Review readers look for entertainment

11 January 2007
Review readers look for entertainment

What on earth has made Geoff Dismorr so bitter and twisted about restaurant reviewers (Caterer, 4 January, page 18)? Whatever the cause, he displays a remarkable naïvety about the function of newspaper reviewers. Whether a critic is reviewing restaurants, books, theatre, art or TV, their duty is to their paper - their job is to entertain their readers.

Similarly, we read newspaper restaurant reviews not because we are primarily seeking factual information but because we want to be entertained. Only a tiny fraction of readers will ever visit (or even contemplate visiting) restaurants they've read about.

The best critics, like Giles Coren or AA Gill, are witty, clever writers whose columns surely give more pleasure at less cost than eating in some of the establishments they describe.

Stuart Doughty
Five Rise Locks Hotel & Restaurant, Bingley, West Yorkshire

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