TIPPLE & FARE - Food, drink and fine dining

25
Sep
2014
Tesco FI

You reap what you sow

Businessman Rupert James shares his views on the problems at Tesco   Jack Cohen founded Tesco; his wife was called Tessa Cohen. That is where the name comes from. It grew far too quickly and it has become too big. Now this behemoth is unsurprisingly reaping what it has sown.

19
Sep
2014
Chicken Divan FI

Chicken Divan

Claire Douglass continues her meal in Wisconsin with a main course of Chicken Divan   Last time I delighted you with a starter of ‘Seven Layer Salad’ and now I’m going to move on to a Wisconsin main, the legendary ‘Chicken Divan’.

14
Sep
2014
A missive from Mayfair FI 1

A missive from Mayfair

Restaurateur Gavin Rankin shares his views on summer in Mayfair   August, in Mayfair, used never to be the high spot of a restaurant’s year. Tumbleweed blew about and disheveled restaurateurs roamed the streets, avoiding eye contact, and scouring the pavements for loose change.

08
Sep
2014
Beckham's blend FI

Beckham’s blend

David Beckham and Guy Ritchie launch new whisky with Diageo

06
Sep
2014
Rank Rolf FI

Rank Rolf

Does Rolf Harris a right to complain about what he’s being fed in prison?

01
Sep
2014
Seven Layer Salad FI

Taking revenge on the Seven Layer Salad

Claire Douglass regrets beginning a meal in Wisconsin with a ‘Seven Layer Salad’   Though I have gnawed on iguana in Panama, meat I dared not ask the origin of off street carts in various Asian countries, swampy ‘gator in the South of the United States, frogs, snails and offal of various kinds, I have only experienced culinary culture shock in one place: Wisconsin.

19
Aug
2014
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cash is King

Shrimpy’s: A ridiculous restaurant that refuses to take cash   Shrimpy’s on London’s Regent’s Canal has become the first cashless restaurant in the UK and whilst we have no objection to people using apps and cards to pay for their purchases, banning payment with real, solid money is just ridiculous.

18
Aug
2014
Exit or lunch FI

Exit or lunch?

As Julian Assange reportedly is to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he also offers himself as a lunch date there for £30,000   This morning, yet more police officers have gathered outside the Embassy of Ecuador in Hans Crescent after it has been reported that Julian Assange is about to hand himself in. If this rumour proves true, bidders in an online auction could be very disappointed.

06
Aug
2014
Robert Walton MBE FI

Robert Walton: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks The Nth Degree Club’s founder Robert Walton MBE: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

31
Jul
2014
Wellesley Hotel, London.

Dazzlingly dim

The Wellesley lands itself in a Twitter storm   Social media can do a business a great deal of good but if not used carefully, it can equally do immense damage. The Wellesley Hotel on Knightsbridge has provided an example of the latter in the wake of the scandal over them charging the ludicrous sum of £75 for three small bottles of mineral water.

28
Jul
2014
Well sly FI

Well sly water

Matthew Steeples examines London venues charging the most for mineral water   A 500ml bottle of San Pellegrino will set you back just 63p in Tesco. At The Wellesley in Knightbridge, however, a customer, Edward Heaton, was left somewhat shocked when he got a bill of £75 for three bottles on 17th July.

20
Jul
2014
Ross Burden FI

Remembering Ross

Ross Burden passes away aged just 47   Antipodean television chef Ross Burden “died peacefully” on the 17th July aged just 47.

19
Jul
2014
The masters of marketing FI

The masters of marketing

Uber pulls off another great promotional stunt   When London’s black cab drivers protested against Uber in June, the result was to cause an an upward spike of 850% in sign-ups for their app. Yesterday, the San Francisco based company pulled off another clever marketing stunt in hiring ice cream vans to deliver ice creams to their customers on the hottest day of the year.

14
Jul
2014
Bastille Day at La Brasserie FI

Bastille Day at La Brasserie

Bastille Day at La Brasserie was a jolly affair   The 14th July is to the French what 4th July is to Americans. It’s a day to celebrate and at London’s first all day brasserie, La Brasserie, Bastille Day is taken very seriously.

