Mar 24, 2011

Dirt at the Wellcome Collection

Squirrel ragout, breat milk ice cream. This blog just gets creepier by the minute. I guess it was inevitable, since I'm the weirdo in charge.

Everyone knows I like to go on about how ridiculous our contemporary germophobia is, what a massive symbol it is of our alienation from nature, the historical roots of this massive hysteria, and the fact that people in India are quite ok with cow poo.

I once licked the handle of the 73 bus just to prove my point. I think Priscilla still has nightmares.

So hurray! The Wellcome collection are beginning a new expo on Dirt, and our relationship with it, that I'm massively excited to check that out.

It's called "Dirt, the Filthy Reality of Everyday Life".

Here is a little exerpt from one of the videos.

Shocking sociology, right up my alley.

Mar 17, 2011

50 best B&Bs

Ooooh. Spring is coming round, time to hit the countryside.

Here is The Independent's guide to the top 50 B&Bs in the UK. Very nice.

Vietnamese restaurants in Hoxton

These joints are London classics. For some reason there are several adjacent vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road. These places are always packed, and swarming with the hipsters de rigueur....

My absolute favourite is the Viet Grill. I shall do a better review soon enough, with photos and what not. I guess this is a place I come to so often, I end up never getting round to doing this properly.

There is also its little sister on Old Street, Cay Tre. Gorgeous food. Curries, Pho, seabass, lemongrass. Outstanding.

But this is the ultimate London cheap eat. I UUUURGE you to pop round.

You can have a tipper at the Jaguar Shoes afterwards, classic Shoreditch night out it is...

Viet Grill
58 Kingsland Road
Shoreditch, London E28DP, United Kingdom
020 7739 6686

Quirky bake sale for Red Cross Japan

This Friday, in Shoreditch, some of the city's top bakers are having a bake sale for charity. All the money is going to Red Cross Japan.

The cakes look amazing, shaped like sushi and other cute japanese-themed stuff. Top London patissiers such as Ms. Cupcake, Ed Kimber and Molly Bakes are contributing.

all photos from


Japan Bake Sale
Maiden, 188 Shoreditch High Street,
London, EC2.

Mar 11, 2011

More weird stuff. Fancy squirrel confit?

And after the breast milk ice cream debacle, we proudly present...the squirrel confit.

I guess it's like eating pigeon? Just another small creature, right? A restaurant in Clapham called Trinity has added squirrel to the menu, in pot roast or confit form.

Would you? I'll pass, but only because Clapham is a bit far for me nowadays...

Unfortunately these are farmed, and not hunted in Clapham Common with a BB gun. That would be cool.

Trinity actually seems like quite a nice joint, and has picked up a Time Out award for best local restaurant. Inerestin....

4, The Polygon, Clapham Old Town
Tel. 020 7622 1199

Mar 8, 2011

Morito in Exmouth Market

I'm in love. I just have the biggest food crush ever since moving to London. Wowzas. I'd heard about Morito several times, but because they don't take reservations never really ended up making it.

Well, what a waste of my time it has been to spend so many years this close without coming at least once a month to this place to gorge on the SPECTACULAR tapas.

The place is lovely, a tiny little spot, unpretentious, tiles and orange formica, tucked next to the mothership Moro in Exmouth Market. It's just what a tapas bar in Spain looks like, boisterous, busy, and fun.

And the food is out of this world. We started off with cute little pomegranate and cava cocktails, and got to work picking our tapas. We kicked off the festivities with a lamb and prune tagine. This is probably one of the best pieces of meat I have ever eaten. The spices (a hint of cardamon), the tenderness, just outrageous.

Then we had a classic pan con tomate, which was a bit too much tomate for the pan, but still lovely. We followed that with a bocadillo of bread, with jamon and fried quail eggs. I'm a sucker for a runny yolk, and this was just delicious, runny, crunchy, savoury, and beautifully cut by the acidity of the tomatoes.

We moved on to spinach with red onions, anchovies, pine nuts and raisins. Also nice, but maybe a bit heavy on the onion. We ate that together with some goat cheese, and everything worked rather nicely together.

And then, finally, lamb chops, succulent, doused with cumin and lime, exploding with flavour. Amazing. Finger licking good.

The bill was quite decent, five tapas, four cocktails, two beers, £60 pounds. Considering the quality of the food, a steal in my book.

I'm coming back here all the time. The food is on another level. The service is fantastic, the staff are lovely without being forced. The only hassle is the non booking policy, which basically means you have to arrive, leave your name at the door, go for a pint in the pub in the corner, and come back 45 minutes later when they call your mobile. A bit of a drag, but truly worth it.

32 Exmouth Market
Tel. 020 7278 7007


Shoreditch High Street station taking shape...

The revival of the "Great London Hotels"

I find the whole buzz a bit lame, I must admit. But hotels in London are undoubtedly a key aspect of the social scene, as well as the travel scene. And with the Olympics just round the corner, well I guess hotels could come in handy...

So I shall have my few words and get done with it. So you may have heard that we have seen some pretty major renovations lately, including the Savoy, and the 45 Park Lane (little brother to The Dorchester). The Savoy, on the Strand, is a classic, and looks lovely redone (it's right by LSE, so I do happen to swing by...). This is the first luxury hotel in London, and it has truly found its groove back. Gordon Ramsay is running the kitchen, and no matter how you feel about the guy, the food is never off key.

But really, what I cannot wait to see is the refurbished St. Pancras station hotel back in business. The neo-goth monstrosity (or pinacle of emo architecture, as I've decided to call it), which had been abandoned and had thus far somehow managed to resist many demolition attempts, has become a fixture of this city, and a symbol of its brash, innovative, risk-taking, and quirky people. It's kind of hideous, but I love it.

The hotel is set to reopen in May of this month, under the Renaissance brand, with spa rooms, barbers, a private club, and hopefully, a restaurant to match the decor in opulence. Markus Wareing is set to command something like a "British brasserie".

There is also Blumenthal taking over the kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental, and last year saw Bruno Loubet take over at The Zetter and Koffman at The Berkeley.

Hotel dining it is, then.