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Everything posted by Richard_D

  1. Hope you enjoy Le Champignon Sauvage. The Beehive has had a few issues recently and I prefer the Jolly Brewmaster which is quite well hidden but nearby and is a 'proper' pub. For casual food, good chippies are few and far between. Burger Burger in the brewery complex is good (hobbs house bread, free range chicken etc) but service can be up and down and just make sure they don't salt your fries. Royal Well is a personal favourite, but see other threads on EG for other views.
  2. Sounds like you didn't a great time? We go fairly often and has always been spot on even when the head chef doesn't seem to be there. Jay Rayner did a write up a while ago now in the guardian
  3. Good stuff, hope you enjoy it The menu was very different. It changes regularly, almost daily I think, so don't set your heart on anything. Last saturday there was an excellent choice of dishes. On the smaller/starter side of things this included leek and parmesan tart, rilletes and prawns with aioli. The larger dishes included a whole fillet of beef, hot foie gras with rhubarb, rack of lamb with artichokes and a pork belly dish. What you said there and the menu on their website just convinced the lady to choose RWT for birthday dinner, good work! Very glad about it, chosen over brasserie blanc Was the menu when you went similar to the website? ←
  4. Just thought I'd add in a post about the Royal Well Tavern in Cheltenham. It's been open six to seven months and I went again this weekend. It's just been awarded a bib gourmand so I went whilst I could still get a table. What was a rundown pub is now a great little brasserie. The menu is simple, you get exactly what it says. There's a range of dishes from £4 (rilletes with pickled chicory) up to £40 (whole fillet of beef) so you can go for the standard 3 courses, mix and match a few smaller dishes or just share one huge one. The cooking has been spot on every time I've been, really good ingredients carefully handled with no frills. Puddings are limited to just 2 or 3 and the cheeseboard is sizeable slab of one cheese that rotates daily (I think). The daily changing set lunch looked a great deal, 2 courses for £10 or 3 for £12. (It was on the day we went, a salad followed by black pudding with mash and poached egg and a chocolate pot) The winelist is entirely French and quite short and they have Kronenbourg and one ale (St Austell Tribute) on tap. All in all, 3 courses for two with a mid-priced bottle of wine comes in around £80. If you're in Cheltenham and looking for reasonably priced great food, I'd recommend the Royal Well
  5. The final tonight. Although having just watched Richard and Judy and seen the long faces of two of them, I think I can tell who won. I'm actually past caring though. I might watch Jamie at Home instead (which I'm really enjoying)
  6. Sounds fantastic. I've just booked for next Wednesday as I have my chef brother visiting. Can't wait. Will post when I get chance.
  7. Erm, I think there are a lot of happy mediums. As Hugh F-W and a few people here have mentioned you can buy a free range or organic chicken for £6-7. I've got one in my fridge that I got from tesco yesterday and that only cost £6. I can get a Sheepdrove farm one from my organic grocery store for about £8. Even M+S are punting them out around the £7 mark, so no, you don't only have to pay £3-4 or £20. This myth is being perpetuated and it's plain wrong. I accept it is double the price and not for everyone but the gulf is not that great
  8. Just found this on youtube just in case you'd like to relive any of it
  9. That's where you're wrong. ← Really? Surely the producers will want people who come over well on TV. It's all well and good being a good cook but if you look like a startled rabbit when veg man and torode turn up then it's not good tv and the series won't get recomissioned. They probably could make more of an effort when selecting people but hey I still watch it (despite my better judgement...)
  10. I agree with Andy, I'm sure some egullet readers would wipe the floor with most of the contestants and should apply. The first series enraged me so much that I applied the year after Thomasina won as it did my nut in to see what a load of drivel it all was, but unfortunately they called me for a screen test just as I was leaving for a holiday and the year after I didn't even get that far, ho-hum. Rightly or wrongly the whole application process seems to be geared towards the people who 'live for food', 'wanted to cook for ever' or 'dream of running a small bistro' rather than having anything more than a modicum of skill/ability. The previous Loyd Grossman/Gary Rhodes had some drawbacks, such as the irritating bit where we got to see what terribly upper-middle class hobbies people had, but it at least had a full off camera round to determine the set of contestants and that ensured a certain level of ability. This one you just have to turn up with something that can be plated up cold and the main reason you get on seems to be that you ticked the right boxes on the form/phone interview. But I suppose that makes good TV?