08
Jul
2014
Monty's menu FI

Monty’s menu

Matthew Steeples samples a menu inspired by Monty Python at The Rib Room   Michele Caggianese, the manger of The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower is a man who can be relied upon to come up with clever marketing ideas and in his latest menu offering he’s created something that enables diners to “taste The Meaning of Life”

02
Jul
2014
Paul Hammond FI

Paul Hammond: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks Paul Hammond of wine investment company IG Wines: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Work dynamically, innovate, always be prepared to learn new things and be openminded.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Go hard, then go home sobberish.  

24
Jun
2014
Toto's Restaurant

No clowning around

Matthew Steeples reviews Toto’s in Knightsbridge, London   It takes something for me to be impressed with a restaurant but after three visits to the newly reopened Toto’s in Knightsbridge, I will boldly declare that I believe it to be the best opening of 2014

30
Apr
2014
Crashing Carluccio FI

Crashing Carluccio

EXCLUSIVE: Antonio Carluccio involved in car crash in Walton Street, Chelsea   At 5.30pm today, the well-known chef Antonio Carluccio was involved in a car crash in London’s Walton Street in his Mercedes-Benz.

26
Apr
2014
The Luggage Room FI

Cocktails and conversations

A photo montage from the Nth Degree Club’s cocktail party at The Luggage Room

19
Apr
2014
Turning rose FI

Turning rosé

With the season for rosé upon us, here we make our suggestion for an “affordable luxury everyday choice”   Easter has marked a turning point – for now – in terms of the weather in the UK and after such a soggy winter, now is the time to make the most of the sunshine. With this comes a change in the drinking habits of many and for a large number, it marks the time to start drinking rosé again.

11
Apr
2014
Meat the Butcher FI

Meat the Butcher

Gillray’s to host a butchery demonstration with O’Shea’s   On Tuesday 6th May, Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar at the London Marriott County Hall will host an evening named “Meat the Butcher”.

10
Apr
2014
La Brasserie FI

Raising the cocktail

Karol Rybicki of The Sanderson wins La Brasserie’s first inter-bar cocktail competition   On Sunday evening La Brasserie in Brompton Cross, South Kensington hosted their first inter-bar cocktail competition. The winner was Karol Rybicki of The Sanderson.

03
Apr
2014
Gillray's FI

Steaking Red Ken

A review of Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar   James Gillray (1756 – 1815) was a Chelsea born caricaturist and printmaker and is most famous for his satires against George III. In naming their restaurant after him, the Marriott County Hall has firmly pinned themselves to honouring his spirit and life.

23
Mar
2014
Cheers FI

Picture of the Week: Cheers!

A Bactrian camel named Jeffrey who loves a pint   When we heard about a beer loving Bactrian camel named Jeffrey, we just had to make an image of him our Picture of the Week.

22
Mar
2014
Firing Cote FI

Fire Côted

A visit from the fire brigade spoils lunch at Côte Sloane Square   Côte on Sloane Square offers a more affordable offering than many of its neighbours. Today, Saturday 22nd March, though, diners got more than they bargained for when the restaurant had a visit from the fire brigade.

13
Mar
2014
Moving on FI

Moving on: March 2014

A round up of the moves of the newsworthy in the world of hospitality   Too expensive to run? Financier Adrian Burford once told a court: “I make no apology for being quite expensive to run”. He invested some £1.1 million buying shares in the Sushinho Japanese-Mexican restaurant on the Kings Road. The company’s website now states: “We are sorry to inform you that our restaurants have closed” and their former premises are up for rent for £185,000 per annum through Miles Commercial. Plainly Burford’s mantra wasn’t that appealing.   An institution that should have been The Brompton Bar & Grill should have become a Knightsbridge institution but sadly it closes on Friday, 21st March. Owner Francois O’Neill and his…

03
Mar
2014
The Punkcake FI

Punkcake Day

A new interpretation of the pancake   You can always rely on the team at the Belgraves hotel to come up with innovative marketing ideas and in their creation for Pancake Day, they’ve excelled again.

