Fay Maschler, food critic at the Evening Standard, paid a visit to the Bingham in Richmond, Surrey, after feeling wrong-footed upon it receiving a Michelin star.
"I'd heard no buzz about the Bingham, remembered no reviews, hadn't been pestered by a PR except to tell me that it was an ideal venue for Valentine's night," she wrote.
Despite disappointing first impressions of the beige interior, Maschler liked the look of the chef Shay Cooper's menu and believed his cooking showed promise.
Metro food critic Marina O'Loughlin was tempted to write off Marco Pierre White's latest venture, Wheeler's of St James, before she had even arrived.
"Recently, the moody, brooding one hasn't launched a single restaurant of any interest," she says. "So why should this, a hasty reworking of his old Luciano's site in partnership with Sir Rocco Forte, rebranded as ‘Wheelers Of St James Est 1856', be any different?"
She was astounded, though, to find great food from chef Garry Hollihead, although she was unsure about the room, which was so dark that it made the wine list impossible to read.
Time Out's Guy Dimond visited another celebrity-owned venue, the new Putney café from Greg Wallace of Masterchef fame, Wallace & Co
By Janet Harmer
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