On the Hotlist: Top January Events, Dining, Style & Travel

After the hectic festive season, January is a time for reflection and planning for the year ahead. Thankfully the days will soon be getting longer and warmer, so there’s no excuse not to get out and about. We’ve got some great suggestions for things to do this month including January events, travel tips, favourite restaurants and style suggestions. Wishing you a wonderful 2018!

January Events

A new exhibition opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London on 27 January – Charles I: King and Collector. The monarch had an impressive art collection including works by Titian, Rubens, Holbein and Van Dyck. However, after his execution in 1649, the collection was sold and dispersed throughout the world. For the first time since then, the unique collection has been reunited under one roof.

Style File

Still on the art theme, Rampley & Co is a London based accessories company who recently launched a beautiful collection of women’s scarves using images from the Met in New York and the V&A in London, together with 19th century ornithological prints. The quality of silk is superb and they can be worn in many different ways – around your neck but also as a hair tie, bracelet or even to jazz up a handbag. We love this design, based on The Annunciation by Joos van Cleve with its stunning colour palette. The Collared Trogon by William Swanson is a stylish ornithological print with an Oriental pattern on the reverse that complements it perfectly.

Rampley & Co silk scarves are absolutely stunning
Travel Tales

If you haven’t yet been to Japan then we’d definitely recommend it. Whether you spend 3 days in Tokyo or longer, you won’t be disappointed by the gourmet food, friendly people and safe atmosphere. Head to Oita Prefecture, just an hour and a half by plane from Tokyo, to stay in traditional Japanese hotels and soak in the onsen which are natural hot springs.

Keisekien Gardens, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
If you enjoy skiing or simply like apres-ski, then Courchevel 1850 should be on your radar. This upmarket French ski resort is known for its scenery, luxury ski chalets and gourmet restaurants.

Wining and Dining

The Devonshire Club, is a real haven in the City, located within an 18th century former East India Company warehouse and a Georgian townhouse. It combines a boutique hotel with a private members’ club open to all at the weekend. Just as well as you wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful brasserie overlooking their courtyard garden. It has a relaxed vibe thanks to the contemporary artworks and chill out tunes playing in the background. We recently tried their new Sushi in the City weekly brunch, created by their Sushi Chef, Victor Klomu. The sharing menu begins with a fresh sushi and sashimi platter with a showstopping liquid nitrogen display. Served with crispy vegetables in a truffle ponzu dip, it was a great start to the brunch. Guests can choose to add free-flowing prosecco for £15 per person or champagne for £30 each. We’d also highly recommend the seafoood and vegetable tempura, roast pork belly and the chilli and coriander ramen which was very warming. Our favourites though were the signature crispy duck with pomegranate salad and the miso black cod. Definitely a brunch with a difference and one that you’ll really enjoy.

Devonshire Square - one of the best restaurants in the City of London
One of the most iconic London restaurants is The Square, which reopened recently after a major redesign. It featured in our recent list of the best restaurants in Mayfair, thanks to its exciting new menu. Husband and wife team Clément Leroy and Aya Tamura have come up with a wonderful selection of dishes, drawing on French and Asian influences. Clément has previously worked at Guy Savoy in Paris and his menu is a contemporary take on fine dining. The bar and dining room are light and airy with a relaxed vibe, yet the waiters are expert in anticipating your needs. They’ll also advise you on the best wines for your menu and with over 2,500 you’ll be spoilt for choice. Each dish is beautifully presented and we were particularly impressed with the marinated Scottish langoustine with hibiscus, citrus and cauliflower as well as the seared Orkney scallop with a succulent marsala, hazelnut and green coffee bean accompaniment. An unusual combination of rare Kentish lamb saddle with razor clams and seaweed butter with Savoy cabbage was a resounding success, whilst a red mullet with aubergine, shiitake mushrooms and sarawak pepper was nice and crispy. For dessert, the chocolate grand cru with pistachio and red shiso is divine, as is the trinket box with quince, beer and charcoal meringue. Unusual combinations but they work very well. Save some room for the petit-fours trolley!

The Square, London, Mayfair, UK - one of the best restaurants in Mayfair
Bird of Smithfield is a rare find – a cosy townhouse in the City of London with a fantastic restaurant. There are two stylish bars, a dining room, private events room and a lovely roof terrace with views of historic Smithfield Market. Executive chef Tommy Boland has worked at several Michelin star restaurants and his cooking is a skilful blend of British and French influences. The top floor dining room serves delicious dishes such as baked heritage beetroot with goat’s curd and pear, or roasted Cornish turbot with garganelli pasta, chanterelles and samphire. The roasted sirloin of beef with mushroom persillade, spinach and straw potato is cooked in a tasty red wine sauce. To finish, try  their incredible soufflé with egg nog ice cream or the chocolate brownie sundae with marshmallow, pistachio, vanilla cream and cocoa nibs.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of January events and thanks for your support and friendship throughout the year. What do you have planned for 2018?

Bird of Smithfield is one of the best restaurants in the City of London

  • Great post! The scarves look amazing. Happy New Year Suze.

    Gemma x

    • Suze

      And to you Gemma! Wishing you a fantastic 2018. I’m loving the scarves

  • Gemma S

    Happy new year! I’m planning a couple of trips to France this year and heading to York tomorrow – i’ll be visiting Bettys tea room and the railways museum.

    • Suze

      York is a lovely town, you’ll have a great time!

  • Those foods! Not only do they look delicious, they are so well-plated. Awesome.
    May you have more fun travels this 2018. Happy New Year!

  • Some great picks in here – The Square looks like a place I may have to try!

    • Suze

      I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you do try it, Nicola!

  • Tokyo is my favorite city in the world! And that sushi place looks amazing!!!

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  • I need to revisit the Square, I haven’t been in years.

    • Suze

      They’ve updated it really nicely – great bar area and the food was amazing

  • theCuriousPixie

    Oh Japan. It’s top of my wanderlust list!

    • Suze

      You will love it if you go!

  • The Bird of Smithfield really is a hidden gem – the food, setting and service are amazing! Would love to revisit Japan, loved being there during cherry blossom. Great January hotlist!

    • Suze

      Thank you Miriam, and I hope your January is off with a bang! I agree that Bird of Smithfield is a real treat, we’ll definitely go back

  • As usual, you make me wish I was back in London! and of course, Japan.

  • Great January hotlist! Rampley & Co is right up my alley. I love scarves! I’m also hoping to visit Japan sometimes this year. Your pictures about Tokyo made me very envious.

    • Suze

      Those scarves are so pretty, and very versatile too! Hope you make it to Japan, I’d definitely go back in cherry blossom season or to see the pink azaleas in Oita

  • Lucy

    Can’t wait to go back to The Square now that it has been renovated. Looks like afun month Lucy x