Category Archives: British

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

The Hare and Hounds, Lingfield, Surrey

The Hare & Hounds, Lingfield, is a charming, powder blue pub, sitting unassumingly along the slip road outside the quaint, Midsommer Murders-esque village of Lingfield, famed for its racecourse. Inside is a colourful explosion of mismatched furniture, oriental flourishes and borderline kitsch-tacky details which somehow coalesce to produce something like the sitting room of my dreams -all of this arranged neatly around a large log fire. Continue reading