Food

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'Clean food' is a dangerous fad

The supermarket aisle has become a confusing place. It used to be full of recognisable items like cheese and butter; now you find yourself bamboozled by all manner of odd… Read more

Eat...just maybe not at Jamie's Italian (Photo: Getty)

Boastful, narcissistic, overpriced: welcome to Jamie’s Italian

22 August 2015

Jamie’s Italian is squeezed into the Devonshire Arms on Denman Street, Soho, borne on the duplicitous winds of TV shows and book deals. It’s an odd fit, like a Flump… Read more

Fresh tomato soup Gazpacho

The missing ingredient for a perfect gazpacho

15 August 2015

We were eating tapas and talking about Spain. Leaving caviar on one side, when jamón ibérico is at its best, there is nothing better to eat. In the Hispania restaurant,… Read more

Prue Leith

8 August 2015

My Cambodian daughter and her husband have just got married again. Wedding One was a Buddhist affair in our drawing room, complete with monks, temple dancer, gold umbrellas, brass gongs,… Read more

Oporto: a touch of North Africa and no hipsters

Tripe, pale tawny port and LSD: the delicious flavours of Oporto

8 August 2015

‘When he’s away, the thing he misses about Porto is the tripe.’ I was talking to Eduarda Sandeman, wife of George Sandeman, chairman of the eponymous port firm. Despite his… Read more

I Shop Therefore I Am (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

A fake fishing village, and the nastiest thing I’ve eaten as a restaurant critic

8 August 2015

Selfridges is skilled at making things that are not hideous (women) look hideous (women dressed as Bungle from Rainbow or a tree, after shopping at Selfridges). So I was not… Read more

Colorful houses on the Burano, Venice

Venetian restaurants know I’m English from the back

25 July 2015

The Gatto Nero — or ‘Black Cat’ — is in Burano, a tiny island in the Venetian lagoon. It is close to ‘haunted’ Torcello, with its ancient campanile and its… Read more

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Susan Hill’s French notebook: My struggle to avoid local cuisine

11 July 2015

An overnight stop on the Ile de Ré taken between the St Malo ferry and the Quercy, where we always spend June, reminds one how closely French history lives entangled… Read more

gordon-ramsay

The joy of an empty Gordon Ramsay restaurant

11 July 2015

The Maze Grill is on a sinister street in Chelsea, between a small Tesco — a boutique Tesco? — and a shop selling ugly sculptures of cats. The Chelsea Physic… Read more

First he brought limp salad, and now it’s drizzling

The pitfalls of picnics (and how to avoid them)

4 July 2015

Strange, isn’t it, that despite having such famously terrible weather, we Brits are so fond of a picnic. It’s something to do with making the most of what sunshine we… Read more

The Ivy has lost its sparkle

The new Ivy doesn’t have the old magic (if there ever was any)

27 June 2015

The Ivy is a Playmobil-style faux-medieval restaurant in a triangular building opposite The Mousetrap; of the two, The Ivy is more ancient and threatening. It has mullioned windows, a photogenic… Read more

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A fantasy world with its own perfumed air: the Colony Grill Room

13 June 2015

The Beaumont Hotel is a bright white cake in the silent part of Mayfair, where the only sound is Patek Philippe watches, tick-tocking. We are in the eye of the… Read more

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Fenchurch in the Sky Garden – like going for dinner in Total Recall

30 May 2015

Fenchurch is a restaurant that is scared of terrorists. It cowers at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, a skyscraper which looks like an enormous and unfashionable Nokia 3120 mobile… Read more

Le Perche: every farmyard looks like a painting

Beauty, tragedy and black pudding: the delights of Normandy

16 May 2015

I am compiling a list of the best black puddings. It began in Spain when I encountered my first morcilla de Burgos, a rich, spiced black sausage bulked up with… Read more

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There’s only one place to mourn another Labour loss

16 May 2015

Ed is a plank. He was always a plank — and now he is in Ibiza being a plank. Plankety–plankety-plank: goodbye to our most recent terrible leader — and who… Read more

Garlic-new

The surprising power of garlic

I’d better declare a conflict of interest straight away: I am rather taken by anything to do with garlic, have researched it for more than 30 years, and am particularly… Read more

Just deserts

Could any cook help me overcome my terror of tapioca?

9 May 2015

There are those who claim that this column is idiosyncratic. They have seen nothing yet. I am about to mention a subject which has never previously appeared in any drink… Read more

(Photo: Liavittone)

The Portrait restaurant: a secret glade of stone and brick, suspended above Trafalgar Square

2 May 2015

The Portrait Restaurant lives at the top of the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is fiercely modern, but likeable. You ride an escalator into a void, glimpse the raging faces… Read more

Does the English language need a Norwegian lesson?

25 April 2015

‘Ten Norwegian phrases that don’t exist in English but should,’ said the headline. So I had a little look, as the writer on the internet, one Kenneth Haug, intended. Here’s… Read more

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden: Richard Caring has finally built a restaurant I admire

18 April 2015

The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a restaurant inside an Edwardian house disguised as a Tudor house on the King’s Road; it was formerly the fetid Henry J. Bean’s American Bar… Read more

La Coupole

A cemetery with cocktails: La Coupole and the spirit of the brasserie

4 April 2015

La Coupole, Montparnasse, is the grandest and most famous of the old pre-war Parisian brasseries; that is, if you have an Esprit Brasserie loyalty card, as I have, you can… Read more

28 March 2015

Service record The government is to form a design panel to improve motorway services stations. These have not always charmed the British public, not least the very first: Watford Gap… Read more

Cheeky Squirrel

What to do with a squirrel (without getting prosecuted)

21 March 2015

Gardeners are up against it. There are thousands of garden pests, exciting new ones discovered every day, and few remedies left with which to fight them. The wonderful cure-all chemicals… Read more

Kitty Fisher’s: proof that the PM has good taste in restaurants, if not in friends

21 March 2015

David Cameron is too cowardly, or too cynical, to debate with Ed ‘Two or Possibly Three Kitchens’ Miliband — which depends entirely on the breath of your own cynicism —… Read more

The Grill at The Dorchester - night time panels detail HIGH RES

Is the Dorchester the designated grand hotel for fat people? The portions at its new grill say so

7 March 2015

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, is a cake floating in space. All grand hotels create a parallel universe in which their guests are returned to some great gilded and unnatural… Read more