Meet The Stars Behind London Bars (And Restaurants And Cafés)!

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London is home to a whole constellation of stars, including Jude Law and Madonna…

…but a few have also set up restaurants and bars in the capital. From Gandalf to Kelly Brook, who says your skills must end at acting (or, erm, having big boobs)?

1. Nobu – Robert De Niro

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[Nobu Restaurants]
You may know him as Pam Byrne’s overprotective father in Meet The Parents (and the Fockers), but Robert De Niro is also the co-founder of esteemed restaurant chain, Nobu. There are over 30 branches across the world, two of which take pride of place in Central London. Nobu, named after owner and executive chef Nobu Matsuhisa, mixes Japanese and South American influences to create a menu of innovative “new style” Japanese cuisine. It’s often frequented by celebrities, making it a top spot for a bit of star-spotting.

19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB / 15 Berkeley Street, W1J 8DY

2. Steam & Rye – Kelly Brook

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[Steam and Rye]
Kelly Brook is famous for errr…. we’re not really sure what, but she owns a top-class cocktail bar on Leadenhall Street. The interior was designed by Hollywood Set Designer Jonathan Lee, and was modelled on Grand Central Station in New York. They’ve got live music, a rodeo bull and Ladies Night on a Wednesday (which we’re pretty sure the men will have something to say about, but hey, half price cocktails girls)! The cocktail menu goes all out and they have everything from a Juan Direction, a popular cocktail with tequila and agave, and a Mile High, which comes with a paper aeroplane. They also have a bunch of sharing cocktails that come served in the mouths of dinosaurs and sharks and stuff.

147 Leadenhall St, EC3V 4QT

3. Pharmacy 2– Damien Hirst

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Following on from the unsuccessful venture of Pharmacy (1?) in Notting Hill, Hirst has decided to have another go by relaunching the restaurant at his Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall. The interior very much reflects the name, with pills on the walls and pills on the stools. Coinciding with the gallery’s extended Saturday hours, Pharmacy 2 will be hosting ‘Lates’ on the last Saturday of each month during the Autumn. These evenings will include happy hour cocktails from 10pm, late-night dining and live DJ sets until 2am. PS. The gallery is currently showing a Jeff Koons exhibition which ends October 16.

Newport Street, SE11 6AJ

4. The Grapes – Sir Ian McKellen

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Gandalf has returned! But rather than leading the Fellowship of the Ring in Middle-earth, he has bought a pub in East London. The Grapes is a traditional English pub, with proper ales and a Victorian long bar (and now with the added addition of the original ‘Gandalf staff’ on display behind the bar). There’s a heated terrace at the back that dangles over the Thames and flaunts some great views of the City and it’s also said that Charles Dickens used to dance on the tables in his time.

76 Narrow Street, Limehouse, E14 8BP

5. Dandy Café – Alt J’s Gus Unger Hamilton

Alt-J keyboardist Gus Unger Hamilton claims he didn’t always want to be a musician, but rather dreamt of becoming a chef. In a space that was once just shipping containers and rubbish, Gus has followed his dream and opened up a new café in South Hackney. With a focus on natural wine and simple scrumptious food, the Alt-J member’s café is definitely worth a visit.

9-15 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB

Georgie Hoole

Georgie Hoole

Georgie is Deputy Editor at Secret London. She loves a trendy café and is all too familiar with the extortionate price of a coffee in the capital. She enjoys the finer things in life (like red wine on a school night and eating Ben and Jerry's straight from the tub) and hasn't quite grasped the concept of adulthood yet.