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Timothy Burke

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Everything posted by Timothy Burke

  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?
  15. I'm no lawyer but if you've got emails referring to the order, that might amount to an implied contract. And if the guy is not a career fraudster who knows how to hide his tracks, you've got an email address that, possibly with a little subterfuge of you own, might help you track him down.
  16. I assume Fischers at Baslow Hall is too far out by both your criteria. If you're staying in Derby itself, you could try Masa, set in a wonderful converted Wesleyan chapel. Not been for a couple of years but did have a pretty good meal when last I went. Can't master the insert live link procedure but it's not too hard tack down the website.
  17. Imperial Tea Imperial Tea in Lincoln - http://www.imperialteas.co.uk - it's address is even 47 Steep Hill, Lincoln. Jun Shan Silver Needles available at £80 a 100g.
  18. Something similar applies to Leicester - and we also have a Carluccio's opening this week.
  19. I was fortunate to be Matthew Fort's local companion when he came to visit Hambleton for that GBM trial and was hugely impressed. Aaron is a lovely chap and his food, what I've had of it, is flavour-packed and technically superb. When it came to the GBM I suppose it wasn't modish enough, plus they clearly wanted sparks to fly between Sat Bains and Glynn Purnell - Aaron's quieter, modest personality didn't fit their bill.
  20. Jesmond Dene House should do it, though you'll need to steer clear of the lobster to keep it under £50. At the other extreme I've always enjoyed meals at Cafe Zonzo, where you could have enough left over for a bottle of barolo.
  21. This is from a recent Guardian interview with Darroze: "Her restaurant at the Connaught, like her Parisian venue, will have two separate menus - one for men with prices and one, for women, without. She shrugs her shoulders when I ask why. 'It's not an issue for me. Generally, the menu with the prices is given to the person who invites. It is not a question of man or woman." This strikes me as staggering. Could someone with a bit more experience explain how this works? Presumably they either do give it to the man, or they ask "who's paying?", or make an ad hoc guess judging by who seems to be taking the lead or who made the booking. I can just about see that a price-less menu might be requested by someone wanting to treat someone else and not have them constrained, but to hand them out on the basis of gender or a hunch seems ridiculous.
  22. Congratulations on the new addition...and that sounds like one hell of a road trip in the summer. Hope it goes well.
  23. I too make use of the good book routine - and the Moleskine too though I've no evidence of it working. I remember once making a weekend of it in Reading on the occasion of Leicester City playing them in a 4th Round FA cup tie. I took with me a slim volume, something suitably middlebrow no doubt, and read it over dinner in the London Street brasserie. The next morning I had a coffee and pastry in John Lewis in the Oracle Centre and saw the waitress give me a rather pitying look - then I realised it was the same young woman who'd served at the restaurant and she'd recognised me and my book. Billy-no-mates or what? Still we won the match.
  24. You will all have heard today's annoucement that lessons in cooking are to become compulsory in schools. What you may have misssed is that we the people are invited to send Mr Balls an email as to what we think the youth should be taught to cook. Here is the relevent message from the press release: "The public are being asked to suggest which classic British and international main courses and puddings young people should be taught by emailing getcooking.consultation@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk" I'm sure you've all got views - but don't all vote for snail porridge because that would be silly. Though I'm sure Heston's on the phone now trying to get the classes moved into the science curriculum.
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