This site uses one cookie, which doesn’t collect personal data. To continue, ignore or hide this message. To find out more, click here. Cookie notice: hide / find out more.
Mostly Food & Travel Journal

Savini of Milan – at home in London

Het Noordbrabants Museum acquires van Gogh watercolour

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Windsor

Bali – more than a beach

Travels in Germany with MS Jane Austen

The Hague’s fashion souvenirs

Recipe: Cod in Black Bean Sauce

Jamavar comes to Mayfair

Adventure Gourmet at Café Spice Namaste

Luton Hoo to Stay

Castle Hotel Windsor Afternoon Tea - Sofitel Sensory Storytelling

Givenchy and Hepburn at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

The Homemade Curing Kits from Ross and Ross

Christmas Beef from Donald Russell

Montigo in Batam Indonesia

The Montague Hotel – best après-skiing in London

Heidelberg - Elegant and Sweet

Champagne Taittinger at Luton Hoo

Parlay Ultra Black Rum

Castles and Clans with The Majestic Line

The Swan at the Globe

Hotel TerraVina Dining

Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour

Donna Margherita

The Talbot to Stay

Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

Balmer Lawn – New Forest Stay

The Talbot for fine dining

Balans Soho Society – Seven Dials

Anise Bar at Devonshire Square

Keats Brownie Recipe

Olive Tree - Southampton

Salsa Verde from Olive Tree Southampton

Patty and Bun – Old Compton Street

Rafute

Canela Café at Seven Dials

Beresford’s at Balmer Lawn for a touch of Thai

The Meat Co, Westfield, Shepherds Bush

Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast

CAU Kingston

Remelluri Organic Winery

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master

Hanger SW6

Markopoulo recommendations

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho

Brunch Counter – Vauxhall Arches

Romulo Café London

Stuzzico in London’s village

OXBO for Saturday Brunch

Forman’s Restaurant

Le Garrick – Steak with je ne sais quoi

Talli Joe

Domaine Papagiannakos Winery

Cream Tea Cruise from MBNA Thames Clippers

Gillray’s at County Hall

Maribor – wines, gastronomy, bikes and hikes

Benares for dinner

Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

Kurobuta Marble Arch for Sunday Brunch

Forty Dean Street

The Mayfair Chippy

Bó Drake

The Balcon, London

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte

Arabica Bar and Kitchen – Borough Market

Lotus – Charing Cross Road

Cinnamon Collection Masterclasses

Patara – Berners Street

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar

Langkawi – more than beaches

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs

Rennes – living with history

Rennes

Bayeux – A stitch in time


 
 
 
Click here to enter our Competitions It’s all about travel and food - lots of international excursions, culture and history, hotel, destination and restaurant reviews.
Please look elsewhere for negative reviews.

twitter for Mostly Food and Travel Journal    Follow Me on Pinterest     Follow Me on Instagram

Latest News!

Het Noordbrabants Museum acquires van Gogh watercolour
- until 19 March 2017

Het Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch, Holland has recently acquired from a private collection The Garden of the Vicarage at Nuenen by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). The work of October-November 1885 is the last known watercolour van Gogh produced in Nuenen and occupies a special place in his oeuvre. This acquisition – the most important purchase ever made by Het Noordbrabants Museum – underlines the museum’s ambition to offer a representative overview of van Gogh’s Brabant period by means of original works by the artist. The purchase of The Garden of the Vicarage at Nuenen was made possible by the generous support of the BankGiro Lottery, the Mondriaan Fund, the VSB Foundation, the Friends of Het Noordbrabants Museum, the Renschdael Art Foundation and Coen Teulings. The BankGiro Lottery donated almost half of the total purchase price of over 1 million euros.

