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Restaurant Guides, do you buy one?


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Having just mentioned in my One-O-One thread the link with The Times 100 best restaurants and Hardens guide, I am curious as to how many people on here actually buy a guide.

I received an e-mail today from Hardens, to confirm my delivery address for my "reporters edition", which I should receive in the next couple of weeks. They claim 8000 people posted 85000 reports. Quite staggering really.

Does anyone actually buy the Michelin guide. Is the Good Food Guide the most popular, or is Hardens valued more?

The only guide that I have bought this year is the AA 2012 which has just been released. The main reason for that purchase is to look specifically at restaurants with three AA rosettes and above.

Do you rely on guides, the internet, or reviews on egullet?

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I haven't bought a guide in well over 5 years, feeling that hard copy compilations are stale before they hit the booksellers or postbox. The internet now brings us opinions of diners as soon as their plates are cleared. Furthermore, one can calibrate the tastes and sophistication of internet personalities whereas one never knows the experience of those 8000 or 80000 lay reporters who submitted opinions to Hardens or Zagat or OA or...

eGullet member #80.

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Like David, I'll be getting my free Hardens in due course as their thanks for contributing.

Getting a freebie of course means I don't buy a copy. I've bought a Good Food Guide for years and find it generally reliable. I've sent then reviews for years - certainly much longer than I've posted them on egullet. I quite like it when I see they've used some of my phrasing. It's particularly useful when visiting parts of the country I'm not familiar with. Needless to say, I value the recommendations/reviews posted on egullet but with a comparitively small number of folk posting reviews, it's not always the case that there's information available about places.

It's something of "horses for courses". Good Food Guide tends to have far fewer mentions for a locality than Hardens but they are likely to be at a generally higher level. Hardens has a fairly broad brush approach and includes quite a number of reasonably decent casual places that wouldnt get into the GFG in a million years. For example, the GFG has 9 listings for Manchester, Hardens has 58.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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John,

Looks like its only you and me who have bought a guide :laugh::wink:

On about the Good Food Guide.

I bought one two years ago and I think the reports are pretty accurate.

As I read quite a few blogs and generally keep well in tune with whats happening on the internet, food guides do not hold that much value for me as I always have a long list of places that I want to dine at.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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To be fair, it really depends on how and why you travel and dine AND how well you use the internet. I spend most of my travel and dining dollars in France. Trusted bloggers keep me ahead of the curve in Paris while Google finds me the insolite country gems. The Paris addresses are seldom in the books when we first visit while most of the country stops are too small or private to interest the guides.

eGullet member #80.

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I never buy guides to my home country because for the most part they're pointless. It sounds arrogant, but I generally feel like I know more than the person writing the guide, and anywhere that's not on my radar will get there soon enough by listening to friends and reading tweets of people in the business. Maybe it's because Ireland is a small place, but this method hasn't failed me yet.

When going abroad I occasionally buy the Michelin Guide for that country, but as time goes on I don't really see that point of that either. Certainly it was vaguely useful to have the French guide on a trip there last year, and we referred to it once or twice in the course of the holiday, but the internet is generally more useful. I can't see me bothering to buy a physical Michelin guide again any time soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been getting the Time Out London guide for donkey's years.

Overall very thorough and reliable. They are the only guide I know which has specialist reviewers for different cuisines.

Last year's had a few issues (bizarro categorising of restaurants by proprieter meant Ledbury was treated as a branch of the Square), but this year it seems to have been sorted and their has been a noticeable increase in content.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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  • 3 weeks later...

I tell you what, there's two women who are supposedly from the GFG talking total and utter balls on Britain's Best Dish right now. Any one who describes a classical milk ice cream as 'sounding childlike' clearly knows sweet FA about basic cooking technique, let alone be in a position to judge any restaurant.

From the VT looks like Micheal Wignall is about to justifiably take them to task when it comes to the actual face to face comments.

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