After the hectic festive season, January is a time for reflection and planning for the year ahead. Thankfully the days will soon be getting longer and warmer, so there’s no excuse not to get out and about. We’ve got some great suggestions for things to do this month including January events, travel tips, favourite restaurants and style suggestions. Wishing you a wonderful 2018!
A new exhibition opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London on 27 January – Charles I: King and Collector. The monarch had an impressive art collection including works by Titian, Rubens, Holbein and Van Dyck. However, after his execution in 1649, the collection was sold and dispersed throughout the world. For the first time since then, the unique collection has been reunited under one roof.
Still on the art theme, Rampley & Co is a London based accessories company who recently launched a beautiful collection of women’s scarves using images from the Met in New York and the V&A in London, together with 19th century ornithological prints. The quality of silk is superb and they can be worn in many different ways – around your neck but also as a hair tie, bracelet or even to jazz up a handbag. We love this design, based on The Annunciation by Joos van Cleve with its stunning colour palette. The Collared Trogon by William Swanson is a stylish ornithological print with an Oriental pattern on the reverse that complements it perfectly.
If you haven’t yet been to Japan then we’d definitely recommend it. Whether you spend 3 days in Tokyo or longer, you won’t be disappointed by the gourmet food, friendly people and safe atmosphere. Head to Oita Prefecture, just an hour and a half by plane from Tokyo, to stay in traditional Japanese hotels and soak in the onsen which are natural hot springs.
If you enjoy skiing or simply like apres-ski, then Courchevel 1850 should be on your radar. This upmarket French ski resort is known for its scenery, luxury ski chalets and gourmet restaurants.
Wining and Dining
The Devonshire Club, is a real haven in the City, located within an 18th century former East India Company warehouse and a Georgian townhouse. It combines a boutique hotel with a private members’ club open to all at the weekend. Just as well as you wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful brasserie overlooking their courtyard garden. It has a relaxed vibe thanks to the contemporary artworks and chill out tunes playing in the background. We recently tried their new Sushi in the City weekly brunch, created by their Sushi Chef, Victor Klomu. The sharing menu begins with a fresh sushi and sashimi platter with a showstopping liquid nitrogen display. Served with crispy vegetables in a truffle ponzu dip, it was a great start to the brunch. Guests can choose to add free-flowing prosecco for £15 per person or champagne for £30 each. We’d also highly recommend the seafoood and vegetable tempura, roast pork belly and the chilli and coriander ramen which was very warming. Our favourites though were the signature crispy duck with pomegranate salad and the miso black cod. Definitely a brunch with a difference and one that you’ll really enjoy.
One of the most iconic London restaurants is The Square, which reopened recently after a major redesign. It featured in our recent list of the best restaurants in Mayfair, thanks to its exciting new menu. Husband and wife team Clément Leroy and Aya Tamura have come up with a wonderful selection of dishes, drawing on French and Asian influences. Clément has previously worked at Guy Savoy in Paris and his menu is a contemporary take on fine dining. The bar and dining room are light and airy with a relaxed vibe, yet the waiters are expert in anticipating your needs. They’ll also advise you on the best wines for your menu and with over 2,500 you’ll be spoilt for choice. Each dish is beautifully presented and we were particularly impressed with the marinated Scottish langoustine with hibiscus, citrus and cauliflower as well as the seared Orkney scallop with a succulent marsala, hazelnut and green coffee bean accompaniment. An unusual combination of rare Kentish lamb saddle with razor clams and seaweed butter with Savoy cabbage was a resounding success, whilst a red mullet with aubergine, shiitake mushrooms and sarawak pepper was nice and crispy. For dessert, the chocolate grand cru with pistachio and red shiso is divine, as is the trinket box with quince, beer and charcoal meringue. Unusual combinations but they work very well. Save some room for the petit-fours trolley!
Bird of Smithfield is a rare find – a cosy townhouse in the City of London with a fantastic restaurant. There are two stylish bars, a dining room, private events room and a lovely roof terrace with views of historic Smithfield Market. Executive chef Tommy Boland has worked at several Michelin star restaurants and his cooking is a skilful blend of British and French influences. The top floor dining room serves delicious dishes such as baked heritage beetroot with goat’s curd and pear, or roasted Cornish turbot with garganelli pasta, chanterelles and samphire. The roasted sirloin of beef with mushroom persillade, spinach and straw potato is cooked in a tasty red wine sauce. To finish, try their incredible soufflé with egg nog ice cream or the chocolate brownie sundae with marshmallow, pistachio, vanilla cream and cocoa nibs.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of January events and thanks for your support and friendship throughout the year. What do you have planned for 2018?
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