Tast, Manchester Grace Dent in The Guardian visited Hot Manchester Newcomer Tast Cuina Catalana, one of the ” delicate, thoughtful, educational places” that is aiming to bring a true taste of Spain to Britain. It’s “forward-reaching”, “high-end, imaginative, occasionally edgy” – and huge: there’s three “capacious” floors to fill, each offering a different level of formality […]

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Alchemilla, Nottingham Grace Dent in The Guardian rejoiced in the “sheer chutzpah” of chef Alex Bond at Alchemilla even before she ate a bite of the “veg-centric” menu. Bond has turned a huge, “crypt-like space… an abandoned coaching house” that had “sat unloved and festering for more than 100 years” into “a capacious, open brushed […]

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Tozi, London, W1 In The Guardian, Jay Rayner was searching for somewhere easy to eat near the Royal Albert Hall, and stumbled upon a gem in Tozi, a Venetian cicchetti (small plates) spot that’s attached to the Park Plaza Hotel (he wasn’t aware of this when he booked). It’s unmistakably  ‘London’ – “an echoing space […]

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50 Kalo di Ciro Salvo, London, WC2 (****) David Ellis in The Evening Standard visited the latest Neapolitan pizzeria to import itself into London (following on from L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, which recently opened in Baker Street – the first branch in Stoke Newington is no more). Despite almost everything about the place – the […]

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Stem, London W1 Stem had Jay Rayner from the amuse-bouche. He was looking for reassurance, having never eaten at the chef’s previous restaurants, and not quite knowing what to expect, but “a tiny, exceedingly crisp tart filled with a deep chive emulsion, all onion kick and adoration” did the trick. The menu of “good clean […]

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Brigadiers, London EC4 Jay Rayner departed Brigadiers smelling of “roasted spices, garlic and happiness”. It’s the latest opening from the “extremely professional” JKS Restarants, “one of the slickest outfits in the business” (Gymkhana, Hoppers, Lyle’s), located “within the dead-eyed Bloomberg arcade in the City”, and “feels like a direct response to the financial institutions surrounding […]

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There’s a lamentable crop of reviews this week – Tom Parker Bowles failed to appear in The Mail on Sunday, there’s just one review from The Telegraph, Grace Dent would rather be in east London and The Times reviewers probably just wish they hadn’t bothered. Rovi, London W1 (****) Fay Maschler for The Evening Standard […]

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In The Sunday Times magazine this week, Dolly Alderton left a sweltering London for the Cotswolds, and reviewed The Bell, in Langford, expecting to cringe at a village that “fulfils the Cotswoldian prerequisite for chocolate box to the point of saccharine toothache”. But it turns out that she likes this picture-postcard Middle England almost as […]

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An amusing side-note (well, actually, most of the article) in Giles Coren’s Times review of Brigadiers this week: a University of Glasgow student has completed a comparative dissertation on Coren’s reviewing style compared to another critic he doesn’t name (to be known as critic X, in order to keep the attention on himself).     […]

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A happy week for the majority of the critics, with pork pies, new experiences and old friends. Only Marina O’Loughlin’s trip to West Sussex (“England by Disney”)  and Ed Smith’s visit to Bagatelle (“nothing to swerve for”) were disappointments. Continuing from last week’s homage to the dumpling and pastry-encased leftovers, Jay Rayner in The Observer […]

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