One cannot fault Charlie McVeigh’s attitude towards beer, and the places that sell the fine hop-laden stuff. After associating himself with countless high-end venues, most notably Rowley Leigh’s Le Cafe Anglais, he has opened a trio of establishments in southwest London that aim to provide interesting and reasonably priced food with a staggeringly ambitious range of beers.
“We all know the attraction of ‘sourcing’ at Borough Market. Somehow in your basket, along with the cheeses, spices, ham, and jam, and other culinary nick-nacks, you are buying credibility, an authenticity that Ocado can’t deliver.”
“The Cumbraes were delectable, tantamount to standing on a seaside peer and having the refreshing surf sprayed into one’s face by a young scoundrel with a water-pistol.” Jonesy dines at Wright Brothers…
As the aromas of black truffle waft through the restaurant, I glimpse a sea of grey Patrick Batemans, like bowler-hatted figures from a René Magritte painting, interminably colourless against the zest of Mazzei’s cooking.
“J.D., QC is a sophisticate like myself, boasting a detailed knowledge of the finer things that make life bearable. My reputation was at stake. I needed to deliver reliability for quality, but with uplift. There is only one place: Quo Vadis.”
Coalescing into a trend at the V&A end of Old Brompton Road is the French brasserie-cum-bistro. There are three notable examples: Henry Harris’ excellent Racine, Marlon Abela’s Cassis and, last but certainly not least, the Brompton Bar & Grill.
“The tables are dark wood and the banquettes are deep red leather. The zinc bar shines in the warm, carefully conceived light, and there’s a sense we could be in one of those Bonnieux bars in the late 1980s.”
La Pergola, the only three Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome, and one of a mere eight in all of Italy, has a substantial reputation to live up to. Alex Larman and the Holy Roman Empress went to test the water…
“I was here for one purpose: grouse. I wasn’t exactly going to get the first bird from the Glorious Twelfth season, but no matter; I was told if you want grouse in London, The Grill at the Dorchester was the place to go.”
When Heston Blumenthal bought his second pub in Bray, a few disgruntled locals of the gastro-hamlet expressed their irritation. There were puffed out cheeks and the waving of fists. Understandably, the inhabitants wished to hold onto their local ale house. How has The Crown fared?
The number 36, in association with the ‘Solar Square’ of ancient Western tradition, stands for ‘sun’ and ‘warmth’. As of September, it’s also the name of Nigel Mendham’s new restaurant at Dukes Hotel.