A rollercoaster week for our intrepid reviewers: bad starts (including a hellish brush with Bicester Village for Tom Parker Bowles), off-kilter locations and misfiring menus.   Jay Rayner in The Observer experienced the “troubled adolescence” of newly-opened, crowdfunded Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill in Ilfracombe, Devon. His initial impression left little to hope for, with […]

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Guest reviewing in The Evening Standard this week was Hamish MacBain, who reviewed the resurrected gastropub The Hero of Maida (8/10). Formerly The Truscott Arms, it was saved following a community campaign, and now (headed up by Henry Harris of “much-missed restaurant Racine”) has “an overwhelming air of much-more-poshness” than its predecessor. The “menu follows […]

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  Grace Dent in The Guardian awarded Leroy – the reincarnation of Shoreditch’s Ellory (RIP) – a solid 27/30 for being  “a dark, noisy, naughty wine bar with a pleasing menu… where no one can tell that I’ve kicked off my shoes” (regular readers will know that if Grace is shoeless, she’s happy – add […]

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Jay Rayner in The Observer, 27 May 2018 reviewed Alchemilla, Glasgow “The focaccia at Alchemilla is light but springy… so satisfying, such a profound pleasure, that I had to use every last ounce of my insipid willpower to decline seconds.” “Argyle Street is cool “The food… is a thoughtful mix of great ideas and ingredients […]

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Jay Rayner weighs in on the north/south restaurant divide question The Observer’s critic-in-chief heads to Manchester to try out the new Hawksmoor and stumbles across a veggie dining room, 1847, serving great food – well, apart from the desserts. Read our roundup of restaurant news in Manchester and enter our Hawksmoor Manchester competition.     […]

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Just off Regent Street, a handy brasserie-style operation serving thoroughly competent but rather unremarkable dishes at prices seemingly inflated by association with proprietor Gordon Ramsay. You never quite know what to expect at a Gordon Ramsay establishment. Within a mile or so of each other, you can have places which are very good (Pétrus, say), and […]

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From the (Lebanese) Maroush Group, a beautiful relaunch of a mega-grand St John’s Wood hostelry; despite the best efforts of the charming staff, and food which was at least satisfactory, the overwhelming impression from our visit was that the initial formula just does not ‘work’. Crocker’s Folly came into being, the legend goes, because Mr […]

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In a prime Chelsea location, a welcoming English bistro, serving tasty small plates in an setting of some rusticity; it looks set to become a popular standby, though prices for full meals can escalate. It was a little way into our lunch at Rabbit that it struck us what’s so odd about it. Here we […]

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A relaunched St James’s classic offering a decent ‘Big Night Out’ experience at pretty reasonable prices; dishes were inconsistent on our early-days visit, but those who choose carefully can eat well. Quag’s’ – a vast restaurant of some 300 seats, hidden away in the heart of St James’s – has, since its opening in the […]

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In Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery, a casual new diner from the founders of Wahaca; the food has its moments, but the whole experience can be somewhat uneven. Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby seem to be paid-up subscribers to the notion that the art of cool is being in the know. The name of the […]

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