Its importance to Dutch cultural heritage

van gogh watercolour Vincent van Gogh lived with his parents in the vicarage at Nuenen for nearly a year and a half. The garden behind the vicarage was one of his favourite spots, and he produced a number of works there, some of them very ambitious indeed. This watercolour occupies an important place in van Gogh’s oeuvre for a variety of reasons. In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent wrote: ‘I’ve also made another autumn study of the pond in the garden at home. There’s definitely a painting in that spot.’ In fact, van Gogh did make a large painting based on this drawing, but it was lost in the Second World War and is known only from black-and-white reproductions. The watercolour drawing gives a rough idea of the palette of the lost painting. Both works were intended to be used as examples for a well-conceived, complex figure piece, the kind of picture that van Gogh had been wanting to make from the beginning of his artistic career. It is, moreover, his first experiment with a subject that he would also depict in Paris and Arles: strolling figures and couples in an attractive garden or a poetic park setting. As one of his last Nuenen works (and the only drawing), this sheet displays the brighter colours that van Gogh began to use after visiting the Rijksmuseum in early October 1885. Studying the Old Masters there had made him realise that he had gone too far in his preference for a dark palette. Back in Nuenen, he immediately set to work, bearing in mind his new insight; this resulted in the appealing (and well-preserved) coloration of this work. The watercolour was presumably acquired in 1903 by the renowned art critic and lecturer H.P. (Hendrik) Bremmer, who later became adviser to Helene Kröller-Müller; after Bremmer’s death in 1956 it became the property of his heirs. Around 1969 the work ended up in the collection from which it was recently acquired through the art dealer Ivo Bouwman.

Its importance to Noord-Brabant

In ‘van Gogh Brabant’, five cultural heritage institutions in the province of Noord-Brabant – the van Gogh Village in Nuenen, Vincents Tekenlokaal in Tilburg, the van Goghkerk in Etten-Leur, the Vincent van Gogh House in Zundert and Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch – have joined forces to preserve and share van Gogh’s cultural legacy in Brabant. There is increasing collaboration with ‘van Gogh Europe’, a joint Dutch, Belgian and French venture, the goal of which is to preserve and promote van Gogh’s legacy in this international context. The purchase of the watercolour also fits in with the intention of the province of Noord-Brabant to pursue a more active policy in the coming years to link van Gogh more explicitly to Brabant. Interestingly, the new acquisition actually depicts one of the van Gogh cultural heritage sites in Brabant.

Van Gogh in Het Noordbrabants Museum

Het Noordbrabants Museum Het Noordbrabants Museum is the only museum in the southern part of the Netherlands to exhibit original works by Vincent van Gogh. They are on display in Het Verhaal van Brabant (The Story of Brabant): to be exact, in a pavilion devoted to van Gogh and his Brabant period. In addition to the one painting in its possession (Peasant Woman Digging), the museum has, among others, two works on permanent loan from the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands) and several works on temporary loan from the van Gogh Museum. The new acquisition will be added to the display in the van Gogh pavilion. Owing to its fragility, the watercolour will now be shown only until 19 March 2017. After a few months of rest, it will return to a specially built display case, where it can be viewed for longer periods.

Van Gogh Examined – presentation of research results

Between 1884 and 1888, van Gogh re-used his canvases with some regularity. Het Noordbrabants Museum wishes to know more about what is beneath the paint layer of a number of works in the permanent display. For this reason, five paintings will be examined by means of X-radiography, infrared photography, infrared reflectography and raking light photography. The exhibition van Gogh Examined (24 June 2017 – 21 January 2018) will present the results of this research.

Visit Het Noordbrabants Museum here.

food and travel reviews
 

Savini of Milan – at home in London

saviniDiscerning diners in Milan and the great and the good from the rest of the world will know of Savini. It will likely have been the venue for their international business meetings, smart lunches, family celebrations and perhaps a marriage proposal or two. It is, in short, a restaurant of impeccable pedigree and holding the best of culinary credentials. We now have our own Savini in London. It’s found at the Criterion which is a building with its own history and cachet.

In December 2015 the Gatto family, owner of the Savini Restaurant in Milan, launched their overseas branch with the name Savini at Criterion, thus linking a proud and well-established Café Restaurant with a beautiful London building. Savini has been around for 150 years and is Milan’s most celebrated all-day dining establishment. It’s here that Verdi, Puccini and Maria Callas enjoyed dinner. Those musical worthies would doubtless approve of the London Savini in this building, which exudes such striking architectural drama!

saviniThis Grade II-listed building is in the heart of London’s Theatreland. It was designed by Thomas Verity in 1873. It is he who was the architect responsible for such iconic structures as the Royal Albert Hall and the café at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Savini dining room is in the neo-Byzantine style with a sumptuous gold ceiling and marble columns, and is in the Top 10 most historic and oldest restaurants in the world. The mosaic work, curved cornices and carving make this a destination restaurant even for those with no interest in food. Yes, those folks do exist, although I choose to have nothing to do with them, preferring to spend my time with others who will really appreciate the food at Savini.