28
Feb
2014
Brocket's bangers FI

Brocket’s bangers

Lord Brocket scores a success with his sausages   Lord Brocket is a man best known for having buried his Ferraris in his garden. They were far from bangers but the insurance fraud that followed resulted in him being jailed for fraud for five years. Now, Lord Brocket is involved with another kind of banger: the humble British sausage.

28
Feb
2014
Burnt out FI

Burnt out

Chelsea is an area where restaurateurs will increasingly struggle   Daphne’s restaurant in Brompton Cross’ Draycott Avenue suffered substantial fire damage on Tuesday this week. Given Richard Caring being its owner, we doubt it’ll be closed for long but if you look around Chelsea, you’ll find many premises that are either shut or for sale.

22
Feb
2014
A swan’s flight of fancy FI

A swan’s flight of fancy

Nigel Evans MP reviews The Swan with Two Necks at Pendleton in Lancashire   An old working farmhouse dating from 1772 that doubles up as the local tap for hardworking farming families and Clitheroe dwellers, has become, 240 years later, the Camra ‘best pub of Britain’.

20
Feb
2014
Out of Ivy FI

Out of Ivy

Victoria Casewell-Lunn revisits The Ivy   The Ivy was arguably London’s most famous restaurant of the nineties and noughties. Bought by iconic restaurateurs Jeremy King and Christopher Corbin in 1990, it became a playground for the rich and famous. Getting a table was almost an art form unless, of course, you were rich and famous and had their ‘special’ number.

19
Feb
2014
The queen of burgers

The queen of burgers

Sophie Michell’s unbeatable burger   It’s hard to get a burger right and each and every one of us has a particular way we like them served. Sophie Michell, executive chef at the Belgraves – A Thompson Hotel, is a lady who understands this and one whose version is amongst the best I’ve tried.

15
Feb
2014
Jamie Hazeel and Lalie Jacout FI

Jamie Hazeel and Lalie Jacout: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with Jamie Hazeel and Lalie Jacout, the duo behind The Wandering Chef   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? J: I set myself mad challenges and put myself in ridiculous positions so I don’t get lazy or complacent. Working with Lalie seems pretty true to form. L: Professionally speaking, a desire to create eating experiences I would actually want to go to. Privately, I couldn’t possible say.  

14
Feb
2014
Hotel bars in New York FI

Five of the Best: Hotel bars in New York City

Oliver Estreich selects his five favourite hotel bars in New York   Oliver Estreich, the founder of the well-known social network theNativeSociety, is the man about town to know in New York. Here, he selects five of his favourite hotel bars

12
Feb
2014
Onsie FI

One for me, one for you

La Brasserie embraces the onesie   On Monday, La Brasserie in Brompton Cross will give a main course on the house to all customers who come to dinner in a onesie.

10
Feb
2014
Bartenders' favourites FI

Four of the Best: Bartenders’ favourite cocktails

A selection of drinks preferred by cocktail maestros   Bartenders are particular sorts. The Mojito is a drink that annoys many as it takes a long time to make and consequently is a real hassle in a busy bar. Ask for one at your peril on a Friday night.

09
Feb
2014
Slashing the Canvas FI

Slashing the Canvas

A review of Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider   Michael Riemenschneider is nothing but persistent. This Swiss-born chef first contacted me over a year ago whilst looking for a restaurant site and since then his enthusiastic use of Facebook as a communication tool kept us in touch. With the opening of his first eponoymous restaurant – Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider – he now has the opportunity to share his vision with the wider world.

05
Feb
2014
Bargaining on a burger FI

Bargaining on a burger

Offers for Londoner’s during the London Underground strikes   Lobster-faced Bob Crow likes the high-life but it’s doubtful he’d be welcomed in any bar or restaurant in Central London today. Business for some may well be down due to commuters deciding to stay home, but equally many might feel like indulging after the struggle of fighting there way to get buses and taxis.

