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Hello all!

Patisserie Joie de Vie, Barnet, London EN5

This week our featured article is the very French-sounding Patisserie Joie De Vie, EN5 5SN. It's unclear how joyful life will seem by the time you get to High Barnet, but at least once there you can have a crepe or a galette, which surely will help.

There's a new article in the form of Lahpet, a Burmese restaurant in Hackney. I believe the names "Burma" vs "Myanmar" are somewhat political, but as I have no idea what the adjectival form of Myanmar might be, I'm glad the former has been chosen. If you, like I, are unfamiliar with the country's food, then a visit to Hackney may be required, though you may need some patience with the food it sounds like.

There are updates to Shadi Bakery in Croydon (for all your fresh naan needs), Kazan in Westminster (for all your quality Turkish food needs, assuming you don't mind paying a bit more), and Village Bookshop in Woodford Green (for at least some of your book needs).

There's a reported upcoming closure for Dabbous; their final day is 15 July. I guess its period of on-trend success just fizzled out?

Finally the old Chesham Brewery Shop is now called Mad Squirrel Chesham following the renaming of its parent brewery from Red Squirrel to Mad Squirrel. Best of luck with the new name.
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Mr Chilly, North Harrow, London HA1

Evening RGLers! After last week's Good Beer Guide pub deluge, here's what's been happening everywhere else.

Our featured article is for Mr Chilly, who is neither an underprepared arctic explorer nor an anthropomorphised ice cream but a small North Indian restaurant near North Harrow station. Try the biryani!

We've got lots of new articles. Let's kick things off in Morden, with a branch of Wimpy and the Morden Hall Bookshop, which sells second hand books from an old National Trust building in the park. Up the Northern line a few stops is Vijaya Krishna, a South Indian restaurant in Tooting, while back down in the other direction there's Bamboo Basket, a Chinese/Malay tea shop and cafe in Epsom. Ram's in Kenton is a veggie (and Jain-friendly) Indian restaurant that has a buffet with unlimited puri (mmm, delicious carbs), while all the way over in Eltham, the Yak and Yeti does a reasonable lunch deal.

Of course there are some pub updates too: the Duke of York in Surbiton and the Albert Tavern in South Norwood (both owned by Greene King), the Cape bar in Wapping, the Cricketers pub in Croydon (great for tram watching), the Barley Mow in Epsom, the Villiers Arms in Oxhey (as confirmed last week, Oxhey is indeed a real place) and the Railway Tavern in Bexley. I judge it would be quite a challenge to create a (theoretical, even!) pub crawl to visit all seven of those in one day, even though you would be unaffected by the temporary closure of the Gospel Oak to Barking line (it's shut until next February).

Finally, some closures to report: Italian restaurant Tentazoni has moved from Bermondsey to Notting Hill, while the Charlotte in Crayford, the Dover Castle (a Sam Smith's) in Marylebone and the branch of Spirited Wines in Putney have all closed.
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Osterley Bookshop
Hello all!

This week's featured article is for Osterley Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop which makes up half of the old Osterley & Spring Park Piccadilly line station (closed in 1934 - the Station Master blog has a great old photo of the station 'in action').

Two new pages: firstly Dexter Burger in Purley, a small burger joint that offers outdoor-reared/free-range meat, local beers and interesting gluten-free/veggie options. Secondly Lahore Karahi in Tooting is a Pakistani curry house, with corkage-free BYOB and low prices.

Finally, the Bear in Camberwell has temporarily closed for a refit. Unfortunately I cannot confirm whether or not they have used the phrase 'Bear with us' anywhere on their website, because my browser tells me it's chock full of malware. I wonder if fixing that is part of their refurb plan?
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back! The update this week will have to last you for the next two. (Also there's no image for the featured article, as the original photo doesn't seem to allow embedding as an option, but imagine a green facade, maybe turquoise... or don't imagine it, click on the link!)

Osterley Bookshop

So the featured article this week is Four Hundred Rabbits, SE19 3AH, which is a pizza restaurant in delightful Crystal Palace (or maybe Upper Norwood if you're historically so inclined). It's a top place for all your sourdough pizza, gelato and craft beer needs.

We also have a new entry for Osterley Bookshop, in that bit of West London known as Osterley, housed in a former rail station building! It's arranged in classic second-hand bookshop style, which is to say haphazardly. Don't take any book-murdering dogs, though the regular book-friendly variety are fine!

There's an update for Dartmouth Park boozer The Lord Palmerston.

