Jasper Gerard of the Daily Telegraph arrived at the Paris House in Woburn with great expectations. With the restaurant having recently been taken over by Alan Murchison, who runs Ludlow's La Becasse and L'Ortolan in Berkshire, Gerard was expecting the very best.
And, on the whole, Paris House came up trumps. Gerard says the kitchen had serious intent, but he did wonder if his expectations were, perhaps, a little too high.
In Leeds, the Guardian's food writer Matthew Norman visited Bibis Italianissimo, a restaurant which he described as bringing "the ersatz glitz of the outsized Las Vegas cocktail lounge to a site abutting a car park". But, not only was he disconcerted by its size, but he found the menu and cooking to be a joke.
"Regardless of its owner's origins and a menu featuring dishes from his homeland, Bibis really ought to expand its name to Italianissimo My Arse," he says.
In Emsworth, Hampshire, John Walsh of the Independent described the setting 36 on the Quay as lovely and the service as efficient. However, he found that chef-proprietor Ramon Farthing was over-enthusiastic about adding too many extras to each dish.
"Mr Farthing might consider curbing his natural generosity, and trying the less-is-more approach," he advised.
In London, The Times' restaurant critic Giles Coren took his mother to and was appalled that the usual £55 cost for the five-course menu rose to £90 on Mother's Day. Even worse, he found that Beck - or whoever was in the kitchen - couldn't cook.
"My guess is that nobody can cook here for miles and miles around," he says.
By Janet Harmer
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