com draws on the Victorian era for inspiration
The new Abigail Ahern range for Sofa.com draws on the Victorian era for inspiration

“Autumn’s key colour story evolves as we head into 2015, with inky blues transforming into bold, glossy cobalts and vibrant turquoises as the interiors world hankers for lighter, brighter shades,” notes Alicia Kaper, Joss & Main’s resident style expert. “Rich and uplifting, bright blues layer beautifully together and work best with natural tones. Pair your picks with relaxed fabrics such as muted linens and cottons which allow your bold blues to really pop.”

Artistic Blue -  low res
Think Artistic Blue from Ecos Organic Paints (www.ecospaints.com) as a darker, subtler backdrop, then add a statement piece of furniture, such as Abigail Ahern for Sofa.com’s Abigail sofa in Prussian blue, or Habitat’s new Elder storage unit in a faded aqua blue (£395).

habitat blue shelf


The Grand Canyon
Take inspiration from the arid tones of the desert: yellow ochre, burnt orange, sandy tans and rich earth tones of sepia, sienna and baked clay, to create a natural and strong colour palette in your home, with décor to match. Dulux has an entire colour range – Big Nature, Small Me – designed to capture the sun-scorched feel of the Arizona desert; vast and intimidating yet strikingly beautiful.

dulux big nature dulux bug nature

Both Tesco (www.tesco.com) and George Home (www.asda.com) have looked to the Wild West for ideas, too, to create trends that embrace the raw, organic nature. At George, things have gone a bit Navajo, with bold tribal prints, dreamcatchers and cactus plants juxtaposed against copper and faded greys. Tesco has gone a more Western with its New West trend, that features cushions that could be straight out of the Joshua Tree National Park, chunky leather furniture and patchwork prints that wouldn’t look out of place on a poncho in Santa Fe.

tesco ww


Industrial revolution
There’s no need to turn your home into a warehouse or office – but a few pieces of industrial-influenced accessories or furniture will let any guests know that you’re ahead of the curve in the British style stakes. Anything with skinny metal legs, or old museum or library-style filing or display cabinets would bring your home instantly up to date; as would an old-fashioned Edison-style filament light bulb in an industrial exposed wire shade (try BHS’s Billie Bulb light, £25, www.bhs.co.uk).

BHS Billie light
BHS Billie chandelier

Head to Heals, where a new Industrial Chic collection has just landed; find apothecary-style drawers at Asda; very industrial style tables and metal chairs at Tesco or shop the new Salvage Retro collection from Dunelm (www.dunelm.com), which features old-fashioned wooden filing cabinets as storage units (£299.99) and wheeled coffee-tables (£149.99).

Heals Industrial Chic range


tesco industrial
Tesco SS15


George at Asda


Paint Effects
You might have thought that the era of “paint effects” – rag rolling, sponging, faux wood effects – had died along with TV’s Changing Rooms, but this year, you might just be reaching for your rollers again.

At Dulux, they’re trying to encourage us to mix paints and create ombré effect walls, as well as to contrast window recesses in different colours and to paint each wall of a room in complementary-yet-contrasting tonal shades. Repeat after me “this is definitely NOT a feature wall”. Their website, www.dulux.co.uk is full of home design tips and style ideas to help you get creative with a paint brush or roller.

dulux ombre wall

dulux ombre paint

dulux paint effectdulux paint effect 2

Farrow and Ball (www.farrow-ball.com) has created a guide to painting and adding paint patterns to furniture and walls. And Laura Ashley’s new decorative paint rollers (£30, www.lauraashley.com) are a quick and easy way to get creative with your walls or furniture – you simply dip the roller in paint, which in turn covers the print cylinder as you roll it onto a surface.

FB dresser FB bureau


“Simplicity is key for this graphic trend,” says Emma Mann, Head of Home Design at Sainsbury’s, of a look that is grounded with a pared-back palette of black, off-whites and greys. Striking patterns on textiles and ceramics give the trend an eclectic, almost tribal feel for 2015. Sainsbury’s (www.sainsburys.co.uk) Monochrome Ceramic vase £10 and Furniture Village’s (www.furniturevillage.co.uk) boho-eclectic Harlequin corner sofa have a relaxed, modern vibe that doesn’t feel as harsh as some monochrome schemes, while M&S has gone Oriental.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 15.51.05

by Sainsburys Monochrome Ceramic Vase, £10


On the tiles
Move over laminate flooring, tiling is taking over. And the bolder and brighter the better. Patterns and geometric tiles are proving equally popular, with the likes of Bert and May, British Ceramic Tiles, Fired Earth and Original Style all paving the way. “Tight, small patterned tiles in monochromatic hues alongside bold large geometric tiles in a kaleidoscopic palette dominated this year’s London Design week,” confirms interior stylist Sarah Slimm. “This is a versatile trend applicable to all areas of the house from bathroom, kitchen and hallway floors and walls to a beautiful piece of showcase art in the living room. It’s a key trend that will definitely be picking up pace over the coming season.”