  11. Just looking at the TV schedules and from tonight we're up for an eight week run of Masterchef on Mon-Weds on BBC2 at 8.30 with an hour long show on Thursday. Despite me saying 'I'm not watching this crap anymore' for the last two years, I can feel that I won't be able to resist the urge to watch. For this week at least you can restore your sanity by flicking straight over to C4 for an hour of Hugh F-W raising chickens as well as 'kill, it cook it, eat it' on BBC3 at 10.30 If that's not enough of battery farming and abattoirs then on Friday it's Jamie Olivers turn to have a go at sorting out battery farmed chickens. This is all topped off by a Gordon Ramsay cook-a-long on the 18th of Jan. I suppose it's got to be better than the last Nigella series?
  12. Another outstanding meal but this time we went at lunchtime. The temptation of the a la carte was too much so we skipped over the set menu. Lots to recommend but the highlight for me was the salted chicory root parfait with bitter chocolate sorbet. I'm not normally a dessert person but the sorbet was brilliant and I could have eaten a bucketful. Yet again I stared at the wine list agog at the (extremely low) prices. Quick run down of the dishes...... Cheese gougeres Squid and Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork Foie Gras, ham hock and Guinea fowl terrine Scallops with roasted globe artichoke and jerusalem artichoke puree Pigeon - can't remember what with as I was too busy eating my..... ....Dexter rump with aubergine and salted oranges (I think salted oranges are much nicer than salted lemons) Muscovado parfait with bergamot cream Salted chicory root parfait with vanilla rice pudding and bitter chocolatte sorbet
  13. Well, the friend went and was very impressed. Outstanding service and fantastic food. The menu was understandable, unlike the one on the website, and the prices extremely reasonable. As both of the party are unable to eat several items the kitchen happily swapped items or dishes. After teh glowing reviwe that I was given I certainly think it might be worth a try.
  14. Has anyone eaten here recently? A friend is going today and coudn't understand the menu so I looked it up and found items such as ‘Paillette’ of Rabbit, forgotten hedge herbs and flowers of the moment Cappucino mousse, dentelle and Dandelion decoction; goose grass Collage of Fruit, some as nature intended; rhubarb essence Admittedly I've picked out the worst, but what a load of pretentious twaddle. I'd thought about a visit as the place looks fab but the menu puts me right off. It gets very few mentions on egullet and reviews seem to be few and far between. NAy thoughts?
  15. Has anyone been recently? What's on the menu? The better half has told me she's booked us in for lunch in a few weeks time.
  16. Probably an old one but when he called out 'What are fingers for?' and the reply came.. 'Burning, chef' Had me in stitches Despite the fact that a reprint is coming the show means that second hand copies of White Heat are doing a ton on ebay (122 quid and counting for one copy!!)
  17. That's really bad luck. Hopefully you'll dry out quickly on that side of Gloucestershire and be up and running again soon. I'm a bit west and facing up to two weeks without running water. One-pot cooking is becoming my new speciality Thanks! Yes we do live on site, so its been a fairly miserable weekend all round (especially with a 9 week old baby) Our buildings insurance guy came today and its going to be at least a month if not longer- all the floors, walls, tiling (new bathrooms 10 months ago!) have to go. On the good side, James gets a new kitchen as its all a right off. ←
  18. Otter Valley chickens, which one of my local shops stock (but you can buy from theWell hung meat company) are the nicest I've tried. I've had packs of the livers and they were exceptionally tasty.
  19. Laver is more common in S.Wales than North by a long way and I have in the past had it fresh from Swansea market amongst others. It is available in tins but is not as good. Really good if you fry some fatty bacon then warm the laver in the rendered bacon fat.
  20. All this exposure is doing wonders for his secondhand booksales. Have you seen the price of a secondhand copy of white heat on amazon???? I even saw a paperback on ebay that was up 118 pounds. Makes my 5 pound copy from the WHSmith bargain bin look like a shrewd investment
  21. On one of Gary Rhodes' TV programmes he once demonstrated one of the most foolproof methods I've seen for wrapping the egg in the meat. That was to put the sausagemeat patty on some clingfilm, put the egg in the middle and gather up the clingfilm, twist to seal/compact it, then rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Some ideas for great variations on a traditional scotch egg can be boughthere and as a regular customer I can safely say they're all fantastic.
  22. Wow! They should do a remake of the 1980's Raymond Blanc Knorr advert but with MPW in the lead role and instead of a Northern England family they could be French!!
  23. A full list of the contestants It does have Emma Forbes on, who I remember as an accident prone cook on Saturday morning kids tv with one cookbook to her name. Should be OK as long as Gordon the Gopher doesn't make a re-appearance as a guest judge.....
  24. Great pictures. It's a fantastic place and it's a great reason to go self-catering if you're visiting Valencia. A word of warning, it's definitely not the place to go when it 30c outside and you've got a hangover from the previous night's festivities
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