Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen – City

Fine dining at One New Change shopping centre by St Paul’s Cathedral

One New Change is worth visiting for its fabulous roof terrace view of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline. It’s free admission to enjoy this viewing platform and there’s a variety of drinking and/or dining experiences to choose from including Madison’s (with outdoor seating on the roof terrace) and – if it’s fine dining you’re after – Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen inside the mall.


View of St. Paul’s Cathedral from One New Change roof terrace


Stepping into Bread Street Kitchen on a Monday evening earlier this month, I was immediately greeted and seated by very professional, efficient waiting staff. The restaurant was mostly empty (although it filled out later) as I was led through the vast warehouse-style interior with its tiled walls and long leather cushioned benches and huge mirrors.

We ordered a bottle of dry white wine, a Ribeiro Santo Branco from Portugal’s Dão region @ £25.00 (light floral aromas, and easy to drink) and enjoyed some fresh, slightly salty bread with a cheesy crust (cover charge @ £2.00 per head) while reading the menu.


Spacious warehouse style interior with tiled walls and an industrial feel


I ordered a side salad as a starter of marinated beetroot, feta and toasted hazelnuts @ £4.00 while H had potted salt beef brisket with grain mustard, picalilli and buckwheat crackers @ £9.50. We were excited by both, and thoroughly enjoyed our first course.


Marinated beetroot, feta + toasted hazelnut salad – side portion


Potted salt beef brisket with mustard, piccalilli + crackers

For main course I was tempted by the pork belly but I’m not eating meat at the mo, so ordered a fillet of sea bream, broccoli and romesco sauce (a gorgeous nut and pepper sauce although – overall – this plate was slightly dry) @ £18.00 along with a side of macaroni cheese with garlic roasted crumbs @ £5.50 (the cheesy sauce was quite creamy and so good!).

H had slow-roasted Cumbrian saddleback pork belly and spiced apple sauce @ £17.00 with a side of mashed potato @ £4.00. Check out the crispy crackling in the photo below (I *will* go back and try the pork next time).


Fillet of sea bream, brocolli + romesco (nut and red pepper) sauce


Macaroni cheese with garlic roasted crumbs


Slow-roasted pork belly + spiced apple sauce


Too full for dessert, we relaxed over a digestif: an amaretto for H @ £7.00 and a Remy Martin coeur de cognac for me @ £15.00.

The verdict: Excellent service; high quality food that excites (and won’t break the bank), in a relaxing, very comfortable, open space. I plan to eat here again. Soon.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, international
~ Address: 10 Bread Street at One New Change, London
~ Postcode: EC4M 9AJ
~ Nearest station: St. Paul’s, Mansion House, Bank
~ Website + menus: Bread Street Kitchen website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Bread Street Kitchen
~ Location: Bread Street Kitchen map


Bread Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Canteen – traditional British grub

Canteen serves hearty British food (from carefully sourced ingredients) and after a couple of drinks at the BFI cafe bar on Friday (another evening of incessant rain), that was just what me and L fancied.

We hadn’t booked but were fortunate enough to get a table that had just become available. It was 8pm, the start of the weekend and this branch of Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall was busy, as you’d expect.

Scotch egg

So we were greeted and seated immediately, and ordered a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc @ £19.00 from the ‘Good white wine’ list (as opposed to the ‘the great’, ‘our favourite’, and ‘brilliant white’ sections – all clearly laid out, in a says what it is on the tin kind of way) and a Scotch egg to nibble on as a shared starter.

The Scotch egg was simply divine – with a runny yolk centre and a crispy, crunchy crumb shell, served with piccalilli @ £3.75.

Haddock + chips – with mushy peas

For main course I had haddock and hand-cut chips with tartar sauce @ £13.75 (well it was #FishFryday after all and I’d been hankering after some good fish and chips all day – they were really crispy but not dry, and no oil in sight) with mushy peas @ £2.75, while L had slow cooked beef stew with stout, onions and glazed carrots @ £12.50 and chips @ £3.50.

Slow cooked beef

This was traditional, nourishing British food at its best – great quality food and reasonably priced too. Our total bill for two came to £62.16 including a 12.5% service charge (although – rather cheekily – the new server who brought us the bill asked us to please leave a cash tip as well, saying that waiting staff wouldn’t get the service charge already added to the bill).

Canteen bill for two

A good reminder that the old British favourites, when served well, can be great.

More of the menu

Pork belly

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London (+ several locations)
~ Postcode: SE1 8XX
~ Tel: 0845 686 1122
~ e: rfh@canteen.co.uk
~ Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment
~ Website + menus: Canteen website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Canteen food
~ Location: Canteen South Bank map

More South Bank dining:
~ Oxo Tower restaurant – somewhat bland
~ Zen China – great riverside views

Canteen on Urbanspoon

So Bar + Eats – Knaresborough

For the second year running, we arranged an ‘open table’ for friends and family at So! Bar & Eats, Knaresborough, the weekend before Christmas. A chance to catch up and either drink or eat. Or both. And be merry, of course.

