The Peasant: More chic than rustic (November 2017)

The word peasant conjures up somewhat bucolic images of the English past; labourers and farmhands toiling away in the fields and the like. It perhaps, therefore, seems a strange name with which to adorn a pub, particularly in the trendy London district of Clerkenwell. There is nothing rustic about the venue and its prices would probably turn even many modern-day peasants away. Nonetheless, the venue is cool and offers a good range of beers and competently executed dishes.

The Elgin: Trying too hard (June 2017)

The Elgin, a seemingly on-trend gastropub, has come a long way from its existence as a boozer for old soaks - the format in which I first visited this venue some twenty years ago. Sure, it has improved in many ways and is much loved by the yummy mummies of Maida Vale (babyccino, anyone?), but a group of us who recently visited on a Sunday lunchtime couldn't help but feel singularly disappointed.

The Sportsman: Good, but maybe not worth its star (December 2014)

What does a restaurant or pub need to do in order to get a Michelin star? This was the question I mused as a group of five us set out for a recent lunch at the one-starred Sportsman near Whitstable. Since the Sportsman has had this accolade since 2008, it clearly must be doing something right.

Crocker’s Folly: Not worth the wait (December 2014)

When I first moved to London 16 years’ ago, I was lucky to have as my local boozer Crocker’s Folly, a quite remarkable pub, decorated in a high Victorian style with much marble and mirrors. The ales were great, they had a lovely weekly pub quiz and average pub grub (for the late 90’s). 

The Wells: Underwhelming (June 2014)

Green and leafy Hampstead feels as if it could be part of the countryside rather than just a few tube stops north of Euston or Camden. Being a world removed from the London we all probably know better may have its charms, but what the Wells gains in terms of location, our group of five dining there recently on a weekday evening felt it lost in terms of atmosphere and service.