This article appeared in the Daily Mail on 2 January 2015.


Last days of Pisco

This feature appeared in Metro on 25 November…

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 15.15.53

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 15.16.36


Forget the Negroni, ditch the Aperol Spritz – the new drink du jour is the Pisco Sour. Velvet-y smooth, complex and bursting with citrus-y flavours, this grape brandy from Peru is taking the bar scene by storm since Martin Morales opened the UK’s first Pisco bar two years ago. “When we opened in 2012 we were the first Pisco bar in Europe and we only sell pisco – no gin, vodka or rum. Back then only 500 bottles of pisco were sold through restaurants and bars in the UK each year. Now, in 2014. it is 40,000,” says Morales.

Everyone from Kate Moss to Mario Testino has been spotted there sipping the new tequila, and with the growing trend for Peruvian food it was only a matter of time before Pisco began popping up at all the hippest parties.

“Pisco is the perfect drink because it has the soul of cognac, is as versatile as vodka, has the complexity of gin, the smoothness of tequila and as much history as whisky,” says Peruvian Pisco connoisseur José Francisco-Modonese, who is about to open London’s first private members’ Pisco bar, with a menu of rare Piscos and a Bolivian DJ spinning South American tracks till the sun comes up.

The trend is not just reserved to fashionable bars and clubs either. “The rise of the Pisco Sour has helped to drive sales of Pisco,” explains Guy Topping of drinks retailer Amathus. “The diversity of the fantastic grape spirit means that Pisco will be huge in 2015 – we now sell more Pisco than Cognac.”

So if you want to be in with the “it crowd” this party season, order a Pisco Sour.

Martin Morales of Ceviche and Andina, who opened the first Pisco Bar in Europe in 2012
Martin Morales of Ceviche and Andina, who opened the first Pisco Bar in Europe in 2012


This bijou 16-seat cocktail bar has only been open for a few weeks but already it’s making a big noise on the scene, combining Peruvian classics with British ingredients. With the feel of an eccentric, faded colonial home, you can expect home-infused Piscos with seasonal berries, herbs and fruits – try the Mama’s Pisco, a blend of Pisco, fresh raspberry, mint, orange juice, or the Piñamama, a pineapple-infused Pisco with Dead Rabbit Orinoco bitters, orange curaçao, maraschino cherry.


Pisco infusions line the bar at Andina
Pisco infusions line the bar at Andina


Peruvian Martin Morales was inspired by his native Andean cuisine to open London’s first Pisco bar in 2012, and he hasn’t looked back. His second super-hip eatery and basement bar, has jar upon jar of different Pisco infusions, including elderberry, cat’s claw, pineapple, chilli, and even cep mushroom. The Amantani – vanilla-infused Pisco, gin, goji berry and passion fruit juice – packs a superfood punch, and the Pisco moonshine four-shot special, four sipping shots of strawberry, plum, pineapple and blueberry Pisco, is a great way to test out the varieties.

The free Pisco Sour masterclass with bar manager Miguel Arbe on the first Wednesday of every month at 6pm, is a must!



A pisco sour from Andina
A pisco sour from Andina


With a bright, favela-chic interior, this Birmingham restaurant and bar has a South American flavour that runs to the killer cocktail list, which has eight different Pisco-tails. The Pepino – fresh cucumber, Pisco, pear syrup, elderflower and lime – is cool and refreshing.

pisco embassy jars

Pisco Embassy

London’s first late-night members-only Pisco bar will open from midnight till 5am every weekend and centres around a 12-strong cocktail menu of beautifully-prepared classic and rare Piscos, bespoke cocktails and home-made infusions such as physalis, kafir leaves, orange and citron, created by head bartender, Lima-born José Francisco-Modonese. He visits Peru during the Pisco harvesting and distilling months each year, touring the vineyards, bodegas and specialised Pisco bars to find inspiration and exchange new ideas and concepts to bring back to London.


