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*Hot Spots London*

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SMALL WONDER Intimate new hotels are thriving this winter, like One Aldwych (1 Aldwych, WC2; 44 171 300 1000), the newly refreshed stealth-wealth enclave near the Strand. Five Maddox Street (5 Maddox Street, W1; 44 171 792 4070), furnished by the young British designers at Baker Neville Design, opens this month close by the new Prada and Louis Vuitton stores. And next month, the Rookery, a hotel composed of three 1764 Georgian houses in TriBeCa-esque Clerkenwell, opens its doors (Peter's Lane, Cowcross Street, EC1; 44 171 336 0931). . . .

DEEP DISH Forgot to make reservations at the River Cafe? Your name means nothing at Le Caprice? Head to culinary bad boy Marco Pierre White's revitalized Mirabelle, a romantic forties Mayfair fantasy, and eat squid-ink risotto and braised oxtail (56 Curzon Street, W1; 44 171 499 4636). Book fast for the new Sugar Club, now in Soho, to have a shot at New Zealand's super-healthy Pacific Rim fusion cuisine (21 Warwick Street, W1; 44 171 437 7776). The new Gordon Ramsay, at the site of the old La Tante Claire, is obligatory for gastronomes craving lobster ravioli and three courses of dessert (68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3; 44 171 352 4441). . . .

HOT DUCAT You'll probably miss Nicole Kidman's sexy star turn in David Hare's The Blue Room (it closes October 31 and is coming to Broadway), but there's still Judi Dench in Peter Hall's Filumena at the Piccadilly, which runs until December 30; and, through December 3, Helen Mirren in Antony and Cleopatra at the National (for advance tickets to all, call Edwards & Edwards in New York, 800-223-6108). Scottish heartthrob Ewan McGregor will be at the tiny Hampstead Theatre (44 171 722 9301), from November 12 through December 23, in Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs. . . .

DON'T MISS The double-header at the Tate Gallery: a John Singer Sargent exhibition (from October 15) and the work of this year's Turner Prize nominees (from October 28; the winner will be announced on December 1).


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