I may have been handicapped by knowing the building previously as an office block but even the name Sea Containers at Mondrian has a corporate ring that makes the heart sink.
(Updated with Kitty Fisher's). There’s always a flurry of restaurant openings towards the end of the year, eager to catch the pre-Christmas boom but this year has been more manic than most.
One of the biggest problems hotels have is how to keep their guests in the building for meals. The solution is generally to employ a celebrity chef and that’s what the County Hotel in Bath has done with Martin Blunos. (Sadly this restaurant has unexpectedly closed.)
I don’t envy Gordon Ramsay - or rather his head chef Clare Smyth - the 10/10 rating they received in this year’s Good Food Guide. It makes people like me think ‘Ha! I wonder if they’re really worth it?’ and book to find out.
No restaurant in London can have been more visited or commented on its first couple of weeks than Spring. Everyone seemingly has been there and has a view - not always complimentary - of the merits of chef Skye Gyngell’s return to London.
I didn’t manage to get to the highly-regarded Le Sargent Recruteur before I heard the original team had moved on so it was good to find them installed at 46 rue Trousseau, the former home of another hit restaurant, Rino*.
It has to be said that no-one knows how to do glamour like Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the founders of the Ivy and the Caprice and, more recently, the Wolseley, the Delaunay and my current favourite, Fischer’s
What is a large palm tree doing growing in the heart of Hackney? Let alone INSIDE a building (a converted warehouse set in a railway arch). Well, it’s the latest outpost of hipster winebar Sager & Wilde, now with a fully-fledged restaurant, Mission.
A return visit to Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham last week underlined why David-Everitt Mathias is considered one of the 10 best chefs in the country according to the latest Good Food Guide.
One of the main problems restaurants have is consistency. Keeping up the standards not only of the food but decor and service. So could Edinburgh’s Timberyard make an equally good impression as it did when I first went 16 months ago?
I used to get asked so often where the best places were to eat in my home town of Bristol I finally got round to drawing one up back in March. This is an updated version (November 2014) though prices might have gone up.
Have you noticed the number of restaurants which have started offering breakfast - and I don’t just mean a full English? Breakfast seems to have become the new lunch though goodness knows how hard-pressed execs have time to chat over a bacon naan* (see below) before they hit their desks.
The mark of a ‘good ‘critic, my dad always used to say, is that you agree with them. This certainly applies in the case of the Guardian’s Marina O’Loughlin whose view of what makes a great meal (good simple food, lack of pretention) I totally sign up to.
Housed in Gordon Ramsay’s former restaurant in Claridge's, Fera is one of the most high profile restaurant openings in London this year which means that it’s burdened with a high level of expectation.
From the minimalist decor to the simple seasonal food Bristol’s latest restaurant opening, Birch, will seem instantly familiar to anyone who’s eaten at St John.
I’d heard good things about The Dairy, not least from my son Will (of Hawksmoor*), one of whose favourite restaurants it is, but being south of the river it took me a while to haul myself down there.
The Hole in the Wall at Little Wilbraham near Cambridge sounded like the sort of twee country pub that I hate. Discovering it had a celebrity chef and a tasting menu made it appeal even less but on my visit last week I was bowled over
Whenever we come to Paris, whatever new places we book, we still always make time to see two old favourites, Le Baratin and Bistrot Paul Bert.
Eating Thai tapas in a city like Paris represents everything I dislike about eating out - a mish-mash of cooking styles, food you can eat anywhere - and yet I loved it.