15 Comments
Apr 4Liked by Pimlico Journal

Very good. Ive long believed the poor reputation suffered by British cuisine is a product of US propaganda. You're wrong about Yorkshire puddings, though. They are delicious

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Double egg and chips?!

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Apr 4Liked by Pimlico Journal

Love it!

As someone who neither cooks, nor sups from the back of mopeds, nor seats himself in chain restaurants, nor likes to be ripped off, London is nigh-on impossible.

A case in point: this week I could not find a single suitable place for a civilised lunch à deux at the upper end of High St Ken. Not one.

So I reverted to the trusted and longstanding San Pietro: a relic of the decent independent neighbourhood restaurant, which still stands somehow against the tides of affluent barbarism.

(On the same theme, Garum and Taormina are both good independent Italians in Bayswater; one old, one new. Santorini also in W2 recently changed hands but still appears to be a correct Greek fish restaurant with its raw produce displayed on ice. In the West End, I usually retreat to Le Beajoulais; partly as I admire the chutzpah with which they still charged me full service even after helping eject someone who was attacking the patron. Impressionant!)

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Apr 3Liked by Pimlico Journal

Nice and well written piece! I felt the oppressive air thick with axe body spray and botox as if I were seated there myself!

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Apr 11Liked by Pimlico Journal

Excellent article. If the situation in London is bad, spare a moment to think about those of us who live in the tertiary cities of England; many of the same problems described, yet with fewer options. I often find my experiences at restaurants to be extremely underwhelming with mediocre food and terrible ambiance. I'm not sure why club classics need to be blasted at nearly every venue to such a volume as to make it impossible to hear the person sat across the table from me talking. The one time I dared to experience one of the more 'upmarket' restaurants in town I was aghast at how barren and tasteless it was for the price of entry. Truly, it's never been more important to find yourself one or two decent spots and stick to them.

"I see questionable Sunday Roasts every weekend, and even more questionable Christmas dinners in the holidays."—I am being attacked here!

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Apr 4Liked by Pimlico Journal

Fun read. I can see a lot of parallels and similar things happening here.

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The last paragraph needs to be turned into a skit, it was so hilarious haha. Really enjoyed reading this piece, well detailed observation of the decline of the culinary culture of the capital. It's fascinating to read about how social media has hollowed out our restaurants causing them to focus on just "aesthetics" and "ambience" to optimize for Instagram posts.

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May 2·edited May 2Liked by Pimlico Journal

I think you're being unkind about curry but I think I may also be missing the more amusing point and picking up on specifics. I'm inclined to agree in general however as after being lucky enough to eat a lot of food in Japan it's ruined me for the food I used to consider delicious: the Chinese food here is merely greasy, the curry I had the other night contained lamb that was closer to leather than meat. The "never mind, the girls raped in Rochdale can comfort themselves with a curry" types can never explain how these awful third-world shit holes can't manage the basics of civilization but somehow produce delightful ethnic food that is superior to the West in every way. It's like expecting an Amazonian tribe living in huts made of branches to produce great epic works of poetry but not flushing toilets. Mental.

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Apr 4Liked by Pimlico Journal

Thoroughly decent.

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Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Pimlico Journal

Can one really order grouse at a restaurant in England? Do you poor saps yet retain one freedom lost to us Americans? How does one catch them? By throwing stones? (this does in fact work, for spruce grouse at least)

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Apr 5Liked by Pimlico Journal

I'll probably never return to London again. Too far gone. But I have very fond memories of the steak and kidney pudding in Rules. Thankfully, I don't live too far from the Three Horseshoes in Batcombe, which serves similar fare. I enjoyed an incredible whole slow-roasted shin of veal with a friend there the other week.

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Apr 3Liked by Pimlico Journal

Hahaha

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Epic final para.

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I suggest your racist blinkers are overwhelming your taste buds, and your choice of venue needs to expand. Nobody of worth or sense goes to the places you lambast, but there are very many other places in and across the city that provide good quality food, and at reasonable prices.

As for English cuisine, I agree that it is hard to find, and I do agree with your explanation.

However much of it was regional, and so for London (excluding the once ubiquitous friend fish and potatoes) that meant lower class stodgy such as pies and roasts, or upper class frivolities such as fricases and things stuffed with other things.

In a world of very many exquisite flavours and textures from abroad perhaps it’s impossible to resurrect a cuisine based more on bombast than finesse.

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