http://www.timesonline.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Times, 5 January
Giles Coren visits Sake No Hana, London SW1
http://www.guardian.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Guardian, 5 January
Matthew Norman visits Le Café Anglais, London W2
In seeking an analogy for today's restaurant, we need to go back a very long way in Britain's high cultural history. All the way back to November 2007, in fact, when Cerys Matthews was unveiled as a contestant on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! What in the name of all the saints is the wondrous Cerys, her abundant talent undimmed, doing there, surrounded by the dull and the pointless, not to mention the faded and the deranged, we ageing Catatonia fans morosely mused? It makes no sense at all. The opening of Le Café Anglais in Whiteleys of Bayswater, at precisely the moment when Cerys first set her dilating pupils on the actor Marc Bannerman, represents no less incongruously lustrous an addition to a stable of dullards. Whiteleys is a shopping mall of smalltown American sterility. All the usual town centre suspects (M&S, HMV, Vodafone, etc) have been rounded up on the ground and first floors, and a multiscreen cinema shares the second with a vast array of plastic, disposable restaurants.
Le Café Anglais - The Guardian review in full >>
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Sunday Times, 6 January
Michael Winner visits the Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire
Sir Michael Parkinson (that fellow wot used to be on TV) owns a pub called the Royal Oak. The only trouble is he doesn't know how to get there. He sent me via his PA, Autumn Kelly (does she change her name to Spring, Summer and Winter at the appropriate times?), the following directions: "Junction 8/9 off the M4, A308 signposted for Maidenhead central, roundabout A330 signposted for Ascot, two miles down that road turn right on the B3025 - signposted Paley Street it's the second pub on the left." So I'm driving the Bentley down the A330 as instructed but after two miles, and many more, there is no sign on the right indicating the B3025 to Paley Street.
The Royal Oak - The Sunday Times review in full >>
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Observer, 6 January
Jay Rayner visits Caldesi Campagna, Bray, Berkshire
Because I am a lost cause I hold in my head a geography of Britain defined not by useful or inspiring landmarks - churches, castles, the institutions of state - but by restaurants. Cheltenham is Le Champignon Sauvage, and Bristol is Bell's Diner. Manchester is Red Chilli, Whitechapel is Tayyabs and Baker Street is Galvin. On this peculiar, belly-obsessed map, littered with pictograms of knives and forks, one small, home counties' village has more than its fair share of cutlery. That village is Bray in Berkshire, and if you but say the word to me the first image that will come into my mind is myself seated in the low-ceilinged dining room of the Fat Duck, being shocked and thrilled by yet another of the gloriously tonto dishes that Heston Blumenthal has devised to screw with my head. If I'm not thinking of myself there, I'm in a snug at his nearby pub, the Hinds Head, eating his faultless steak and kidney pudding. I find the notion of visiting Bray and not eating in one or other perverse.
Caldesi Campagna - The Observer review in full >>
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