There are also two closures. The first is possibly only temporary, Shanghai Blues in Holborn. The other is definitely permanent, Moti Mahal in Covent Garden.
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[personal profile] ewan
As we'll be away for the holiday period (happy Winterval!), I've left this until later in the week. That's my excuse (it's nothing to do with being lazy) and I'm sticking with it.

Chicken and Frog, Brentwood, Essex

This week's featured article celebrates the inclusion of Brentwood in the London travel zone system, and is a small children's bookshop, Chicken and Frog, CM15 9AT, delightfully rammed with books.

One addition is a Swedish bakery cafe called Fabrique, in Covent Garden. Small, industrial chic, and typically pricy, but strong coffee can be had.

Finally, the reported impending closure of Brew Wharf has now happened.
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White Hart, Stepney, E1
Hullo all!

This week's featured article is for the White Hart in Stepney (not to be confused with the other White Hart a few hundred yards further down the A11 by the Whitechapel Gallery). The featured White Hart contains its own microbrewery so you'll have plenty of fresh beer to drink if you visit, and some decent food to soak it up with.

Aside from our Cockney drinking den we have a very Brentwood-focused week for new pages. Pub-wise there's the Brewery Tap, a small pub that does not have its own microbrewery as far as I can tell; the Rising Sun, which is in the Good Beer Guide and will do you a pickled egg; the Spread Eagle, which does scones and coffee as well as real ale, and a traditional boozer in the form of the Victoria Arms, which I'm pleased to report possesses a carpet. Elsewhere in Brentwood there's the Chicken and Frog, a children's bookshop, and Japanese food at Sushi City. The latter plays techno covers of Terence Trent D'Arby - I'm sold.

Finally another non-Brentwood addition: USSR Ltd in Leyton, which appears to be a Russian version of Aldi? I will admit to being intrigued both by the concept and the name! I wonder if they play techno versions of Дима Билан?
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Magma, Thornton Heath, London CR7

This week's featured article is Magma, CR7 7ND. It's a small Ghanaian restaurant in Thornton Heath. Expect bright colours and probably not many people, but load up on carby goodness with tasty palaver sauce.

There are new entries for The Thatched House in Barking, a pub with Kenyan food; The Four Quarters, an 'arcade bar' in Peckham; and Chipstead Tandoori, which is surely self-explanatory, but it's an Indian in Chipstead, one of the few places to eat in this part of town, and even then probably missable.

We also have news of the reported closure of The Kennington Bookshop.

Finally, for those who have an interest in this sort of thing, Jeff 'Stonch' Bell has sold up The Finborough Arms and moved on to other things.
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Bubbles & Tea, Stratford, London E15

Evening everyone! This week's featured article is for Bubbles and Tea, a small vegan bubble tea cafe in the Stratford Centre. If you're not sure what bubble tea is, there's a helpful sign on the front of the premises!

Freshly written up on RGL are articles for the Japanese Canteen in Holborn (serviceable greasy noodles) and the newly opened Everyman Cinema in Canary Wharf. There's also an update to the page for Ravi Shankar, one of the better Indian restaurants on Euston's Drummond Street, following a recent lunch visit.

There's some to-ing and fro-ing around Tottenham Court Road and Waterloo: Book Warehouse has moved a few minutes down the road on Lower Marsh, and now occupies the top floor of Gramex Music Shop. Also on the move are Korean restaurants Woo Jung and Po Cha, both having moved from the shadow of Centrepoint due to the Crossrail works. Woo Jung is now on New Oxford Street while Po Cha find itself opposite Gramex on Lower Marsh, in the old premises of Marsh Ruby (now closed). Their former Centrepoint neighbour Assa has closed for good, however, as has the Old Justice in Bermondsey.
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Mazi, Croydon, London CR0

Hullo all, I hope you had a good break!

This week's featured article is for Mazi, CR0 2RF, a small Turkish restaurant in Croydon. The kebabs and stews definitely come recommended - the yoghurtlu lamb shish sounds delicious.

New to RGL is Chennai Dosa, a laid back South Indian restaurant in Tooting serving dosas and uttappam (aka Indian pizzas). The spice level is variable but the pricing is very reasonable.

