What better way to make the appearance of the bill more welcome than to pair it with a gift? At Hong Kong's perenially packed Yardbird, it's a small bag of the restaurant's blend of shichimi togarashi chilli powder. In the UK, diners leaving The Fat Duck tote custom-designed lolly bags, while guests departing Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social receive breakfast goodies and a house-made tea, a strategy also deployed by the local likes of Vue de Monde and Bécasse.
London likes to keep fit, well rested and in shape these days. In anticipation of the 2012 Olympics, new hotels and spas are popping up all over the UK capital, including The Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall, with its impressive four-floor ESPA Life spa and gym. The grand old building, previously the Ministry of Defence headquarters, has been revamped by interior designers GA Design. The spa is sumptuously kitted out with Calacatta and black marble, hammam-style steam rooms and an artfully lit swimming pool. We especially like the German Klafs sauna with its amphitheatre-like design. Relax on sunken benches and look out through its glass walls on to the rest of the spa.