Tim Badham
The new Cinnamon Club Soho opens this week on the old Bar Red site on Kingly street. This is the third establishment from executive chef Vivek Singh who brought you the original Cinnamon Club in Westminster and the more contemporary Cinnamon Kitchen in the City. This time they have a younger, cheekier outlook and are aiming for a trendy Soho crowd. The all-day menu combines modern Indian fare with a nod to British favourites and the design retains Cinnamon’s sleek style but with a sexy Soho twist. The bar is on the ground floor and looks nice in teak and shiny steel. Downstairs is more loungy with leather banquettes but you do have to eat. There will be some tables outside too for when the weather picks up.

Over in the City Ed and Tom Martin (ETM Group), responsible for The Gun, The Botanist, the recent Angle & Crown in Covent Garden and The Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, have just launched their 10th venue. The Jugged Hare is also on Chiswell Street which is seeing all sorts of new signs of life around The Brewery. The restored Grade II listed property includes exposed ceramic tiles on the vaulted ceilings and walls and oak timber floorboards throughout, including whiskey barrel tables. The main focal point is a back bar display of carefully selected and lovingly placed antique British taxidermy. Whilst this would definitely class as a gastro pub they also have a walk in wine room worth checking out.

At the other end of town in the South Ken/Gloucester Road area Umami has just launched on the Cromwell Road. Whist predominantly a multi influenced Asian restaurant (Umami meaning “pleasant savoury taste”), it also has a great lounge bar designed by a feng shui master, which is shared with the Hotel. There’ll be an expansive al fresco garden area in time for the summer too.

Another restaurant with a cool bar opened last week, although this one is of the more bijou variety. Cotidie on Marylebone High Street (previously, relatively briefly, Café Luc) has had a smart refurbishment and the bar is a welcome addition and a stylish choice for a quick if you are in the area. Despite meaning “everyday,” it should probably not be kept for just the locals.