31
Jan
2014
Diageo dives FI

Diageo dives

Alcohol giant Diageo reports on a disappointing year   The drinks titan Diageo have blamed the Chinese government cracking down on the gifting of expensive whiskies to officials, a fall in demand for the Chinese spirit Baiju and beer drinkers trading down to cheaper brands in Nigeria and Thailand for a disappointing set of results.

27
Jan
2014
Have a gin and tonic

Picture of the Week: The Only Way is Gin

Happiness and gin are interconnected   It’s officially true: Happiness and gin go together.

22
Jan
2014
Some enchanted evening FI

Some enchanted evening

Steffen Timm recounts an evening enjoying rum and cigars at London’s Bulgari Hotel   I recently had the pleasure of joining a rum and cigar tasting at the newly opened Edward Sahakian Cigar Shop and Sampling Lounge that is hidden away at the back of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge.

19
Jan
2014
Bolly at the Belgraves FI

Bolly at the Belgraves

Belgraves offers 15 different champagnes by the glass   Champagne Diet author Lady Joan Oliphant Fraser will be delighted. Each Saturday and Sunday, the Belgraves hotel in Chesham Place, London is offering an impressive choice of 15 of their 25 champagnes by the glass.

15
Jan
2014
Moving on January FI

Moving on: January 2014

Restaurant openings and closings in Chelsea this month  

05
Jan
2014
Cocktails to lift the spirits FI

Six of the Best: Cocktails to lift the spirits

Cocktails to lift the spirits this January Whilst many are no doubt detoxing this January, others are getting back into action and enjoying food and drinks. To lift your spirits, we’ve selected half a dozen of the best cocktails currently on offer in some of our favourite London bars.

04
Jan
2014
Bonding with foie gras FI

Bonding with foie gras

Sir Roger Moore’s attempts to ban foie gras are wrong   I personally don’t have a great liking for foie gras. The texture and richness of it is often overwhelming and for me, there are many other “ultimate luxuries” I’d choose first. The campaigns of Sir Roger Moore and others, however, to ban this delicacy are not something I support and are frankly just ridiculous.

01
Jan
2014
Zedel's crowning glory FI

Zédel’s crowning glory

Wear a crown to Brasserie Zédel on the 6th January and get a free meal on the house   Both most worthily awarded OBE’s in the New Year Honours List, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King would appear towards the top of any list of the best restaurateurs in London. Always innovative and true trendsetters, with their latest promotion at Brasserie Zédel, this fine duo have come up with another clever marketing idea.

29
Dec
2013
Morgan Murphy FI

Morgan Murphy: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with food writer and car collector Morgan Murphy   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Bourbon and bacon, which is, by the way, the title of my next book coming out from Time Inc. next year. No, it’s not a diet book.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Life is too short to be boring”.  Also: “Don’t eat food from a box.”  

26
Dec
2013
Martin Miller (Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz)

A tribute to the King of Gin

Our tribute to Martin Miller   We learnt yesterday via Facebook that the founder of Martin Miller’s Gin and Miller’s Antiques Guides, Martin Miller, had died. Like many others, we were shocked and astounded by this terrible news.

25
Dec
2013
La Brasserie FI

Seeing in 2014

The perfect spot to say goodbye to 2013   Struggling for ideas as to what to do on New Year’s Eve in Central London? If so, La Brasserie is offering a 6-course dinner with music by DJ Chris Sullivan for just £69.

20
Dec
2013
Patty & Bun FI

The king of burgers

A review of Patty & Bun in W1   Burger lovers are spoilt for choice in Central London but undoubtedly one of the best offerings we’ve tried this year has to be Patty & Bun close to Selfridges in W1.

19
Dec
2013
Martin Chiffers aims to create the world's most expensive Christmas pudding FI

The proof of vulgarity is in the pudding

The world’s most expensive and frankly most vulgar Christmas pudding   Christmas is meant to be about religion and families but with the announcement that the website VeryFirstTo is marketing a Christmas pudding for £23,500, we must say we were quite appalled.

18
Dec
2013
What were they thinking FI

What were they thinking?

