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Lime Wood Hotel’s sausage barbecue

When the Hampshire Food Festival program mentioned that the Lime Wood Hotel, in the New Forest near Lyndhurst, was having a rare-breed sausage barbecue, I expected a few barbecues at one end of a large lawn cooking up sausages. It wasn’t at all like that but the Editor and I had a royal time dining […]

I am lividly dressed outside Nando's

Nando’s – I’m flabbergasted to admit it is a decent lunch establishment

Sometimes you expect a dining venue to be staggeringly awful. Indeed, the promise of being justifiably offended by the filth someone has the brazen temerity to serve can be almost alluring. Consequently, the perfectly reasonable lunch I had at Nando’s ‘peri peri’ chicken outlet left me feeling both satisfied and irked – and therefore anyone […]

Slow-cooked pork belly with a ham hock croquette

Forget the surroundings and focus on the great food

When you arrive at The Vineyard at Stockcross you’d be forgiven for thinking you had pulled up the driveway of some odious chain hotel in a charmless provincial city. If the recommendations had not been so glowing I would have been worried, very worried. What I found even more peculiar is that when you walk […]

An abortive meal in Bray

Our final appointment in our tour of South-East England dining establishments was The Hind’s Head Hotel. We’ve been there before, you can read the . This visit wasn’t such a success, but it couldn’t be helped. We rolled up in Bray in plenty of time to have a pint and some bar snacks before lunch. […]

Savaging Le Champignon Sauvage

We had heard so many good things about Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham that we had high hopes. A moment’s doubt crossed our minds when we saw the hideous dining room, but that wouldn’t matter as long as the food was all that we had been promised. It wasn’t. Indeed, it was one of the […]

L’Ortolan – competent provincial dining

This review is going to be difficult to write as, whilst we both enjoyed our lunch, we found it lacking the spark of excitement that makes for a properly mind-bending repast. I have to admit to not actually reading the menu, I was too busy looking at the wine list and making sharp intakes of […]

The Hind’s Head

Heston Blumenthal’s boozer just next-door to the Fat Duck provides keenly-priced, hearty classics cooked with far more skill and attention to detail than you’ll find in almost any other pub. We left full and happy. Quite obviously, what you need to drink in a boozer is beer. The Hind’s Head gets real ales in regularly […]

The Fat Duck

I am not sure I know enough superlatives to write a review of the Fat Duck. Can you just assume that unless I say anything to the contrary each course was a stunning, mind-expanding, roller-coaster ride of super-orgiastic delight. After copious quantities of their brilliantly tasty bread and raw butters we began the night with […]

How can I possibly describe the meal I’ve just had?

Very much in the spirit of Brillat-Savarin, tonight’s meal demonstrated that the limits of pleasure are yet to be defined or reached. My first visit to the Fat Duck will forever be etched in my brain with a soldering iron. I’m going to their boozer tomorrow, so I have a few more hours to work […]

Chiang Mai kitchen – still the best restaurant in Oxford

When I was involved with the Wine Circle at Oxford we would frequently have to entertain winemakers or wine-merchants. The best place we could take them was to the Chiang Mai kitchen for quality Thai food. Admittedly, since those crazy days I’ve had better Thai food, both at and in our own kitchen (thanks to […]