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.
TIPPLE & FARE - Food, drink and fine dining
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happiness and gin are interconnected It’s officially true: Happiness and gin go together.
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.
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.
Restaurant openings and closings in Chelsea this month
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The brass of Chelsea Though the characters of Chelsea are changing, the murky world beneath its privileged surface will never disappear.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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
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”.
The Steeple Times asks hospitality consultant Debbie Eybers: “What’s on your mantelpiece?” The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “My belief in right and wrong”. “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “We plan, God laughs”.
The Steeple Times asks Michelin starred chef Michael Wignall: “What’s on your mantelpiece?” The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? The quest for perfection and happiness. “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? Hoop earrings, pink velour tracksuits and Crocs. Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? Going to work when it is light, and coming back from work when it is still light. What might you swap all your wealth for? Youth. Donald Trump…
The Steeple Times asks head sommelier of The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant Louise Gordon: “What’s on your mantelpiece?” The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Family, friends and the aim of one day owning my own business. “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Per Ardua ad Astra” – “Through Adversity to the Stars”. Both my parents are ex-RAF so it is the first motto that I learnt and the one that has stuck with me.
The Steeple Times asks drinks industry guru and blogger Gary Hazell: “What’s on your mantelpiece?” The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “Go with your inner instinct”. I always think that most of us know instinctively what is right or wrong. “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? I’d agree with that. I have a salmon priest in my backpack right now to prove that. Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? She still is. Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? I miss Tony Blair. What might you…
The tale of a thief with taste Nobody likes at an alcohol thief but sadly, here at The Steeple Times have to write about a fair few of them. Most recently, we wrote of the case of Romain Brunot, a man so partial to Krug and Belvedere that he helped himself to some £75,000 worth of the stuff. Brunot got a short jail sentence but today we feature a man exposed by Conrad Black’s National Post for stealing a $26,000 bottle of whisky.
Aldi’s £9.65 a bottle gin sees off premium spirits in a taste test Gin, in its simplest form is effectively a neutral spirit plus juniper berries. Other botanicals, such as cassisa bark, saffron and grapefruit peel, are added and create the taste difference that distinguish Bombay Sapphire from Plymouth and Sipsmith from Martin Miller’s. Of course, the magic that sets a great gin apart from a bad‘un is a little more complex but though drinks industry “experts” bang on about this, does the layman really care?
A happy hour with a difference launches at The Palm in London’s Belgravia Opened in May 2009, The Palm replaced the legendary restaurant Drones of Pont Street. Amongst the original backers of Drones were David Niven Jr. and Sir Roger Moore. Nicky Kerman, a titan of the restaurant world, was another part owner. A later reincarnation was the brainchild of television chef Antony Worrall Thompson. Of the décor of this era, critic Nick Foulkes described it as: “Daphne’s meets The Magic Roundabout with a touch of Swedish sauna”. Next came a lady named Annie Foster Firth and most recently it opened as Marco Pierre White’s Drones in 2001.
The average cost of a pint of real ale passes £3 The late Margaret Thatcher had two connections with milk. First the “Milk Snatcher” was credited with being responsible for stopping free milk for school children in 1971 and then in a letter to her agriculture minister, Peter Walker, in 1979, she stated: “I do not believe such a large increase is possible politically. 1.5p is a great addition to the housewife’s budget. 1p is all she will bear”.
Forthcoming restaurant openings in Chelsea The restaurant business is a transient place and it seems no more so than in Chelsea. Places come and go here and though there are a number of mainstays that have lasted for a considerable length of time, some last barely even two years. Beauchamp Place, commonly known to many as “bankrupt alley” is a prime example and despite rave reviews, venues such as Galoupet lasted less than a year. Equally, Farhad Farman-Farmaian’s Beauchamp Club, lauded as a rival to Annabel’s by Vanity Fair and W Magazine, is now empty and elsewhere on Sydney Street, Frankie Dettori’s Sette has now become Marco Pierre White’s Sydney Street Grill.
