When Grace Dent reviewed The Langham’s new ‘pub’ The Wigmore, she decided she never, ever wanted to go there again. We would hazard a guess that The Guardian’s Marina O’Loughlin would be quite happy to go back any time…“Silly? A bit. Delicious? Oh yes.” “Creative cocktails in their own weeny tankards… pies and roasts and toasties… reimagined […]

Continue reading


This week Jay Rayner reviewed Notting Hill’s family-run Italian, Da Maria, in the Observer, remarking that it’s the kind of place that ‘keeps London human and, more to the point, humane’. A shame then that it may be demolished to make way for an expanded cinema foyer. You know who’s side Jay is on… “Da Maria […]

Continue reading


Jay Rayner in The Observer keeps things on The Straight and Narrow, a piano bar and restaurant in east London’s Docklands… “Food and music are meant to go together. Jazz, which is what I have spent most of my adult life at the keyboard wrestling with, was born in restaurants like this. “The Straight and Narrow has […]

Continue reading


  It may be as massive as an ‘airship hangar’ but Bang Bang Oriental – an Asian food hall in Collindale – still offers some great eats, according to The Observer’s Jay Rayner “Top tip: set up camp at a table as close to the middle of the room as possible, or you’ll end up walking […]

Continue reading


The Observer’s Jay Rayner doesn’t so much review Plaquemine Lock in Islington as write it a love letter. The Cajun-Creole-influenced pub comes to us courtesy of Jacob Kenedy (of Bocca di Lupo fame)… “A celebration of the food of the Louisiana basin… The walls are painted a hot, sultry yellow overlaid by naive murals of life on the […]

Continue reading


Jay Rayner in The Observer finds the cooking at Roth Bar & Grill, Bruton – housed within the Hauser & Wirth gallery – more than a match for the art. “The whole proposition is so damn civilised that the quality of the cooking is an extra. The site, part of a working farm, is a pastoral […]

Continue reading


Jay Rayner in The Observer enjoys a knowing attempt to bring the street inside at Borough Market’s El Pastór (from Barrafina founders, the Hart bros)… It’s “a fun space of bare brick and shiny metal and colourful murals; a knowing attempt to bring the street inside”, with “tequilas in worryingly large servings” and  “pork shoulder, marinated and […]

Continue reading


When our reporters praise Bray’s Hind’s Head it is because the picturesque pub is “thankfully not over-Hestoned” but The Sunday Times’s Lisa Markwell has the opposite problem – she can’t find any evidence of Blumenthal’s pseudo-scientific cooking at all, nor the influence of his trusty lieutenant Ashley Palmer-Watts – and it leaves her disappointed… “I […]

Continue reading


The Guardian’s Marina O’Laughlin is back in her native Glasgow, but the locals may not want to hear what she has to say about Dennistoun’s Bilson Eleven. “How dare I? How dare I be critical about a small, new indie restaurant, its name an elision of the chef/owner’s two sons (and the number of tables they, […]

Continue reading


Marina O’Laughlin’s idea of hell is Victoria’s new Nova development, and although Stoke House may not be its most hellish corner you’d still need a pitchfork to the Guardian’s restaurant critic anywhere near it again… “The music is deafening, the place full to the rafters: my hell doesn’t seem to be other people’s. The menu […]

Continue reading