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Paul Bell

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  1. There having a laugh right? Sounds like another pointless exercise in self publicity and glorification.
  2. Sorry for not posting earlier v busy, and in deference to Jay/The Observer won't go into details but: mm well where to start with Union Undeb, well leaving was good, when we got through the security door, and to be fair the company was very pleasant. Service was it bad or just really amateurish and under staffed. Food decidedly average have had worse in Cardiff, but everything heavily oversalted, stuff on the menu that was not on the plate, somethings overcooked, and a very bad dessert which neither of us could finish trifle with Jam anyone! best avoided thanks to Jay all the same though Paul
  3. Le Cassoulet has closed. Best place so far definitely Le Gallois (closed this week and possibly next for summer holidays). Da Venditto good Italian food, wine list absolute rubbish Valentino's good 'old style' Italian food Topo Gigio rubbish 'old style' Italian food Armless Dragon & Woods Brasserie, good ingredients fairly simply done, both promising. Tides MPW ha ha Paul
  4. Have been away, have returned, have volunteered to undertake the burdensome task of eating at someone else's expense. Paul
  5. Interesting about Petrus, as the last time we went April-ish it was excellent and by far the best of our visits there, the room is piss poor though. My understanding is that the restaurant at the Berkeley will be Marcus Wareing's restaurant, where he is aiming to get 2/3 stars etc and he will only do that by cooking there. It was never the intention that he should be at Fleur, and I understand that he is executive type chef thing at the Savoy, as in doing menu, overseeing, choosing staff etc but not actually there, often. I assume he was around a lot at the beginning because the opening was a big event for him and Petrus had closed, with the Berkeley not being ready. Paul
  6. Andy a few questions bearing in mind that Alan Murchison was head chef not owner, it is owned by a venture capital type thingy people, I believe. what happened to the previous kitchen brigade? as L'Ortolan was 'done up' not that long ago I assume the £3 million quid was spent prior to the post John Burton-Race re-opening and has not just been spent. the 2 stars bit is interesting, why 2 and not 3? where is the expectation that 2 stars are achievable, when Harvey's in Bristol only ever got one (not being harsh, just sounds like PR b*****ks to me). it seemed promising when Alan Murchison took over!! Chef's can't trust 'em. Paul
  7. Another chef that did not last long then! Had a look at the website, noted that it is a limited menu, don't seem to have limited their prices though, menu gourmand £49, not much of an introductory offer Paul
  8. and don't forget those who pronounce it as scown, somewhere up north I think. Paul
  9. No no no, cream first, otherwise the reduced friction caused by Jam in between the cream and the scone reduces the amount of cream that can be applied. You then use a jam spoon (we're posh in Devon) to dribble a small amount of jam on top. Paul
  10. Don't know if it is a coincidence but until recently every Relais & Chateaux place I have been to have either offered free mineral water or have charged for the first bottle only. (Waterside Inn & Gidleigh Park for example, plus several in France). Although on our recent trip to France I think more were charging by the bottle, but a surprising number automatically asked if we just wanted a carafe of water. Paul
  11. mmm perhaps adventurous was not the best word, I meant it in relation to the Bath Priory rather than to say Fat Duck. Bath Priory sticks pretty closely to the modern British (i.e. French with a mediterranean bit chucked in) idiom, you know pan fried sea bass with shellfish risotto, roast rack of lamb that sort of thing, but does it very well and sometimes exceptionally well. The Moody Goose has a similar modern British style but would use more traditional vegetable accompaniments (swede, turnip, cauliflower stuff, albeit not during the summer I guess), or would be the sort of place to possibly include lambs tongue or kidney with your rack of lamb, that sort of thing. The sort of thing you would possibly not do in a five star hotel in Bath but can do in your own restaurant. Paul
  12. Best 2 restaurants in Bath are Moody Goose (centre of town) and Bath Priory (couple of miles out of town). Both starred, Priory does better food, Moody Goose is more adventurous and informal. With all respect to Duncan (and I have met him so don't want to offend him ) I disliked Fishworks quite intensely as a sort of sub Rick Stein copy , not half as good and charging the same prices. The way you can choose your fish is good, but when we were there the cooking of it was not great, and the mashed potato was rubbish. Mind you, we have not visited for a year so the above view may be more reliable. No 5 Bistro used to do quite good mediterranean bistro food, grilled Tuna etc and is a nice informal space to sit. Paul
  13. Best overall meal (UK) GR @ RHR (with an honourable mention to Petrus which was close to perfect a couple of months ago). Worst meal - MPW Tides in Cardiff (nasty) Most overpriced/overrated (have to go abroad for this one) - Georges Blanc in Vonnas Best value - JSW in Petersfield (fantastic cooking at a good price esp at lunch, from a kitchen the size of our very small bathroom, think Merchant House and then quarter it). Best main course - Roast pork with black pudding, mustard mash and apple cider sauce - Old Chesil Rectory, Winchester Best fish - John Dory with Smoked Haddock Veloute, GR @ RHR Most consistently excellent (not counting GR) Foliage and The Square. Most consistently visited St John Most irritating sommelier - the older one at The Square, (not the new 16 year old who is good). Best Sommelier - still Matthew Wilkin at The Capitol Best sunday lunch - Putney Bridge
  14. Attempted to book for tomorrow lunchtime, but they are full. Apparently they are only using a limited amount of the space available for the first couple of weeks. Paul
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