The worst named restaurants in the world   When opening a restaurant, some restaurateurs opt to name their businesses after a street whilst others use their surname or a historic figure. Here, however, we list a selection of ten of the most bizarre and ridculous that we’ve come across

16
Dec
2013
Tesco Metro St Andrews FI

Valuing Chardonnay

Fred Sculthorp tests Tesco’s Everyday Value Chardonnay   Growing older, one is almost always inclined to question what legacy one will leave. This is a particular dilemma for someone who has journeyed through life being fortunate enough to have tasted some of the finest wines on offer. As one who critiques rather than makes, what flaming torch am I to pass on to those who follow me? This thought burdens me daily as I browse the wine shelves of my local supermarket.

28
Nov
2013
0609-VF-WE049.01

Carlo Mondavi: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with winemaker Carlo Mondavi   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? The continued belief that we can make wine that sits along side the finest in the world. The belief that we can strive for excellence and no matter how far we have come, the truth is that we have really just begun.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Making good wine is a skill, fine wine is an art.  

22
Nov
2013
Champagne FI

A Smart Wonderland

Champagne at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland available for upto £2,000 a bottle   Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park opens to the public today. By far from a cheap outing, with tickets costing upto £14.50 per ride, this isn’t an event for the financially limited but we must admit we were surprised to see champagne priced at £2,000 per bottle.

21
Nov
2013
Far from a mainstay

Far from a mainstay

A review of Princi in Soho   Alan Yau OBE is a restaurateur who opts to have bouncers outside his restaurants. On Tuesday evening in the company of two foodie friends, I had the misfortune as to learn why.

17
Nov
2013
Choyed and choked FI

Choyed and choked

Chelsea institution Choys closes it doors after 61 years in business   Choys restaurant opened on the Kings Road in 1952 and closed for the final time earlier this month. Its passing marks yet another death knell for what gives Chelsea its character.

13
Nov
2013
Back to British FI

Back to British

Angelus becomes first restaurant to sign the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’   Situated next to the stables owned by Richard and Basia Briggs, Angelus is a French restaurant housed within what was a traditional British public house.

04
Nov
2013
Simon Rogan at Claridge's

Cumbria to Claridge’s

L’Enclume’s Simon Rogan to take the helm at Claridge’s   Gordon Ramsay burnt his bridges at Claridge’s after twelve years at the helm in February this year and now, today, his replacement has been announced. Simon Rogan, whose two Michelin starred L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, will take the helm from spring 2014 and “lead the way for a new dining direction” at a hotel that is often referred to as an “annexe to Buckingham Palace”.

15
Oct
2013
The Lyric FI

Getting Lyrical

Review: The Lyric in Soho   Soho is an area that one associates with the likes of pornographer Paul Raymond, gambling addict ‘Soho Pam’ and the legendarily rude landlord Norman Balon. Discovering The Lyric in Great Windmill Street, therefore, was a refreshing revelation.

14
Oct
2013
Max Sali FI

Max Sali: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with restaurateur Max Sali of Pimlico Road’s Tinello   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? It’s always been the dream of my brother and I to have a restaurant. Being understanding of customers is our guiding force.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? My father said I should never talk about football, women and politics. They are taken rather personally.  

12
Oct
2013
Asprey ice bucket FI

Five of the Best: Gifts for a barfly

Items that will delight those who like to drink at home   Many readers of The Steeple Times are well known drinking aficionados. As a result, we thought it time to share five of the best items that will further improve your tippling pleasures

12
Oct
2013
Tony Kitous FI

Tony Kitous: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with restaurateur Tony Kitous   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? I was told in life: “The harder you work, the luckier you get”.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Always believe in what you do. Never give up.  

10
Oct
2013
Comptoir Libanais FI

A Lebanese must

A review of Comptoir Libanais in South Kensington   Tony Kitous is a rising star in the restaurant world. He began with three restaurants named Levant, Pasha and Kenza and more recently set up Comptoir Libanais. Translated “Lebanese counter”, there are now five of these  “affordable and easy” canteens and three more are opening shortly including one in Chelsea’s Duke of York Square.

