A weekend at Abergavenny Food Festival

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Last weekend, we visited Abergavenny for the annual food festival in a pretty corner of Wales. Offering the best speakers from the world of food & drink, talented producers from across the UK, and special demonstrations and even more delicious samples, we enjoyed being veterans of one of the most well executed food events of… Read more »

National Restaurant Awards 2014

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We are excited to see some of our old favourites ranking on The National Restaurant Awards this year. Congratulations to The Clove Club (and their delicious Blood Orange, Sheep’s Milk Mousse and Wild Fennel), The Ethicurean (where a gleaming slab of Welsh Rarebit brightened up a cold December day), Merchants Tavern (our favourite dish, Hogget broth), Grain Store… Read more »

Boopshi’s Schnitzel & Spritz

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Sometimes you need simple, comforting and delicious food. And when you do, I recommend you visit Boopshi’s. With a small menu including rose veal, chicken and rare breed pork schnitzels and authentic Austrian sides such as sauerkraut, pickles, spatzel ‘n’ cheese and frites, there’s little more you could ask for.  Well, apart from a refreshing spritz… Read more »

A Tale of Two Taverns

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One week: two taverns. Each very different and yet much in common; attention to detail everywhere you care to scrutinise, great service and food you can’t wait to eat more of. Tavern one, Merchants, in Shoreditch with the eclectic mix of scoffers that entails. Mr Blythe unobtrusively working his magic around the floor as some… Read more »

Ballet Black’s quadruple bill at The Linbury Studio Theatre

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There are two of us in the Story office who would regard ourselves as ‘trained ballet dancers’. Whilst you would think that we would be the most appreciative of the dance form, we both agreed that being part of the audience can be difficult when all you can concentrate on is whether the dancer has the correct posture, are they spotting… Read more »

The Chicken Shop, Kentish Town

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Arise, Lady Lucy. Sadly I’m not the Queen. If I were, high up the honours list would be my friend Lucy who has just magicked Chicken Shop (http://www.chickenshop.com) into existence up in Kentish Town. Obviously there was a great team involved, and in her interviews she’d give them full credit. However, to all intents and… Read more »

Wahaca-on-Thames

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Last Wednesday, with mouths watering and bellies rumbling, we headed down to the opening of Wahaca on Southbank. Situated in pride-of-place Wahaca’s striking new build, created from eight recycled shipping containers, draws the eyes upward to its perching point on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Terrace. On arrival we decided to prep our palates with a… Read more »

Fine Parisian dining

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Nestled on a quiet street in the fashionable Bonne Nouvelle district of Paris, is Bistro Volnay. Recommended by a friend prior to my Easter getaway, I had booked a table in keen anticipation. The restaurant itself is beautiful, with dark wood, art deco mirrors and exquisite table setting. To start, the difficult task of negotiating… Read more »

Enter if you dare

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Through the porn shop, past the bondage mannequin and down the stairs to a cave-like restaurant. The La Bodega Negra experience begins when you dare yourself to go through the inconspicuous entrance. It is candle-lit and bubbling with conversation, a bold and striking atmosphere, which has drummed up much attention since opening a few months… Read more »

Dating and Duck Confit

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Attending a book launch for Sarah Bridge’s fabulous new book about the perils of dating in your late 30’s, http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Catch-Your-Husband-Adventures/dp/1845967984, had left us hungry on the Strand. Opera Tavern delivered two barside seats and (weirdly) a bowl of mixed salad within five minutes of sitting down. Apparently thin people sometimes eat salad first to help them… Read more »

Masala Zone- Zoe Perrett

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The recent cold snap sends us scurrying for the cockle-warming comforts of Masala Zone. We’d have visited long ago, but for the fact one of us is a recent (albeit keen) covert to the joys of Indian cuisine, and the other’s more often found way out East, enjoying a dosa or a samosa chaat in… Read more »

Tuk Cho

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On a cold Friday night in London, what’s better than visiting a restaurant that makes all the memories of that exciting, tropical holiday in South East Asia come flooding back? Tuk Cho’s menu is vast; with street food, noodles, curries and stir fry’s hailing from Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Japan and Vietnam. Myself and Thailand-loving guest… Read more »

Are you bored?

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My friend has had me in stitches from the minute we sat down, I’ve just eaten some perfectly cooked scallops with blood orange and endive and a man is playing piano. I’m many things, but there’s not a whiff of ennui about my person. The man next to me however is bored and wants to… Read more »

Union Jacks

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I’m a big fan of casual dining chez Oliver. Jamie’s Italian has firmly dethroned Carluccio’s on our visits to Kingston. So it was with some excitement that I headed to Jamie’s new venture Union Jacks in the jazzy, new Central St Giles Piazza to try his British take on pizza – the flatbread.  In truth,… Read more »

Galante

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    Last night I headed off to Gaucho Restaurant’s new Argentine cocktail bar, Galante, on Sloane Avenue. As guests of the Gaucho team (who I worked with for 3 years) I was treated to some delicious vintage cocktails, washed down with fantastic fresh oysters. The look and feel to the stand alone bar is… Read more »

Balcon

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Balcon is a room that reeks of civlisation. You can’t imagine faces getting redder and the night unfolding into a sudden tug of hair and screeching (unlike close neighbour TigerTiger). Described by my guest as ‘just like the Wolsely but easier to think’, a gentle brunch unfolded before us. We didn’t quite understand the champagne… Read more »

Mishkin’s

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Russell Norman has a distinctive eye for an interior – ‘rough yet considered’ might sum it up. We ate an early supper at Mishkin’s and watched it fill to capacity by 8pm. Our table happened to be by the mysterious booth/private room. No less than three sets of people went in and emerged in rapid… Read more »

The Kitchen

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A post-war restaurant in Soho is the setting of  Arnold Wesker’s classic ensemble piece, The Kitchen. As dawn breaks the caretaker sleepily lopes in, lighting the gas stoves that will roar throughout the day. From this solitary scene, the characters start to appear amid the clamorous exchange of banter. Amongst the staff, a new chef… Read more »

Comfort and Spice

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My first experience of a supper club happened to be at brunch, hosted by Niamh Sheilds to celebrate the launch of her first book, Comfort and Spice. The @eatlikeagirl blogger, famous for her take on bacon jam, invited guests to a secret location in North London for a preview of the book and to sample… Read more »