Moroccan Sky Riad at Searcys The Gherkin

Location: City of London
Price: £££
Cuisine: Moroccan
Overall: 4/5

Top floor of The Gherkin
Swank Factor: 5/5

Rising 180 metres above the city, Searcys is the UK's highest Private Members’ Club.
However for a short period of time Searcys is opening their doors to the general public and allowing us common folk to experience their summer pop-up. Located on the top floor of The Gherkin and providing impressive 360 degree views of the capital, Searcys has created a stunning Moroccan Sky Riad.

Fifty9, Mayfair

Location: Berkeley Square
Cuisine: Italian/Mediterranean
Price: £££
Overall: 4/5

Swank Factor: 3/5

The interior of Fifty9 is sophisticated chic with oakwood furnishings and quirky light fixtures. It has a mixture of high stools and comfortable leather seating. Fifty9 also has a club downstairs and on Friday nights if you're looking to have a classy night out in the city but without the pressure of dressing to the nines this would be the place to go.

Afternoon Tea at Villandry, Great Portland Street

Location: Fitzrovia
Price: £££
Cuisine: French
Overall: 3/5
Entrance of Villandry
Swank Factor: 3/5

Villandry on Great Portland Street is a beautifully large, light and airy space. The restaurant is actually composed of different sections including a take away counter/store, bar area, and dining space towards the end of the restaurant. There is also  beautiful display of flowers by the entrance created by their in-house florists Moyses Stevens.

Mamounia Lounge, Knightsbridge

Cuisine: Lebanese / Moroccan
Price: £££
Overall: 3.5/5

Swank Factor: 3.5/5

Located opposite Harrod’s on Brompton Road, Mamounia Lounge Knightsbridge promises Middle Eastern culinary delights, inspired cocktails, an outdoor shisha lounge and entertainment too.

Mamounia has an Arabic themed d├ęcor reflected in the patterns and mosaics. This is paired with a baroque style best demonstrated by the enormous chandeliers and red velvet drape spread across the restaurant space. This makes an interesting contrast as Mamounia isn't trying to recreate a Moroccan styled restaurant, instead it is aiming for an eclectic mix.

Belgo, Soho

Location: Soho
Cuisine: Belgian
Price: £££
Overall: 4/5
Reviewed by Guest Writer @AYankInBlighty

Belgo Soho exterior
Swank Factor: 3/5

Belgo Soho has only been open a couple weeks, but they are certainly not a new family of restaurants. The original location opened in Chalk Farm in 1992 and they have a few restaurants spread throughout the city.

Mendoza Square, Clapham North

Cuisine: Latin American Street Food
Price: £££
Overall:  2/5

Swank Factor: 3/5

Welcome to Latin America, well as much of it as you're going get in Zone 2. Vibrant and bold furnishings with an outdoor patio seating area, Mendoza Square is located directly adjacent to the train station and amidst the buzzing area of Clapham North.
To add to the whole cool and quirky theme of the restaurant the menus here are cleverly disguised as newspapers!

Sake Masterclass at Vinopolis

After sixteen successful years Vinopolis will sadly close its doors for good at end of this year. Guest writer @VeggieEastLnd went to top-up on her sake knowledge before it's too late! 

Vinopolis has been on my radar for a while but I had not made the effort to visit until I was invited to a special Sake Masterclass one evening.
Opened in 1999 under the arches of London Bridge, Vinopolis is a treasure for those interested in wine and spirits. It sports five bars and restaurants along with its vast shop and unique wine tasting experiences.

Moti Mahal, Covent Garden

Cuisine: North Indian
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 5/5

I love nothing better than a good high-end Indian restaurant, which meant I was very excited about visiting Moti Mahal, a restaurant which has been top of my list for a while!

The original Moti Mahal was founded in Delhi more than four decades ago in 1959 and the London branch is celebrating it’s well-deserved 10th anniversary. With Delhi-born Anirudh Arora at the helm since the start, Moti Mahal focuses on the cuisine inspired by the cities on the Grand Trunk Road in India. This means the cuisine is not limited to one region in India, instead it celebrates dishes enjoyed by Emperors and Royalty, as well as recipes that have live as well as recipes that have lived in family kitchens for generations.

Joe Allen, Covent Garden

Cuisine: American
Price: £££
Overall: 4.5/5

Reviewed by Guest Writer @VeggieEatsLnd

Swank Factor: 3/5

You have probably walked past Joe Allen a dozen times if you are regular visitor to Covent Garden. Entirely inconspicuous, you would have no clue what sort of restaurant lies behind the front door.

As I entered and descended the stairs to the basement, fearing a dingy set up lacking atmosphere, I was delighted to see the opposite. A long vintage looking bar stretching the length of the room, crisp white tablecloths adorning each table and a pianist lit only by candlelight made me feel like I had stepped back in time and I loved it.

Three Little Birds, Clerkenwell

Cuisine: Australian
Price: £££
Overall: 4/5

Swank Factor: 3/5

Two weeks before our visit, this charming pop-up arrived on the scene. Three Little Birds is located short walk away from the hustle and bustle of Chancery Lane and is the latest installment from A Taste Pop Ups.  

Three Little Birds is an endearing mixture of shabby chic and elegance with it's mis-matched cutlery and simple interior creating a homely feel, teamed with a classic atmosphere of fine-dining.