Josh Barrie

Why Russell Norman was a restaurant genius

Polpo, Russell Norman’s celebrated and original Italian restaurant in Soho, was in full flow when I visited for the first time: busy, loud, glasses full and meatballs rolling. I had returned to London after some years away in my early twenties, and had little money. Polpo welcomed diners with its buoyancy and affordability. It was

Au revoir to Le Gavroche

You do not need to be a ‘food person’ to know the name Roux. Or to be familiar with Le Gavroche, the family’s cherished Mayfair restaurant, soon to close after 57 years. They are a name and a restaurant that transcend beyond the world of Michelin stars. And this despite the fact the restaurant requires

The best alternatives to Diet Coke

British media wouldn’t be British media without endless stories of possible health risks in food and drink. The news cycle turns and we land on whether butter is good or bad, or whether having a glass of red wine in the evening is toxic or therapeutic. Another long-running, oft-studied and frequently-discussed topic of debate is

Forget cod – there are plenty more fish in the sea

When it comes to seafood, Britain is a curious place: surrounded by water, in which you can find some of the best fish and shellfish money can buy, and yet so often we are averse to eating it.   There have been numerous campaigns promoting British fish led by just about every chef on television. Hugh

The cult of Aesop

Do you think the luxury soap-maker Aesop would have been valued at £2 billion pre-pandemic? I don’t. Sure, the botanical Aussie cosmetics brand, famously seen in the prettiest restaurants and lining the bathrooms of the fashionable, has been valuable for some time, but ‘hands, face, space’ propelled its growing stardom into a multi-billion pound lather.

Why is the food in parliament so bad?

Anyone who finds themselves gazing at a parliamentary samosa for two minutes or more (me, for the avoidance of doubt) probably has a problem. Sadly, this is what my life has become since the Twitter account @Parliscran arrived on the scene. The reason the samosa was so mesmerising is because I was trying to work

In defence of the £20 burger

Would you spend £20 on a burger? To many in Britain, that price would be unaffordable. Possibly this applies to more people in 2023 than it would have done five years ago because the country has become that much more egregious. Financial progress today is an increasingly laughable concept. Unless you own Amazon, that is,

My great-grandfather, the World War I hero

I am not a patriotic person. I felt joy at London 2012 and like it when our sports teams and players win things; so much of Britain’s history is rich, eclectic, and impressive. But given the fact I barely have a drop of British blood in me, I don’t feel a huge amount of pride