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Everything posted by BertieWooster

  1. My second favourite town in the Dales. Depends on your definition of QPR though. 45 minutes gives you a beeg range. It will get you to the Yorke Arms at Ramsgill, the Angel at Hetton and The Dev Arms none of which probably qualify for a meal for nine (though the Dev has a bistro which is good qpr). Hell, you could probably make it to Harrogate. Should you want to. Going the other way to the Red Lion at Burnsall (used to be highly rated, nowadays less so, but still good food), the Dev Fell (quality bistro), and then up into the dales, past the Kilnsey Trout Farm (sells the best fish and chips in Wharfedale), the Fox and Hounds in Starbotton and the Buck at Buckden, all do good quality pub food at not too expensive prices. There's also the White Lion at Cray and whatever the pub at Hubberholme is called--which is probably the most beautiful of the lot. There are also good pubs in Malham and Litton. The Amerdale House restuarant country-house hotel in Arncliffe is in one of the most beautiful locations in the country, but the food (despite two rosettes) wasn't to my taste at least. In Grassington itself you have the Devonshire Arms (a pub this time), which is pleasant, good place to eat. The Fountaine at Linton I haven't eaten at since it got taken over, but it used to have excellent restaurant-level food. There's also a very good veggie cafe in Grassington itself, but thats probably not of any interest. Best bet for value might be to head back towards Ilkley. The Craven Arms at Appletreewick (pronounced 'Appletrick') is wonderful on a summer's day should we find one. Huge salads, good beef (you're getting into Lishman's of Ilkley territory here), excellent beer. IN Ilkley you have Farsyde which is a GFG-listed restaurant, and lovely, not too pricey, very friendly, the best type of local-restaurant. You also have The Vaults which has the best qpr in the valley (okay, its effectively my local when home), superb food, top beer, good wine list, and is worth seeking out. *takes breath out*
  2. Well, that's the issue. They charge in the room too (I have no issue with them doing it or banning it at table). ONly if they have to provide glasses/an ice bucket. The Samling did this, and we had a massive row with them. My view is people who are likely to bring a bottle of champagne from outside and drink it in their room are probably likely to have more to drink in the restaurant/bar. At Hipping at least they warn you of this charge on the booking confirmation, which makes it much harder to argue with. The Samling didn't, so we ended up refusing to pay. But The Samling didn't like the fact on the second night we had a carpet picnic from the wonderful Booth's in Kendal. As far as I'm concerned, if you're in a massive room, over-looking the lakes, a picnic is an essential. Course, as some of you know, I also like having an argument.
  3. We did a weekend at Hipping Hall last, uhhr, weekend. Worthy of a very full report, but I don't haave the time. Suffice to say best non-star meal I've had since early Anthony's, if of a rather different style. One of the amuses (cod with a deep-fred egg) sticks securely in the mind, as does a main of halibut, macaroni and mushrooms. Mrs W. had a pig's head (well, cheeks, tongue and eye-socket) which was judged superb. And the TArte Tatin, while not up to RHR standards, manages to clog the arteries as it should. Service is excellent, friendly (and mostly English which is fairly rare) without being cloying. Mr Wildsmith who owns the place is a great host if diffident in that English upper-middle-class style to the point of silence at some moments (cue mutual embarassment). Breakfast is massive, black pudding very similar to that at The Star. ONly downside (Apart from two days of rain) were minor things to do with the rooms. Its a restaurant with rooms that charges at 4* hotel rates, and does two things seemingly taken from The Samling (where they also wound us up)--no tea and coffee facilties in the room, which means being charged to have a cuppa. Oh, and a corkage charge on brought-in wine/champagne. INteresting mixture of clients too. ONly wonder is how they make the numbers work. Easily worthy of a star (far better than places like Fischer's), if it was three miles to the south-east, I'd rank it in the top three Yorkshire country places with The STar and The Yorke Arms.
  4. Not to mention the return of Robert Owen Brown. Now that place I'm really looking forward to.
  5. and, getting back to the topic of the thread, we had that Jay Rayner in for lunch. Or his double.
