IMG_1364.JPG December 14

Wiltons. SW1. History on a plate.

It’s been there since 1742, according to the doormat. Bang in the heart of hunting-shooting-fishing-land, you can stock up on all your country needs before you come here and eat something that someone else has had the decency to shoot for you. Wanting, nay needing to avoid anything remotely festive, when  Wiltons pinged up on […]

IMG_1320-0.JPG December 10

Le Chalet. On top of the world.

You know that thing, where you can’t decide where to go on holiday for Christmas and there are so many choices and what about Cornwall but there’s all those unused air miles and it would be lovely to go somewhere hot but really it’s double the price at this time of year and then you end […]

IMG_1267.JPG December 03

Racine. Paris, the sequel.

Racine. I have no idea if there’s any connection to Jean Racine, the playwright,  but other than both of them being uncompromisingly French, I can’t see what they have in common. In that slightly no-man’s-land bit of Knightsbridge, the section past Harrods but just before Brompton Road, and opposite the V & A, this is a strange place to find a traditional-style bistro […]

IMG_1228.JPG November 30

Frantzén, Stockholm. Brain food.

I will see if you can come in, says Lurch, at the door, formal and forbidding in his dark, heavy overcoat and bowler hat. We are ten minutes early and are left standing out in the cold. More like a speakeasy than a restaurant, this is not the sort of warm welcome we might have […]

IMG_0831 November 25

Colbeh and Kateh. Go East, in West London.

Persian cookery. I’ve always been a little bit captivated by it, since I was first introduced to it at boarding school, where there were a number of Persian pupils, refugees from the last days of the Shah. It must have been a bit of a shock for those evacuees, the journey from Teheran to Wallingford, what […]

IMG_0954 November 20

Benares. Blinging it up in Berkeley Square.

We’re going to the Punchbowl, I tell J, it’s that pub in Mayfair, you know, the one that used to be owned by Guy Ritchie, when he was Madonna’s husband. For all I know, it  might still be a Ritchie venture but even if it is, we can be eternally grateful that we won’t be […]

IMG_0866.JPG November 14

Sally Clarke’s. Posh nosh.

There are cookbooks on a table, as we enter the restaurant. One of them is by Alice Waters – The Art of Simple Food – and I have this cookbook at home. I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It is a seminal work and Alice Waters is a legendary chef. Her restaurant,  Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, is […]

Breakfast. Worth the journey. November 08

Maison Troigros Part I : The Hotel

I had wanted to stay in one of the  Grand-Design-like futuristic pods at  Les Cadoles, part of the Troigros empire, not half an hour away from the restaurant. But after the Fishermen’s Huts in Whitstable I was pushing my luck. We didn’t notice the large dent on the car door, nor the big scrape,  or rather C […]

IMG_0819.JPG November 07

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. No fireworks.

I’d not thought much about Clare Smyth MBE, until Restaurant Gordon Ramsay won the ultimate accolade in The Good Food Guide this year. Ten out of ten. Top marks. But Clare is not a well-known TV chef or cookbook writer and her light has been firmly hidden behind the Ramsay bushel. If you’re wondering what she looks […]

IMG_0679.JPG October 29

Oslo Court, NW8. An Ode to Overshlog.

People are propped up by formaldehyde, says B, a little harsh, I feel, but it is true that the room is full of people who may not last the year, never mind the decade. This is the place to bring your parents, if you have any and someone else’s if you don’t. If you’re middle-aged and […]

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