We will be in good company, as the roll-call of previous discerning diners reads like a literary and political Who’s Who of people of whom one might actually have heard: H. G. Wells, Edgar Wallace, Sir Hugh Walpole, G. K. Chesterton and Bertrand Russell all graced these tables. In the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, Dr Watson is told of his prospective roommate after he meets a friend at the Criterion. My dear reader might, however, be more impressed by the fact that Lady Edith Crawley meets Michael Gregson at the Criterion for dinner. Yes, that family from Downton Abbey also visited, albeit in a fictional sense.

saviniSavini has that timeless fine European café ambiance which can still be found, but rarely, in Italy, Vienna and Budapest. Imposing chandeliers glow with polished yet muted light and that glow is reflected in golden tesserae; but the menu arrives and thoughts turn to food, and some of those dishes are as classic as the surroundings in which they are served. Executive chef Giovanni Bon offers his own versions of celebrated regional dishes. This menu is well-crafted and tempting. Granted, the prices aren’t those of the local pizza parlour, but a meal here is an event.

My guest craved a light start; Burrata with porcini mushrooms, pumpkin, chestnuts and raisins is a work of art and one of which any self-respecting pre-Raphaelite would be proud. Creamy and rich cheese with verdant garnishes was a culinary picture.

Braised veal cheek on Jerusalem artichokes, cream and truffle jus must surely be a signature dish here. It was, quite honestly, the most tender piece of meat I have ever had. It would be no exaggeration to say that one could indeed cut this with a spoon and probably even a wooden one would have done the job. If you don’t feel you can splash the cash for a full meal at Savini then do come in and try this plate and perhaps a pasta or dessert. This veal cheek is unmissable.

saviniAnd talking of pasta, one could hardly come to an Italian restaurant without trying a portion of one of Italy’s national dishes. I ordered Paccheri pasta with tomato sauce and basil. Paccheri is a type of pasta shaped like a large tube and originating in Campania and Calabria. This was fresh-tasting and delicious! Pasta is served al-dente here and it’s all the better for it. A simple dish, but Savini do it well.

Savini’s Intrecci pasta with lobster, leek and tarragon foam was my guest’s choice. This is a decadent and rich dish and attractive too. Lobster is more accessible now but it still has the stage presence of a long admired star.

My companion chose the hearty veal osso bucco with saffron risotto as his main course. This is a well-loved classic dish and is a standard in many Italian fine-dining restaurants. It is a speciality of Milan and the meat is part of a veal shank including the bone, braised with vegetables and wine and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese. There could be no more perfect dish for a restaurant with a parent in Milan.

saviniMilanese style veal cutlet is another signature dish at Savini. If you only had one course with a glass of wine then this must be the dish. It fills a dinner plate and still has a bone attached. This thin breaded chop is fried in butter for flavour and sprinkled with sea salt. It is served with mashed potatoes and it needs nothing more. Come to Savini for this cutlet and you will return!

We hardly had room for dessert but we knew it would be a worthy one. Pears poached in red wine filled with mascarpone and garnished with candied orange and almonds was a light delight after so much meat. The fruit was sweet and soft and the mascarpone rich and moreish, with a little tang from the orange. The grappa here is excellent so if your constitution doesn’t allow a dessert then sip this warming digestif and plan your next visit.

Opening hours:
saviniSavini At Criterion is open every day from 8am to midnight

Savini At Criterion
224 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9HP
UK

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7930 1459
Phone: +44 (0) 7493 248819

Email: reservation@saviniatcriterion.co.uk

Visit Savini At Criterion here.

food and travel reviews

Current articles

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Windsor

Marco-Pierre-White-Windsor Restaurant review: Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill in Windsor couldn’t be better placed for locals and tourists alike. It can be found in one of the most beautiful Georgian buildings in Windsor at the Castle Hotel which is just opposite Sir Christopher Wren’s Windsor Guildhall. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s favourite homes... Read More

Bali – more than a beach

bali
Travel review: It was once only visited by Australians but these days, with regular flights with Singapore Airlines and their subsidiaries, Bali is open to the whole world. The very name ‘Bali’ conjures visions of palm trees, azure sea lapping on golden sands... Read More

Travels in Germany with MS Jane Austen

Jane austen Travel review: It sounds like the title of a Victorian novel - Travels with MS Jane Austen! Well, it is actually a few words about a delightful cruise, rather than about a literary excursion with a famous author. All the cruises in this collection from Riviera offer return travel and transfers, so it couldn’t be easier to connect with your cruise and start enjoying the experience... Read More

