The Truffler

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Indy Lifestyle Online

What is £50 if you eat out in London restaurants regularly? And here, in a form of speculating to accumulate, is a way that diners can help raise money for Youth Clubs UK's work with socially disadvantaged young people. First, buy a London Select booklet of vouchers, each of which offers a discount of an average of 40 per cent off the price of a meal at 73 of London's top restaurants. The vouchers are valid until the end of March next year, and include money off meals at, among others, Bank, Fifth Floor, the Sugar Club, Bel Air in Dulwich, Bah Humbug in Brixton, Mesclun in Stoke Newington, Silks and Spice, fish!, Prism, Zander, Daphne's, Shimla Pinks and Claridges - all well-chosen and representing an even spread across London.

What is £50 if you eat out in London restaurants regularly? And here, in a form of speculating to accumulate, is a way that diners can help raise money for Youth Clubs UK's work with socially disadvantaged young people. First, buy a London Select booklet of vouchers, each of which offers a discount of an average of 40 per cent off the price of a meal at 73 of London's top restaurants. The vouchers are valid until the end of March next year, and include money off meals at, among others, Bank, Fifth Floor, the Sugar Club, Bel Air in Dulwich, Bah Humbug in Brixton, Mesclun in Stoke Newington, Silks and Spice, fish!, Prism, Zander, Daphne's, Shimla Pinks and Claridges - all well-chosen and representing an even spread across London.

Just taking advantage of the £50 discount at Le Gavroche will cover the cost of the whole London Select booklet. This is being offered to readers of The Independent for £50, rather than the usual £70, although paying the full price is appreciated, and all the money goes to the youth clubs. Order your London Select book of vouchers on 0845 1002226.

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Get those accessory children used to the lifestyle while they're young. After all, they must learn not to spill jus down their designer jeans. Harvey Nichols' Fifth Floor Café in London has introduced a gourmet children's menu over the holidays. The £10 consists of three courses starting with buffalo mozzarella and plum tomato salad, then grilled breast of chicken with cumin and saffron-infused couscous, and vanilla ice cream for dessert. The snag is, of course, that accompanying adults will have to pay at least £20 each for the prix fixe lunch and dinner at the Fifth Floor Café (020-7235 5250). It's open for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner every day, except Sunday when it closes at 6pm.

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To bring you up to speed with the fast-moving Allegra "The Good Cook" McEvedy. Last week, we reported she'd left The Good Cook restaurant in Kensington which will open again shortly as L' Anis. She hasn't gone to ground, however. The Good Cook at The Serpentine is open daily from 10am to 6pm in architect Zaha Hadid's tented structure outside the art gallery in Hyde Park. McEvedy describes it as "a glorified picnic", with a simple menu of soup, bruschetta, one fish, meat and vegetable dish, and salads. Already it's so busy that the overflow of customers are given rugs to sit on the ground. "I've gone back to my roots," says The Good Cook. But she's not putting down roots. The Good Cook at The Serpentine will pack up at the beginning of September.

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Another young chef who has had more than his share of media exposure has bravely decided to put his head on the block. Jamie Oliver and his friend Ben O'Donahue have taken over the kitchens of Monte's at 164 Sloane Street, London SW1 (020-7245 0896), open to anyone at lunchtime but a member's club in the evening. Fans might like to know that the kitchen is open plan. Prices may put off his less affluent followers - starters are £7-£14.50, and mains £12-£18.50 - but Truffler predicts a feeding frenzy of those keen to see what Sainsbury's poster boy can deliver.

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