  6. You had an evil Saturday night? We had over-stimulated 'celebs' getting into fights. I don't understand why, if you're booking for 7, you would expect the restuarant to then have an empty table for the last two hours of service. Things, I agree, should be different when doing a tasting menu (after all, they're usually substantially more expensive), but places have to make money. Though I'm with Erica on this one. I like eating late, and at LCS, RHR and PEtrus a 10 or 10-30 booking means seeing the waiters more relaxed and usually being turned out on to the streets at 1 in the morning. Much more fun, and less stuffy. Otherwise lunchtime for a tasting menu is lovely. LIke leaving a cinema and it still being light, leaving a fine dinerie in mid-afternoon (smoking ban meaning one can't stay in the bar area until well into the next sitting as used to be the case at Anthony's) gives the rest of the day a slightly distant warm glow.
  7. evening falls late in July! No, the food at L'Enclume is well worth it. I'm only nit-picking on what they need to do to move to stellar level, and agreeing with Gary's point over providing their own competition.
  8. I'm not sure why your friend would make that comment. Surely you would visit L'Enclume for a completetly different experience to that of Rogan & Co. ← Well thats what you'd assume. But L'Enclume, thanks to the layout and the service doens't provide much of an 'experience'. Something they need to work on. Providing 18 or 25 courses doth not an experience make.
  9. Speaking as someone who has between 500 and 1000 goths outside his venue every weekend, I agree in theory. Unfortunately, the hair dye in toilets, the all-day drinking (and vomiting) and the fights make one tend to disagree in practice. Gary, there was a lower ground level as well which had bars in it. Dunn if it still will have
  10. Wonder how the local goths will react to that? Do they actually mean the lower-gorund floor where the current bars are? No, presumably the actual ground floor. But if Threadneedle are re-developing the whole space as a boutique foodie place, he's just being brought in as a name I guess? Oh yeah, and terrible headline!
  11. Or the fact that you can't get the spelling right. Didn't you study the GReek myths at school? This n That is only good cos its cheap. Without that people would go 'but this is all frozen veg not very well re-heated...'
  12. I shall let you off then! Mind, our lunch menu does a wicked fshnchps now.
  13. Is that a euphemism one wonders. We're not good enough for your mates anymore, huh?
  14. On Manchester, as with London, it all depends how long you're there and whereabouts you are. Manchester is best known for Chinese and for its curry mile. It has one or two outstanding restuarants and a couple of very solid British-food type ones. If you're near the city centre, Red Chilli is Szechuan, fun, adventurous, and a must on any visit list. Yang Sing is a more traditional (still good, possibly over-rated) Chinese as you would expect in the UK (ie mostly Cantonese). Curry-wise, if you're feeling adventurous, the Northern QUarter curry cafes were created for the local workers in the rag trade, are very cheap and mostly superb. They don't serve alcohol on the whole. I love Hunter's, Thom loves one of the others. Posh curry is led by EastZEast which is lovely if a bit 'luvvy' as its very near the BBC--posh curry still doesn't mean you have to dress up though. If you're in the south of the city, Didsbury has the superb Jem & I, laid-back excellent friendly bistro with a bib gourmand, and Green's, usually rated one if the country's best veggie places. Outstanding (but still not dependent on dress code I would say) is Abode in the city centre, worth doing a google on. Ithaca has got outstanding reviews for its Japanese/sushi and over-the-top styling. Grado's is a 'still good, but not as good as it should be' Spanish. The MArket is very seventies English, the CIty Inn is recovering from losing its chef, but still doing good quality British. The Modern I can't comment on. The best pubs to visit in or near the city centre include Sam's CHop House (also for proper Brit food, pies and roasts and stuff), the Briton's Protection, the Peak and just outside The Marble Arch. Best bars--Trof, Cornerhouse, Bluu, and whatever is bar of the month in the current Olive magazine. HTH
  15. Definitely go for the Tour first. Perhaps even go for the 8-courser if they still do that. There's a fair amount of padding in the UNderground (one of the courses is cheese n biscuits after all!), and there's little sense of the occasion that should accompany just an extravaganza (and such a name! You'd expect a separate room and be-jewelled houris serving...(why don't restaurants use houris anymore?))