The Hague’s fashion souvenirs

the hague fashion
Travel review: We are going on a well-deserved city break, but what does the discerning and well-turned-out shopper bring back? Well, usually nothing apart from a bottle of duty-free. But the fashion-conscious will find so much in the stylish and elegant Hague to bring home. There are design souvenirs aplenty... Read More

Cod in Black Bean Sauce

Cod in Black Bean Sauce Recipe: This recipe suggests using cod but almost any white fish will do. It’s a simple preparation which can be tweaked to your own taste. I use a tall steamer with 4 plastic trays but a traditional bamboo steamer is just as good. Make sure there is space around the plate for the steam to circulate... (opens printable page) Read More

Jamavar comes to Mayfair

Jamavar Restaurant review: The original Jamavar opened in 2001 at The Leela Palace Bengaluru in India and was named among the World’s Top 10 Power Dining Spots by Forbes USA. Over the next few years it expanded to other internationally acclaimed Leela properties in New Delhi, Chennai, Goa and Mumbai. Jamavar London is the first overseas branch. The kitchen team is led by Executive Chef Rohit Ghai... Read More

Luton Hoo to Stay

Luton Hoo
Hotel review: Most people will have had at least a glimpse of Luton Hoo, even if they don’t know it. Its architecture is outstanding, reflecting the very best of this type of opulent home. It has appeared in many films including A Shot in the Dark, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Eyes Wide Shut, and The Secret Garden... Read More

Castle Hotel Windsor Afternoon Tea - Sofitel Sensory Storytelling

Castle Hotel Windsor
Afternoon Tea review: The Castle Hotel has a contemporary take on the usual 3-tier stand. Delicate finger sandwiches and smoked salmon graced the middle shelf. The ground floor held some rather good scones. These were generous, flavourful and had a real home-made quality about them... Read More

Givenchy and Hepburn at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Givenchy and Hepburn
Travel review: This collection, called Hubert de Givenchy – To Audrey with Love, gives a warm insight into Hubert de Givenchy’s career, many of his favourite creations, and, equally important, his close friendship with Audrey Hepburn... Read More

The Homemade Curing Kits from Ross and Ross

Ross and ross salmon
Food Product review: Ross and Ross focus on wedding and event catering, and a range of Great British foodie gift boxes, launched in 2014. The Homemade Curing Kit for Salmon is a beautifully presented box which any lover of good food would appreciate. The kit contains everything you need to make your own smoky, gin or beetroot-cured salmon at home... Read More

Christmas Beef from Donald Russell

Donald Russell Food Product review: Donald Russell offers a Small Sirloin Roast for just a few discerning diners, or as an extra platter on the Yuletide table to give a choice to those who prefer red meat. Or a Large 5-Bone Rib will feed a crowd in magnificent fashion and makes a memorable centre-piece... Read More

Montigo in Batam Indonesia

Batam
Hotel review: This stunning resort is ideal as part of a 2-venue holiday. Discerning adults will love shopping, museums, and entertainment in Singapore but equally will appreciate the sophistication and quiet of Montigo Resorts Nongsa, whilst the kids will be thrilled by swimming pools and the kids’ club... Read More

The Montague Hotel – best après-skiing in London

Montague ski Bar review: Snow is an essential element to create that seasonal mood. Yes, we can buy a ticket to the Alps but a quicker and more cost-effective alternative might be a trip to the Montague Hotel’s very own Ski Lodge. You won’t need a passport to get to Montague Street near the British Museum... Read More

Heidelberg - Elegant and Sweet

Heidelberg
Travel review: Heidelberg is picture perfect, well preserved and a working town. There are alleys, boutiques, cafés, restaurants, stunning churches, statues and history at every turn, but slow down and take a walk around the streets, stop for coffee and cake, and enjoy your day... Read More

Parlay Ultra Black Rum

parlay rum
Drinks review: The label uses a strong old gold and black design which sets well on the inky dark spirit in the tall slim bottle. The artwork is embossed and tactile and excites the expectation of a taste of something a bit different. Then there is the story of the name... Read More

Champagne Taittinger at Luton Hoo

Luton Hoo Hotel review: Luton Hoo is arguably one of the finest examples of its genre. A stay laced with dinner and champagne was likely to be memorable, and indeed it was. Luton Hoo offers several wine dinners every year and they are understandably popular with regular visitors, those who are celebrating, and others who are interested in learning more about the best of wines... Read More

