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Timothy Burke

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  1. Not sure this really helps but I'll point out that Rutland has a population of 35,000 and has two stars (Hambleton Hall and The Olive Branch) making one star per 17,500.
  2. If you can afford it Hambleton Hall, just outside Oakham, probably makes just inside a fifty mile radius of Coventry. Very old school country house hotel luxury, but the food is modern enough - and fantastic.
  3. The Ivy website has a a tab named service charge under "General Information" which says a discretionary 12.5 per cent will be charged. If our American friend really was charged 18 per cent then I assume they might have legal redress - could they be arsed.
  4. The Black Horse in Appleby Magna would seem to fit the bill for you. It won't change your life, but it's not too shabby. Friends love it but to tell the truth I've only been once - the belly of pork was outstanding though. Black Horse.
  5. I used to sign on in Bracknell many years ago. You're not far from L'Ortolan in Shinfield, Reading. I could never afford to go there when i lived nearby - was too busy signing on in Bracknell - but assume it is pretty good under Alan Murchisson.
  6. In Leicester try Kayal, a Keralan restaurant on Granby Street, 15 minute walk from both universities. If you want British/European I'd go for Entropy on Hinckley Road - only 5 min walk from DMU or a short taxi from Leicester University - it's very good. Websites should be easy to find.
  7. Would it be too much to ask if the list of Bibs is available yet?
  8. Isn't that like York City FC saying they don't think the Premier League is relevant to football. Which would be a very apposite point, wouldn't it?
  9. Kayal is lovely. Not the most sophisticated food, but big flavours and decent quality ingredients that offer something new to British palates used to tandoori/balti styles. The staff are great too.
  10. You'll be about 16 miles from The Olive Branch at Clipsham, maybe too far but it is very nice.
  11. Took the Aged Ps here for lunch on Friday and we all loved it. Was hoping to try the crab risotto but it wasn't on - my smoked mackeral was excellent, with a sweet bramley compote, but promised horseradish seemed completely absent which definitely brought the dish down a peg or too. Lamb, whose brother and sisters could be seen frolicking across the road on the marsh as we ate, was first rate and the thornback ray/skate beautiful. Highlights of the whole thing though were the rosemary bread at the start - spongy, oily, gorgeous - and a wobbly lemon tart with meringue ice-cream that had been dusted with sea salt. As has been noted, the wine list is terrific value for a place like this. Service was sweet. Next time I'd try and go with people of a stronger constitution and try the tasting menu.
  12. I think some chefs have realised that while it might be nice to win, you've a week of prime time to promote your restaurant (how many times has AM mentioned he's in Reading?) and you might as well showcase your own style rather than compromise to try and match the supposed criteria.
  13. You'd be very welcome in Leicester. Brand new state of the art theatre, three-screen arts cinema opening in the the late summer, excellen,under-rated walking and scenery in the east of the county and Rutland, plus we're not far from the peaks. Wide variety of Asian food, and wonderful produce in the farm shops inthe county, but I couldn't in all honesty say "plenty of fine dining" (there's some, obviously) still less "near the sea". We're 100 miles north of London, about 75 minutes on the train with four trains an hour. Overall I suspect, with your parameters, Brighton or Oxford may have more pressing claims.
  14. But surely they they wouldn't do that, I've just read this on their website: 'We do our utmost to behave responsibly and ethically, and to purchase our ingredients from sustainable sources.' They wouldn't lie, would they?
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