Archive For The “British” Category

The Talbot for fine dining – restaurant review

The Talbot for fine dining – 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. There is a brass plate bearing Nelson’s name on one of the…

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Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast – hotel review

Hotel TerraVina for Bed and Breakfast – 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…

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Hanger SW6, Fulham – restaurant review

Hanger SW6, Fulham – 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 at the start of the 20th century and he was a part-time…

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Forman’s Restaurant, Hackney – review

Forman’s Restaurant, Hackney – 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’s 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 – restaurant review

Gillray’s at County Hall – 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 also sits in an iconic London landmark. This imposing white Portland stone building looks across the River Thames to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. The chimes…

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The Mayfair Chippy – restaurant review

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…

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OXBO – Hilton Bankside – restaurant review

OXBO – Hilton Bankside – restaurant review

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 that I…

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Bel & The Dragon, Godalming – restaurant review

Bel & The Dragon, Godalming – restaurant review

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 – Knightsbridge – restaurant review

The Rib Room – for more than ribs – Knightsbridge – restaurant review

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 – restaurant review

Counter Vauxhall Arches – restaurant review

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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Alexander McQueen at The Kensington Hotel – restaurant review

Alexander McQueen at The Kensington Hotel – restaurant review

Well, perhaps not the man himself, but The Kensington Hotel is presenting a delightful afternoon tea that is inspired by the fashion designer who is the focus of an exhibition in London called Savage Beauty. Alexander McQueen was born in London and was known for having worked as chief designer at Givenchy between 1996 and…

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Flat Iron, Beak Street – restaurant review

Flat Iron, Beak Street – restaurant review

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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The Terrace at The Montagu Arms – hotel and restaurant review

The Terrace at The Montagu Arms – hotel and restaurant review

The New Forest is a beautiful and ancient area in the south of England and is in fact very far from ‘new’. It was a royal hunting estate and was created in 1079 by William I. You will likely know him as William the Conqueror who took possession of that tract of land and everything…

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Paramount Afternoon Tea, Centre Point – restaurant review

Paramount Afternoon Tea, Centre Point – restaurant review

Centre Point is iconic, at least for Londoners. It’s an imposing concrete and glass office building in central London and just above Tottenham Court Road Underground station. It couldn’t be more convenient for those using London’s equally iconic transport system. The area is something of a building sight just now – it’s the Crossrail development…

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Afternoon Tea at St James’s Hotel and Club – restaurant review

Afternoon Tea at St James’s Hotel and Club – restaurant review

St James’s Hotel is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful hotels in London, a city that has some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. It’s a boutique hotel set in a Victorian townhouse but its red brick and ornate stonework make this a jewel in an already glittering city crown. St…

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Clockjack Oven, Soho, for Chicken – restaurant review

Clockjack Oven, Soho, for Chicken – restaurant review

A roasting jack was a machine popular in Tudor times. It was a mechanism for rotating meat on a skewer or spit. Often it was a kitchen menial who had the sweaty job of slowly turning the meat in front of a roaring fire, and sometimes it was even a dog on a treadmill that…

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Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason – restaurant review

Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason – restaurant review

London! What do we think of? Historic continuity, elegance, refinement – and tea. So much of what visitors seek in this capital city includes one or several of these qualities, and there are a few places that will enable tourist and local alike to enjoy all of them. Fortnum & Mason is just such an…

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Winter Club Sandwich at Andaz Liverpool Street London – review

Winter Club Sandwich at Andaz Liverpool Street London – review

There seems to be no waning of the popularity of afternoon tea. It was, quite a while back, regarded as chintzy and stuffy but now it is considered a real meal, rather than an event of boring obligation for your Great Aunt Betty’s 80th birthday. Andaz offers a warming version of afternoon tea. I personally…

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St Ermin’s – Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea – review

St Ermin’s – Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea – review

St Ermin’s Hotel has changed. It was always a classic hotel and the history was always evident in the very brickwork. But in 2011 it closed for half a year and a £30 million refurbishment, and was totally transformed into the modern 4-star hotel that we see today. It retains much of its character but…

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Restaurant Thirty Six at Dukes Hotel – review

Restaurant Thirty Six at Dukes Hotel – review

Think about Old London and what scene comes to mind? Fog, intertwined alleys and hidden courtyards, probably. Iron railings, warm brick, brass plaques. And hotels: yes, every Edwardian writer seemed to talk about hotels. They were the acceptable places in which to meet friends and to dine, when restaurants were less numerous than they are…

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