"Hate to do this, but a pub I eat in regularly and have always rated highly let me down badly this week. A medium rare hamburger was greatly overcooked; I asked for it to be changed and very grudgingly it was replaced with another overdone, but slightly less so. The waiter then tried to explain the health issues associated with medium rare hamburgers. He couldn't explain why he hadn't told me when he accepted my order nor why I and friends had consistently ordered and received medium rare hamburgers at the Roebuck. The rest of the meal was mediocre. This is my last review from the Roebuck."
"Just the set lunch but the seared tuna starter and salmon and lobster main were excellent, house wine very acceptable at an excelent price. Service and ambience both superb."
"We keep going back and we keep taking friends who never leave without raving about the food and bonhomie at The Parkers. Chef Stosie's Skirt Steak, Lamb Kofte and pies are our favourites but in season we love the locally shot wild fowl. Kathie's sweets are to die for and it is wonderful to have a front of house manager in AJ who is happy to spend time at your table explaining the menu and how it is cooked, the fact he spends time in the kitchen gives real substance to what he says. Keep it up guys!"
"For the price I think it's difficult to get better steak in London. Service is ok and the venues can be a bit loud but if it's value for money steak and chips you are after this is the place to go."
"Lovely spot in Cov Garden. Multitude of small dishes with imaginative combinations make this a great place to go with a large group. Very pleasant surroundings and willing service. Some missteps in the cooking - over-cooked presa covered with an unnecessary sauce of stock cube origin. Scallops also slightly overdone"
"Bit surprised by the highish pricing, but the pork stock is a thing of wonder and all the accoutrements (noodles, meat, egg etc) made this a very satisfying lunch venue. Service winning, but probably not the important on a flying lunch visit."
"If it were a little less expensive, I'd go for excellent. The service is friendly and informal, and the food is really interesting."
"Have been eating at the Ragam since it opened. More recently the quality of the food seems to be declining so have been going there less. A shame for such a longstanding consistent stalwart."
"Still outstanding. Fsa 544"
"Seems to have regained some of its vitality and the wine list still remains first class. FSA 443. "
Lobster & Divine White Chocolate Dish @ Bohemia
Forgo the usual chocolate puddings, tarts, and mousse in favour of an altogether more exciting flavour combination. Bohemia's Steve Smith has created a white chocolate and lobster starter, made with butter poached lobster, cauliflower and Divine white chocolate, with sorrel and caviar. It will be a special starter on the restaurant’s Classic Menu, £59 for a three courses.
Head to this Mayfair newcomer (specialising in posh burgers and truffle infused dishes) to try the Chocolate Fondant Burger. It consists of a chocolate patty, sandwiched between two almond macaroons, adorned with sunflower seeds for that perfected burger bun effect.
Usually this single concept, Soho spot serves up savoury cheesy snacks, but for National Chocolate Week they've got a sweet melt on the menu. The sandwich is a combination of hazelnut, chocolate and cream, spread between two slices of Milk Bread, toasted.
Available until 15 November
To celebrate all things chocolate, the Bulgari hotel will launch a Chocolate Afternoon Tea and a Healthy Chocolate Cake, both crafted by pastry chef Alexandre Talpaert, protégé of French über-chef Alain Ducasse. The afternoon tea comprises Gallic delicacies, tarts, madeleines, macarons, and chocolate-chip scones, as well as the Bulgari's selection of tea infusions. For those not wishing to indulge too much there's the gluten, nut, dairy and refined sugar–free Cocoa, ginger and yuzu cake. They use the term 'cake' loosely here clearly! Available for £8 at the hotel pastry counter.
Perhaps eating chocolate just isn't enough for some? Well, at The Courthouse hotel's Sanook Spa you can cover yourself in the stuff, if you so choose. The Soho hotel is offering an ultimate indulgence package which includes a 90-minute chocolate facial. Apparently it's very 'coco-therapeutic' (whatever that means!).
Lifestyle brand Oblique has partnered with Fair Spirits and Divine Chocolate on a series of drinks for National Chocolate Week via a mouthwatering combination of delicious, ethical products. Available at bars across London (Plato, Pearson Room, South Place Hotel and London Capital Club) the cocktails (or choctails if you will) will pair rum with a cocoa kick.
The Chocolate Show
If you're planning to attend the Chocolate Show (16-18 October) at Kensington's Olympia Hall then you won't want to miss...
Cocoa Runners, purveyors of the craft chocolate from around the world, will host the craft chocolate 'bean to bar' area at this year’s Chocolate Show, the grand finale drawing Chocolate Week to a close. Sample the wares of producers like Forever Cacao, bringing raw and organic chocolate sourced from Peru; spiced chocolate and Madagascan cocao from Åkesson's; small-batch maker Omnom from Iceland; and Original Beans, with its commitment to sustaining the rainforest. Also attending will be Menakao, one of the few producers making its chocolate entirely at source in Madagascar; Duffy’s, taking a scientific approach to crafting chocolate in the UK, and the creator of Vietnam’s first artisan bean to bar, Marou.
Visitors to the salon will have the opportunity to meet the makers, taste samples and attend craft chocolate lectures held over the three days. Cocoa Runners will also take the opportunity to launch the Craft Chocolate Council – which will include only those producers who meet the highest ethical criteria. The salon will also see the first of Cocoa Runners’ own Craft Chocolate Collection, featuring stem ginger, crunchy cacoa nibs, coffee beans and whole hazelnuts coated in chocolate and presented in a box.
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