10
Oct
2013
Dinner at Mine FI

Dinner at mine?

A survey by Wetherell reveals the effect proximity to a restaurant can have on property prices   Traditionally properties above or next to pubs and restaurants have been cheaper because of the noise and smells they tend to generate. A newly published survey commissioned by Mayfair estate agent Peter Wetherell with input from Richard Caring of Caprice Holdings, however, surprisingly reveals that in some cases this isn’t always true.

01
Oct
2013
Rent a gob FI

Monroe mucks up in Manchester

As Jack Monroe speaks at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference, she continues to rant and again makes an utter fool of herself   Is there anything that “food-and-politics-gob” Jack Monroe can do gracefully? It seems not. Today, she’s speaking at the Conservative Party conference at a fringe meeting on food banks and, naturally, this foul mouthed freelance writer had to use the run-up to the occasion to let out a rant.

21
Sep
2013
Downton the Hatch FI

Downton the Hatch!

As ‘Downton Abbey’ returns tonight, we raise a glass to its official unofficial drinking game   Downton Abbey, a show that many have mixed views about, returns tonight. The nation will no doubt be gripped and though we hope Julian Fellowes has ironed out the historical inaccuracies and corrected the strangely informal relations between the master and his servants, we bet it’ll be another success. In preparation, we share with you a game that you might wish to play in accompaniment from 9pm tonight named Downton the Hatch!

19
Sep
2013
Tesco Back to School FI

Picture of the Week: Booze School

Tesco place a “Back to School” banner above an alcohol display in Swansea   Shoppers at Tesco in Fforestfach, Wales were controversially confronted by a display of gin, vodka and whisky complete with a “Back to School” sign in recent days.

14
Sep
2013
L'Art du Fromage 1a Langton Street London SW10 0JL FI

Cheese in Chelsea

A review of L’Art du Fromage: paradise for cheese lovers   With the autumn upon us and winter drawing ever closer, many have started to think about the mountains and skiing. On Facebook this week, I noticed a post by a friend who asked: “Who is keen to start planning a skiing holiday?” and it got me thinking about a restaurant I visited earlier this year, L’Art du Fromage in Langton Street, Chelsea.

03
Sep
2013
John Kerry dines with Bashar al-Assad and their wives FI

Picture of the Week: A picture is worth a thousand words

An image of John Kerry dining with Bashar al-Assad in February 2009 surfaces   John Kerry is a man who should be more careful about who he gets snapped with. As Chamberlain learnt to his peril after visiting Hitler in 1938, it is best not to consort with tyrannical leaders and it is better still not to be photographed with them.

29
Aug
2013
Jamie Oliver tweet FI

A tweet from Jamie Oliver

Chef Jamie Oliver thanks The Steeple Times copying in his 3 million Twitter followers   After the firestorm of comments today about this morning’s feature on Jamie Oliver’s remarks about food poverty and an article by a woman who describes herself as a ““freelance food-and-politics-gob”, we were delighted to receive a reply from the great man himself.

29
Aug
2013
Jamie Oliver FI

Cooking up a poverty storm

Jamie Oliver is right in his comments about the food choices of the poor   Jamie Oliver made some comments about food poverty in recent days. Naturally, the left wing sorts jumped on his being worth £150 million and completely out of touch. He is right and they are wrong.

29
Aug
2013
Harrods FI

A mighty fine meal for 30p

Creating a meal for 30p whilst helping to eliminate food waste   On the blog that preceded ‘The Steeple Times’, Matthew Steeples wrote this article in December 2011. We republish it here given the response we’ve had to our article on food poverty and the comments of Jamie Oliver and Jack Monroe.

25
Aug
2013
Texas Joe's FI

Jerking the Dragons

Despite “Dragons’ Den” deal between Peter Jones and “Texas Joe” Walters falling apart, Texas Joe’s still does deal with Sainsbury’s   Last week on the BBC series Dragons’ Den, an unusual thing happened: a self-styled ‘dragon’ invested more than an individual was pitching for. In the time since, the whole deal, it has been revealed, collapsed.

