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Alexanders at Limpsfield


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chefsimon

  :smile:

As I have said elsewhere, tone and intimation are difficult to convey on this format of communication. Maybe the debate we are having deserves to be on your original thred 'Critics and Food Writers' or given the responses I have drawn from some, a new thred altogther.

I do not wish to be negative or aggressive and I am sorry if what I say is coming accross as that. Posting after a busy day is probably a bad idea!

I respect what you are doing and trying to achieve and the effort and skill that goes into it. You clearly have an impressive track record. There is nothing wrong with drawing attention to your establishment in any medium. There is nothing wrong with charging £17 for a scallop starter if its great and you can get it and get it again and again.

I noted some of your previous posts on threds - the bath priory? and some other topics - and you clearly have a high and exacting standard for restaurants and food. You also hinted before your Critics and Food Writers thred of having a new place but not wanting to draw attention to it until you had it right......which is compltely fair given what you are pitching.

You make it clear you're seeking to widen your customer base through posting, reviews and maybe Michelin and again, I don't see anything wrong with that. As Matthew's posting proved, you clearly have something worth shouting about which made me think the Food Critics and Writers thred was about something else. .......and I thought thinking was what this forum was intended for.

Peace

No problem but what did you think critics and food writers was abou then?

Dont think to much it ll start to hurt!!!!

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I was sorry to see that Jay Rayner made use of the relevant discussions on this board in his Observer review of Alexanders. That seemed to me underhand and a caddish thing to do. The things discussed here are surely 'off the record'? Otherwise people, particularly chefs and proprietors, may think twice about joining in and the board will be the poorer for it.

Perhaps I am a little old-fashioned in having such scruples.

S

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I was sorry to see that Jay Rayner made use of the relevant discussions on this board in his Observer review of Alexanders. That seemed to me underhand and a caddish thing to do. The things discussed here are surely 'off the record'? Otherwise people, particularly chefs and proprietors, may think twice about joining in and the board will be the poorer for it.

Perhaps I am a little old-fashioned in having such scruples.

S

This forum is certainly not "off the record" - eGullet is an open forum which can be read by anyone and is not restricted to members only. Other closed forums do exist which can be expected to remain limited to members.

I also can't quite see why making reference to eGullet is caddish or underhand - surely this is just stating why Jay decided to go there and review the restaurant?

Edit I agree with Basildog, but he posted whilst I was writing my post!

Edited by JudyB (log)
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I was sorry to see that Jay Rayner made use of the relevant discussions on this board in his Observer review of Alexanders. That seemed to me underhand and a caddish thing to do. The things discussed here are surely 'off the record'? Otherwise people, particularly chefs and proprietors, may think twice about joining in and the board will be the poorer for it.

Perhaps I am a little old-fashioned in having such scruples.

S

Hmmm... Where to begin. In short (the long bit will follow) I don't think it is to do with a lack of scruples, old-fashioned or otherwise, I think it is to do with an understanding of what eGullet is.

EGullet is in the public domain. Anyone can post and anyone can read posts. There are plenty of sites which are members only or have restricted areas (Bapi, not the sort of sites you might peruse) and although that model works I actually enjoy the open, accessible and inclusive nature of eGullet.

I think everybody does (or should) understand you shouldn't write anything here which you wouldn't be happy to have read by anyone, any where, any time. I have an image of Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter...

Chefs and critics do come here, and seemingly in ever greater numbers. I think the dialogues between punter and pro is mutually beneficial and hugely enjoyable and it is what makes some of the content of the site so compelling. I think by and large everyone is trusting and respectful of differing viewpoints and I don't see that the relationship between the two sides of the pass is in danger of being damaged.

Personally, I think the above is pretty much an indisputable given - The eGullet model is set and it has it's pro's and con's. If you're here, it should be because it works for you.

There is though another seperate but linked point which is that for eGullet to thrive it needs people and participation, and for that it needs profile.

There has been a history here (see threads of ancient times) of lazy journalists loitering around on here, nicking the topics and concepts which our fevered food-nerd minds throw up and writing them up in their esteemed organ as their own musings. Possibly that is a little paranoid, but I seem to remember a couple of instances appeared pretty nailed on.

Of course this isn't important in the grand scheme of things but I think it shows a little disrespect. A lack of scruples. You can see where I am going with this. Although Jay is an appalling human being with bad points and character flaws to numerous to mention I applaud him for taking the time to flag up eGullet and it's input into his writings to a winder audience of foodies.

Of course once eGullet does go 'overground' and become a mass market phenomenon we old-timers can bitch about the unruly newcomers and declare the spirit of the site lost, the soul of eGullet diluted and bastardised for commercial gain and then either set up a splinter site (The Judean People's Front?) or just sit in the corner grumbling.

That's what being part of a web community is all about :)

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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My reply obviously took longer than everybody elses. That's what comes of trying to be a smart-arse after a very long day... Say more with less Thom, say more with less...

