Le Cordon Bleu to launch fine dining in Fleet Street

Other openings include Hannah, Arado and The Observatory

Famed culinary institution Le Cordon Bleu has announced it will be launching its first ever dining concept CORD, comprising a fine dining restaurant, a café and culinary institute – all under one roof! Opening Monday, March 30, in the heart of London at 85 Fleet Street, it will be Le Cordon Bleu’s first fine dining restaurant to grace the UK. 

Guests will be able enjoy its daily a la carte and an accessible weekly-changing set lunch menu – which won’t break the bank priced at £25 per head. 

With more than 35 schools spread 20 countries this is a major milestone for the renowned institution, as its new concept celebrates Le Cordon Bleu’s 125 anniversary. The brand’s influence on the UK food scene sees no bounds, with the brand globally training approximately 20,000 students of more than 100 nationalities each year. 

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and the cafe will be for breakfast and lunch.

Staying true to its roots, Le Cordon Bleu’s culinary institute will have a home at CORD.  Master chefs from Le Cordon Bleu will lead a series of gourmet short courses for aspirational chefs in worldwide cuisine, food and wine pairing and patisserie. Le Cordon Bleu will host corporate short courses, ideal for team building, followed by a meal in the restaurant. Classes will cater for up to 14 people, alternatively the whole institute is available for workshops and meetings for 30-strong. 

The restaurant is the latest in a series of culinary and pub openings since the start of the year. Here are a few of them:

Hannah at County Hall

Japanese chef Daisuke Shimoyama, who spent six years at the two Michelin-starred UMU in Mayfair, has now opened his own restaurant, Hannah, in the Grade II listed County Hall building which is in the shadow of the London Eye south of Westminster Bridge on the Southbank in Belvedere Road.

Against an authentic and quirky backdrop, Daisuke brings to bear all his creativity and skills, honed during some 20 years at the top of his profession both in Japan and London. He is one of the few worldwide, for instance, trained to prepare the potentially deadly puffer fish and to properly process the giant eel. The result is an extraordinary array of dishes, unlike any to be found elsewhere.

Daisuke sources much of his produce from the finest UK suppliers, with the majority of Hannah’s fish supplied by Cornish fishermen. These are combined with classic European fare – such as Iberico pork and ethically sourced tuna from Barbate – and specialised Japanese ingredients, to give diners a surprising, complex and pure experience.

Aside from being a passionate and highly skilled chef, Daisuke is also a certified sommelier specialising in all aspects of sake and wine. This allows Hannah to offer its diners the ultimate pairing experience.

Hannah is open from Tuesday to Sunday between noon and 3pm, when a selection of bento boxes from £17 per head are served, and from 5.30pm to 10pm.

Arado, Meliá White House, Albany Street

Arado, the brand new culinary heart of the Meliá White House, is now open in the beautiful Regent’s Park area of London. With capacity for 140 diners, Arado is an innovative restaurant offering all-day dining and a menu influenced by the flavours of the Mediterranean, where tradition and the contemporary combine to create an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

Head chef, Alberto Jonte Sanchez, hails from the Balearic Islands, and honed his skills as a sous chef in the JW Marriott Miami. Since then he’s worked in various restaurants in Spain, including Michelin-starred Pepe Vieira, before joining Meliá at the 5* ME Ibiza. Alberto moved to London in October and has been adding his influence to the food offerings here since.

The authentically Spanish flavours within the Arado menu are reimagined in all their splendour, transformed with modern culinary techniques. Starters include traditional tapas such as gazpacho, padron peppers, patatas bravas and serrano ham croquettes. The main courses include Iberico pork in a red Mojo sauce; slow cooked lamb shank with port jus; turbot with asparagus and sauce vierge, and a vermouth mussel pot. No Spanish restaurant would be complete without paella, and Arado offers four versions; seafood, black seafood, chicken with peppers and a vegetarian option. Desserts include crema catalana, a pear and chocolate tart and a Basque-style cheesecake.

In the evening The Bar comes alive with the after-work crowd, serving an eclectic selection of cocktails created by a dedicated team of mixologists, alongside an array of wines and beers. At lunchtime, a new takeaway offering called Arado To Go provides fast, freshly prepared lunch options including paella, pasta, salad and sandwiches. Perfect for work lunch, or just for busy, on-the-go locals and tourists.

The Observatory, The O2

Nicholson’s is pleased to announce the latest addition to the group, The Observatory – situated within London’s The O2

Nicholson’s is an established collection of traditional British pubs with 79 sites across the UK in key cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, and London. Since founder William Nicholson opened their first pub in 1873, Nicholson’s have since gone on to manage pubs in a variety of historic locations. The Observatory, which opened on February 20, marks an exciting, contemporary opportunity for the company.

William Prideaux, the operations director for Nicholson’s, said: “We are excited to welcome The Observatory into the Nicholson’s stable. This opening marks the start of the next stage of growth for Nicholson’s as we look to grow the estate further. We have identified a number of opportunities where we can evolve the next generation of great British pubs and look forward to bringing these to fruition’.

The Observatory will offer a classic pub experience found nowhere else in The O2, catering for guests looking for the best in British hospitality. The establishment will be serving seasonal pub classics such as fish and chips and award-winning pies, as well as housing an extensive collection of cask ale, gin, and whisky.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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