The Steeple Times asks Blue Boar Smokehouse chef Jon Ingram: “What’s on your mantelpiece?” The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Seasonality, traceability and simplicity. “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid. Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013? Green peppers and bad personal hygiene. They both stink. Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life? My family. What might you swap all your wealth for? I don’t have any wealth. I’m a chef Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you…
A review of Westminster’s Blue Boar Smokehouse Westminster is one of the most intriguing parts of London but it can also be one of the most soulless. It’s an area that is inhabited by politicians and civil servants and it is the haunt of tourists. It’s a place of regal pageantry and ceremony but equally, it’s not a place that true Londoners flock to for food or drinks. Yes, of course, the tourists head to see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and 10 Downing Street, but locals don’t venture to these historical landmarks all that readily apart from if summoned by Her Majesty, the Archbishop of Westminster or David Cameron. With the opening of the Intercontinental London…
A review of The New Inn at Roborough, North Devon The New Inn at Roborough in North Devon isn’t the easiest place to find. It’s hidden away in a rural backwater, so be sure not to rely on your Sat-Nav to get you to this traditional Devonshire pub. If you do, you’ll be taken on a wild goose chase up hill and down dale but when you eventually arrive you’ll find a warm welcome and a menu that’s a little out of the ordinary.
Michael Benjamin pays a visit to Marylebone tea shop, Amanzi Try walking into Starbucks and just asking for a cup of coffee. It is now an old joke. The pun is that whereas you used to be able to go to a café and order a cup of coffee, you now have to have to specify whether you want a latte, a cappuccino, a filter coffee, or no doubt a host of other varieties. Moreover, you must specify the size of cup and the type of milk, if any, you desire. This has not yet happened to tea. Ask for a cup of tea and the response will be: “Do you take milk or sugar?” Tea has…
A review of Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at 45 Park Lane Continuing our series of revisiting articles from the blog that preceded The Steeple Times, today we re-publish our review of CUT at 45 Park Lane. We’re delighted to report that it’s just as good today. Wolfgang Puck once commented that he “learned more from the one restaurant that didn’t work than from all the ones that were successes.” With the opening of his new restaurant, CUT, at The Dorchester Collection’s newest hotel, 45 Park Lane, he certainly proves that he learnt well. Now magnificently illuminated at night and featuring 24 metal panels by Thierry Despont, this narrow Park Lane building was unoccupied for 13 years until The…
A review of Fitzrovia speakeasy The Lucky Pig The Lucky Pig in Fitzrovia rather reminded me of a bar I once went to in North Beach, San Francisco. Dark and hidden in a basement, this speakeasy styled venue mixes a distressed interior with a clientele who look as if they’ve come straight from their desks at Saatchi & Saatchi.
Fever-Tree sells a 25% stake for £12 million In recent years, the premium spirits market has boomed in both Britain and America. Drinkers have traded up and become more and more demanding in their choices. Spirits brands have seized on this trend and created what they claim to be better products and enclosed them in fancier packaging. Many, such as No. 3 gin, Sipsmith and Purity Vodka, are truly excellent but frankly a lot of it is marketing hype. Accompanying the change has been a desire for a better mixer. The premise that it was illogical that a consumer buying a bottle of vodka for £50 would then mix it with cheap tonic water was the starting point…
A fusion breakfast on Sloane Square In the last couple of years, with a new management team for the landed Cadogan Estate, there have been many changes in terms of the area’s retail and culinary offerings. Sloane Street has seen the arrival of many new luxury brands and in addition, recent restaurant openings on Sloane Square have included Jeremy King and Chris Corbyn’s Colbert on the site of the old Oriel and Côte where the Chelsea Brasserie used to be. In the same block, which forms part of the Sloane Square Hotel, Marc Burton and his partner Guy Pelly, have opened a tequila bar named Tonteria that features a steam train that delivers drinks to the patrons.
An evening of fondue at Bodo’s Schloss in Kensington Bodo’s Schloss, a restaurant, bar and disco reminiscent of an Austrian alpine lodge, opened late last year and became an instant hit with the Chelsea set. For them and personalities such as Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow, in fact, it’s rather like a little slice of Lech and Zürs has come to London.
