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Pam Brunning

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  1. Hi John Been there done it with most of them but why don't you try Gidleigh Park. We went there for my BIG bithday one year in January - it was nearly empty, we were upgraded from a small room to one of the best suites, it was great. Michael Caines was in the kitchen and the food was fantastic a really memorable occasion.
  2. A friend of mine who frequents Michelin star restaurants worldwide was staying in Marlow to visit 3 restaurants, Orwells at Shiplake, The Hand & Flowers and The Vanilla Pod. He asked me which he would enjoy most, I told him the Vanilla Pod without a doubt. He was surprised but agreed entirely after his visit. How on earth did The H&F get two stars was his comment. One star should be for pubs however good the food, they are basic. Michelin always used to say they took ambiance into account so no way can a pub, without all the trimmings of napery etc., be more that one star. I am afra
  3. Can anyone tell me what they think this is. It is Ikea brand heavy weight plastic with stainless steel legs. A friend gave it to me and they didn't know what it is!
  4. We have had a few, very few, top end Michelin star experiences that have been worth the money, where you would say next time it is a special occasion, we will go back. Our most expensive to date being The Fat Duck which was around £500, it was a theatrical experience and the food was like the curates egg - good in parts but not worth going back. We have a few £100+ restaurants we patronise on a regular basis but find it frustrating because they don’t change their menus often enough. When eating out once every week or two there is not enough choice in our area and travelling any distance in thi
  5. I find it reassuring that many of you think these expensive restaurants and popups are OTT. We too mainly lunch out, it is normally much better value. As a primary producer, who knows the raw ingredient cost, I never fail to be flabbergasted at the price a tiny piece of meat or fish can command in a high end restaurant. The other day I saw a ¼ of a seared mackerel served with some pickled cucumber and a dollop of cream fraîche as a starter for £10. I don’t care if the head chef had got a Michelin star that is just plain robbery, the ingredient cost was under a pound. You are moaning about t
  6. I am obviously biased but if you look at the restaurant reviews in our Food & Wine publication at http://www.iwfs.org/europe-africa/publications/newsletter You will find all the reviews are completely independent. The reviewers’ names are withheld so they do not get known to the restaurateurs and they all pay for their meals in full. My instructions to them are ‘tell it as it is’. They receive no payment either from the restaurants or the Society, they are completely voluntary and independent, resulting in genuine reports.
  7. I find the best way of ensuring a soft scoop ice cream straight from the freezer is to add alcohol to the mix. This is easy when making fruit ice cream as you can use a liquor of the same flavour. An egg yolk and cream based ice cream with dried raspberries soaked in Framboise is soft and luscious. The trouble is finding a flavourless alcohol that won’t detract from the vanilla flavour. I use a cheap Vodka that is not too strong in flavour but it is not ideal. Anyone any ideas?
  8. No Sidney you wouldn't get away with it unless you are a celeb. chef
  9. David I reviewed it a year ago see Michelin Stars We weren't impressed then and haven't been back. Edited to try and make link work!!
  10. Just dug this page up as I am into canapés at the moment as I have a lot to do for Christmas and I am looking for something different. I agree with all that has been said, they are an introduction to a meal and need to be good and changed regularly. We have just come back from Wales and one night we were booked for the 7 course tasting menu. When the canapés came they were dire, we nearly walked out but were glad we didn’t as the rest of the meal was very good. Anyone have any interesting ideas for something different?
  11. I think there should definitely be different classes of establishments. You can’t put the Hand & Flowers in the same category as Le Manior, they both have two stars, but that is crazy. We had a very good £10 two course lunch at the H&F but I wouldn’t pay much more for dining in a roadside pub with scrubbed tables with cracks large enough to lose you cutlery down. Think of the overheads of Le Manoir, maintenance staff, gardeners, to say nothing to the staff to customer ratio in the house and restaurant. In a place like that you should get exemplary service and you can see what you are
  12. I have a surfeit of mushrooms and eggs and need ideas for a tasty supper dish - fed up with omelettes!
  13. Not long after they received their star we tried it get into The Stag but they were doing a refurbishment at the time so it has been a long standing ambition to go there. I was just reaching copy date for our magazine and I needed a good restaurant report as I already had a bad one see My link I rang 3 week beforehand and was 'lucky' to get the last room that night. We arrived at 4pm and I asked if Nicola Reynolds was around and was told they were away. When we booked we were warned that the room was the last one and rather small so were prepared for that. The en suite was so small that the o
  14. We went to The Stag a month ago and were very disappointed - there was nothing to recommend it. It is unwise to report on places you havn't been to for a long time. We had heard good reports of it in the past.
  15. Why don't you tell the staff what you require when you arrive for breakfast? When breakfasting anywhere my first request is to be served the toast hot when I have finished my 'full English' to be accompanied by my coffee. If the toast or the coffee is not hot it goes back. We pay enough for B&B in the UK, make sure they serve it as you require it.
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