Castles and Clans with The Majestic Line

MAJESTIC lINE Travel review: Our boat for this week’s trip, the Glen Massan, was not, thankfully, the size of one of those white floating-city liners but it was perfectly proportioned and cosy. The size of these boats allows inshore access to anchorages not available to bigger more conventional vessels... Read More

The Swan at the Globe

The Swan at the Globe Restaurant review: The Swan fits perfectly with the area. The small windows remind one of Dickensian homes, although I suspect this is all much newer. One mounts the stairs to the contemporary restaurant which at 6pm was filled with tourists... Read More

Hotel TerraVina Dining

Hotel TerraVina Dining
Restaurant review: Hotel TerraVina is a gem. It’s a well-appointed house – well, it seems like someone’s home (read the accommodation review here). A line of colourful wellies in the hall welcomes the arriving guests. The rooms are individually designed and the beds... Read More

Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour

Opium
Restaurant review: This isn’t a bar for the feeble of limb. It has a staircase more associated with a lighthouse than a drinking hole. The deep red walls and the perfume of incense sticks combine to present an expectation of something truly exotic at the top of those stairs... Read More

Donna Margherita

Donna Margherita Restaurant review: Donna Margherita is an Italian restaurant and wood-fired pizzeria, and it launched my restaurant reviewing career a few years back. This was one of my first review visits and I was taken by its intimate ambiance as well as its authentic Italian food. But would it be a case of ‘you can never go back’?... Read More

The Talbot to Stay

The Talbot Hotel review: The Talbot has the classic architecture. There is the arch through which the coaches and horses once entered. The original building is dated to about 1453 and it has always been a coaching inn. There are still stables, though now refurbished. Small windows and terracotta roof tiles all witnessed a very different time... Read More

Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

Turning Japanese
Japanese food review: We in the UK find the concept of umami to be somewhat elusive. We need educating in this element of flavour which can be recognised in all manner of foodstuffs – even those common and definitely not Japanese, such as Marmite... Read More

Balmer Lawn – New Forest Stay

Balmer Lawn - New Forest Stay Hotel review: Plenty of history here. During World War One the hotel was used as a field hospital. Several years ago refurbishment works uncovered spent ammunition, empty cigarette packets, and a priceless collection of WWII documents under the floor of bedroom 10... Read More

The Talbot for fine dining

The Talbot
Restaurant review: The Talbot has history. It’s typical of coaching inns all over the country and this one, in particular, has a story – well, probably many. It is said to have provided the venue for assignations between Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton in 1798... Read More

Balans Soho Society – Seven Dials

balans Restaurant review: I have had many a vibrant Brunch at Balans and I am drawn there for the Eggs in Hell – 2 eggs poached in a tomato chilli sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan, and Balans potatoes. It should be a signature dish... Read More

Anise Bar at Devonshire Square

anise Bar review: One might not have heard of Anise Bar but it’s likely the discerning diner will have heard of Cinnamon Kitchen by Vivek Singh. Perhaps one might not have heard of Devonshire Square but everyone has heard of the City of London. There are associations with India in the very fabric of the buildings here... Read More

Keats Brownie Recipe

Keats Recipe: Perhaps the best Brownie you will ever eat. This comes from the popular Keats Restaurant in Romsey... (opens printable page) Read More

Olive Tree Southampton

Olive Tree Southampton Restaurant review: This was my first visit to Southampton but finding good food wasn’t going to be a challenge: I had a recommendation! A French/Seafood restaurant called Olive Tree, on the popular Oxford Street, had a major refurbishment last January and now has a new inspired Head Chef called Todd Higgs... Read More

Salsa Verde from Olive Tree Southampton

Salsa Verde fron Oliver Tree Southampton
Recipe: By Head Chef Todd Higgs. Salsa Verde is a labour of love: all the herbs must be chopped by hand to achieve the best texture. Then simply add the mustard, olive oil and as many anchovies as suits your taste... Read More

Patty and Bun – Old Compton Street

Patty and Bun – Old Compton Street
Restaurant review: It’s a menu of burgers but don’t be a food snob: a burger is as good as its meat and the meal is as good as the burger and its garnishes. Trust me, you need to eat here, or you do if you are any stripe of burger aficionado... Read More

Rafute - Okinawan braised pork belly

Rafute Recipe: Rafute is flavourful, tender and moreish. It’s a dish popular in Okinawa in the far (very far) south-west of Japan. It’s traditionally made with two local staples – Awamori, which is Okinawa’s celebrated spirit, and the island’s brown sugar, which is often made into candy... Read More