Sorry if this now appears a little mob-handed Sunbeam, but I guess it is a point we all feel strongly about.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Mmm, well chefsimon wanted national press and used egullet to get it although not quite i suspect as one would like or have expected from a reviewer of jays' calibre. Whilst i see Basildogs point about "on the record" and off the record i wouldn't necessarily expext comments i made here to end up in the nationals, although as it is an unknown restaurant i suppose using egullet set the theme of the article and explained why Jay was reviewing this restaurant and what exactly it was that made it "newsworthy" In fairness Jay only said what most of us said about prices/set menus etc etc. There is nothing wrong with chefsimons ambition, indeed it is admirable and shows conviction - but there are certainly a few "tweaks" to be made and hopefully our advice and this platform will help Chefsimon all the way to the star he covets.

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

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I was sorry to see that Jay Rayner made use of the relevant discussions on this board in his Observer review of Alexanders. That seemed to me underhand and a caddish thing to do. The things discussed here are surely 'off the record'? Otherwise people, particularly chefs and proprietors, may think twice about joining in and the board will be the poorer for it.

Perhaps I am a little old-fashioned in having such scruples.

S

Of course once eGullet does go 'overground' and become a mass market phenomenon we old-timers can bitch about the unruly newcomers and declare the spirit of the site lost, the soul of eGullet diluted and bastardised for commercial gain and then either set up a splinter site (The Judean People's Front?) or just sit in the corner grumbling.

That's what being part of a web community is all about :)

Cheers

Thom

Or the peoples front of judea.... :wink:

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

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Oh well, I still feel it was sly and snidey in a way that I cannot properly define or argue. Just an eGut feeling.

The following is an extract of an article called eGullet Now which I wrote for the April 2005 edition of Guild of Food Writer's magazine. At the time, I was still on the eGullet management team and wrote from that perspective. I now no longer have any connection with this site beyond being an active member but still stand by my words:

"As new media, eGullet's relation with the traditional print media is not always a happy one. In October 2003, the Observer's Pendennis column lifted a report on eGullet.org about an incident over a bottle of wine at Petrus restaurant. The story was quickly picked up by the world's media, including the Telegraph who referred to "a gourmet website" but failed to mention eGullet.org by name.

In May 2004, the New York Times printed the following correction "An article last Wednesday about home cooking in the style of avant-garde chefs omitted the name of the Web site that showed a picture of the innovative clam chowder prepared by José Andrés at the Minibar restaurant in Washington. It was egullet.com."

Just a few weeks ago, Jay Rayner wrote in a restaurant review that "Stephen Jackson is an eating chef, although, when I first came across him on a food website, I knew him only as an eater." That food website was of course eGullet.org. There have been a number of other recent examples of eGullet.org not being properly credited as a source, including articles in Wine Spectator and Houston Press. Perhaps this is all due to simple oversight, but I can’t imagine The Guardian quoting the New York Times and getting away with an attribution to "an American newspaper."

Whatever the reason (a partonising attitude hiding a fear of change perhaps?), I anticipate a long battle before egullet.org is routinely credited in the proper manner by the mainstream media. And perhaps by the time that happens, eGullet.org will be the mainstream media."

So I think Jay has done exactly the right thing by crediting eGullet in his latest review. Its great exposure for the site, puts its membership in a very good light and helps to clarify and define the relationship between "new" and traditional media in a way that I think some others may in the past have prefered to ignore.

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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From a press release I received today:

"Alexander’s at Limpsfield is pleased to announce the introduction of its new fixed price à la carte menu for the main restaurant. From Friday 9th March guests will be able to enjoy two courses for £33 and three courses for £40. In addition, there will also be a weekday set lunch menu at £19.50 and £23.50 for two and three courses respectively.

Head chef Simon Attridge’s new menu reflects his undoubted skills that were garnered under such culinary luminaries as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay. With no compromise on quality, it offers exceptional value for money and will allow diners to discover this fantastic dining experience without breaking the bank."

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From a press release I received today:

"Alexander’s at Limpsfield is pleased to announce the introduction of its new fixed price à la carte menu for the main restaurant. From Friday 9th March guests will be able to enjoy two courses for £33 and three courses for £40.  In addition, there will also be a weekday set lunch menu at £19.50 and £23.50 for two and three courses respectively.

Head chef Simon Attridge’s new menu reflects his undoubted skills that were garnered under such culinary luminaries as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay. With no compromise on quality, it offers exceptional value for money and will allow diners to discover this fantastic dining experience without breaking the bank."

Hey Andy will you post the menu aswell!you only get 3 scallops now not 4!!!!!!!! :biggrin:

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Just to add that, IMO, that is a good deal and people should hop on that train to take advantage. The Scallops or Macaroni, followed by the lamb and Chocolate a fondant would make a fine meal whatever Jay may tell you :raz::smile:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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From a press release I received today:

"Alexander’s at Limpsfield is pleased to announce the introduction of its new fixed price à la carte menu for the main restaurant. From Friday 9th March guests will be able to enjoy two courses for £33 and three courses for £40.  In addition, there will also be a weekday set lunch menu at £19.50 and £23.50 for two and three courses respectively.

