March 12th, 2006


London Food

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of the food resources I relied on for reading up on the Toronto food scene. I don't feel nearly so confident about what's happening in London or the best sources for reading up on it. Despite the number of sources listed below, I feel rather ignorant about what's happening in London. So I'd particularly appreciate any suggestions you have to add to this list.

I have put in bold the names of the resources that I'm currently making regular use of.

  • eGullet's United Kingdom and Ireland discussion board. eGullet in general is a fabulous place to read up on and discuss food online. A fair sampling of the world's great chefs and food critics hang out there too. From locals to celebrities, the people there care about their food.
  • Time Out London offers the best all-purpose guide to London restaurants, with the added bonus of sections on cooking classes and food shops. They also run a very useful website on the subject.
  • The Good Food Guide to UK restaurants is a good up-market guide to, among other things, London restaurants. They offer limited free access to their reviews online. Other major guides to London restaurants includes Harden's, Zagat's, and Michelin. Harden's and Zagat's are compiled by polling the "general public". The Rough Guide used to publish a really good guide to London restaurants, but there's no current edition of the book out.
  • London hosts a number of large food-review websites. Square Meal collates reader comments with those of their own reviewers. London Eating lists all the basic factual information about each restaurant, and then open up reviews to anyone who wants to write one; many such reviews are, I must say, rather whiny. But the information the reviews offer collectively is still often useful. See also Top Table and Beer in the Evening which cover all of the UK as well.
  • I have yet to encounter a particularly thorough calendar of London or UK food events. Partial lists of forthcoming events can be found on the BBC's Food site and on Square Meal. I would love to see a more thorough site, given the bounty of London's (and the UK's) food events.
  • I am under the impression that there are no London-specific food magazines, but UK general ones usually regularly feature London eateries and food provisioners. These include Olive, Good Food, and Delicious. Restaurant is the UK's professional restaurant magazine.
  • Nick Robinson, food reviewer for The Financial Times, posts all of his reviews on his own website as well. He is particularly good at offering insight into larger food scene trends, with interviews with major chefs, restaurant owners, and provisioners.
  • The Passionate Cook (passionate_cook) is a weblog devoted to food. While the author particularly concentrates on recipes, especially Austrian-influenced ones, the blog also offers regular insights into aspects of the London food scene. Other London food bloggers include English Patis, Baking for Britain, and nou_cooks.