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Review: Four Legs @ The Compton Arms, Islington

I used to live right by the Compton Arms, but in 33 months I never once went there. And yet, in the three weeks since I moved flat, I’ve been there four times. One reason is that the once-crusty regulars pub has been taken over by hipster millennials, and revamped. In: morello cherry goses, revolving… Keep Reading

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Review: Beer + Burger Store, Haggerston

To get the first half of the review out of the way immediately: Beer + Burger Store is an excellent beer store. They serve a wide range of beers I’d like to drink, from milkshake IPAs to kettle sours, to spontaneous fermentations; and a wide range I’m less interested in but appreciate the existence of.… Keep Reading

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Review: The Laughing Heart, Hackney

I will probably never really appreciate wine the same way some other people do. There are now some excellent resources, like Josh’s Wine List, for people who want to be able to differentiate between different types of wine and figure out what they like, without spending a fortune. But I can never really detect much… Keep Reading

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Review: The Black Horse, Norbiton

Restaurant quality is pretty concentrated in a few places. If someone asks me where they ought to eat tonight in Soho or Shoreditch I have to ask them if they have any further restrictions to make it easier for me. If someone asks me where to eat in Kingston I’ve had a harder time, despite… Keep Reading

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Review: Monograph Supper Club, Islington

I hummed and hawed about writing this review because like almost everyone, I don’t like to attack the little guy. It’s all well and good to slate a high end hip new opening in Mayfair, or an overpriced chain, but if restaurants are mostly small businesses, supper clubs are uniformly microbusinesses. Slagging them off doesn’t… Keep Reading

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Review: Londrino, London Bridge

The bias in reviewing free dinners is not just the quid pro quo element – the PR scratches your back with a free dinner and you scratch theirs with a generous review – but also the balance between price and enjoyment. When you eat a good restaurant meal with a significant price tag the pleasure… Keep Reading

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Review: Rök, Islington

My two biggest cooking obsessions at the moment are fermentation and wood smoking. So it’s no coincidence then, that I found myself in Rök’s second location (the original is in Shoreditch), where almost everything on the menu is either smoked or pickled. Even one of the beers they offer is somehow imbued with a strong… Keep Reading

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Review: Chik’n, Baker Street

I’ve been back to Chik’n since the review below and tried out their chicken tenders (both spicy and regular style), chips, dips and a burger. The tenders were a lot better – extremely crispy but also juicy and flavoursome. The dips were served in very generous pots. Overall it is now probably a two medal… Keep Reading

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London’s 21 Best Restaurants

There are endless “best restaurant in London” lists, but in our (Sam Bowman’s & Ben Southwood’s) view nearly all of them are rubbish. They’re too expensive and tend to focus on things other than food like service, ambience and image. These things are all important, but with Straight Up London, we have tried to create… Keep Reading

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Review: Tea Room at Bun House, Soho

What’s worse than a place with no redeeming qualities? A place with plenty of redeeming qualities that still doesn’t hit the mark. Tea Room, the cocktail bar below Bun House at the corner of Greek Street in Soho, ticks some of the right boxes – it’s difficult to beat the aesthetic of mid-century China, a… Keep Reading

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