Evening Standard (Grace Dent) – Fera at Claridge’s
“…And then I visited Fera and ended up eating everything, including my silly words, because for me, what’s happening there feels decidedly magical.”
“From the lilting North West English accents of the staff — ask them anything, they will know — to the Guy Oliver-designed room where one entire wall is a shimmery sea-themed mosaic drawn in gold pen strokes, to the warm yet sedate ambience, down to the little keepsake personalised menu one is presented with at the end, I am fiercely pro-Fera.” writes Grace for ES Magazine. She also thought the food “ornate” and “laboriously concocted” and was particularly impressed by a “decadent bowl of whipped potato, cheese and duck heart” that smelled of “the universe’s greatest Sunday roast”. For the whole review, click here.
Also for AA Gill’s and Giles Coren’s reviews, click here.
Fera: 49 Brook Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7107 8888
ES Magazine (Joshi Herrmann) – The Imperial, 3 out of 5
“Chelsea mums have stolen their children’s drinking hole and put cheese slates and cauliflower tart on the menu. Who can argue with that?”
Joshi believes The Imperial Arms used to be “a bit rowdy”, however after refurbishment and a slimmed-down name, he thought the gastropub has different prospects: “The front bar area is airy, like the interior design shops that make up most of King’s Road’s western stretches.” Not all the food however impressed as Herrmann compared the beetroot risotto, with goat’s cheese, apple and fennel shoots to “baby food” and thought the cauliflower and lemon thyme tart was “a mess”. What he enjoyed though was the cheese slate “with lavosh and thin crostini, quince, celery, apple and compote” and the honey cheesecake, with crushed honeycomb that he thought was “exceptional”. For the review, click here.
The Imperial: 577 King’s Road, SW6
Telephone: 020 7736 6081
The Sunday Times (AA Gill) – Café Bleu, Newark
“This menu is full of good ideas but it’s making promises that the kitchen just isn’t up to acting on”
AA Gill was distinctly unimpressed by the food at Café Bleu. For the review, click here.
Atmosphere: * (out of 5)
Food: ** (out of 5)
Café Bleu: 14 Castle Gate, Newark NG24 1BG
The Times (Giles Coren) – Blanchette, London
“Blanchette is the Apple Store Genius Bar with food: a place where young people, full of zeal, are making the world a better place and smiling as they go.”
The Times‘ Giles Coren wrote up his visit of Blanchette last week and described it as “small and pretty and eclectically decorated.” He was particularly impressed with the lamb shoulder” which the waitress insisted I order, and it was terrific”, says Coren.
“… It was such a sexy environment. Not just the girls but the boys, too, with their big hair and spectacles, narrow black jeans and vintage Nikes, and the excellent music by bands who, if I had recognised their names, would have been appalled. And cheap, too. Maybe thirty quid for lunch. Genius.” For the review, click here.
Cooking: 7 out of 10
Service: 10 out of 10
Sustainability: 5 out of 10
Blanchette: 9 D’Arblay St, London, W1F 8DR
Telephone: 0207 439 8100
The Guardian (Marina O’Loughlin) – The New Angel
“I’m in a time machine…it’s as if the past 20 years never happened, but this Tardis adventure is no thrill.”
Marina wasn’t overly impressed with The New Angel. She found the interior “very brown”: “I’m trying hard, but nope, I can’t remember anything else about the décor.”; the meals she thought were suave with cream and butter: “the kitchen must use more dairy products than a cupcake bakery”; and the service: “old-school, smarmy/ clenched-style”. The only thing she seemed to have enjoyed was the ravioli of veal “dotted with tiny acidulated cubes of red onion in a glossy onion sauce (lovely)”. For the review, click here.
Food: 5 out of 10
Atmosphere: 4 out of 10
Value for Money: 4 out of 10
The New Angel: 39 Chepstow Place, London W2 4TS
Telephone: 0207 221 7620
The Observer (Jay Rayner) – The Parkers Arms
“The Parkers Arms is almost at the end of the road. It’s on the way to nowhere. They do only what they do. And they do it bloody well. “
The early signs were not good but then the food started to arrive and Jay soon realised there was nothing to fear. He imagined The Parkers Arms as “a village pub. Quite a cosy one, but just that.” And the menu he thought was “ordinary”, not “exceptional”.
“And then the food starts to arrive and it’s clear everything is going to be fine. No, everything is going to be very good indeed. As we await our starters they deliver a bowl of what they cheerfully call “potato scratchings”: deep-fried baked potato skins, scattered with flakes of sea salt, which snap between your fingers they are so crisp. Apparently they don’t like leftovers here. I like them for not liking leftovers.” says Jay. For the full review, click here.
The Parkers Arms: Newton-in-Bowland, near Clitheroe, Lancashire
Telephone: 01200 446 236
The Telegraph (Keith Miller) – Ostuni, London, 4.5 out of 5
” Ostuni offers quintessential Italian food in a congenial setting”
Keith thought Ostuni “marks a slick and well-thought-through attempt to get this hearty simplicity [of Pugliese cuisine] to work in an archetypal Cockney setting.”
“At £10 a head with a minimum order of two, the mixed antipasti doesn’t immediately proclaim itself a bargain, but you get tons of good stuff, by no means all of it quite what you would expect. Along with a smallish plate of good, diverse salami and moss-green olives came meatballs, mussels, croquettes, friselle (a species of deconstructed pizza), pickles and – after a second prompting – excellent bread. We also ordered a “hot pot” of salt cod, which came with stewed red and yellow peppers and capers, and was outstanding. You could eat this stuff all evening, frankly…” For the review, click here.
Ostuni: 43-45 Lonsdale Road, London NW6 6RA
Telephone: 020 7624 8035
The Sunday Telegraph (Zoe Williams) – Rivea London (Bulgari Hotel)
“Sure it’s professional here, but never without the lightness that makes perfection so charming.”
“Beautiful flavours and wonderful ingredients” is what sums up Zoe’s visit at Rivea London located between Harrods and the park in Knightsbridge.
She was genuinely impressed by the food, its freshness and pure favours: “Buffalo mozzarella with courgettes and basil (£7) was, again, defined by respect for the integrity of each flavour: nothing had been devised to mask or liven up anything else; each ingredient was perfect, and they related to one another as equals. We had asparagus with parmesan crisps (£8) and pasta with, accidentally, more asparagus (£10) – oh, the freshness.” For the review, click here.
Rivea: Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW
Telephone: 020 7151 1025
Time Out (Guy Dimond) – Typing Room, 4 out of 5
“Could Typing Room be the next big thing? It has all the right ingredients.”
Guy thought Typing Room’s setting is “quietly stylish”, the service “warm and professional” and the dishes are “intricate and exquisite”.
“A silky ‘patty’ of shaved raw beef was beautifully offset by the crunch of panko breadcrumbs and morsels of sweet smoked beetroot. A pigeon arrived entombed in a wooden box, tendrils of smoke curling up from the edges. Thankfully, the contents hadn’t been cremated, just gently smoked on a fragrant ‘nest’ of pine needles. Crisp-skinned chunks with tender, ruby-red middles were then carved and teamed with an intense jus, chewy barley and chunks of mellow, salt-baked celeriac.” writes Guy for Time Out.
Typing Room: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, E2
Telephone: 020 7871 0461