We’re accustomed to venturing off to the farthest echelons of Clapton, Deptford or Crouch End. But a second wave of new openings in the west are set to redress the balance. We started looking west last year with the opening of Southam Street and (new UJ fave) Laylow. And now we hear there’s big plans for Kew Gardens’ Victorian Glasshouse reopening in May (it’s twice the size of the pavilion and the biggest renovation Kew has ever undertaken; we’re hoping for a greenhouse rave), as well as three other notables. We say all eyes to the left, we’re headed west.
White City House will be a major draw for spring. The redevelopment of the Grade II, former BBC headquarters has been a long time coming, but it’s not just the three-screen Electric Cinema and rooftop pool we’ll be there for. Chelsea’s Bluebird will get its first sister restaurant here, and Kricket is set to arrive in the summer, as a much larger affair than Soho: 140 diners and open kitchen, cocktail bar and outdoor terrace.
Taking its name from the Anglo-Saxon word for home, Hām arrives in Hampstead (yes, aka homestead) this March. Former Ledbury, Terroirs and ToastED’s Matt Osborne is the chef behind it, and he’s loosening up this time around: the focus is on imaginative, modern British food for brunch and dinner to create an informal, neighbourhood gem. Crumpets with honeycomb, Westcomb ricotta and pear bring something a little different to London’s well-worn brunch fare, but dinner looks like where Hām will shine: Norfolk quail, Cornish brill and Hardwick lamb all take centre stage.
And finally, if Battersea Power Station is yet to win you over, news that they’ve signed Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Kitchen will go some way to persuading when it arrives mid-March. Housed in a railway arch, Cinnamon Kitchen will serve brunch, lunch and dinner, but it’s the cocktails we’ll make sure we’re on time for. Tony Conigliaro has created an exclusive list with Indian-inspired, spice-infused mixes, including the Mezcal Verdita (with fresh pineapple and curry leaves).
Circle the wagons. Way out west is where it’s at this spring.
Photo credit: White City House