The Sunday Times, 26 October
AA Gill on Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley
Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley - Sunday Times review in full>>
The Times, 25 October
Giles Coren reviews Tierra Brindisa, London I was looking at a couple of Englishmen tucking into their Saturday lunch at Tierra Brindisa in Soho the other day - their great sausage fingers trying to be dainty about picking up delicate, brown-skinned largueta almonds and little pimientos de padrÁ³n, elegant little sherry flutes disappearing into giant hands evolved for shoeing shire horses and wringing the necks of bustards, their contents drained in a single slug - and it occurred to me how all the many millions of national and regional food variations were developed to suit the needs of specific people - specific hands, eyes, noses, stomachs - and how daft it is when the wrong people do it.
Tierra Brindisa - Times review in full>>
The Telegraph, 24 October
Jasper Gerard eats at Equilibrium at Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire A poster at this year's Horse of the Year Show would have reminded foreigners that there is something not quite right about the British. "Save a donkey," it beseeched "and a child." I have no problem with the order of priorities: the charity concerned is surely right to calculate that Britons would be more moved by the fate of a mule than that of a mere human, who in any case might grow up to be an Icelandic banker.
Foreigners would probably find me even more warped: my charity's pitch would be: "Save a building." OK, if there was room I might add, in quite small letters, "and a child." An ownerless home moves me more than a homeless cat.
Equilibrium at Fawsley Hall - Telegraph review in full>>
The Independent, 25 October
Tracey Macleod tests out Vanilla Black It's hardly surprising that the churn rate among newspaper restaurant reviewers is slower than the industry average. Why would anyone voluntarily give up a job that allows them to travel the country, eating and drinking? You'd have to prise this gig out of my cold, dead hand. There are exceptions, though. Take my friend Andy, who accepted the position of restaurant critic with a Sunday newspaper, but omitted to tell them that for ethical reasons he didn't eat meat. After a couple of anguished months of subterfuge, of florid overwriting about fish dishes and wine lists, he threw in the scented hand-towel and resigned.
Vanilla Black - Independent review in full>>
The Guardian, 25 October
Matthew Norman at Linen, Manchester During the past quarter-century, I have endured countless monstrous nights in casinos around the world. In Deauville, a taxi fare-removing run at the roulette wheel enforced a memorably tense, three-mile walk back to the hotel at 3am with my future wife. The honeymoon that so inexplicably ensued concluded with such a calamitous blackjack session in Atlantic City that I had to beg 50 cents off a bellboy to get us through the New Jersey Turnpike. You'll excuse me for not dwelling on the hurriedly aborted (premarital) pick-up of what proved to be a Eugene Terreblanche-worshipping transsexual in Sun City. Of myriad disasters, the moment that clings most immovably to the memory bank came when, on departing after a distressing evening of baccarat on the Edgware Road, I took a book of matches from reception. "For what those free matches have cost you over the years," observed my fellow mug, "you could own a house in Mayfair."
Linen - Guardian review in full>>