Summer dish of crudo sea trout and microleaves at London restaurant Clipstone

Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape.. Clipstone

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

 

“Fell into a sea of grass
And disappeared among
The shady blades.
Children all ran over me
Screaming tag! You are the one!

Summertime Rolls, Jane’s Addiction

 

Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning,
Feel the sun shining for your eyes.
Wake up, it’s so beautiful,
For what could be the very last time..

Wake Up Boo, The Boo Radleys

 

*

 

Maybe it’s just me, but some places just seem to exude a particular atmosphere, one that especially suits one season or another.

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The multi-colored Viennetta at Chez Bruce takes me back the to 1980's

Wall Street traders. Space Invaders.
Arcade dreams. Custard creams.
Kylie and Jason. Thatcher and Reagan.
HP sauce. Inspector Morse.

Band Aid. Live Aid. Cherry-ade. Kwik Save.
HIV, MTV, TUC, SDP.
Del Boy and Rodney. Deirdre on Corrie.
Just Say No. Farmer Barleymow.

Striking miners. Flash designers.
Berlin wall. Maradona’s handball.
Virgin Atlantic. Sticky-backed plastic.
Baywatch beach. Papa Don’t Preach.

Big hair. Polo necks. BHS. VHS.
ET. BT. Mr T. Ford Capri.
Donkey Kong and Pac Man. Now it’s Captain Caveman!
Scooby Dooby Doo, Where are you?

 

*

 

Ahh, the ‘80s.. That deeply-troubled decade of social inequality and oversized shoulder pads. And what of it? Why is my mind suddenly cast there?

Because right now I’m looking at a menu at Chez Bruce – a well-regarded restaurant on the verge of Wandsworth Common – and standing out from the text like a flashing blue siren from an ’80’s police procedural, is a word that takes me right back to that very decade: “Viennetta”…

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Shittake mushroom bao is an umami hit at Daddy Bao in Tooting.
I remember when it all came to an end. I was 13 years old, much older than I cared to admit to my friends at the time. And when it was all over, my dad and I took a while to come to terms with our shared loss.

For that was the moment – sorely conflicted, but with my mind decidedly made-up – that I told my dad the time had come: from now on, there’d be no more bedtime stories.
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Rules Restaurant London does the best pudding in London - a dreamy syrup sponge pudding

 Covent Garden, 18th January 1804 

“WHERE IN JENKINS’ NAME IS MY GRAVY?… ” I holler at the waiter, evidently newly prenticed and a waif of a boy, whose smart attire barely disguises a demeanor resembling that of my poor cousin Henry just before he died of the pox. 

What dark times are these when a gentleman ventures into his preferred eating establishment and has to wait for his gravy! So enraged am I, that I find myself resorting to some choice utterances – namely involving that damn fiend Napolean and a frisky French poodle – before slamming my silver tankard down so briskly on the mahogany table that my ale splashes over my well-tended beard. Curses and curse again! 

Does he not realise that I am London’s foremost restaurant critic? Admittedly, we are but few in number, namely my good self and that blasted rapscallion upstart Charles Pendergast. Yet, it would appear this wretched boy dares test my ability to destroy reputations with nothing more than my quill and a pot of ink! View Post

To survive Brexit chaos, how about The French House in Soho, London.

Trump. Terrorism. Death. Okay, so not perhaps the most obvious of topics to stray into a restaurant review. But having somehow managed to do just that in some of my previous posts, what’s now left is a big Brexit-shaped elephant in my blog-room that’s still to be confronted.

But I cannot remain silent anymore. A deal has been negotiated. March 2019 is fast approaching. It’s time to talk Brexit.

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