Category Archives: london

Las Bravas, St Katharine Docks, London

Where is it?

Tucked away in St Katharine Docks between Tower Hill and Tower Bridge, Las Bravas brings high-end, affordable tapas to London. Having opened in March this year, it’s not surprising it’s received rave reviews on Trip Advisor given the quality of the food and staff.

What’s the food and decor like?

The restaurant is top-end shabby-chic, with cosy enclaves for the winter months and full-length windows running dock-side. The menu is diverse, ranging from Foie Gras and Brioche with Serrano Ham and Lamb Chops with Rosemary Alioli to Fried Baby Calamares and Smoked Sardines.

What’s the damage?

Prices are very reasonable. Ranging from £5-10 a dish, the food is beautifully presented with charming service that’s rare to find.

Why go?

If you’d like a taste of Spain without breaking the bank, I can’t rave highly enough. This place is the tops.



Address: Saint Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Tel: 0207 481 1464

Nearest tube: Tower Hill

Duck & Waffle, London

Balancing atop the 40th floor of London’s Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle’s unique food and panoramic views give other city haunts a definite run for their money.

Inspired by broad European and British influences, the restaurant offers feast, fizz and fun 24/7 – from breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner through to late night menus.  And when I say 24/7 – it literally is open all night.  The all-day menu is served from 11am to 2am; the late night menu, from 2am until 6am; and breakfast, from 6am to 11am – hardly your average post-Disco venue.

With prices being generally medium-range (brunch or breakfast averages at about £20-£25 per head), it’s pretty affordable given its vertical appeal and designer vibe.  Though tempting to opt for your typical choices for breakfast or brunch, the restaurant’s name-sake dish – the duck and waffle – really is a must try.  Consisting of confit duck with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup, it might sound stomach churningly rich, but is a real treat for the taste buds and a great sharing plate if you want to balance it off with your standard fry up; with other unusual dishes including BBQ spiced crispy pig ears, bacon wrapped dates, spicy ox cheek doughnut and pollock meatballs with lobster cream.

Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a great private room with outstanding views, the restaurant has possibly the best in the capital.  With capacity for 20 people and a minimum spend of £1,000, it’s pretty reasonable value when all’s said and done.

So if you’re not vertigo afflicted and want to experience unrivalled, panoramic views with dishes and choices to match, Duck and Waffle it up.


Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Phone: 020 3640 7310


The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Opera House

This is one for Shakespeare and ballet lovers.  Based on the well-known tragicomedy, The Winter’s Tale, the world premiere of the new full-length ballet by The Royal Opera House is a striking exposition of emotion.  Co-produced with the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Opera House’s Artistic Associate, Christopher Wheeldon, captures the powerful themes of love, loss and reconciliation in dramatic fashion.  Classical tutus and traditional ballet are replaced with minimalist dress and modern choreography as a sterling cast of Royal Ballet Principals including Lauren Cuthbertson, Edward Watson, Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb dance their magic.

The austerity of the opening Act sets the scene of forboding turmoil, with dancers silhouetted in black huddling against a background of sombre grey clouds.  Darkness and light are hinted at by the joviality of the next scene as Leontes and Pelixenes’ friendship from childhood to adulthood is neatly charted through compressed display – the two little boys who dance innocently together in red and green shirts shift seamlessly into grown men in more sophisticated pas de deux, wearing the crowns of their respective Kingdoms, Behomia and Sicilia.  Their closeness is cemented by the introduction of Leontes’ wife, Hermione with whom they both dance happily – lifting her with gaiety, their happiness is captured though carefree pirouettes and beautiful port de bras.

The shift in mood is dramatically evoked through aural and visual deviation, with playful musical tones giving way to the discordant as the lush tree-lined backdrop sheds its leaves in decay.  Leontes’ estrangement from Hermione and Pelixenes is cleverly portrayed through his withdrawal from the triangular symmetry of both men standing astride her, their hands placed tenderly on her pregnant belly.  His mental anguish is dramatically captured by his jerked balletic movements which see him bent-double against dissonant pluckings of the violin.  His fit-like spasms are all the more pointed against the softly lit Pelixenes and Hermione who remain bound in still visual closeness.  In contrast to Shakespeare’s text which evokes the irrationality of Leontes’ suspicion that Hermoine has committed adultery with Pelixenes, Hermione and Pelixenes’ physical proximity evokes sympathy for the fraught Leontes.

The play goes on to nimbly chart key events from the text – Pelixenes’ hushed departure, Hermione’s imprisonment and death, the birth and disposal of Perdita, her love affair with Florizel and their eventual union.  Notwithstanding its general originality, the final scene in which Paulina presents Leontes with the statue of his late wife could be more dramatic.  While the pale blue and white staging provides an ethereal backdrop to Hermione’s animation from statue to life form, the consequent pas de deux between Leontes and Hermione could be more glorious given the remarkable revelation that his wife, some 16 years dead, is in fact, alive.  That aside, Wheeldon’s ballet is a refreshing display of intense emotion, made all the more striking for its simplicity and modernity.

10 April – 8 May 2014
Tickets are still available – £9 to £81