Maida Vale

The Red Pepper: The past is a foreign country…

The Red Pepper: The past is a foreign country…

L P Hartley’s famous line seems an appropriate way in which to describe The Red Pepper. Time does funny things to one’s memory and, of course, we all grow up, but put simply, a recent visit to this restaurant showed demonstrably that in the past, “they do [did] things differently.” We left feeling underwhelmed …

Crocker’s Folly: Victorian grandeur meets Middle Eastern cuisine

Crocker’s Folly was my local boozer when I first moved to London.. When the venue reopened as a restaurant in 2014. I visited  and was highly disappointed by the service, uninspiring food and poor value for money. With some time having elapsed, a return trip was merited. In summary, Crocker's remains as stunning as ever, while the menu now has a dedicated Middle Eastern focus. The combination of opulent Victorian architecture and Lebanese-style food may seem like an incongruous one, but it kind-of works.

Gogi: Gone downhill (November 2017)

Gogi: Gone downhill (November 2017)

When it opened in 2013, Gogi offered something different amid the rather staid Little Venice dining scene. Based on how busy the restaurant was on a recent Friday night when my comrade and I visited, Gogi must clearly still be doing something right. However, we could not help feeling that food standards had slipped, the place was poor value for money and the service little more than perfunctory.

The Summerhouse: Canal-side dining – all year round (July 2017)

The Summerhouse has become a much-loved Little Venice/Maida Vale institution, busy all year despite its name, and an undoubted improvement on its predecessor, The Boat House. The main attraction here is the bucolic view of the Grand Union, its passing barges and waterfowl. On a sunny summer’s evening, it was a perfect place to wind down and relax

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.

Les Gourmets des Ternes: A tiny piece of France, transplanted to London (January 2015)

Maybe a few decades ago the French felt that they deservedly had the most bragging rights when it came to culinary superiority. Times have changed though. Japan can claim to have more three Michelin-starred restaurants than France and in London, ask many diners what style of cuisine they currently rate most highly, and – best guess – it won’t be French.

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). 

Kateh: Disorganised, rather than charming (April 2014)

Kateh is a restaurant specialising in Persian food, located in Little Venice down a quaint side-street, on a site formerly occupied by the Green Olive. My dining comrade and I had been meaning to go for some time, it being local and also having being recommended by a Persian friend.

The Red Pepper: A Little Venice institution (November 2013)

A Little Venice institution, the Red Pepper has been delivering consistently good food in the fifteen years I have been visiting the restaurant. While there have been several changes in both management (the current team, led by the charismatic Lara, is a definite success) and décor, the basic formula has remained unaltered.