Perfect, perfect Elwy Valley lamb.
*Vegan spoiler alert – y’ain’t gunna like this*
Meat. Oh Meat! Oh bloody, dripping, dirty, dirty meat – she cries! Steak me up, throw me wantonly in the direction of the hog roast, slather me with bacon and sacrifice me on the alter of the Filet Mignon. Good things may come and go, but NOTHING remains as constant and perfect as wonderful, wonderful meat. Enter Temper – the latest beefy-brawny venture by the ‘Geek of Meat’ Neil Rankin, he of Pitt Cue Co and Smokehouse fame. Secreted away in an unlikely looking basement on Soho’s media agency-crammed Broadwick Street, overseen by a centrally placed, temple-sized charcoal barbecue, Temper is what the saliva in your mouth was made for drooling over.
This is one of those “London is full of surprises” moments. In the relatively subdued and in-betweeny neighbourhood of St. James’s Park, which on this particular Saturday was prey to a marching black and white army of anti-Badger Cullers, sits the shiny newly refursbished, very smart and elegant St Ermin’s Hotel – once a notorious meeting place of secret agents and spies, now the third aquisition by Marriot’s “Autograph Collection” of independent, upscale hotels. James Bond meets interior design – my kind of den, really. And within this dazzling den, quietly ticking away, is the absolutely delightful Caxton Bar and Grill.
Sunday brain teasers
I do have a soft spot for this quirky hotel brand where I have also overnighted. No fear of being the sad sack brunching alone and needing to play mobile Angry Birds for company here on a Sunday, the Mal Brasserie menu provides a nifty word search and Sudoku on its back page to entertain those enjoying oeufs-for-one. Continue reading
There’s nothing fishy about this kitchen!
Part of the delightful Llawnroc hotel in the pretty hamlet of Gorran Haven, South Cornwall, The Gwineas Bar & Bistro makes the most of the light, space and restfulness afforded by its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and glorious sea view beyond. Continue reading
Somewhere in between the monsoon, the hailstorms of Hades and the third Ice Age of 2012, there were a few minutes of sun. Thank heavens then that at that particular moment I happened to find myself in good company and minutes from The Paxton, Gipsy Hill. Continue reading
Crystal Palace, Baby!
Westow House in Crystal Palace is the living embodiment of everything a pub should be. Like the glory days of the village tavern where crusty hobbits would gather for flagons of ale as it was the only building around with a roaring fire on heathenous medieval nights, Westow House is a pub for actually living in, as they were meant to be. An ale-filled extension of your home. Continue reading