Book Review – Eat London 2

04 May 2012 by
Book Review – Eat London 2

Eat London 2
By Peter Prescott & Terence Conran
Conran Octopus, £20
ISBN: 978-1-84091-583-9

While the throngs of people expected to flood the capital this summer are primarily coming to visit all things royal and sporting, it would be a shame if they failed to immerse themselves in the culinary revolution that has overtaken London in recent years.

Whichever borough you visit, particularly in the centre, a whole host of cafés and restaurants - from the fish and chips outlets of east London to the Michelin-starred restaurants of Mayfair - are now on almost every street alongside a plethora of colourful markets, specialist delicatessens and artisan food stores.

Eat London 2 - an updated version of Eat London, which was first published in 2007 - perfectly captures the variety of foodie outlets, reflecting the world's larder now operating throughout the capital.

As well as being a guide to the cafés, restaurants and food stores most enjoyed by the authors and business partners Peter Prescott and Terence Conran - who together operate three of London's busiest outlets, Boundary hotel and restaurant; Albion café, bakery and shop; and Lutyens restaurant and bar - the book also features 60 recipes from some of the UK's leading chefs. Dishes from the likes of Bruno Loubet, Yotam Ottolenghi, Giogio Locatelli and Bryn Williams highlight the extraordinary diversity of food that can be found throughout the city.

As with any guide, it is not totally comprehensive, and it is most definitely not objective, with the likes and dislikes of the two opinionated writers - who approach the subject as insiders within London's restaurant scene - reflected throughout. Hence, Prescott has focused on establishments offering humble, simple dishes, no-frills cooking, strong flavours and gutsy regional foods - such as St John, Moro, the River Café, Terroirs, Roka and Hereford Road. Meanwhile, ever the designer, Conran loves interesting environments with comfortable chairs and has a particular passion for restaurants with open kitchens.

"The kitchen," he writes, "should always be visible to the customer - this stops the ridiculous battles that used to take place between the chefs and waiters."

If any of your customers or guests want advice on where to eat whilst taking a break from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations or cheering on the Olympic athletes - other than your own establishment, of course - this book, brought to life by Lisa Linder's evocative photography, will provide the answer.

By Janet Harmer

If you like this, you'll love these:
Time Out London Eating and Drinking Guide 2012 Time Out Guides
â- Food Lovers' London Jenny Linford
â- The Essential Guide to London's Best Food Shops New Holland Publishers

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