• Simpsons restaurant: the best Sunday lunch in Birmingham

    As rites of passage go, getting your A-level results and finding out which, if any, university will take you must fall into the same category as “first kiss,” “first heartbreak” and “first hangover.” Being indecisive, it was just as well my choice of university was taken out of my hands. The two institutions …

    Salmon, sesame seeds, lentils, lemon and chicory salad, sauce épices
  • Great British summer drinking… with help from Spain and Italy

    One of the great pleasures of going abroad is trying some of the local tipples, and that goes for beers as much as wine. Water may rehydrate after a yomp through the sweltering Mediterranean heat but nothing slakes one’s thirst like an ice cold beer. During a recent fortnight on the …

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  • Breakfast review: Fischer’s in Marylebone, London

    London restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King are purveyors of fine detail with a luxury spin. Swanky London outposts such as The Wolseley and The Delaunay leave diners panting with excitement about the décor, the ambiance, the service, and generally, the main bit, otherwise known as the food. How strange …

    The back bit at Fischer's
  • Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, London

    Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me… It sounds odd doesn’t it, celebrating your birthday on your own? Don’t believe it for a second. Flying solo for a knock-out lunch is one of life’s great pleasures. Nothing may rival the fun and conviviality of …

    Hélène Darroze
  • Culinary Memphis: it’s BBQ and soul food heaven

    So Prince William and brother Harry got their first taste of Memphis barbecue at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous. After landing in the mid-South for a society wedding, the Royal party did what any self-respecting visitor would do - and went in search of a whole hill of smoky ribs. I know the feeling well. …

    The Lorraine Motel
  • A topping time at Topokki in Birmingham

    The Bullring is many things to many shoppers and it presumably makes a significant contribution to consumer spending, and therefore, economic turnover, in Birmingham. It is, or was, the biggest shopping centre north of Kettering when it threw open its doors in 2003. In doing so, smart-arsed marketing bods were allowed …

    Marinaded beef in bulgogi dolsot bibimbap
  • The classic and the modern collide at Turners in Birmingham

    It is not that long ago that everyone, including me, got very excited about the resurgence – or should that be birth? – of good cooking in Birmingham restaurants. When I started reviewing the city’s eating out scene seven years ago, I was, frankly, a lucky bastard. My appointment as …

    Langoustine, pork jowl, pear, vanilla and radishes
  • The Goring, Belgravia, London

    The lighting inside my suite is adjusted via a gold master switch featuring four settings. Guests can selected from: Bright; Calm; Cosy; and Oooh. I am a sucker for “Oooh,” which is just as well. Because “Oooh,” as in “Oooh, how lovely,” “Oooh, how gorgeous,” and “Oooh, all right, I’ll …

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