Matthew Steeples reports on the latest initiative from The Rib Room Last week my friends and I enjoyed an evening of live music at The Rib Room at Knightsbridge’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower. Each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30pm various artists perform in the buzzy bar of this fine establishment and amongst them is the jazz singer Emma Topolski. Topolski is the daughter of the actress Susan Gilmore and her rowing commentator husband Daniel Topolski. A collection of the works of her grandfather, Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989), a Polish born British expressionist painter best known for a 600ft mural depicting events and people of the 20th century, hangs in The Rib Room. The…
Marco Pierre White puts a rude radio presenter in his place We’re not quite sure what Australian breakfast radio presenters have been drinking this winter but they’ve certainly been causing a lot of offence. First, a prank call by 2Day FM’s Michael Christian and Mel Greig to the private hospital that treated the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have been the trigger for the suicide of a receptionist. There was rightly uproar and now the presenter of another station, Triple M’s Dale “Louie” Lewis, was so rude to Marco Pierre White that he terminated the interview. During the pre-recorded discussion, Lewis made about quip about Pierre White’s marriages and then stated: “If you’re the…
Matthew Steeples leaves a tribute to Michael Winner As I’ve said before, Michael Winner (30th October 1935 – 21st January 2013) was like Marmite. He was loved and loathed in equal measure. Restaurants put up signs announcing “This restaurant is a Michael Winner free zone” after banning him for the most obnoxious and sometimes truly unfair reviews but his fans celebrated him in equal measure. Winner is best known both for his Death Wish films and as a restaurant critic and I would suggest that the world is a poorer place for his passing. Yes, he was a preposterous buffoon with a capability to offend but surprisingly he also often stood for all that was right and decent….
Five of the best places to enjoy a great lunch deal in The Royal Borough It being January, we’re all after a deal. Here are a few places that you can enjoy on a budget in the country’s most expensive borough. Sette, 4 Sydney Street, SW3, 6PP Situated in the heart of Chelsea, this stylish Italian restaurant is popular with locals and visitors alike. Owned by Frankie Dettori MBE, where else can you get to sit amongst rock and racing stars for just £15 for a two course set lunch that includes a glass of wine? The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, 1 Cadogan Place, London, SW1X 9PY Ably managed by Michele Caggianese, this…
Matthew Steeples suggests Westminster City Council have no place meddling with how the humble burger is cooked In the last week both the Evening Standard and BigHospitality.co.uk revealed that Westminster City Council had served notice on a restaurant named Davy’s for “undercooking” burgers. Current Food Standards Agency guidelines state that burger meat should be cooked at 70°C for two minutes and it is suggested that Davy’s have failed to adhere to this. A spokesman for Davy’s told the Evening Standard: “[Our] burgers are produced from high quality ingredients and Davy’s contends that it has safe measures in place to serve rare or medium-rare burgers.” John Cadieux of Burger & Lobster went further in his comment: …
Michael Winner retires as a restaurant critic Restaurateurs throughout the land are sighing with relief: Michael Winner has hung up his hat and retired as a restaurant critic. Love or loathe him, Winner’s column for The Sunday Times has entertained and provoked the nation for some 20 years. In this time, he has been banned from establishments for his acerbic remarks and incurred the wrath of many of his readers. Mr Winner, who finally married Geraldine Lynton-Edwards last year and who is suffering with ill health, was lauded and mocked again today in a tribute article in the paper. One reader, Liam O’Flanagan commented: “How can we survive Sunday mornings without you?” whilst another, Sheila Taylor,…
A review of Hawksmoor Guildhall, EC2V In the first of a series, we publish a number of the most popular articles from the blog that conceived The Steeple Times. Here, in a February 2012 piece, Matthew Steeples reviews a boozy breakfast at Hawksmoor Guildhall with Anthony Brown. After seeing an image of their breakfast on Facebook this morning, we were reminded just how good it truly is, so if you haven’t tried it already – you really should. On arrival at the Hawksmoor Guildhall, in the heart of the City of London, I immediately found myself thinking about Edward Hopper’s iconic painting Nighthawks. Here, in this vast space, which can seat 160 in the restaurant and…
Christian Huhnt takes his first foray into the world of supper clubs I don’t usually find myself in the east of London. It’s not because I don’t like it but simply because it’s just an awful journey to get there from where I live. Eventually, though, a “secret” was able to convince me to make this long journey. This “secret,” I was told, could only be revealed to me if I “attended” it. Of what, you may ask, am I am rambling on about? I am talking of something called: “The Secret Supper Club.” Next, you’ll be asking: “What the heck is a ‘supper club’?” Well, in essence, a “supper club” is essentially a dinner in the company…