Canela Café at Seven Dials

Canela Café at Seven Dials Restaurant review: Canela Café is small and cosy. Its high ceiling and Victorian urban windows add character to this eatery. Its paintwork and marble-top tables and chandelier remind one of such places all over Europe, but the map on the wall points emphatically to Portugal!... Read More

Beresford’s at Balmer Lawn for a touch of Thai

Balmer Lawn lobster Recipe: Don’t miss a visit to Beresford’s, and Lobster Lemongrass Lime Leaf Risotto is a must-try. It has all the aromatic flavours of traditional Thai curries but without the heat. There is nothing to overpower the delicate taste of the seafood. If you can’t get to Beresford’s for a while then here is the recipe... Read More

The Meat Co, Westfield, Shepherds Bush

Meat co
Restaurant review: I live in West London and I can say with a degree of authority that a decade ago Shepherds Bush was, on a good day, seedy. But since it opened in 2008, Westfield shopping centre has transformed the area and the improvements continue, revitalising a whole neighbourhood... Read More

Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast

TerraVina Hotel review: We are blessed with many fine hotels in the UK. All the 5* chains are well represented in all major cities. But we also have a wealth of boutique and Country House hotels and each is unique and characterful. The New Forest is beautiful and mostly unspoilt and it also has hotels which reflect the area’s style... Read More

CAU Kingston

CAU Restaurant review: People say it’s all about location. That’s probably true, as there is no finer spot than CAU in Kingston on a hot summer evening. Sitting outside with just a footpath between the diner and the Thames, one can bask in warm contentment, lifting a glass and the silverware being the only exertions... Read More

Remelluri Organic Winery

Remelluri
Food & Drink review: In the 14th century, a monastery was built that gave birth to this farm, producing cereal and wine for the monks - La Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri (Our Lady of Remelluri)... Read More

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master

mele vermouth
Food & Drink review: Vermouth has been ubiquitous in and on cocktail bars since mixed drinks became popular more than a century ago, but many of us have no idea what it actually is, apart from being the bottle that stands at the back collecting dust... Read More

Hanger SW6

Hanger Restaurant review: Fulham is trendy these days, but it wasn’t always such a sought-after address. In 879 Danish invaders had a winter break at Fulham and Hammersmith. Fulham during the 18th century had a reputation of debauchery, prostitution and gambling. My grandfather lived in Fulham... Read More

Markopoulo recommendations – Attica’s food, wine and welcome

Markopoulo recommendations Travel review: Most travellers to Greece seem to arrive in Athens with a long journey still ahead. They are looking for small restaurants where the locals eat, perhaps a secluded beach, no other foreign tourists in sight. Yes, that must be a small island, and a boat ride away from the mainland. Well, all those elements are nearer than you think... Read More

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho

Mele e Pere Restaurant review: Mele e Pere opened in the heart of Soho in February 2012, but that neighbourhood dates back centuries. In the Middle Ages, what is now Soho was known as St Giles Field, land belonging to the Convent of Abingdon, with its leper hospital. In 1536, the land was taken by Henry VIII... Read More

Brunch Counter – Vauxhall Arches

Counter Vauxhall
Restaurant review: One could easily miss it! Counter truly is under the arches at Vauxhall station. Its entrance is understated but don’t pass by. This is worth a visit at any time of day. It has great character and is something of a Tardis... Read More

Romulo Café London

Romulo Restaurant review: This is a leafy corner of the capital. It’s not a neighbourhood of steel and glass. This is the preserve of people who actually live here and those who choose to visit this end of Kensington High Street to seek out a little charm and calm. Now there is a new draw... Read More

Stuzzico in London’s village

Stuzzico Restaurant review: Talk about London and it’s likely a conversation about financial hubs (yes, even now after Brexit), the bustle of Oxford Street, the draw of Theatreland and the Tower of London will ensue. But London is actually made up of villages which remain far more charming and welcoming than the thronging thoroughfares... Read More

Saturday Brunch at OXBO

oxbo Restaurant review: This isn’t my first visit to OXBO and it won’t be my last. Yes, dear reader, it’s a restaurant in a hotel but it has very individual and quirky charm, and food to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. Its weekend Brunches and Roasts are becoming celebrated and visitors to London couldn’t find a better location... Read More