Head chef Simon Attridge’s new menu reflects his undoubted skills that were garnered under such culinary luminaries as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay. With no compromise on quality, it offers exceptional value for money and will allow diners to discover this fantastic dining experience without breaking the bank."

Well Done Simon!

glad to see you're prepared to take on board constructive criticism, hope this works out well. though my eGut feeling wonders if it took national exposure to perhaps persuade the investors :smile:

either way, a responsive business is the way forward.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Simon. Well done on the changes, but please can someone sort the text out on the home page, it's embarrassingly inept still.

Anyone with any form of English qualification is going to seriously wonder about your restaurant with what you currently have.

Alexander’s at Limpsfield is located in a wonderfully idyllic setting in the quiet and enchanting village of Limpsfield, Surrey. Here, the innovative talents of proprietor Patricia A Douglas have brought together style, elegance and a gastronomic experience of the highest level.

Could be;

Located in the idyllic village setting of Limpsfield Surrey, Alexanders innovative proprietor, Patricia A Douglas, has combined a Michelin experienced kitchen with a relaxed and stylish dining environment.

Just an example of how easily it could be improved. I'm sure others who do this sort of thing for a living could do better. :smile:

I

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Infrasonic--

At the risk of sounding like a pedant (but, hey, you were being pedantic in the first place), I should point out that your sentence makes it sound as if it's Alexander's innovative proprietor, Patricia A Douglas, and not the restaurant, that's "located in the idyllic village setting" etc etc

Of course, she might well live in that idyllic village too. :biggrin:

Spanky

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Simon. Well done on the changes, but please can someone sort the text out on the home page, it's embarrassingly inept still.

Anyone with any form of English qualification is going to seriously wonder about your restaurant with what you currently have.

...

I agree. I pointed this out to the chef via pm about a month ago before the onslaught of public comments. I'm not sure if there is an appreciation for how bad the style and grammar is in the text portions of the site and how it also undermines, in some way, the other claims for excellence. As Infrasonic suggests, it would certainly be worthwhile to hire an editor or a good writer to go over the text

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Infrasonic--

At the risk of sounding like a pedant (but, hey, you were being pedantic in the first place), I should point out that your sentence makes it sound as if it's Alexander's innovative proprietor, Patricia A Douglas, and not the restaurant, that's "located in the idyllic village setting" etc etc

Of course, she might well live in that idyllic village too. :biggrin:

Spanky

Hmmm. As the website is for the restaurant and not her personal webspace...... :wink:

Waddya expect for free :raz:

I

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Simon. Well done on the changes, but please can someone sort the text out on the home page, it's embarrassingly inept still.

Anyone with any form of English qualification is going to seriously wonder about your restaurant with what you currently have.

...

I agree. I pointed this out to the chef via pm about a month ago before the onslaught of public comments. I'm not sure if there is an appreciation for how bad the style and grammar is in the text portions of the site and how it also de-legitimizes the other claims for excellence. It would certainly be worthwhile hiring an editor or a good writer to go over the text as Infrasonic suggests.

but don't let infrasonic write it :smile:

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Simon. Well done on the changes, but please can someone sort the text out on the home page, it's embarrassingly inept still.

Anyone with any form of English qualification is going to seriously wonder about your restaurant with what you currently have.

...

I agree. I pointed this out to the chef via pm about a month ago before the onslaught of public comments. I'm not sure if there is an appreciation for how bad the style and grammar is in the text portions of the site and how it also de-legitimizes the other claims for excellence. It would certainly be worthwhile hiring an editor or a good writer to go over the text as Infrasonic suggests.

but don't let infrasonic write it :smile:

<flounces off> :laugh:

I

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I don't have much to add save that, as many people have said, this is an open forum and I credited the site as my source. I too am pleased to see the drop in price which makes a lot of sense. I will be adding a short para to a fortchomign review to report this. It will appear Sunday week.

The text on the web site does still need some work, and perhaps they might just like to clarify the section on Simon's experience to make it clear that he was head chef at the Riverside Brasserie rather than the Fat Duck just to avoid any confusion.

Jay

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to make it clear that he was head chef at the Riverside Brasserie rather than the Fat Duck just to avoid any confusion.

Sorry - off topic but........

This is not my favourite establishment at the moment. We are in Bray this weekend and can't get down in time for the lunch slot offered to us at the Hind's Head. So I rang the Riverside Brasserie -no answer- so I tried four further times- all at a reasonable hour. Still, no bugger deigned to pick the bloody phone up, nor was there an answer machine. Gaaah :angry:

As you were- rant over.

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