London 2015: New Openings

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Sky Garden

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Sky Garden
The Red Crate
CitizenM Tower of London
Judy Joo opens Jinjuu in January 2015
 

 

The Sky Garden atop the Walkie Talkie, a new art gallery from Damien Hirst and Biblioteka, a new £15 million restaurant from the people behind Bob Bob Ricard are just some of the exciting new launches in London in 2015. Here Francesca Young outlines what the year has in store.

 
 

Landmark Buildings & Big Developments

 
Sky Garden

Sky Garden

 

The Sky Garden, the oh-so glamorous tree-lined space at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street opens to the public from Monday, 5th January 2015, crowning the 160-metre Walkie Talkie building built by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly.

The three-storey space houses a series of bars and restaurants including the Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill and a traditional British restaurant on the two upper levels, and the Sky Pod Bar on the lower level on the 35th floor.

A huge development is Shoreditch Village - EllisMiller's Shoreditch Village includes plans for a 14,000 square metre - the equivalent of five football pitches - mixed-use and public realm scheme on a complex east London site. The masterplan features a 185-bedroom CitizenM hotel, retail, cafes, residential and commercial space on a site which is currently used as a car park. The hotel forms a key part of the regeneration scheme, which could be completed by mid-2015.

Broadgate Circle is also being redeveloped - don't worry, the iconic circular design remains in place and it's business as usual while the work is being done - to provide eight new restaurants and cafes, a bar set over two levels and two new eateries for food on the go. Yauatcha, The Botanist, Aubaine, Comptoir Libanais and Shoryu Ramen - casual ramen restaurants from the team behind Japan Centre - are all confirmed to open there in 2015.

 
 
 

Art Gallery: Damien Hirst

 
Newport Street Gallery

Newport Street Gallery

 

From artist to collector, Damien Hirst makes the next step and becomes a gallery owner in 2015 with a new 'Saatchi' style gallery in five converted warehouses in Vauxhall.

The street-length Newport Street Gallery which occupies buildings that were formerly used as theatre carpentry and scenery production workshops has been designed by Caruso St John Architects who were behind the recent and widely praised revamp of Tate Britain. Hirst will display over 2,000 pieces from his personal art collection in the gallery, set to open in spring/summer - a date in May or June 2015 is expected.

 
 
 

Theatre: Union Theatre & The Red Crate

 
The Red Crate

The Red Crate

 

One of London's most popular fringe theatres, The Union Theatre, is moving to a new, larger premises in 2015 but it's not going far. The new 80-seat theatre is just over the road from its previous home and is part of a development called Union Yard which includes three restaurants, work is expected to be completed by the summer.

Given the success of The Shed at the National Theatre it's exciting to see plans for The Red Crate, a sister building to the National Theatre's temporary space, planned to open in Stratford East in 2015-16.

The new 220-seat theatre will be immediately opposite the existing Grade II* listed Victorian building of Theatre Royal Stratford East in Theatre Square. The new £4.5million eco-venue will, like its sister building, be designed by award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins and will include a cafe / bar. The new venue is planned to be in place for 10 years, allowing Theatre Royal to nearly double the number of performances they put on each year.

 
 
 

New Hotels in 2015

 
CitizenM Tower of London

CitizenM Tower of London

 

In spring the new Zetter Townhouse Marylebone hotel, a 24-bedroom property on Seymour Street, will become the third hotel within the Zetter Group and the second in the Townhouse brand. Like the original 13-bedroom Zetter Townhouse in Clekenwell the new hotel will have cocktails by Tony Conigliaro and menus from French chef Bruno Loubet but improves on its predecessor by being more central and having a crowning glory - a rooftop apartment with a roll top bath on its roof terrace.

Also in spring 2015 the Lanesborough (shut since December 2013) re-opens under the Oetker Collection which owns eight luxury hotels worldwide. The Hyde Park Corner property was one of London's most highly regarded hotels before the renovations so it'll be interesting to see what untold luxuries they can lavish to improve on it.

There'll be more in the way of trendy but affordable accommodation too with M by Montcalm Shoreditch opening within Will Alsop's 'Doodle' tower in spring, and CitizenM opens not one but three hotels in London in 2015: Tower of London, CitizenM Shoreditch Village and Holborn. These are added to their existing Citizen M Bankside. In the same market, the Z Shoreditch opens in March 2015 within The Bower, a new quarter for Old Street immediately adjacent to Old Street Roundabout comprising modern offices, restaurants and retail units.

Nearby, the former magistrates' court and police station on Old Street where the Kray twins once stood trial is being redeveloped into a 128-bedroom luxury hotel. The Old Street Courthouse Hotel will include a gym, swimming pool, two-lane bowling alley, 200-seat cinema and a rooftop bar when it opens in mid-2015.

The people behind Soho House, responsible for the achingly hip rooftop pool atop Shoreditch House, are transforming the old Midland Bank on Poultry into the new Soho House City Hotel in 2015 with restaurants and bars (including one in the vault and one on the roof) planned and, if the rumours are to believed, a second London Cecconi's could be on the cards.

 
 
 

New Restaurants in 2015

 
Judy Joo opens Jinjuu in January 2015

Judy Joo opens Jinjuu in January 2015

 

The New Year brings new places to eat including Crumbs & Doilies where you can choose from over 60 flavours of cupcake to Kingly Court, just around the corner from Judy Joo's new restaurant, Jinjuu, which also opens in January 2015 bringing quality Korean cooking to Kingly Street.

From the Big Apple to the Big Smoke, boutique American steakhouse Smith & Wollensky opens their first site on the Strand this spring, a time when a new Bocca Di Lupo restaurant opens on Shaftesbury Avenue, and Greek seafood restaurant Milos welcomes the first diners to its new 8,000 square feet flagship restaurant at No 1 Regent Street.

Spring will also see the old German Gymnasium in King's Cross - Britain's first ever purpose-built sports gym - turned into a glamorous restaurant by D&D London. It will be joined by Vinoteca opening at 1 Pancras Square King's Cross as the latest high-profile culinary arrivals in the 67-acre regeneration area behind King's Cross and St Pancras stations. They join the already opened Grain Store by Bruno Loubet, Dishoom, and Mark Sargeant's Plum Spilt Milk at the Great Northern Hotel.

In the second half of 2015 the people behind Bob Bob Ricard open Biblioteka, a £15 million, 17,000 square foot restaurant on St James's Street. It promises a library of fine wine, British and Russian food and "London's most talked about dining room interior" (The Telegraph).

And at the very end of the year Jamie Oliver brings a second branch of his successful BBQ restaurant Barbecoa to London on Piccadilly, a two-floor 300-seat restaurant at the historic Prince's House focusing on barbequed, smoke-filled flavours.

 
 
 
 
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