Forman’s Restaurant

Forman's Restaurant Restaurant review: London is moving east. There has been much investment in an area that already had good transport links. New building for both housing and commerce has revitalised local economies and indeed aspirations. H. Forman is best placed to enjoy the benefits of a rising population that appreciates tastes of the good life... Read More

Le Garrick – Steak with je ne sais quoi

Le Garrick – Steak with je ne sais quoi Restaurant review: Le Garrick restaurant and wine bar is conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden in London’s West End. I am no stranger here even though this neighbourhood has a wealth of restaurants of every culinary hue. It’s a timeless treasure and became one of my favourite restaurants after that very first visit... Read More

Talli Joe

Talli Joe
Restaurant review: The name had me curious from the start. There is an explanation, however. Joe is a ‘regular Joe’ indicating a casual inclusiveness and he could be from anywhere and going anywhere. That just about sums up London. The restaurant describes the Talli element thus:... Read More

Domaine Papagiannakos Winery

Domaine Papagiannakos Vineyard
Winery review: A few years ago one might scoff at the prospect of a visit to a Greek winery. The memory of old-school Retsina lingers on. That wine had more in common, to non-Greek taste buds at least, with that in which one might clean paint brushes. But those days are gone and now Greek wineries are taken seriously... Read More

Cream Tea Cruise from MBNA Thames Clippers

Cream Tea Cruise from MBNA Thames Clippers
British travel review: I am a Londoner and I am ashamed to say that I rarely take advantage of visiting our iconic and internationally-appreciated historic and cultural sites, unless I just happen to be passing. The Thames is our ancient thoroughfare... Read More

Gillray’s at County Hall

Gillrays
Restaurant review: As with any building, and as any estate agent worth his clip-board will tell you, it’s all about location. Gillray’s must have one of the best, and it’s also housed in an iconic London landmark... Read More

Maribor – wines, gastronomy, bikes and hikes

Maribor Slovenia travel review: Slovenia is a small country in Central Europe. Small it might be but it has natural beauty, with mountains (Slovenia's highest mountain, the three-peaked Triglav, is depicted on the national flag), vine-strewn hills, thick forests, historic cities and a 46 km long coast on the Adriatic. It is, in some regards, Europe in microcosm... Read More

Benares for dinner

Benares for dinner Restaurant review: Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Benares serves Michelin-starred modern Indian cuisine and is famed for doing that. This is fine dining and gives other such restaurants a run for their culinary money, and that’s restaurants of any gastronomic persuasion... Read More

Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

sake cups Japanese culture review: For those of us who love the delicious complexity of sake, the vessel from which we drink is often something of an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be... Read More

Sunday Brunch - Kurobuta Marble Arch

Kurobuta
Restaurant review: I confess, I had no idea what to expect. Yes, it was going to be Japanese. But a Sunday Brunch Buffet? In my admittedly somewhat limited experience, Japanese food comes in two varieties: first – casual noodles; second – etiquette-riddled kaiseki cuisine... Read More

Forty Dean Street

Forty Dean Street
Restaurant review: Soho, in general, has been famed for Chinese food, but there are great numbers of decent restaurants of other culinary persuasions these days. Forty Dean Street is the eponymous restaurant and it is Italian. I mean the sort of Italian that I remember from my childhood... Read More

The Mayfair Chippy

The Mayfair Chippy Restaurant review: Nothing better than traditional fish and chips. It’s nostalgic comfort food, at least if you are British. We all have memories of queueing up in a white-tiled shop with steamy windows, a high counter with glass jars of pickled gherkins and eggs, bottles of brown vinegar and salt shakers. For those who hail from beyond these shores that emporium of fried delights was called ‘the chippy’... Read More

Bó Drake – Greek Street

Bo Drake - Greek Street
Restaurant review: Bó Drake has an urban vibe with high stools at the bar, exposed brickwork and metal conduit. And it’s an impressive bar of around 10 metres with an iroko (African teak) wood counter. The shelves behind the bar give a hint to the cuisine (as if the restaurant name had not already)... Read More

The Balcon, London – classic perfection

Balcon Restaurant review: This truly memorable restaurant is set on Waterloo Place on the corner with Pall Mall. This wide thoroughfare is in fact an extension of Regent Street with all its smart shops. It’s a small area with a host of statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire and various wars... Read More

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte

Relais de Venise L'Entrecote
Restaurant review: Ask many a dedicated food lover which dishes they crave, what their elected last meal might be, and they will almost universally state that it has to be unfussy and comforting, something like, say, steak and chips. Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is... Read More