It’s worth joining So! Bar’s (e)mailing list or at least keeping an eye on their website as they often have offers on for say, 50p off a pint of such-and-such a real ale, or a complimentary bottle of wine when you order two meals, etc.

So Bar
Scoobie snacks – made us run around like fun lovin criminals

There’s a good choice of real ales (Roosters and Wharfedale blonde – both local brewers -were among those on tap on this occasion), and wines; service is really friendly, helpful and efficient and the food’s great (we were a mixed party of vegetarians and meat eaters).

Following Scooby-doo Pye’s example from last time, I had a Scoobie today, of the sloppy gonzales variety: flour tortillas with toasted chilli beef, cheese, red onion, and sour cream and extra chillies, served in slices so you can easily share (…if you must) @ £7.95.

So Bar
Mini burger selection – sharing platter

Big K and B had a sharing slider @ £11.95 – a selection of baby burgers including baby pulled pork, baby sticky chicken, beef rendang, posh burger and Mexicana chicken served with fries and coleslaw. Very tasty too.

The 5 a day burger @ £8.25 proved popular with N: a falafel burger with houmous, mixed salad and spinach tossed in pesto and dukkah, while K had a yankee burger @ £10.95 (beef burger with smoky bacon, cheese, pulled pork, tomato, onion, leaves, dill pickle and BBQ sauce served with fries and coleslaw) and a side of enormous onion rings @ £2.95.

Others in our party thoroughly enjoyed different varieties of scoobies, burgers, salads and grills.

Great venue not to mention food and drink. So will this new tradition continue next Christmas…


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, pub
~ Address: 1 Silver Street, Knaresborough
~ Postcode: HG5 8AJ
~ Tel: 01423 863202
~ Nearest station: Knaresborough
~ Website + menus: So! Bar & Eats Knaresborough website
~ Photos on flickr: images of So Bar food
~ facebook page: So! Bar facebook page
~ Location: So! Bar Knaresborough map

More Knaresborough + Harrogate dining:

~ Storm at The Dower House – Knaresborough
~ Sukhothai – Harrogate, top Thai in Yorkshire

SO! bar and eats on Urbanspoon

Storm at Dower House Hotel – Knaresborough

Storm restaurant at the Dower House Hotel, Knaresborough, was surprisingly empty over Sunday lunch time yesterday.

The quietness may have been to our benefit, as we were squeezing in a quick family lunch together (Sunday roasts were great, reasonably priced and service was attentive and friendly) but I wonder if locals aren’t missing out.

Camera Roll-525
Storm restaurant at Dower House Hotel

It’s a spacious, clean and comfortable restaurant overlooking gardens (where some local club meeting was taking place), close to Knaresborough train station and the River Nidd. The Head Chef, according to their website, trained with Michelin star chefs and specialises in modern European menus using seasonal ingredients.

You can choose from a set menu (about six choices for each course) at around £14 for two courses or £16 for three, or from daily specials on the blackboard.

The restaurant also accepts Tastecard (50% off a la carte food for up to 8 diners excluding Fridays and Saturdays but do check for latest conditions) making it exceptionally good value.

Grilled Spring lamb cutlets, crushed new potatoes, seasonal veg + mint gravy @ £12.95

Camera Roll-523 - img 5079 - fish pie at Storm
Classic fish pie with crispy cheese-topped herb mash + seasonal veg @ £10.95 including a glass of wine

Camera Roll-521 - img 5077 - chicken in mushroom sauce
Chicken in mushroom sauce with roast spuds + seasonal veg @ £9.95 (or half price @ £5.00 with a Tastecard)

I had the fish pie which was packed full of salmon (pink) and white fish (looking as appealing as it tasted), covered in soft fluffy mash with perfectly burnt crispy cheesy patches. The crunchy seasonal vegetables had been steamed which brought out their flavour.

The lamb cutlets were served pink (slightly rare) in the middle and tender, coated in a rich gravy.

More Sunday lunch dishes – November 2014:
We re-visited for Sunday lunch, early November 2014. At this time, it’s £14.95 for two courses or £16.95 for three.

Grilled goats cheese starter

Pate + toast starter

Sunday roast beef + Yorkshire pudding

Grilled swordfish with chilli + spring marinade + roast potatoes

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: Storm restaurant, Dower House Hotel, Bond End, Knaresborough, N Yorkshire, HG5 9AL
~ Nearest train station: Knaresborough (on the Leeds – Harrogate – York line)
~ Menus: Storm restaurant
~ Website: Dower House Hotel website
~ Location: Dower House Hotel map

Storm on Urbanspoon

Kennedy’s bar + restaurant York

I first stumbled across Kennedy’s, on one of York’s quaint side streets, this autumn and enjoyed it so much I’ve already been back.