25
Aug
2013
William Seth-Smith FI

William Seth-Smith: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with Xero Vodka founder William Seth-Smith   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? I try never to turn down adventure for the sake of easy apathy.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Those that mind don’t matter and those than matter don’t mind.  

21
Aug
2013
Frank Spence FI

Tripping out

Matthew Steeples suggests TripAdvisor needs to reform its ways   I’ve written about the ‘Trippies’ (those who write reviews on TripAdvisor) before and just like the ‘Groupies’ (voucher loving Groupon users), I’ve had direct experience of their type. They’re an accursed nuisance.

15
Aug
2013
Vijay Mallya FI

Mallya’s Waterloo

Has booze baron Vijay Mallya met his match?   The Indian tycoon and self-proclaimed “King of Good Times” Vijay Mallya has long been lauded as a mammoth success story but finally, as he faces potential prosecution for alleged non-payment of taxes, it seems as if he may have lost his Midas touch.

05
Aug
2013
Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson FI

Throttling a table

Diners flock to ‘The Throttler’s Table’ at Scott’s   Last week The Sun revealed that Scott’s in Mayfair has been “inundated with requests” for the table where Charles Saatchi (allegedly) throttled Nigella Lawson.

04
Aug
2013
Nosh and Chow Townhouse FI

Northern lights

Steffen Timm takes a tour of Stockholm’s best haunts for cigar lovers   Stockholm is regarded as one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. In fact, there is something magical about it, in particularly during the early summer, when the parks and public spaces along the water are filled with locals who seem to praise every second of sunlight after a long, cold and dark winter.

26
Jul
2013
Marcus Schelbert FI

Marcus Schelbert: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with Marcus Schelbert, food and beverage duty manager of Belgraves – A Thompson Hotel   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? My friends, my family and my passion for my work, drinks and food.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Don’t talk, just do it as it could be the last day of your life”.  

24
Jul
2013
eShisha FI

Sussing out the shisha

Jessica Naylor reviews eShisha’s range of sisha sticks   ‘Shisha Pens’ are taking London by storm. With no nicotine, tar or tobacco, these 100% water vapour based ‘shisha sticks’ have fast become this summer’s most sought after accessory and in my view eShisha are the best out there.

15
Jul
2013
Loch Fyne Restaurants Covent Garden FI

A Fyne accord

A review of Covent Garden’s Loch Fyne Restaurant   In May 2004, the car park of the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar at Clachan in Argyll, Scotland became famous after Gordon Brown and John Prescott met there to discuss and agree who would be Tony Blair’s successor.

15
Jul
2013
Derek Taylor FI

Derek Taylor: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with businessman, restaurateur and philanthropist Derek Taylor   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Never give up on your dreams.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Do as you would be done by.  

14
Jul
2013
Amelia Rope FI

Amelia Rope: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with chocolatier Amelia Rope   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Drive and determination.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Keep it simple, remain focused and go for it.  

12
Jul
2013
Interview in progress FI

The tables are turned

Matthew Steeples answers food writer Jamie Cotter-Craig’s questions   I’m used to asking questions. So far, I’ve done over a hundred “What’s on your mantelpiece?” interviews with people ranging from champion jockey Frankie Dettori to hedge fund titan Alan Miller via glamour model Leah Newman and author Kathy Lette.

11
Jul
2013
Margarita FI

Madams and margaritas

The brass of Chelsea   Though the characters of Chelsea are changing, the murky world beneath its privileged surface will never disappear.

26
Jun
2013
Co-op wine FI

Student wine

A review of the Co-operative’s  own brand Valpolicella 2011 wine by history student Fred Sculthorp   To purchase a wine is to engage in the very drama of winemaking. It is to queue in anticipation, to buy a ticket to the show.  

26
Jun
2013
Saatchi FI

Dinner for one

Charles Saatchi returns to the scene of the ‘throttling’   Charles Saatchi has been dining out a lot lately. With his ‘domestic goddess’ wife holed up in her sister’s flat in Mayfair, the art mogul put on an especially strong show of defiance by returning to Scott’s on Monday night to take the very same table where he allegedly ‘throttled’ Nigella Lawson.