  16. Hmm. An interesting one. I didn't put up a review because, uhhr, I also have a very mixed reaction--I had full notes on the menu, but thats elsewhere in the country right now. We did the full 25-courser (part of my continuing 'recovering vegetarianism'). Some of it (deconstructed cartmel pudding, surrealist tequila slammer, something involving eggs being poached in front of you) was superb. Some of it was dreadful (the 'main' which was venison with banana was, well, even thinking about it brings me out in spots. I thought I'd have trouble with the venison, but, no, just the combination), and some of it was so-so. All of which is fine. I don't expect to like everything on the menu at such an experience. The real problem is to compare the L'Enclume experience to its peers (Fat DUck, etc). A 25-courser done with Rogan's expertise has to be about performance, the surrounding elements have to be right. And in the current venue, with the current staff, they're not. The staff are lovely, but the majority of them have such heavy accents its difficult to decipher what the dishes actually are (we only worked out the tequila slammer on viewing the menu the next day), which has to be part of the sheer delight at meeting such combinations. One of the dishes I totally misheard as 'liver' rather than 'vanilla', and my preconceptions of the mix implied led me to hate something that should have just been a bit bland (and Mrs W. loved). The room is still more suited to a leisurely lunch than to a very special (and very expensive) evening meal. With the exception of the opening 'dehydration/rehydration' and the use of a syringe for poaching egg in a chinese soup, there was no performance associated with the presentation, something that adds to the taste, the anticipation, everything. Heck, there wasn't even someone to thank us and say 'goodnight' on our way out, which, when you've spent 300+ sovs on a meal for two, is a little insulting. So, still mixed. We'll be back as its only ninety minutes or so from Manc, and its such a lovely village, but can it improve if Rogan is also working on the new place?
  17. We were in Cartmel when it had its opening. Having eaten at L'Enclume the night before, Mrs W blaggd her way into the opening party where a) Simon was very nice and (b) Mrs Rogan wandered past every couple of minutes shooting us poisonous looks as being out of place. As going to dreadful opening parties is stock-in-trade for both of us, and therefore something of a busmans' holiday, we escaped through a fire door before Novelli arrived to open and went to the pub next door. Where the locals spent their time complaining about how none of them had been invited and how the Rogans took the village/town for granted. Apparently a new team, be interesting to see how SR balances his time between the two ventures. Interesting menu though.
  18. What happens if you want to go to the loo? Actually, I can guess...
  19. Haven't been to Abode yet, but Thom and various others who have rate the food very very highly. One michelin-hungry friend described it as 'the best meal I've had in years'. The setting (basement dining) is another matter. Expect toi see it covered ion the nationals damn quick... Highly partial review here.
  20. Yeah he doesn't have the Little Chef-like photos at Northcote either. Shame.
  21. Oddly (well, not so oddly as the sun is out), I was looking at a draft only today. Should be ready for the end of the month/first week of June. The duck and monkfish are staying. Different bits of lamb and cow will be served, theres a rather nice Whole Dover Sole with Morecambe Bay shrimps going on, they're talking about Salmon, but not sure whether that's happening. And the lunch menu continues to prosper (thats not really eG material, though I'd happily put our fshnchps up against anyone in a cage fight). More importantly there's a vast array of even more lethal cocktails.
  22. Don't you find it difficult to cook carrying the weight of those chips on your shoulder? I was more surprised to know that Thom has his hair cut like that...
  23. Just to note that Nigel Haworth's menu is now available at Northcote. Which is odd as the chef at Northcote isn't Nigel. Mrs W. had the thing with Cod, trotters and tripe, which worked a treat. I had something off the main menu which was billed as halibut with 'cheese souffle' and turned out to be cheesy fish. The dish de nos jours.
  24. Eyck leaving confirmed here. Along with the return of an old, uhhr, adversary.
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