All posts tagged: restaurant review

The Railway, Lowdham

The Railway (formerly the Railway Inn) has had some serious money thrown at it and it shows.  A once tired local pub is now a really rather cool, contemporary pub/restaurant with some great nods in the decor to its railway heritage, a wood burning stove and an open pass to the kitchen as well as some brilliant space outside, including a raised deck. And, it feels great when you walk in. On my continued quest for a decent pub Sunday lunch it seemed worth a punt. I know I get a bit tiresome on the old Sunday Lunch theme, but as I hadn’t eat a Sunday roast in a pub for about 20 years as they had become so bloody awful and my own were so much better, I am now on something of a mission, and I always have the beef – even if the non-traditional Sunday menu looks more inviting, because beef is the hardest to cook well and keep and because its a fairer comparison (I know there is no real science …

Quite curious, but damn good. Mr P’s.

On a day out in York a few weeks ago, I decided to take up a recommendation from a fellow Great Food Club editor in Yorkshire and try out Mr P’s Curious Tavern (no relationship so far as I can tell to any “Curious” parlours, taverns, townhouses or manors in Nottingham). I am very glad indeed that I did. I’ m getting a bit weary of the parade of tapas, world tapas, cuban tapas, small plates thing there seems to be one popping up every few weeks, so few really do them well and honestly please don’t present me with another bowl of square chips puroporting to be patatas bravas and charging me a fiver for the privelege. No, I am becoming a little jaded with the whole tapas thing. But Mr P (the eponymous Mr Perkins is Andrew Pern, executive chef and chef owner at Michelin starred Star Inn at Harome and The Star Inn the City) is in another league though, offering a range (and I mean a range) of small plates with …

This sexy mamma and that Sexy Mamma…

It takes a lot to impress me. This may be because I am old, cynical and jaded, it may be because I have very high standards or perhaps a bit of both, or maybe I’m just picky and difficult, I’ll let others decide. But just occasionally something comes along that surprises and delights and reminds you why it’s good to be alive. And it is. And Sexy Mamma Love Spaghetti is one of those things. Nothing is perfect of course, and I can find a few grumbles  – we were right by the door and it blew open several times and there was sharp wind on that corner, and perhaps, well, no, actually, I’m not even going to bother because this place is absolutely superb and it would be churlish to mention such issues in the scheme of things. SMLS is the third opening in about a 100 yard space in Nottingham’s trendy and bohemian creative quarter, Hockley, by Bosnian chef Edin Gondzic (him of the cool Patisserie, see my earlier blog post ). It …

Does this crumble look cooked to you?

Oh my word it has been a long time since I was here. Things have been so hectic this last 3 months. Not the least of which is that the Fishwife’s team expanded to include a puppy. This, I have now remembered, is not all cuteness and stolen toilet rolls. Nope, it is also sleepless nights, chewed chairs, ripped curtains and full-on attention seeking. These facts, long forgotten since my last dog, are exacerbated by the fact that the Fishwife’s pup is a Vizsla (known as Velcro dogs for very good reason). Anyway, I have managed to  discover a few gems over this time, and there has been one rather unfortunate pub Sunday lunch. I know, I know, as someone tweeted me recently, I never learn. To be fair, on this occasion, the pub in question had asked me to come along and try their Sunday Lunch as the new owners of said pub had been trying very hard to get the food right and wanted some feedback. So being rather a game bird, I …

Can cook, but didn’t cook. A venture into (rather lovely) pre-prepared meals.

I think I can pretty much say we never eat “ready meals”. I am not averse to a good steak pie from a farm-shop or similar but ready-meals generally, nope. That is not because I am a food snob necessarily, (although I am, natch) we just generally don’t like the taste and my own food always tastes better. However, I made an exception this weekend, with a complicated Sunday of taxiing and trying to provide food, I decided extreme measures were called for to ensure we all got something decent for Sunday lunch. So I ventured over to “Cook” in West Bridgford. Cook is a frozen food specialist that claims they make “remarkable food for your freezer, made like you would at home” . I know, what you’re thinking  – posh “Iceland”. But you’d be wrong. Cook has a huge range of meals, mains, puddings, party food, even your entire Christmas lunch if you really wanted to push the boat out. The shop in West Bridgford is tidy, friendly and well designed, there is 2 …