My first visit was a Sunday in October and it was mild enough to sit outside (though the interior restaurant is spread out over three floors and feels large and spacious) and a live jazz band were playing indoors (there’s often live music – bands and DJs – so it’s worth checking their events page to see what’s on).

We were greeted promptly, sat down and served by very helpful staff (who arranged the available outdoor table, allowed us to use tastecard even though we hadn’t booked, and were very accommodating with alternative ideas when the wine we ordered had run out).

For starters we shared char-grilled asparagus with soft boiled egg, parmesan and streaky bacon with a citrus dressing @ £5.95. It tasted as good as it looks:

Char-grilled asparagus starter

Then, for mains we had roast of the day served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal veg and rich red wine gravy (I had beef, H had lamb) @ £8.95, washed down with a bottle of prosecco at £17.95.

Sunday roast (beef)

On my most recent visit – yesterday – it was a freezing cold day in York and G and I were craving some hearty, warming winter food.

G had this steak and ale pie with chunky chips and gravy @ £10.95

And I had this gorgeous fish pie with saffron mash and buttered samphire (a sea vegetable) @ £12.95
IMG_0693 - fish pie at Kennedy's Bar, York.

Again, the food was great and we weren’t disappointed. In fact, we were amused…

The ‘S’ and ‘y’ had been erased from the baby-changing sturdy station @ Kennedy’s

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: 1 Little Stonegate, York
~ Postcode: YO1 8AX
~ Tel: 01904 620 222
~ Nearest rail station: York
~ Website: Kennedy’s bar + restaurant website
~ Location: Kennedy’s map

Kennedy's Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

~ Samphire recipes: on BBC Food website

Seafresh Restaurant – simply amazing fish and chips


Best fish and chips in central London!

8oz haddock fillet (Peterhead and Grimsby) with chips @ £10.55 [update: £11.75 as of June 2013]

Good fish and chips are extremely hard to find in London, but Seafresh Restaurant in Pimlico is exceptional.

Serving fish fresh every day from Billingsgate (caught from Grimsby and the English coast) and direct from Peterhead in Scotland, there’s a substantial menu including haddock, cod, and plaice fillets as well as salmon, sardines, sea bream, calamari, fish cakes, etc and daily specials.

Fish is fried in rapeseed oil as standard, or you can choose to have it grilled for a £1 surcharge, or cooked on the bone if you don’t mind waiting about 20 minutes.

On this, my first visit, I ate in the cafe (there’s also an adjoining take-away shop) and had an 8oz haddock – perfectly cooked light, fluffy fish in crisp, freshly fried batter. And not a drop of oil in sight – simply beautiful. Given the freshness, quality and size of portions, this is great value, tasty food.

IMG_5380_Haddock at Seafresh
8oz haddock

Deep fried calamari, freshly caught from the English coast @ £11.10

It was a Friday lunchtime and understandably, all the tables filled up quickly (in addition to excellent fish, service is prompt and staff are sufficiently attentive).

Opening hours from Monday to Friday are 12.00pm-3.00pm and 5.00pm-10.30pm, and on Saturdays from 12.00pm-10.30pm.

Popular on Friday lunchtimes

Seafresh Restaurant, Wilton Road – quaint Pimlico street

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: British, fish and chips
~ Address: 80-81 Wilton Road, London
~ Postcode: SW1V 1DL
~ Tel: 020 7828 0747
~ Nearest station: Victoria, Pimlico
~ Website: Seafresh Restaurant website
~ Location: Seafresh Restaurant map

Nearby dining:
~ Pimlico Fresh
~ Seafresh
~ Taquitos Mexican Grill

Seafresh on Urbanspoon

The Avalon, Balham Hill – divine green tea crème brûlée


I went to the Avalon last night for the first time and was suitably impressed.

Incidentally, I only noticed that this pub’s been done up fairly recently (very appealing from the outside) as I was walking past the other night, after buying some Chateau Tooting locally produced wine from a nearby wine-shop. But that’s another story. Back to The Avalon.

There’s a lovely big bar area where you can make your way through an extensive wine list and work up an appetite, before going through to the – also large – dining room.

Short rib with corn on the cob and celeriac remoulade (aka ‘coleslaw’)

Our party had slow-cooked short rib (above) and pasta for main courses – perfectly cooked and served. The beef was really tender and just delicious covered in juicy gravy. A main course is about £12 but with a Tastecard you get 50% off the food bill.

Spinach pasta with ricotta and parmesan

Green tea crème brulé – gets the Lardbutty award for best crème brulee ever!

Until the next time…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: 16 Balham Hill, London
~ Postcode: SW12 9EB
~ Tel: 020 8675 8613
~ Nearest station: Clapham South
~ Website: The Avalon website
~ Location: The Avalon map

Avalon  on Urbanspoon