Metamorphosis (temporary)

Dear Faithful Followers of this blog, I will not be continuing this blog as such for the time being. As some of you may be aware, I have embarked on a 6-month odyssey around the Italian islands. I have created another blog,, in which to record the course of this splendid adventure, its high […]

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Ristorante del Belbo da Bardon

There are rare restaurants where you know that everything is going to be all right the moment you walk in. There’s something about the manner of the greeting, calm, warm, confident. There’s something about the way the place is decked out – not too smart, not too flashy, accommodating. There’s a comfortable chair to settle […]

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There was the great man, Rene Redzepi, standing at the door of Noma, surrounded by what appeared to be a battalion of Noma staff. ‘We’ve met before’, I said, grasping him firmly by the mitt. ‘I know,’ he said.’ You bought me a pint.’ I goggled. And then I remembered. Some years I interviewed Rene […]

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Brasserie Chavot

Suddenly they’re everywhere. After years of rigorous suppression in favour of Italian/Spanish/Modern European/Contemporary British/Ersatz Japanese-effect pastiches, French brasseries and bistros (or is it bistrots?) are back in force. In the last fewish months the Brasserie Zedel and Cafe Colbert, Balthazar and Little Pollen Street have all opened and been packing in the customers. Most, I […]

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The greatest restaurant in the world

Dorego’s, there’s nowhere quite like it. Never has been, I dare say. One of a kind, a sort of a bar, a sort of a restaurant, seedy, louche, easy-paced, open-hearted, democratic, with the beauty of the truly idiosyncratic, sui generis, although that’s not a phrase that you’re likely to hear in Dorego’s. It looks out […]

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Simpson’s Tavern

It’s always a pleasure to catch up with an old friend, particularly when you find they’ve hardly changed in, oooo, it must be forty years or so. Simpson’s Tavern, aka Simpson’s of Cornhill is one of the places to which various friends of mine, who had gone into that Slough of Despond, The City, and […]

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The Tramshed

Mark Hix’s Tramshed is a beast in every sense of the word – vast space (it really was a shed for trams); vaulting glass ceiling; bar the length of the room; 130 covers; Damien Hurst art installation of a cow in formaldehyde with a cockerel perched on its back rises up like the golden calf […]

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Brasserie Zedel

Ou sont let plats d’antan? Gone to Zedel, every one of them. A dream of a dream, A dream of filet de hareng, pommes a l’huile,; lapin a la moutarde, baba au rhum, of celeri remoulade; choucroute alsacciene, éclair Paris Brest, of escargots au beurre persille, blanquette de veau and peche Melba. Zedel is a […]

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Osteria dal Cavaliere

It’s not often you see horse and donkey on the same menu. The place in question was the aptly-named Osteria del Cavaliere in the Piazetta Scala in Verona. It’s more of a wine bar than a restaurant, its walls lined with serious looking bottles. I was tempted to have both the bigoli con asino and […]

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