As 2020 has undoubtedly been the year of home-baking and takeaways, we’re declaring 2021 the year of dining out: at pubs, upmarket restaurants, beefed-up takeaway joints, cool canteens, boutique country hotels and everywhere in between. No matter how good your sourdough starter is, sometimes, nothing can beat the experience of ordering from a bloody brilliant menu. Here, we round up the best new foodie openings of next year, in the capital and beyond, from the cheap-as-chips (and, incidentally, serving chips) to the blow-out treats, classic winners and modern sensations. All that’s left for you to do is book that table and enjoy.
(opens January 2021)
If you’ve not yet been introduced to the set-up at uber-cool, super-modern aparthotel Kingsland Locke, prepare to be impressed: home to 124 signature studio apartments, a co-working space, workout studio and coffee shop, it’s east London’s newest pride and joy. Next year, it’s set to get even better with the arrival of KRAFT Dalston, a restaurant and bar boasting a sustainably managed microbrewery and gin distillery, plus kebabs to die for. The German Kraft Brewery, urban gin masters Jim and Tonic and modern kebab heroes Le Bab are all getting together to make it happen, in relaxed, vibrant surroundings designed by local studio Red Deer. It’s bright and fresh, filled with pops of colour and bound to become a fast favourite with east Londoners within weeks.
(opens February 2021)
We can’t really imagine a better recipe for success than the one The Double Red Duke has put together: a 17th-century, wisteria-clad Cotswolds inn, plus renowned chef Richard Turner. Sounds like heaven to us. Turner has been trained by legendary names like the Roux brothers, Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White, so we’re confident the menu – which promises charcoal-grilled steak, a much-lauded oyster and bone marrow gravy, plus a classic Figgie pudding – won’t disappoint. If you can, try to nab one of the 19 bedrooms for a kip: Ian Mankin fabrics, bespoke furniture and all-natural bath salts make an overnight stay sound even more enticing than dinner.
(opens early 2021)
Some of the best Asian fare next year will no doubt come courtesy of HUŎ, a new opening from the team behind ULI. Taking over a space on Chelsea’s sleepy Park Walk, restauranteur Michael Lim is promising a range of snacks, small pates and mains, all made using traditional Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean methods. Lim’s partners, Graham Rebak and Adam Wilkie, have form when it comes to creating something special: Rebak was responsible for Beach Blanket Babylon and West Thirty Six, while Wilkie co-founded FLOWERBX and event-directed the annual Serpentine Summer Party. Together, they’re sure to come up with something just as brilliant at HUŎ.
(opens March 2021)
We’ve been waiting for The Harper, a new boutique hotel in north Norfolk, for many long months – thanks to the pandemic, it was forced to close before it had even fully opened in 2020. Thankfully, this much-lauded new hotspot will be opening properly in a few months’ time and, by the look of things, it’ll have been worth the wait: think an artfully mismatched but totally gorgeous design, the softest, most flop-abble beds and views that’ll blow up your Instagram. The food at Stanley’s, the hotel’s restaurant, is a wonderful reflection of The Harper’s local-yet-cosmopolitan ethos and the pantry, which offers up seasonal fare, is a clever addition. Oh, and there are several state-of-the-art Enomatic wine fridges – just in case you were still in any doubt about The Harper’s thoroughly modern approach to rural life.
(opens January 2021)
Sometimes, all it takes to make everything better on a cold, dark, wintery evening is a trip to a ruddy good pub. Happily for Camden-dwellers, The Farrier is taking over a Grade II-listed building in the Stable Market and turning it into just that. The food sounds like it’ll be worth really settling in for: from the kitchen headed up by Ash Finch (who has previously worked with Marcus Wareing and Alain Ducasse) we’ll be ordering game pie, wild smoked pigeon and salt baked squash. If you come on a Sunday, there’ll be roasts from butcher-to-the-stars HG Walter, which you’ll be able to carve at your own table. On top of that, expect beer from Camden Brewery, plus a wine list showcasing lesser-known orange numbers and rare, low-production reds, all stored on a lovely-looking wine wall. In short? You’ll have to drag us out.
(opens 8th January 2021)
Hallelujah: cult favourite, Taiwanese-inspired restaurant Mr Ji will be throwing open it’s Soho doors again in January with a brand new look (and menu). Working closely with his friends Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng of the runaway success stories TĀTĀ Eatery and TÓU, founder Samuel Haim has transformed the space from a takeaway to a buzzy, slick restaurant, with a forward-thinking cocktail menu to accompany the famous fried chicken. We’ll be going to test out the Prawn ‘In’ Toast – a toasted brioche ‘box’ filled with velvety prawns and sauce. ‘I’m more determined than ever to bring the lively evening vibe back to Soho,’ says Haim. We couldn’t agree with him more.
(opens January 2021)
If you’re a big fan of The Newt in Somerset (and to be honest, who isn’t?) then try new opening The Old Pharmacy on for size. Based in Bruton, this wine bar and épicerie is the brainchild of chef Merlin Labron-Johnson, the man responsible for the phenomenal nearby farm-to-table restaurant, Osip. Expect plenty of delectable goods for sale: locally-milled flour, Calabrian anchovies, wines poured by the tap, excellent tableware by the likes of Sue Paraskeva and Mark Reddy, plus seasonal produce grown by Labron-Johnson himself. Phew. After much browsing, you’ll probably need a good toastie and a homemade cider. Luckily, you’ll find both here too.