Archive For The “British” Category

Arthur Hooper’s – Borough Market

Arthur Hooper’s – Borough Market

There is the best of produce just a few yards from the kitchen It’s a bright English summer day. A perfect time to enjoy the delicious and colourful delights of the celebrated Borough Market. It was first mentioned in 1276, although the market claims to have been around since early in the 11th century, and…

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Blackhouse restaurant review

Blackhouse restaurant review

The Blackhouse Grill on the Market at Smithfield It’s not surprising that we were invited here to enjoy a meal with meat as the showpiece. This was Smithfield, after all! Smithfield’s meat market dates from the 10th century, and is now London’s only remaining wholesale market in continuous use since medieval times. It’s a bloody…

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The Gallery Restaurant – The Swan at Lavenham

The Gallery Restaurant – The Swan at Lavenham

Suffolk is blessed with coast and pastures offering the freshest bounty of the county The Swan is a striking hotel in an equally striking location. Lavenham is a town the likes of which is often thought extinct. It’s the stuff of historic dramas, with unspoilt houses and shops; a slice of Harry Potter was filmed…

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The Crown Restaurant at Woodbridge

The Crown Restaurant at Woodbridge

Some of the best meat in the UK comes courtesy of local farms OK, I confess, I had never visited Suffolk. I discovered a strikingly beautiful county with coast, pasture, chocolate-box villages and historic towns. I discovered Woodbridge! The Crown Hotel (review to follow shortly) houses its eponymous 2 AA Rosette restaurant, which is recommended…

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Blas at Twr y Felin Hotel

Blas at Twr y Felin Hotel

This striking and high-end hotel seems contemporary but it has a long history which is camouflaged by its light, modern and immaculate presentation. But part of this building has been around for more than a couple of hundred years. Originally known as Felin Wynt, Welsh for windmill, the still-remaining and iconic tower was built in…

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The Garden House Restaurant

The Garden House Restaurant

This truly is a ‘garden’ house with the intimate character of a cosy cottage. (Read more about the Garden House here.) It’s part of the Beaverbrook Estate and the smaller of two hotels, the other being the lavish and imposing main house which was once the home of Lord Beaverbrook, one of the most influential…

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Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Windsor

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Windsor

Marco Pierre White has long been considered the wild child of the culinary scene, although he actually seems like a rather charming character in interview these days. For those who don’t hail from these shores, Marco is a celebrated British chef, restaurateur, and television personality, and was perhaps the first British celebrity chef; he was,…

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The Swan at the Globe

The Swan at the Globe

The Swan Bar and Restaurant is part of Shakespeare’s Globe, overlooking the River Thames. I think it’s one of the best views of the river and St Paul’s, which rises majestically over the waterfront buildings. This neighbourhood is called Bankside and in the days of Elizabeth I it was a place for dubious entertainment. Its…

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Bird of Smithfield

Bird of Smithfield

Sounds like a family butchers which might have been trading for a brace of centuries. It is, in fact, a newish restaurant but right next to Smithfield Market, which has a much longer history. Smithfield Market or, more officially, London Central Markets, is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK and one of the…

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The Talbot for fine dining

The Talbot for fine dining

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. There is a brass plate bearing Nelson’s name on one of the…

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Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast

Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast

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…

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Hanger SW6

Hanger SW6

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 at the start of the 20th century and he was a part-time…

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Forman’s Restaurant review

Forman’s 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 restaurant is best placed to enjoy the benefits of a rising population that appreciates tastes of the good life. Forman’s Restaurant…

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Gillray’s at County Hall review

Gillray’s at County Hall review

London landmark 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. This imposing white Portland stone building looks across the River Thames to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament….

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The Mayfair Chippy

The Mayfair Chippy

Fish and Chips – nostalgic comfort food ~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…

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OXBO – Hilton Bankside

OXBO – Hilton Bankside

Sunday lunch The name intrigued me. It was either a reference to the bend in the River Thames at Bankside or an indication that this restaurant takes pride in its meat dishes. As it turned out it was both. OXBO restaurant at the Hilton on Bankside has style. The foyer exuded character with contemporary furnishings…

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Bel & The Dragon Godalming

Bel & The Dragon Godalming

The town of Godalming is situated in the countryside in southern England but not far from London. Its narrow streets are lined with many historic buildings. It’s a town with history. The name means “of the clan of Godhelm”, and the Saxon settlement of Godalming was first recorded in the will of King Alfred the…

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The Rib Room – for more than ribs

The Rib Room – for more than ribs

The food scene in London has changed so much over the past couple of decades. We have moved away from that shocking reality of poor quality, few interesting options and culinary apathy. We have some of the world’s best restaurants, the most vibrant international dishes and a huge panorama of choices including beef rib! A…

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Counter Vauxhall Arches

Counter Vauxhall Arches

So many of my reviews start with ‘Well, it was worth the long journey’ and stoically ‘It’s a bit off the beaten track’. This evening I had no need of such stoicism. Counter Vauxhall Arches is just by Vauxhall Station. That isn’t estate-agent speak for a bracing march away, not a healthy hike away but…

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Flat Iron – Beak Street

Flat Iron – Beak Street

The second Flat Iron opened last July. This could be the start of something big, or at least lots of little somethings if the size of the Beak Street branch is anything to go by. Flat Iron fits perfectly into its environment. The area has long been trendy, bohemian and edgy. Carnaby Street is just…

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