Arabica Bar and Kitchen – Borough Market

Arabica Restaurant review: Borough has been known for its food markets since as far back as the 11th century. First the stallholders were trading on old London Bridge, but then in the 13th century they were moved to what became Borough High Street. A market has been here ever since... Read More

Lotus – Fine Indian Dining

Lotus Restaurant review: The Charing Cross Road near Leicester Square Underground Station has not been famed for quality Indian restaurants. I confess I had never heard of Lotus but I arrived with high expectations as I had done my homework... Read More

Cinnamon Collection Masterclasses

cinnamon collection masterclass Restaurant Masterclass review: It seems a bit early for pondering Christmas presents but, trust me, it’s not. If you have a passionate food lover in your near vicinity you might want to ditch the summer holiday brochures for half an hour and consider a masterclass... Read More

Patara – Berners Street

Patara Berners Street
Restaurant review: Oxford Street is one of London’s retail arteries. It’s a ribbon of fashion outlets from the celebrated and well-established Selfridges to a flourishing number of stalls selling trashy T-shirts and even more dubious souvenirs. The world of both good and bad taste can be your oyster... Read More

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar, with Head Chef Gopal Krishnan

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar
Restaurant review: I first met Chef Gopalakrishnan when he was working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in London; a smart and charismatic young man who is known by his friends simply as Gopal. He was born in a small village called Sholingur in Tamil Nadu... Read More

Langkawi – more than beaches

Langkawi - more than beaches
Malaysia travel review: This tropical gem has a deserved reputation for iconic, palm-fringed beaches, dazzling white sand and sea warm enough to call a bath. Langkawi is an island that charms and intrigues, and its story can be discovered not far from your sun-lounger... Read More

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs
French travel review: Reims is a beautiful and historic city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. It is only 130 km from Paris with easy access by train. Excursions to nearby Chalons are a must and there will be not only the delightfully ubiquitous champagne to taste but also... Read More

Rijsttafel in The Hague

Rijsttafel in The Hague
Indonesian Food review: I love The Netherlands and am an unashamed supporter. It’s an oft-disregarded tourist destination even though it’s easy to get to from London. Short breaks are more usually taken in Paris or Berlin. That’s a shame as Dutch cities offer history, architectural charm and delicious food... Read More

Rennes – living with history

Rennes history
French travel review: History is everywhere in Rennes but it’s actually considered by thoroughly modern folks to be one of the most liveable cities in France... Read More

Rennes – second capital of food (or is it third?)

Rennes food
French travel review: Rennes Market is considered to be the second- or third-largest in France, depending on whom you are speaking to... Read More

Gymkhana London

Gymkhana
Restaurant review: Gymkhana is an Indian word which originally referred to a meeting place. These days it tends to be an equestrian day event put on by posh pony clubs; but not in this case. Gymkhana in London does fit into the ‘meeting place’ category... Read More

Bayeux – A stitch in time

Bayeux
French travel review: It’s inevitable that the first thing people think of when you mention Bayeux is the tapestry. Though it’s not actually a tapestry but a very fine embroidery. The Bayeux Tapestry is now on permanent display in a bespoke museum in the city of Bayeux in Normandy, France... Read More

Fontenay Abbey

Fontenay Abbey
French travel review: That’s the beauty of barge travel - it relaxes the mind and makes space for civilized exercises such as the pursuit of good food and wine and culture. The Abbey at Fontenay was just a little way away from the canal run and the excursion... Read More

Bound by history, carved in stone - Normandy and England

Caen
French travel review: We share so much. Those Norsemen who pillaged the coast of Britain and settled inland also did the same in France, and indeed in such numbers that a region took their name – Normandy... Read More

La Belle Epoque – 5-star floating through Burgundy

La belle Epoque
French travel review: A barge, even a big one, presents the very real prospect of tight accommodations, iffy facilities... Read More


Click the menu options for more - much more...         


Follow
Mostly Food and Travel Journal
on
twitter for Mostly Food and Travel Journal
and
Follow Me on Pinterest
and
Follow Me on Instagram
 
 
Capital Spice - chefs, restaurants and recipes
By Chrissie Walker, foreword by Sanjeev Kapoor.
21 great London Indian chefs, over 100
stunning recipes.
Available from bookshops and Amazon.
ISBN: 9781906650728

 
Marks and Spencer wine