When is a Giraffe not a Giraffe?

The (very long) brass neck of it… In a move calculated to strike fear into the heart of middle-class parents everywhere, Tesco has bought the child-friendly, eye-searing restaurant chain Giraffe for a shade under £50m. Reasons include the ongoing shake-up of supermarkets in general and Tesco in particular to appeal once again to a certain type of consumer, as well as its own personal crusade to ‘supermarket-ise’ seemingly uniquely-branded products. Those with a finger on the pulse will remember the outcry earlier this year when the oh-so-trendy coffee shop Harris & Hoole in North London turned out to be a wholly Tesco-owned enterprise and it will come as no surprise to find the coffee shops in store shortly, as if Tesco can no longer be bothered to keep up the pretence. Apparently trendy bakery chain Euphorium is now also backed by the supermarket. Read full post


Riding The Wave

What do all the following restaurants have in common? Khublai Khan, Glasgow; L’Escargot Bleu, Edinburgh; Host, Bishops Stortford; King of Prussia, Abergavenny; Oliver Peyton’s pop-up, London… Because there’s a word count, we’ll just tell you: they all serve legitimate, legal horse and apparently sales are soaring. So what’s up with the Dobby love? Read full post


Cheval et Frites

Best joke so far? My doctor said I have to watch what I eat so I’ve managed to get a couple of tickets to the Grand National. Ba-dum-tish. You gotta admit, this one’s got legs. Ok, we give up but only because there’s a word limit. The horsemeat scandal will continue to run and run (unlike the horses) and frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if the scandal spreads further than processed food – which, let’s face it, we could all avoid if we had to – to institutions such as our schools, hospitals… hey, even lower-end restaurants may not be immune. Read full post


A Bloody Nightmare

It has begun. The end of the world is nigh, at least for those who like a say in how their food is cooked. Westminster Council are preparing a crackdown on rare burgers, alleging that the dangers of an E. Coli outbreak far outweigh a customer’s preference for a pink burger. Read full post


A Capital Idea

The race is on to find the official Capital of Cuisine. Which town produces the finest food? The best cheese…? The most delectable wine…? The finest sweetest ham…? The most accredited restaurants….? At least it is in food-loving France where a government committee, the French Mission on Food Culture and Heritage, have been assigned the frankly not-very-onerous task of deciding upon the town with the most to offer food tourists of the world. And to settle once and for all who’s the best in the world, ever ever ever (because the French really really care about that). Read full post


Move Over Lord Sugar

You might have caught Hotel GB on Channel 4 in October and wondered at the point of it all, apart from resurrecting Big non-Frowny Gordon’s TV career. If you didn’t, the concept was to take long-term unemployed young people and train them in the hospitality and catering industry in five days, at the end of which team leaders Gordon R and Mary Portas each chose an apprentice to go on and work for them. Apart from stating the obvious, which is that some people are really good at dealing with the general public (Liverpudlian Emily who was so very sincere) and some really aren’t (Tom who seemed to lack an ‘edit’ function), and that Gordon can (shock horror) make a devastatingly good personnel manager when required, it also caught the zeitgeist in highlighting the huge amount of investment currently being ploughed into the industry starting at the bottom – with the students. Read on and salivate at the thought of the slick professionalism both front- and back-of-house which is all set to enhance that dining experience.

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