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Critics and Food Writers


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My personal opinion for restaurants is to undersell and over deliver.

Which he does. His crab soup was the best shellfish bisque I ever expect to have in my life (plenty 'o 3 star Michelin places included). Absolutely spectacular.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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The FD is also exceptional in the sense that Heston had a lot of cash at his disposal, so the normal rules of business don't really apply.

Is that true? It's certainly not the impression given here.

Not sure I'd agree with your point about Maureen Mills either. Google suggests she only did the PR from around 2001, and she looks after plenty of duds (see: FT). It'd be like saying Jimi Hendrix became famous because he had Max Clifford as an agent.

(Edit: and why is it that one in three threads on this board, no matter what subject, descends into an argument about Heston?)

Edited by naebody (log)
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The FD is also exceptional in the sense that Heston had a lot of cash at his disposal, so the normal rules of business don't really apply.

Is that true? It's certainly not the impression given here.

Not sure I'd agree with your point about Maureen Mills either. Google suggests she only did the PR from around 2001, and she looks after plenty of duds (see: FT). It'd be like saying Jimi Hendrix became famous because he had Max Clifford as an agent.

(Edit: and why is it that one in three threads on this board, no matter what subject, descends into an argument about Heston?)

I believe Monica Brown (the great) was the PR by the time FD got 3 stars.

With regards to funds, I think you might be mistaken. They opened with very little. And the night they learned of their 3rd star, Heston was to call his wife to say they couldn't afford to pay the rent that month. Then the third star, and the phones never stopped ringing.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I believe Monica Brown (the great) was the PR by the time FD got 3 stars.

Well, of course, it depends what you mean by 'destination' restaurant. I think you'll agree that there was a serious buzz about FD for several years before the third star, and that was thanks to Maureen Mills, whose job was certainly not made any more difficult by PR friendliness of Heston's cooking.

With regards to funds, I think you might be mistaken. They opened with very little. And the night they learned of their 3rd star, Heston was to call his wife to say they couldn't afford to pay the rent that month. Then the third star, and the phones never stopped ringing.

That is so fucking heartwarming, it could almost have been written by a PR.

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With regards to funds, I think you might be mistaken. They opened with very little. And the night they learned of their 3rd star, Heston was to call his wife to say they couldn't afford to pay the rent that month. Then the third star, and the phones never stopped ringing.

That is so fucking heartwarming, it could almost have been written by a PR.

I nearly cried.

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For what it's worth i would say that the prices are high even by london standards, just because Limpsfield is a wealthy area it doesn't go hand in hand that they are happy to pay over the odds for it. I appreciate you also have a brasserie but wouldn't you rather have a full restaurataurant paying slightly less than a half full restaurant paying more? I appreciate this is a business decision but don't forget opening a new restaurant is about creating a buzz, getting people talking and visiting your restaurant at the first possible opportunity. With these prices you are making it the kind of place most people will sav for a special occasion, not the sort of place they will go on a monday night because they don't feel like cooking and then rfeturning time and time again. Do you offer a set lunch/sunday lunch menu or weekend menu? Also worth looking at. Also - the website is very oldfashioned even the font style seems dated already - nothing about the website grabs you and screams WE ARE NEW! COME CHECK US OUT! anyway thats only my opinion - good luck and keep us updated! :biggrin:

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I wouldn't worry too much about the national critics, especially the Sundays. They write to entertain in the main and a bad restaurant is god-given copy while an average one is a pain as it is much harder to be entertaining about. A good one has to be unique to avoid limp praise and dull adjectives

I'm sure I am not alone in forgetting what I've read by Monday afternoon and by Thursday, should I want to have a re read, the paper is long gone to recycling.

The websites where punters write their own reviews are a minefield obviously but they do have a very strong influence. By scanning a few weeks worth of punter reviews, you get a pretty good impression of what the restaurant is really like, far more than from a critic's single snapshot of one evening which could have been unusually bad (or good).

And PR co's may be anathema to some, but every business needs word of mouth and PRs do achieve that to varying degrees.

Limpsfield may come out in hives at the mention of the Observer as Rayner says, but Islington faints at the Daily Telegraph. I would say both sides have a fair point!

S

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  • 2 weeks later...
Oh i do like to be beside the seaside.....

50p each(day boat, not hand dived by virgins) Good size tho'

4 to a portion, capers, halzenut dressing £6.95 bosh  and indeed bosh

Today we had some hand dived Scottish scallops ( I know it's a long way from here, but they were offered, OK :biggrin: )

They worked out at £1.25 each, but one was just a smidge under 4oz. :shock:

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Oh i do like to be beside the seaside.....

50p each(day boat, not hand dived by virgins) Good size tho'

4 to a portion, capers, halzenut dressing £6.95 bosh  and indeed bosh

Today we had some hand dived Scottish scallops ( I know it's a long way from here, but they were offered, OK :biggrin: )

They worked out at £1.25 each, but one was just a smidge under 4oz. :shock:

hows Buisness at the moment Simon? Was VD day good for you?

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Oh i do like to be beside the seaside.....

50p each(day boat, not hand dived by virgins) Good size tho'

4 to a portion, capers, halzenut dressing £6.95 bosh  and indeed bosh

Today we had some hand dived Scottish scallops ( I know it's a long way from here, but they were offered, OK :biggrin: )

They worked out at £1.25 each, but one was just a smidge under 4oz. :shock:

hows Buisness at the moment Simon? Was VD day good for you?

Good thanks Basildog

Did a 6 course taster and coffee for £50 over tuesday wed thursday

did 40 on both tue and thur and 58 which was full on wednesday so not bad and yourself

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Put out a flowing, top notch and exaggerated press release... invite an eclectic, crazy and rich group of people- spend tones of money, serve great food and give it all away for free. Blow your whole marketing budget all at once.

In the end they kill you any way

So entice them all at once, sell the farm

Go big or stay home

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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the simple answer would be to get a - genuine - satisfied customer to contact the reviewer personally. if there's no direct email address, features staff will usually forward stuff.

i got a rec to go to 'dinings', a japanese restaurant in marylebone from a chap who raved about it. i went, he was right, it was great.

but he'd obviously been telling everyone: fay maschler featured it last week, again, a really positive review.

so by virtue of what i assume was simply a handful of emails - and so far as i'm aware, no official pr representation - the restaurant is getting featured in two major london papers.

easy, huh?

p.s. even if he was a shill, it worked...

Edited by circeplum (log)
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