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  1. The Crown at Whitebrook has closed with immediate effect: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2013/03/06/michelin-starred-the-crown-at-whitebrook-closes-with-immediate-effect-91466-32936161/
  2. I think the 200 year old pub's name pre-dates Cockney rhyming slang.
  3. It’s questionable whether any restaurants in Cardiff are going to win a Michelin star anytime soon. Having visited the 4 Michelin starred restaurants closest to Cardiff it seemed only logical that Mrs G and I should visit the next closest, The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, as a Valentine’s treat (really a notional excuse for us to splash out). Under the stewardship of the locally born Josh Eggleton, a former Gordon Ramsey College scholar who has spent time working at The French Laundry, The Pony has won and held a Michelin star for the last couple of years. As Mrs G and I had travelled so far
  4. Under the guidance of Executive Chef James Sommerin and Head Chef Tim McDougall, Celtic Manor have a humdinger of a restaurant.The food, atmosphere, wine list and service last night were excellent. Mrs G and I were staying at The Celtic Manor as part of a Crown Gourmet Escape. For £155 we were entitled to a 3 course dinner in The Crown at Celtic Manor, one night’s accommodation in a Superior Double room, use of the Forum Health Club and a Welsh breakfast in the Olive Tree. However as it was Christmas we decided to supplement our already ludicrous festive calorie intake and paid a £20.50 supple
  5. Agree that taking into account counties may improve analysis but I just wanted to have a quick glance at the data without having to spend hours counting up restaurants by county. Also apologies for the errors on a) number of Michelin stars in Edinburgh and then b) overlooking Edinburgh as having highest number of Michelin stars per capita. Tim - Interesting stat on Rutland. Didn't even know it was a county. Shows how ignorant I am!
  6. I did a little piece of analysis on how many Michelin stars there are in the biggest cities of the UK (looking purely at city population sizes and not wider surrounds for the sake of a fair comparison) . Nothing surprising really - other than London and Edinburgh, the UK’s 13 largest cities are pretty rubbish at Michelin level dining. In fact it’s only London that kicks ass as far as Michelin is concerned. With only 11.5% of the UK population they hold a whopping 38% of the UK’s Michelin stars and 38% of the UK’s Bib Gourmands. In contrast outside of London, the other top 12 cities combined
  7. A lot of people I've spoken to feel that even though there's some good food cooked at The Crown Social, the sharing concept is flawed. The style and size of the dishes haven't really lent themselves to sharing. It reminds me a little bit of this year's Great British Menu where a few of the chefs just didn't get the sharing concept needed for a banquet and instead just served up their normal small plates of fine dining cuisine. So if Martin does stick to his sharing formula it would be nice to see more genuine sharing dishes on the menu (I'm thinking Tom Kerridge's pork platter). Alternatively
  8. The Crown Social in Cardiff has ended its relationship with the Parc Thistle Hotel and is set to close at the end of August. Martin Blunos and Crown Group are looking for other venues in the city. http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Business/Crown-to-relocate-Martin-Blunos-Cardiff-restaurant Wonder who instigated this decision or whether it was mutual?
  9. Matthew Norman rated it very highly when he went in May. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/8538536/The-Walnut-Tree-Llanddewi-Skirrid-Wales-restaurant-review.html I went in February last year and had a fantastic meal. The service was really friendly too. We stayed in one of the beautiful cottages. Our fridge was laden with smoked salmon and thick ham which was topped up every day. I couldn't eat it quickly enough.
  10. Whilst the décor of Casamia is understated, the food is the opposite; traditional Italian ingredients with bold flavours are given a creative twist to produce exceptional dishes. The meal last night was one of the finest I have ever eaten and is perhaps second only to Simon Rogan’s L’enclume in terms of creative wizardry. The dinner menu is restricted to a choice between a 5 course (£45) and 8 course (£68) seasonal tasting menu. As it was a special occasion and we are very greedy there was no question that we were going to opt for the larger of the 2 menus and what with the inclusion of a coup
  11. It would be interesting to hear how you get on and how the quality of the food compares to his previous places. I'm still hearing some mixed reports from other people who I know who have been.
  12. I must admit I was pretty excited about our trip to the Crown Social. We’ve previously visited The Crown at Whitebrook and The Crown at the Celtic Manor and were very impressed by both. With Cardiff lacking any form of high end dining, especially since the recent departure of Le Gallois, I had high hopes for the latest addition to The Crown stable. However, would it be The King’s Speech or The Emperor’s New Clothes. I’d had some slightly amusing email communication with one of the Front of House managers, Alex, after I’d posted the wrong menu on my blog and we were greeted warmly by him and t
  13. Ok. So I was emailed the wrong menu (other one was the menu at the current restaurant). Here's the correct one. No prices confirmed as of yet but its very extensive and more exciting looking. The menu is divided up into nibbles, starters, mains and desserts. The menu is a small plate style concept with lots of flexibility so you can mix things up. Crisp, pulled, lamb breast Welsh pork boudin, shallot piccalilli Welsh egg and mustard Sticky beef rib middles Hard boiled Quails egg & celery salt Beer battered Whiting, tartare sauce Onion Madeleine, taramasalata Ruan’s spicy nuts Marinated oli
  14. Martin Blunos's Crown Social is set to open in Cardiff at the Thistle Parc hotel next Friday and it's a pretty big event on the dining calendar as far as the Cardiff eating out scene goes. With the recent closure of the Le Gallois, the only place in Cardiff that had remotely been tipped for Michelin stardom, the Cardiff high end dining scene is pretty bleak. As I'm sure most of you already know, Martin Blunos was recently appointed Executive Chef of Crown Hotels (of James Sommerin fame). So it seems that he has been given the task of running what could be Cardiff's big hope for gaining a Mich
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