Food & Drink

The Dining Room

At last! It’s in vogue to be British! Hoorah (in the non marine sense) to all Henries, let’s all dress head-to-toe in Harris Tweed and celebrate massively, in an incredibly understated miniature fashion, don our best stiff upper lips and swap all Chihuahuas for sizeable hounds immediately. I was reluctantly persuaded to leave the pipe at home and do my very best to behave tonight.  Alright, perhaps I’m a little over excited – but I’m off to The Goring. Once upon a time, not too long ago, The Goring Hotel was born into the blue-blooded heart of Belgravia, a mere brogue’s throw from Buckingham Palace. Like all things regally British,…


If you ask the local folks around Bristol, you will find a host of people and the old rags pontificating about the “way things were”. James Wilkins and Christine Vayssade bought the lease on a property on Chandos Road to set up their dream restaurant. It just so happens that the space was previously owned by another couple who ran a highly successful restaurant there for over 30 years. But as I never went to its predecessor, I would be able to dine at Wilks, unabated and untainted. I will fast forward to mid-meal. As I saunter toward the amenities, I notice numerous pictures of James with multiple Asian chefs….

Bangkok: A Culinary Mecca

From street stalls to hipster bars, from single plate meals to exquisite sharing menus, Bangkok will thrill your palate. Former Bangkok dweller Amy McNichol finds out where to dine. Mmm, Thai food! Delicious, right? What could be better than dunking a fistful full of prawn crackers into a polystyrene tub of acidic orange gloop and shovelling them into your trap while they fizz? For mains, it’s a vat of watery, green curry and a brick of tooth-decayingly sweet coconut rice that has been packed in to, and moulded by, its plastic takeaway box. As it flops out onto the plate and smashes like a poorly made sand castle, remember, Thai…


God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. Located in the square mile, Voltaire is housed in a Grade Two-listed building, styled by renowned interior designer Sue Wheldon. At one time, the vaults at Voltaire housed the vast wealth of the patrons to the bank above. Now, you are more likely to find a rich plume than doubloon in its hallowed walls. The vaults are mini-cavernous escapes adjacent to Voltaire, where you and your private party can retreat into the stone for an evening of private frivolity. Here guests can enjoy handmade canapés, fine cigars from a variety…

The Hangover

For ten thousand years, ever since human beings settled down to the cultivation of cereals and vines, alcohol has played a fundamental role in society. It has served as an object of religious festivals, social lubricant, and afforded many unattractive men and woman the otherwise-unobtainable affection of higher mortals. Suffice to say, heavy drinking has always been part of the British character. Winston Churchill once told: “A lady came up to me one day and said ‘Sir! You are drunk’, to which I replied ‘I am drunk today, madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober, but you will still be ugly.” For years alcohol manufacturers have been telling us that…


Radio is the new rooftop bar and terrace atop the newest of the ME hotel’s, owned by Sol Melia on The Strand. Having stepped out of the Rolls Royce Phantom (provided by the team at the Envy Group), we power walked from the car to the hotel’s circular street entrance and into the Norman Foster designed building. Space is top of the menu here, with a cavernous lobby opening up to 157 individually designed rooms, 16 suits and 499sqm of meeting space. But tonight, we aren’t here for the hotel. We aren’t even here for a suite. We are actually here for the launch of Radio, the hotel’s destination bar…

Cinnamon Kitchen, EC2

We got escorted off the premises of Cinnamon Kitchen the other day. The lady and I were frogmarched to the roadside by the scruffs of our necks and admonished for doing the unimaginable, the abominable, the detestable: smoking. It was like being back at school. There we were, two grown adults, merrily imbibing the night, suddenly cut down by these health fascists. I understand not smoking next to the front door, but in an empty seating area? C’mon, guys, don’t cack on free choice. Other restaurants would be thankful to have a drippingly cool couple who think they’re Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall smoking outside. This is Shoreditch, after all….

Interview: Frederick Forster

Frederick Forster joined Prescott & Conran in July 2012 as the head chef responsible for Boundary Restaurant, and Boundary Rooftop Bar & Grill. Earlier in his career, he won the Roux Scholarship, before going on to win the prestigious Craft Guild National Chef of the Year Award in 2011. What is the philosophy behind The Boundary Restaurant? Our philosophy is to produce consistently high-quality French based food using only the best and most authentic ingredients available in the UK and from France, creating dishes with simplicity and techniques that are representative of a first-class establishment. Seasonality is key, with the main ingredient of a dish always remaining the focal point….