The new head chef at Gilpin Lodge, Windermere, Cumbria, received the seal of approval from Jasper Gerard in Saturday's Daily Telegraph. Despite fearing the place might be all cream teas and doilies, he was delighted to find that, as well as being friendly, informal and full, the food prepared by Russell Plowman was top notch.
"Some dishes are still evolving, but that's no crime with a young chef," he said. "We neglected to try Plowman's lunch, but I can recommend his dinner after a hard day in the Cumbrian fields. Not that a positive review is needed, judging by the crowds."
The Guardian's Matthew Norman highly praises Phil Howard's latest offering, Kitchen W8, London W8, for its friendly service and its first class food. He is not so keen, though, on the prices for a neighbourhood restaurant of starters at around £8.50 and main courses of £15 plus.
John Walsh, writing in the Independent, is effusive in his review of the Dean Street Townhouse, which is the first new joint offering from Nick Jones and Richard Caring.
"It mingles the bustle and slickness of the grand, all-day Parisian brasserie with a ¬determinedly anti-Michelin English menu and a room cunningly designed (distressed mirrors, grand bar, wood panelling) for that ultra-voguish, modern media Soho clubland feel," he says.
In The Times, Giles Coren, recalls his visit to new Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto, high above Regent Street, London W1, as a fun experience. As well as consuming great cocktails and good sushi, he also enjoys the stunning night views.
Meanwhile, Observer food critic Jay Rayner finds a far better-than-average local restaurant in Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk. Efficient, friendly service and perfectly judged fish cookery leads him to describe the town as "a very nice place to be".
Aqua - behind the hype >>
By Janet Harmer
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