Category Archives: British

#meatporn at Temper


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.

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Lamberts, Balham – Seasonal British

20170113_213911Balham is pretty low on surprises and superlatives. Not as up-and-coming as Tooting. More nappy-plains to Clapham’s nappy-valley. It’s the Dulux Magnolia of South West London. Safe, steadfast, boring. Then 8 months after moving here, I discover smack 4 doors down from my humble abode, LAMBERTS, a delicious gem of a restaurant – unassuming and reticent.

Lamberts is in its 13th year, run by Joe Lambert – whose monthly changing menu is a love letter to bold British ingredients, sourced from a list of regional suppliers as long as my arm, each with a fascinating story to tell. This is all the clichés that made “seasonal British” a cliché in the first place, and I could not be happier. Even our server has the air of an suburban Valentine Warner – like he might just have birthed a lamb or speared a mackerel out of the sea before scrubbing up into Chinos for dinner service. Continue reading

Caxton Bar & Grill at St Ermin’s Hotel

ImageThis 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.

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Sunday Brunch at The London Mal – Malmaison, Clerkenwell

Sunday brain teasers

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

Gwineas Bar & Bistro, Cornwall

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

Eating Out in SE19 – The Paxton Pub

Picture by Itinerant Epicure

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

Eating Out in SE19 – Westow House Pub

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