Is there anything more Scottish than Burns night? Bagpipers, haggis, and readings of Robert Burn’s famous poems usually make up a traditional supper. Luckily, for London-based Scots, there are many options for where to spend January 25th. Skylight Rooftop Bar, Docklands tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight/ London’s rooftop ice skating rink and bar is organising an alternate Burns night
85 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NB
0203 1468 666
Behind the imposing wooden doors at 85 Piccadilly sits a three-level culinary extravaganza, dedicated to celebrating the finest ingredients and the very best in technique. With room for 180 covers spread across three floors and an all-day dining offering, HIDE has something for everyone at every time at the day.
A bit of background
HIDE was one of 2018’s most-hyped openings and it’s not hard to see why. Celebrated chef Ollie Dabbous is at the helm, having closed his hugely successful first restaurant, Dabbous, to focus on his new venture. In his new, multi-million-dollar kitchen, he continues with the ethos that earnt Dabbous its critical acclaim, focusing on the best ingredients and transforming them into refined and considered dishes. With the fare well and truly looked after, it was up to Mayfair wine merchant, Hedonism Wines, to look after the drinks offering. With over 4000 drops on offer, the restaurant is an oenophile’s playground, with options ranging from a £9 glass of 2016 Georgian amber wine to a £120,000 bottle of 2004 Penfolds Block 42.
The space is worthy of the culinary offering, with floor-to-ceiling windows and an all-round creamy wood aesthetic. It’s understated and creates a peaceful environment, regardless of which floor you’re on.
The food offering depends completely on where you’ve chosen to eat. If it’s the tranquil Above you’ve found yourself in, it’s a tasting-menu-only affair, with the option of a three-course lunch menu or six- or nine-course degustation.
If you’ve opted for the slightly more casual Ground, the choice is in your hands, with a concise and curated a la carte menu. When we visit, it’s on this level that we find ourselves, coats tucked away and bags placed on a thoughtfully placed stool by our table.
We open with the burrata, served with confit tamarillo, basil and fennel pollen; the charcoal-baked flatbreads topped with wild mushrooms, stracciatella and lemon thyme, and the soft-shell crab tempura with Thai basil and green peppercorns. All three appear together on a large tray and are explained so that we’re under no illusions about we’ve ordered. Whilst decidedly different, they are beautifully presented and let the freshness of the produce shine.
From there, we share a main dish of glazed octopus, served on a bed of spiced wheat, oregano, artichokes and pistachios and served with a sauce that we mop up with the stems of the charred broccoli we’ve ordered on the side. The octopus is tender and subtly sweet, sitting up there with some of the best we’ve had in recent memory.
While we don’t have time for dessert, the cheese trolley we spot in the corner is incredibly tempting and would be sure to please the pickiest of dairy aficionados.
Wine-loving principals are well-looked-after by Hedonism’s supply of special drops. While there is a curated 70-page wine list thanks to the sommelier team, should your principal fancy something a little special, an iPad is on hand to digitally browse Hedonism’s selection. Their final selection will be delivered to the table within 15 minutes.
Should your principal be more of a cocktail connoisseur, the cocktail list from Below is sure to have something to tickle their fancy. It features some of the world’s rarest spirits, and just like the food menu, the focus is on flavour, with a menu that changes as the weather outside does.
This is not a venue done by halves. As soon as you walk through the statuesque front door, you’ll find yourself looking admiring the winding staircase that connects all three levels. The bespoke creation sets the tone for the rest of the aesthetic, with light timbers, natural ceramics and a nature motif. This deliberate choice means that the space avoids the stuffiness of other fine-dining establishments, instead creating an atmosphere of warmth and belonging.
Should your principal be dining in Above, they’ll find themselves making eyes with passengers sitting on the top level of London’s iconic red buses, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that look over Piccadilly. Luckily, when the buses move on, they reveal sweeping views of Green Park, the perfect backdrop for the dining experience. While Below doesn’t have the views, it does have three private dining rooms, as well as a walk-in wine cellar, where diners can choose their own bottle.
We hear on the grapevine that HIDE is also home to a car lift, so should your principal value complete anonymity, they can enter and leave without any exposure to the outdoors at all.
HIDE is a welcome addition to the hectic Piccadilly area. As soon as you step off the street, it’s clear that you’re in for an absolute treat – no matter where and when you dine. With multiple private dining rooms, a Michelin-starred chef behind the pans and arguably London’s largest wine list, it has something for every business breakfast, lunch, dinner or drink.