A PIscoffee cocktail from Pisco Embassy
A PIscoffee cocktail from Pisco Embassy

Pisco Bar at LIMA Floral

This stylish new basement bar, that fits 30 people, offers an array of Peruvian-inspired cocktails including LIMA’s signature Pisco Sour made with Pisco, lime, sugar, egg white and Angostura bitter. You can also customise your Pisco Sour with a range of home-infused flavoured Piscos including rocoto pepper, huacatay herb (an Andean mint), orange and lemon peels, and rasisin and cinnamon. Or go upscale with an El Senor de Sipan – Prosecco, apple juice, raspberry syrup, Pisco, Campari and Pisco foam.


The Pisco bar at Lima Floral
The Pisco bar at Lima Floral


Above Audio

Brighton’s buzziest cocktail bar makes drinking a serious business, with a classy drinks list that’s as long as your arm. Their Pisco Sour combines the spirit with a simple base of sugar, lemon juice, bitters and orange zest, for a classic, grown-up take on the trend.


Lima pisco sour

Senor Ceviche

London’s hottest pop-up ceviche bar, which puts all its energy into serving the best ceviche and Pisco, and nothing else, has finally found a permanent home in Soho this month (and they’ve even broadened their menu a little). Owner Harry Edmeades went out to Pisco to source their house drink direct from the vineyard, and eight of the bar’s ten cocktails are Pisco-based. The freshly shaken Pisco Sour is still the signature drink.


senor ceviche 1

Black Dog Ballroom

Manchester’s New York-style speakeasy cocktail bar is championing the return of the Pisco Sour, which it describes as “one of the greatest drinks of all time, sadly lost to many of our generation.” The Little Bird is a tall cocktail of Pisco ABA, maraschino cherry liqueur, citrus, and ting (a fizzy Jamaican grapefruit juice), topped off with crème de mure.


Pisco Infusion (3)

Pisco Bar at Coya

Head barman Jun Narita has been mixing seasonally changing PIsco cocktails as well as home infusions since this Peruvian bar and restaurant opened two years ago. Try the latest Blackberry Pisco Sour or sign up for one of the Pisco masterclasses and learn to mix your own at home.



Las Iguanas

With three outposts in Bristol, and others around the country, this bright and breezy South American chain serves up a mean Pisco Sour using Pisco, triple sec and lemon juice, with egg white and bitters.



To see the original feature in Metro, visit e-edition.metro.co.uk/home.html 

The wild, wild West Country

To the wilds of Wiltshire and Somerset, or SoCo as I’m calling it, short for South of Cotswolds.

The green arc around Bath’s eastern side, where the West Country ends and the Wolds begin has long been neglected by travellers who zip through heading south for Devon, north to the Cotswolds, or straight through to Bath, Bristol and beyond.

But not anymore. This lush green, properly rural corner of the country has had a noticeable influx of not-so-muddy boots hot-footing it out of the city and into this bucolic, arty no-mans-land.

The tiny towns of Bruton, Frome (which boasts swanky private members club and hotel Babington House on its doorstep) and Bradford on Avon, all have a historic grandness about them, while also remaining just the right side of quaint to be thriving, interesting towns to live in and not just visit.

A wave of galleries, hotels, foodie producers, restaurants and cultural outposts have been putting this hot spot on the map.

Most recent, and notable, is contemporary art space Hauser and Wirth, on the edge of Bruton in Somerset. Drive out of the town (do stop for food, wine and a night at At The Chapel on the high street) and you’ll easily miss this farmhouse and its barns that have been converted into a world-class gallery. Outside, Subodh Gupta’s giant gleaming milking pail bucket, a Louise Bourgeois spider and the gently swaying Piet Oudolf-designed gardens (he of New York’s Highline fame) give away the fact that something altogether new is happening here.

It’s a cultural version of Daylesford in Gloucestershire, a daring and brave mix that includes an art shop, four galleries, landscaped sculpture gardens for outdoor walks; and a truly fantastic restaurant and bar – the Roth Bar and Grill. A farm shop will open in spring 2015. We turned up on a wet Saturday in November, knowing they were fully booked, with two toddlers in tow, and they still smiled cheerily and managed to find us a table. The simple, unpretentious food is a sort of Ottolenghi meets gastropub hybrid. What they do is simple but amazing (so much better than complicated and failing!). The pulled pork and coleslaw ciabatta was great; chicken with rosemary roast new potatoes kept the four-year-old very happy; and the salad of butternut squash, kale and roasted tomato with spelt and goats cheese that was meant to be the side dish, stole the show.

