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  1. Aye, or something so spectacular they've adopted military-level secrecy to stop anything getting out?
  2. Has the list been leaked anywhere at all? Someone, somewhere has usually got hold of a copy by now.
  3. Orwells is excellent - two really superb meals there so far. I agree, although John Footman is obviously a talented chef who was battling against issues beyond his control. I expect - and hope - he will resurface very soon. Oxford is atrocious. A medley of chain bars and pseudo-brasseries. Unbelievable how it ever got to this point. In the county's defence, there are some excellent pubs - the Nut Tree, Crooked Billet, The Kingham Plough - but decent restaurants are at a real premium, notwithstanding le Manoir. Most of the pubs seem to open parping PR guff like "locally sourcing, food miles, sustainability" without understanding their customer base or, indeed, the area. there's no excuse, but similarly there's no logical reason for the malaise.
  4. The plot thickens. A real shame, especially for us living in a county high in quality produce but low in quality restaurants. By the sound of his quote, the building could be set to become a private house.
  5. Chef Ryan Simpson and his entire team have walked out of The Goose restauratn, in Britwell Salome, just two weeks after winning his first Michelin star. This is the message on the website: http://www.gooserestaurant.com/ What is going on there? Only last week he was talking about becoming the first chef to retain the restaurants star - both Mike North and Matthew Tompkinson left before they had the chance to do so.
  6. I'm sure it makes fantastic business sense and, as mentioned earlier, if they can get away with it then fair enough. I just speak from a personal level when I say that I will take my time, enjoy the experience and will not be rushed.
  7. Couldn't agree more. Clearing the tables for another sitting and a sense of rushing should stay in the fast food outlets where they belong. If I'm going to spend £300 a head on a meal I'm going to take as much time as I bloody well want.
  8. Indeed Sods law really - all the ale I can drink but don't like it. Wiened on fizzy Euro-pop and still waiting for my taste buds to grow up
  9. "Hoppit Firkin, a real ale from Loddon Brewery, Oxfordshire" That's my parents' brewery! Good times.
  10. Simply brilliant. A near perfect experience - one of the very best things I have ever done. Out most of this weekend but will try and get a full review up sometime on Monday.
  11. Just confirmed my booking for Friday. Truly can't wait now - my first experience of a 3* and somewhere I have been trying to get into for two years, ever since promising my dad for his 50th in 2007. Cab is booked, all systems go. Will let you know how it went with a review when I get back.
  12. It sounds interesting David. I'm really excited about seeing it first hand - hoping it won't be an anti-climax, although I'm not going to go there actively seeking problems!
  13. Confirmed for May 29 - after two years of trying, I scored a table thanks to eGullet poster LornaC, whose friends had to cancel. I only live a few miles down the road - Henley - and I can't wait. Will post back on how it went.
  14. In the comments that followed the story a gent called Nik Pure wrote: Which prompted an angry response from Mr Bains: Touched a nerve, or was he just responding with justification to an unfair comment?
  15. I can't help but think 'advisors' are beginning to whisper softly in HB's ear. He has upped the ante on television, increasing screen time and dropping the self-effacing nature which endeared him to people. The Fat Duck could be one of the world's most profitable 'chains', popping up across the world a la Ramsay or Robuchon. And although HB has publicly said he wouldn't do it, the pursuit of global recognition and lure of ever larger wads being waved under his nose may prove too much. They certainly have for other chefs.
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