The strange case of the Herbert Kilpin

There has been a lot of noise recently about Herbert. He is apparently a Nottinghamshire lad, born in 1870, the son of a Butcher, who lived with his 9 siblings at 129 Mansfield Rd. He was a keen local footballer and when he eventually moved to Turin to work for an Italian textile merchant with links to a local Nottinghamshire lace manufacturer, he continued to play. From Turin he moved to Milan where he helped set up a local football team that was later to become A.C.Milan and he is, as such, thought by many to be its “founder”. This is, apparently, a “big thing” in the world of football. So when a new city centre pub was opened on Bridlesmith Gate (next to its brother-in-arms Junkyard – with whom it shares a garden and kitchen), named after Herbert there was much interest. Moverover, the pub opened in a delightful but neglected classic and rather iconic building down a city centre ginnel. Describing itself as “urban village pub”, I decided to check it out for …

Edin’s kitchen, all boho and ladies that lunch

How come I haven’t discovered this gem before now? After a wasted morning waiting for someone I was due to interview who didn’t bother to turn up (he and his business shall remain nameless for now as I am not a bitter person) I meandered back through Nottingham’s Bohemian quarter – Hockley – and stumbled upon Edin’s Kitchen. Having heard good things about it, I decided on an opportunistic lunch. Quietly unassuming on the outside, Edin’s Kitchen is one of those hidden gems you stumble across and, once inside, feel as if you’ve just become part of a little secret. Anyone watch “Goodnight Sweetheart”…where the chap walks through a wall and finds himself in wartime London? Well walking into Edin’s felt a bit like walking into a Parisienne back-street cafe that only the locals know, and then feeling properly pleased with yourself. Edin’s is set in a former jeweller’s shop and many of the original features remain – the glass display cabinets, wooden window shutters and even the glass panel at the rear (that now …

Twenty Slices of Bread topped with Liverwurst (oh, and some sardines). Eating out in Dusseldorf.

I don’t speak a word of German. I can muster up a bit of French, and have probably still got some passable Finnish, but German – not a word. So as the daughter planned a week staying with a friend in Dusseldorf, we decided we’d grab the chance of a city break somewhere we’d neither of us been before. Dusseldorf is not the most obvious choice for a short break, I grant you, but if you like museums, art, food, old towns, modern architecture, designer shopping and large rivers, this may be the city for you. Thankfully most Germans have passable to excellent English, and as Dusseldorf is not your typical tourist town, this is really rather useful. We stayed at the Orangery, a modern “boutique” hotel in an old house in a quiet cobbled courtyard, metres from the Rhine and minutes from the heart of the old town, with its alleys of restaurants and bars, and a few minutes more from the fabulous designer shopping streets and malls. A pretty perfect location in fact. …

Can you guess what this is?

Now, I don’t like to use my blog to criticise a place, I know how tough it is to run a restaurant – I would generally not bother to say anything, unless there was some heinous occurrence, bad customer service (for which no excuse) or full on food poisoning (proved of course). So I am going to provide you with an anonymous review. What is the point I hear you ask?  if we don’t know where it is, we can’t avoid it!  I know this, but I didn’t get to avoid it either, and I had looked at Trip Advisor first (I know, I know..). Anyway I am sharing this little blog post with you just for the hell of it. So we went to a gastro-pub, in a neighboring county. Lovely place (well, lovely setting, by a river). The sun was shining, the birds were singing. Not offered the alternative of eating outside with a bar menu, we had been booked into the dining room. Which was quite large, and completely empty. It was …

Holborn, History and Tapas

Holborn is not our usual haunt, but, for reasons I won’t bore you with you, we spent a week (with a hiatus in the middle) in this part of London for the first time. It is a fabulous area, particularly if you are a fan of legal history or Charles Dickens – each corner, each building, every nook, cranny, street-name and Church evokes our legal history, Fleet Street casts its long shadow of journalism and print making (visit St Brides Church and be amazed). A stroll down to the River through the Inns of Court, Blackfriars, Chancery, from the Knights Templar to the Pickwick Papers, legal and literary history is all around you. What isn’t all around you, unless you look very hard are too many amazing restaurants (I am ready to be corrected here, of course). Random restaurant picking generally goes two ways for me – “what a wonderful find, aren’t we lucky!” or “Christ, what a waste of money, only ate it because I was starving”. Somehow both are more satisfying than spending …