And the bar… if only we hadn’t driven! It’s an ‘oasis for cocktails’, with a dizzying installation built out of local reclaimed materials by Dieter Roth’s son and grandson, Björn and Odder Roth. The children loved trying to spot some of the more obscure items amongst the junk: a rolling pin, a violin, a shoe!

You can even sleep here – Durslade farmhouse, which is emblazoned with Martin Creed’s neon words “Everything is going to be alright” – can be rented by the week and sleeps 12.

Up the road in Frome, was the best little shopping street I’ve seen in a long time – St Catherine’s Hill. Packed with indy boutiques, arty spaces and a bit of new age dream catcher thrown in for good measure (well we are a stone’s throw from Stonehenge and Glastonbury after all), it’s a fantastic town to potter and purchase Christmas presents in. The Archangel makes a great pit-stop, and if you want to swoon about in luxury, nowhere (really nowhere, except perhaps Limewood) does it better than Babington House.

In Bradford on Avon, there’s a great mixture of shops, galleries and places to run about. The kids will love the country park; we played pooh sticks on the footbridge over the rive, and the wandered up to Fat Fowl – a great all-day bistro with jazz on a Sunday and an upstairs play area to occupy the kids.

Stay at Woolley Grange, just outside of Bradford, where children are the stars of the show. It feels more like a friend’s rambling house party than a hotel, with higgledy rooms that accommodate almost any arrangement of family set-up, and two restaurants so that you can go posh and grown up, or gastro and family. The pool and spa are perfect for rainy days – and everyone has kids so there are no glaring looks – while the Woolley Bears’ Den is a free (yes free!) Ofsted-registered crèche run by Joan who has been with the hotel for 20 years. My two came running out with pictures and freshly made, if delightfully wonky, jam tarts and the older one asked if she could go back again the next day. High praise indeed.

Who says a cultural break and kids can’t mix?

My secret address book









Chic chic chicken

Here’s a piece I wrote for Metro this week about the explosion of new chicken joints that are hip, ethical and healthy…

Chicken METRO

In the paper there wasn’t room to mention the myriad of new places, so I have added a few more here:

First it was gourmet burgers, then posh pulled pork, now it’s the turn of chicken to get the chic treatment. From the ironically-hip Chicken Shop and ChickenLiquor in London’s gritty-but-cool neighbourhoods to Fire and Feathers – an upmarket Nandos for the foodie crowd – the latest breed of chicken restaurants promise free-range birds and top-of-the-range rotisseries.

Chicken Shop
From the brains behind the celebrity-strewn private members’ club Soho House, Chicken Shop may rub shoulders with the likes of Chicken Cottage, thanks to its edgy locations such as Kentish Town, Tooting and Whitechapel, but the similarities end there.

“I think chicken would be my last meal,” explains owner Nick Jones, “so I wanted to get it exactly right. The best chicken is the one you cook at home, so we’ve tried to recreate that, but affordably.”

Months went into researching and developing the concept, including sourcing the best chickens (free-range from Banham’s farm in Norfolk, in case you were wondering) and creating a secret marinade recipe and inventing a unique rotisserie grilling system.

The industrial, exposed brick walls, pipes and high ceilings are the backdrop for make-shift furniture, a counter, and a vinyl record player so that diners can choose requests (and even bring their own records with them to play) while chowing don on chicken served from 1950s-style white-and-blue enamel plates and bowls.

And the menu? Chicken is the only main course on offer, served with triple-cooked chips, coleslaw, corn on the cob or salad. No wonder they’ve just opened in the new hipster hotel, The Hoxton Holborn. www.chickenshop.com

Chicken Shop
Chicken Shop


Tramshed, Shoreditch
Mark Hix has stripped back the menu with his latest string of Tramshed and Hixter restaurants. Diners can choose from simply ‘cock’ or ‘bull’ to share (and kids eat free) – the Indian Rock chicken is sourced from Swainson House Farm in Lancashire while the Glenarm Estate steak is aged in a Himalayan salt chamber.
Damien Hirst’s enormous formaldehyde sculpture of a cow and a cock loom overhead to remind diners of exactly what they are ordering. Try the signature roast barn-reared chicken with stuffing and chips, which arrives doing a headstand, feet in the air, if only to instagram it! London, www.chickenandsteak.co.uk 



Crafty Chooks
There’s a buzzy and chilled-out atmosphere at this all-day eatery, just metres from Hove beach, that starts with the stylish industrial style interior and mid-century modern furniture. As the name hints, Crafty Chookc combines craft beers and free-range rotisserie chicken supplied by local butchers. Hove, 01273 722846, www.craftychooks.co.uk