22
Jun
2013
Gilpin's FI

Give us a Gilpin’s

A review of Gilpin’s Gin and a call to save juniper   This week it was reported that there’s a crisis in the world of gin. Juniper, the plant that provides the botanical essential to create this remarkable spirit, is threatened by loss of habitat and a deadly new fungus.  

21
Jun
2013
Rosa's Soho FI

A little bit of Rosie Lee

A review of Rosa’s Thai Café in Dean Street, Soho   Soho isn’t my natural haunt. I frankly find it gritty and grimy and at night it’s impossible to get a cab back to my homeland, SW3. It was with trepidation therefore that I ventured there to a restaurant in Dean Street but in Rosa’s I found something pleasantly surprising.

19
Jun
2013
Wiki Tiki FI

Cheers to Assange!

Another cocktail for Julian Assange   Yesterday, we suggested five of the best things that could be sent to cheer up Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who “celebrates” a year of costing the taxpayer some £4 million policing his having fled bail, in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge.  

10
Jun
2013
Afternoon tea FI

A tea that flowers

A floral afternoon tea at the InterContinental London Westminster   “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me” the novelist C. S. Lewis is reported as having once said in the Little Giant Encyclopedia: Tea Leaf Reading. He is right on both fronts and tea lovers in London would do well to head to the new InterContinental London Westminster to sample their floral afternoon tea.  

09
Jun
2013
No 3 cocktail competion FI

Winning gin

Matthew Steeples of ‘The Steeple Times’ joins the judging panel of the No. 3 London Dry Gin 2013 competition   Last week, I was invited to sit on a panel that many of my friends would envy a position on by Berry Bros. & Rudd. I was asked to judge gin cocktails.  

27
May
2013
Matthew Gilpin FI

Matthew Gilpin: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks Matthew Gilpin, the creator of Gilpin’s Gin: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Creativity: The only thing that endures.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? Stay jolly. However bad things get being grumpy is rarely the answer.   Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? Most TV celebrities from my childhood. Allegedly…   Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? The rites of passage of youth – which get fewer as you get older. And my father – if he were alive…

24
May
2013
Fillipe Ricchi FI

Fillipe Ricchi: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks The Palm’s barman Fillipe Ricchi: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “Happiness and success”.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Trust yourself”.   Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? Racism.   Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? I don’t miss anything. I’m very, very lucky.   What might you swap all your wealth for? I’d love to open a business. I’d love to open a bar.   Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a…

23
May
2013
Spaghetti House siege FI

Dramatic dining: Sieges and shootouts

London restaurants where diners got more than they bargained for   In the first in a series, we tell the stories of five restaurants in Central London where diners sadly got a little more than dinner. All bar Walton’s are still open.  

20
May
2013
Ezio Arceri FI

Ezio Arceri: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks The Palm’s supervisor Ezio Arceri: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? My family and girlfriend.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Let’s do it”.   Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? Who is Kerry Katona? That the average life is just 90 years. People should live longer.   Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? My family as I am far away from them.   What might you swap all your wealth for? I’m happy as I am.   Donald Trump…

15
May
2013
Dale Thomson FI

Dale Thomson: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks The Palm’s barman Dale Thomson: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “A positive attitude”.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Live and let others live”.   Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? The way we continue to treat one another.   Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? Home.   What might you swap all your wealth for? Health is my wealth. I wouldn’t want to swap it.   Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank…

14
May
2013
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009

Five of the best: Deals for those visiting the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Steeple Times suggests five of the best deals to accompany the RHS Chelsea Flower Show   ‘The Season’ is nearly upon us and we at The Steeple Times especially look forward to a number of events. Our favourite has to be Masterpiece (26th June to 3rd July) but we also love the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21st to 25th May). Below, we suggest a few other ideas for readers visiting the show

14
May
2013
Chris Rabout FI

Chris Rabout: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks chef Chris Rabout: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “If you’re not first, you’re last”.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? If I did have a motto, it would be: “Hold on and be strong”.