The Restaurant Man

The number one ‘Not-At-All-Like-You-Think-It-Will-Be’ Job of All Time has to be ‘Restaurateur’. Someone somewhere, about every five minutes, thinks “Goddammit, I’m done with this ludicrously stable and lucrative accountancy/PR/admin/managerial job; I’m going to sell up, remortgage my house and my children’s kidneys, buy a damp-ridden hole in Arseville and open my own concept restaurant. MAN, I’M GONNA LIVE THE DREAM.” You generally find them 5 months later, partner- and childless, sometimes kidney-less and definitely nearly without a liver due to the quantities of gin consumed to deal with the stress, sleeping on the floor of their ‘dream restaurant’ and twitching every time someone drops a fork. Read full post


A Star In The North?

It has been talked to death why Manchester cannot apparently support a Michelin-starred restaurant. The second (or first!) city and a cultural hotspot, it’s home to a thriving dining scene and plenty of wealthy townsfolk with a ‘tasting menus’-worth of disposable income. Now, however, it seems we have three potential Michelin awardees and, like buses on Oxford Road, two of them came along at once. Read full post


How Posh Is Your Toast?

The gourmet-ification (is that even a word? It is now) of so-called “dirty” foods is now a well-established trend; viz burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, pizza most famously. We’re all happy to get spend-y on what we see as/are told is “artisanal”, worth the money, special, deserving of our dough. And now we’re being told that the HOT NEW THING to spend our dough on is – brace – dough. Toast. One slice or two at around the £3 mark, to be exact. And we’re not talking white sliced with spread from the local caff either. Read full post



Weird, isn’t it, that headline? Flat. And oddly ungrammatical? And yet, apparently they are most certainly welcome as Maria Miller launches the as-titled campaign to attract 650,000 visits per year from Chinese tourists by 2020, adding a whopping £1.1bn to the economy and at least 4 more Chinese takeaways to each village, town and city in the country. We are under instructions to help/make them appreciate our culture, heritage, food (!), sport (!!) and countryside, amongst other things that make Britain GREAT (as Ms Miller herself puts it).
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Top Ten Restaurant Turkeys

We’re not, like, Scrooges or anything, but the food scene around Christmas time is decidedly “whevs dude”. It’s all about food at home and the traditions we love to loathe, from over-cooked beef (“because turkey is ALWAYS dry”) to present-opening time slots (just the thing to keep the kids permanently one step ahead of capitalist meltdown). So to enter into the spirit, we thought we’d give you a quick Top 10 of the world’s biggest restaurant turkeys. They’ll have you begging for more sprouts. Read full post


Luxury Food Shortages

Attention fine food lovers, stereotypes of single womanhood, staying-in aficionados and anyone anywhere who eats: Eat all the wine, chocolate, olives, prawns and cheese you can. Build a massive food ark if you must. And do it RIGHT NOW because the world as we know it that supplies all these things is GOING TO END. And it’s all China’s fault. [Allegedly.]  Read full post


The Gay Hussar (Use It Or Lose It)

Soho. It’s a word to conjure with. From Dickensian novels through the screaming Twenties, the severe drubbing of the Forties, the loucheness of the Sixties and Seventies, the gaudiness of the Eighties and the slightly wearily seen-it-all-before Noughties, it’s allowed us to mould it to our collective imagination like a slightly more careworn Tina Turner (“be who you want me to be…”) and yet retained an air of even more dissipated dignity. Read full post


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