Crafty Chooks in Hove
Crafty Chooks in Hove


Crafty Chooks chicken
Crafty Chooks chicken


Fire and Feathers
Love piri piri chicken but can’t bare the idea of Nandos? Then this hot new joint is for you – Fire and Feathers brings the best of Portuguese piri piri to the Made in Chelsea set. After starting life as a pop-up last summer, Fire and Feathers has a tight menu of just four choices for starter, main and dessert. They select smaller, Gressingham corn-fed birds for optimum flavour, that are spatchcocked, grilled, then cut up on the bone – try the large chicken platter that comes with a choice three sauces, garlic, piri piri or dynamite. Fulham, www.fireandfeathers.co.uk

Simple food, well done, is the promise made by this hip restaurant that serves chicken spit-roasted over a flame pit. Think smokey and charred on the outside and melt-in-the-mouth tender inside. There are a dizzying array of sauces, from mild to fire-in-the-mouth hot (try the Scotch Bonnet sauce at your peril!) and a comforting selection of classic favourites on the dessert menu that make this restaurant a winner for families and hipsters, alike. Newcastle upon Tyne, www.coopchicken.co.uk

Coop Chicken in Newcastle
Coop Chicken in Newcastle


Guilt-free fried chicken? Sounds too good to be true, but this new restaurant sources all of its rare-breed poultry from a small free-range farm in Wiltshire, then fried using the finest grade groundnut oil that is free from cholesterol and trans fats – but will that mater when you’re tipsy and starving on a Friday night in Hackney?
Happily, the menu lives up to the ethical benchmark that Clutch has set itself: expect buckets of sweet soy and garlic or peppery buttermilk chicken, parmesan and lemon chicken tenders, or honey and sesame wings, served with whipped feta or red pepper chilli chutney. De-lish. London, www.clutchchicken.com 



Chicken Shack
In Bournemouth’s buzzing Boscombe, and now with an outpost in Winton, Chicken Shack is devoted to premium quality, locally-sourced chicken, cooked on a bespoke rotisserie grill. There’s a US-Southern spin to the menu, with sides including New Orleans greens, homemade slaw and corn on the cob. Bournemouth, www.chickenshackuk.com

Chicken Liquor
From the team behind MeatLiquor, comes this ironic fried chicken shop serving wings and boneless bites (which sound suspiciously like nuggets) in a range of coatings, with a stripped-back décor, pounding hip-hop, and a cool Brixton venue – did someone say coals to Newcastle? And if further proof were needed of chicken’s new renaissance, MeatLiquor has now added a chicken section to its menus in Leeds, Brighton and London.
London (and Leeds and Brighton for MeatLiquor), www.chickenliquor.co.uk


Famed for its Norfolk chicken, cooked on a charcoal grill and rotisserie, with a smattering of different sauces – from smoky tomato to hot ‘n’ spicy – this stylish, hunting lodge of a restaurant (think leather banquettes, reclaimed oak cladding on the walls, and salvaged floor tiles) also serves up wings and a range of chicken salads, as well as the now-ubiquitous burgers and ribs. This new chain comes from the team behind Prezzo so expect to see more popping up across the country in the near-future. Cobham, Wokingham, Leatherhead, Billericay, Oxford, www.cleaverrestaurants.co.uk

Le Coq
The thinking behind this neighbourhood north London restaurant couldn’t be more simple. The set menu of spit-roast, free-range Sutton Hoo chicken is adapted slightly each week – different sides and sauces pimp up the basic bird – and the ethos is to serve the best-quality, most deliciously succulent chicken. Bold, unfussy and brave in it’s single-minded approach, at £22 for three courses, it’s also a pretty good deal. London, www.lecoq.co.uk

images-2 imgres-1

Clockjack Oven
The chicken at this Soho rotisserie joint (plans are afoot to open 15 of them over the next five years) is free range and ethically-reared on co-operative farms in Brittany. The menu comprises just one dish, chicken, that is marinated in herbs and cooked over an intense heat to brown the skin while keeping the meat succulent and flavourful. London, www.clockjackoven.com

You’ve read about the trend, now make it yourself:

Out on 1 October, Chicken by This Morning chef Marcus Bean (£20, Nourish Books) is an imaginative collection of inexpensive, healthy recipes for wowing friends – smoked chicken and wild garlic risotto – creating speedy meals, or updating classics with a chicken-y twist, from scotch eggs to lasagne.