A piece of posh France has just opened in London. Ambassade de l'Ile is the second restaurant from Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex. The first, L'Auberge de l'Ile, is in Lyon on Ile Barbe; the second is in South Kensington. The former Danish restaurant, Lundum's, has been totally changed and is now mainly purple and white and luxurious. The menu is haute cuisine; prices are equally haute. Ambassade de l'Ile, 117-119 Old Brompton Rd., London SW7, 020-7373 7774.
Good news for vegetarians. On October 2 a new eatery called tibits opened just off Regent Street in London's West End. It's an all-day affair, following similar restaurants of the group in Switzerland. Over 30 salads, juices and homemade iced teas as well as freshly prepared hot dishes are offered in a setting designed by London's Tricia Guild of Designer Guild. tibits, 12-14 Heddon St., London W1, no phone.
Lunch Outdoors at L’Oranger
Al fresco dining doesn't come more exclusive than at L'Oranger, which boasts London's smallest public square. Pickering Place is just off St James's and is as pretty as a picture, as well as having a few stories from its past. It was part of Henry VIII's tennis court, became the place for a duel, then saw Graham Greene living in a flat above the courtyard. The al fresco lunch is £28 for 2 courses and £34 for three. L'Oranger, 5 St. James’s St., London SW1, 020-7839 3774.
Twelve’s the Ticket
The restaurant formerly known as Jaan has re-launched itself as 12 Temple Place. It is still located in the delightful back room, with its garden courtyard, in the Swissôtel The Howard London. What has changed, however, is the cooking, which under Scottish-born Brian Spark is modern British and uses local ingredients. If you have any personal details with the number 12 (for example date of birth, phone number, address etc.), show the number to the waiter and until August 30 you'll get 25 percent off the bill. 12 Temple Place, Temple Pl., Strand, London WC2R 2PR, 020-7836 3555.
Pause to Reposition
Just St James in St. James (where else) is closing from August 11 to September 1 for a refurbishment. The dining area is being re-located so you can look out onto St James' below, which mirrors the rooms of the gentlemen's clubs that line the street. Just St James, 12 St. James's St., London SW1, 020-7976 2222.
Tea at the MetChef Shuffle
There was a time when afternoon tea was a quintessentially English treat only to be taken while wearing a hat and with your maiden aunt. Come to modern London and you'll discover a variety of different takes on the traditional pastime. The Metropolitan hotel has just introduced its Afternoon De-light, which as you'll guess from the title, is afternoon tea without the indulgent and accompanying fattening ingredients. Try no-bread sandwiches, sweet and savory cupcakes, and fresh fruit purées. It's served in the Met Bar and Lobby Lounge Thursdays to Saturdays and costs £24 per person. Alternatively, pop along to Gaucho Piccadilly for Argentine cakes with traditional mate teas and wines from Argentina. Gaucho Piccadilly, 25 Swallow St, W1, 020-7734 4040. Metropolitan, 19 Old Park Lane, London W1Y 4LB, 020-7447 1000.
Check back soon for more news.
Check back soon for more news.
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