Westminster Review: Top Bars and Restaurants
So I recently had the pleasure of spending the day in London reviewing bars and restaurants for a neighbourhood project that I’m currently working on for The Culture Trip. I’ve never done anything like this before, most of my write ups have been based on internet research rather than personal experience as I can’t put too much first person writing into my Culture Trip articles! As you can imagine, I jumped at the chance to review some of the trendiest bars and restaurants in one of the best parts of London, the beautiful borough of Westminster. It’s no secret that I’ve always loved London and I have a particular soft spot for Westminster so was delighted to be able to take on this area for one of my neighbourhood projects.
I didn’t have long in the capital and knew I had to plan my day as best as I could so I emailed a few of my chosen establishments in advance to set up some meetings. To my delight, managers from my top 2 bars and restaurants replied and I set up meetings with them both; Didier Agueh (Executive Host & Artistic Director) and Gregory (Restaurant Manager) of Primo Bar, Park Plaza Hotel and Sergio of The Zander Bar, part of Bank Westminster. Both interviews went brilliantly and I was able to learn a lot about the establishments as well as get an understanding of the menus and the types of customers that pass through the doors. My friend and I were even treated to some lovely complimentary drinks- thanks guys! So without further ado, here are the big interviews …
Primo Bar, Park Plaza Westminster Hotel
When did you first open? March 2010
Most popular time of day? After work for business people, or after 9pm on events nights. Primo Bar is proud to host a number of events and music nights throughout the year, including shows from top tribute acts and jazz and soul artists.
Who are your target audience? We attract guests of all ages, but our main target audience are adults over the age of 25. Most are of course hotel guests but we do get large numbers of locals and tourists looking for a luxurious place to relax and unwind after a hard day at work, or to enjoy their Saturday night out.
Signature drink? We run a Cocktail of the Month promotion, and October’s special is a fantastic Spiced Rum Sour for £12.95. Alternatively we run a 2-4-1 cocktail deal every weekday from 5-8pm only.
Any famous celebrity spots? Bruno Mars, Nicole Scherzinger, the cast of Fast & Furious 7 and our very own Prime Minister David Cameron!
Brasserie Joel, Park Plaza Westminster Hotel
When did you first open? March 2010
Most popular time of day? Evening meal times between Thursdays and Saturdays.
Who are your target audience? Mainly hotel residents, it’s about a 75% to 25% split between residents and members of the public.
Signature dish? Chef Walter Ishizuka is known for his excellent Tournedos Rossini, a fillet of beef served in a truffle sauce.
Any famous celebrity spots? Jessica Wright (of hit TV show The Only Way is Essex) dined here last week actually!
The Zander Bar, Bank Restaurant
When did you first open? 2007
Most popular time of day? Straight after work for locals, and on into the early part of the evening. We run a Happy Hour promotion between 5pm and 9pm Tuesdays-Fridays.
Who are your target audience? Business people
Signature drink? Our cocktails and our selection of Martini’s
Any famous celebrity spots? Because of our close proximity to The Houses of Parliament we often attract many politicians, one of the most well known being Nick Clegg.
When did you first open? 2007.
Most popular time of day? Early evening for after work locals and business people, where corporate events and meetings are often held in our private dining rooms.
Who are your target audience? Business people during the week, but we also attract tourists and locals during weekend leisure.
Signature dish? We serve a range of meats and steaks in our fantastic tandoori clay oven- they are always popular with our customers!
Any famous celebrity spots? As above, many politicians visit due to our brilliant Westminster location.
My published articles for Best Bars and Best Restaurants have just gone live, and I wrote a post on Top Things to See and Do in Westminster a while back. I’d just like to say a big THANK YOU again to Didier, Gregory and Sergio for having me- I’ll certainly be back! My next neighbourhood projects are Covent Garden and Canary Wharf so I’ll be heading back down to the capital for some more research soon and will be posting my reviews and interviews afterwards. I’m thoroughly enjoying my latest projects and cannot wait to share more of my handy tips with you and all of The Culture Trip readers.
Love Jess x
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