12 London restaurant openings to watch in 2020

Noble Rot Soho

Wine trade favourite Noble Rot is to open a second venue in the capital this year, having taken over the site of Soho institution Gay Hussar after the restaurant closed in 2018. Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew MW, the co-founders of Noble Rot magazine and its eponymous restaurant, announced the news of the takeover last November.

Noble Rot’s second outpost, Noble Rot Soho, will open this spring. According to Andrew and Keeling, the menu, which will be overseen by The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris, will include subtle references to the Gay Hussar’s glory days. “We’ll be creating a buzzing and atmospheric new restaurant that’s at the forefront of London’s culinary scene without losing sight of its rackety and sometimes scandalous past. And the wine list will be the stuff of dreams,” the pair said.

A Greek Street landmark for over 60 years, the Gay Hussar, a former Hungarian restaurant, was opened in 1953 by the half-Swiss, half-Welsh Victor Sassie. Favoured by politicians and publishers, it is rumoured that there were once hidden cameras beaming footage directly to Downing Street, while other reports state that the venue was where Tony Blair was first persuaded to run as an MP in 1982, auspiciously seated at table 10. Regulars included the likes of T.S Elliot, Michael Foot and Gordon Brown.

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