Flavour of the month: From macarons to musk ox - the food trends to keep you ahead of the fashion pack

Lena Corner hunts out the chicest cakes, craziest cookbooks and coolest cocktails

Sunday 23 October 2011 05:01

Food has never been more fashionable – being seen in the right restaurant is as essential to the glossy posse as carrying the right handbag (which happens to be the Céline box-shape). But what are the correct names to drop and snacks to be seen with? Is it still whoopie pie or are we back to macarons? Did Mexican ever take off or is Italian cicchetti where it's at? Should we be clamouring for a table at River Café or Polpetto? And surely it's fashion death to order a Cosmopolitan these days? Follow our guide and avoid making a foodie faux pas...

The patisserie

The celebrated pastry chef Claire Clark has taken a short sabbatical from her usual post at California's French Laundry to launch a patisserie on Harvey Nichols' fifth floor. Taking inspiration from the sugar hits of her childhood and adding a twist of luxury, Clark has created the hippest afternoon tea in town. The treats to try are her Jaffa Cake macaroons, bubblegum pavlova and fizzy strawberry marshmallows. Cupcakes, let it be noted, are over. The Claire Clark Patisserie, Fifth Floor, Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1, harveynichols.com

The cuisine

After the long reign of Spain's El Bulli, the crown of Best Restaurant in the World was recently usurped by 32-year-old Danish wunderkind René Redzepi. Every day, thousands of people try to book a table at his Copenhagen restaurant Noma, which has made beautiful, stripped-back "new Nordic" cuisine the hottest thing in the world right now. His eagerly awaited first cookbook is out in October and promises to place Danish ingredients such as axel-berry shoots, wild ground juniper and musk ox firmly on the food map. 'Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine' is published by Phaidon, priced £35

The trend

This season no self-respecting fashion store would be seen dead without a foodie pop-up. Exquisite French bistro Aubaine is opening a 70-cover restaurant in the heart of Selfridges' vast new Shoe Galleries. Expect to see Aubaine regulars Sienna and Kylie pick at its golden beetroot, watercress and orange salad as they inspect their purchases. Meanwhile, in Fenwick, hip catering company Rhubarb has unveiled a café called Bond & Brook. It's all glossy white surfaces, pale-green leather banquettes and there's also a library of the latest design books, so the fashion set can amuse themselves as they nibble on their white egg and chilli omelettes. And Serena Rees, founder of Agent Provocateur, is bringing her boutique chocolate shop to Liberty in a pop-up called Chocolate Wonderland, opening in November. Check out the new range of sea-salted caramel and orange and rose chocolate bars. It's no wonder Gwyneth and Madonna are fans.

selfridges.com; fenwick.co.uk; liberty.co.uk

The chef

Young, dark, handsome and completely obsessed with food, chef Stevie Parle had had stints in the kitchens at Moro, River Café, Petersham Nurseries and New York's Spotted Pig by the time he was barely into his twenties. Last year, his Moveable Restaurant, a word-of-mouth supper club, had food lovers clamouring and this year it's all about his Dock Kitchen, housed in Tom Dixon's Portobello showrooms, which has just reopened after a refit, and boasts surely the most glamorous waiting staff in London. His first book My Kitchen: Real Food From Near and Far (Quadrille, £14.99), was published in August and is without doubt the first of many. It's about time someone gave Jamie Oliver a run for his money. The Dock Kitchen, London W10, tel: 020 8962 1610, dockkitchen.co.uk

The café

You would expect acclaimed food photographer Jason Lowe and Italian-American food writer Lori De Mori to get it right, and Towpath, essentially a couple of old garage units on the Regent Canal in Hackney, is spot-on. It's the perfect venue to people-watch, as it's a magnet for hip young things with directional haircuts from nearby Dalston who pack it out on Sunday morning lounging on the ramshackle furniture, reading the papers and drinking tea from perfectly mis-matched crockery. The menu is tiny, but the soups, salads and cakes on offer are effortlessly brilliant. Regent's Canal towpath, between Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road Bridge, London N1

The restaurant

Polpetto, the recently opened sister restaurant to Beak Street's acclaimed Polpo, is a tiny 28-seater situated above one of Soho's most iconic pubs, the French House, and for the moment at least, the queue to get an evening table is three hours long (bookings are taken for lunch). Owner Russell Norman, formerly of Caprice Holdings, has taken elements of a traditional Venetian bacaro (wine bar) and combined them with a bit of New York nous (exposed brickwork and a tin ceiling reclaimed from a Manhattan warehouse). But it's the cicchetti – the small snacking menu of shared plates – that are on everyone's lips. The ones to go for are the swordfish roll with dill and ricotta or the Polpetto staple, meatballs. Such is the demand, Norman is launching a third restaurant, called Spuntino, next month. Polpetto, 49 Dean Street, London W1, tel: 020 7734 1969, polpetto.co.uk

The drink

Launched at Vogue's Fashion Night Out just over a week ago, the magnificently bling Martini Gold, a tie-up between the drinks brand and Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, is the only tipple worth getting out of bed for. It comes in a fabulous decadent golden bottle embossed with nothing but their logos. Fashion-industry caterers Nomad, which is also working on the Swarovski flagship launch next month, served it in an opulent cocktail with prosecco and Crème de Mûre. Martini Gold, available at Harvey Nichols,as before

The dinner guest

An adoring three-page feature in the September issue of Vogue describes Lulu Kennedy as, "A fairy godmother to young designers." Ten years at the helm of Fashion East has seen her help launch the careers of Gareth Pugh, Richard Nicoll, Marios Schwab, Jonathan Saunders and Louise Gray to name just a few. Not only is she young, beautiful, well-connected – Sadie Coles and Tracey Emin are friends, Sienna Miller a former flatmate and YBA Mat Collishaw her ex-husband – she's actually nice with it. As at home in trendy East End eaterie Bistrotheque as she is doing fine dining in Mayfair, Kennedy is the hippest girl in town to share a plate with. lulukennedy.blogspot.com

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