A number of pub closures to report: the Star in St John's Wood, the Green Dragon in Winchmore Hill, and the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn - which was demolished without any warning given at all. Outrageous! Less drastically, the Adams Cafe in Croydon is now a pizza restaurant, the Clarence on Balham High Road is now called the Balham Arms, the Charles Dickens in Borough is closed while it's having a spruce-up, and the Kennington Bookshop is set to close at the end of May.
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Vijay, Kilburn, London NW6

Afternoon everyone! A slight hiccup disintegrated last week's blog post, which would have had Nunhead's Beer Shop as the featured article. Who knows what Ewan would have written about this new micropub/bottle shop? Well, he wrote the article being featured so you can have a decent guess. Instead I will tell you about this week's featured article, which is for Vijay in Kilburn, a South Indian restaurant which claims to be the first such restaurant to open in the UK (in 1964). It does a decent mathanga erissery along with other vegetarian, meat and fish specialities. Apparently the Indian cricket team have been known to pop in for a biryani following a hard day's batting at Lord's...

There are updates to the articles for the George pub and Mirch Masala (both in Croydon), and the Riverside Bookshop has moved a few yards from Hay's Galleria to Tooley Street. Meanwhile, Swedish haunt The Harcourt has closed for refurbishment until June 2015, and has relocated to the nearby Duke of York (so Eurovision fans will still have somewhere to watch Melodifestivalen this spring).

A whole bunch of closures to report: the clanging chimes of doom have clung for the Marquis of Wellington and Royal Delight (both in Bermondsey), the Iron Duke inside Victoria station (now replaced with The Beer House Victoria - you can probably guess what font its sign uses without even clicking), the Hobgoblin in New Cross (now reopened as the Rose Pub & Kitchen), Broca Food Market in Brockley, Books For Amnesty in Hammersmith, the Duke of Edinburgh in Upton Park, and the Prince of Wales in Hillingdon. I don't think you could have watched Melodifestivalen in any of those places.
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The Cafe Below, St Paul's, London EC2

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Cafe Below, a cafe in the crypt of St Mary Le Bow church in Cheapside. It may be underground but it's still around 28 metres above sea level (according to this altitude finding tool). An unusual spot worth investigating for lunch in the City, with decent veggie options.

We've got a handful of new articles too: the Hackbridge Cafe is an above-average greasy spoon in the eponymous South West London suburb; Viet Rest in Deptford has a fish tank, and does a great glutinous rice with pork (among other Vietnamese treats); Tram Stop is a small, child-friendly cafe in Addiscombe, with a good view of the passing trams.

Finally, The Bookworm bookshop in Carshalton has closed.
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Hello again.

As Nature Intended, Balham, London SW12

This week's featured article is not a naturist resort, but in fact an organic supermarket called As Nature Intended, SW12 9BP. Bit of a small chain, but this branch is in Balham. You can get refills of all your household essentials too.

Our new article this week is The French Cafe in South London's Tooting. It's a cafe, and it's French, so expect pate and cheese.

Finally we have one possible closures, Da Vinci, a late-night bar and restaurant near Waterloo which had a fire recently, and the impending closure early next year of Book Warehouse, also nearby.
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natural kitchen

This week's featured article is Natural Kitchen, W1U 5JX, an organic cafe and deli on Marylebone High Street. It also has an upstairs restaurant, which is a bit pricy but gets thumbs up. Attracts the usual upmarket Marylebone crowd.

The new article is for East Meets West, a restaurant in Croydon focusing on the cuisine of Dongbei in North-East China, and I can assure you that certain influential figures within the RGL universe are very excited about this opening. I'm sure we will hear more about this restaurant, and should book our trips to Waddon now.

There's an update to The King Edward VII pub (or "King Eddie's" to its friends) in Stratford.

Finally, two reported closures are the independent bookshop Woolfson and Tay near Southwark, and Caribbean Scene Family, a Caribbean restaurant in Stratford.
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Hello and welcome to 2014!

Palace, New Malden, London KT3

This year's inaugural weekly featured article is for Palace, KT3 4BH, a Korean restaurant in exotic and far-flung New Malden. If it helps you any in getting you to travel to furthest south-west London, then why not consider the spicy crab and the chilled glass noodles? They are warmly recommended by your intrepid RGL friends.

The one new article is The Bedford pub in Balham.

Three reported closures are: Jane Gibberd Secondhand Books on Lower Marsh behind Waterloo Station; Two Jays Bookshop in Edgware; and The Windmill pub in Sydenham.

There's also one impending permanent closure: Woolfson and Tay, a bookshop near Southwark station; and one temporary one: Imperial War Museum, which is closing until July 2014.

Finally, Vitao, a vegan cafe, has moved from Wardour St to nearby Oxford St.
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Kennington Bookshop, London SE11

This week's featured article is The Kennington Bookshop. If I need to explain what or where that might be, I shall despair. However, bookshops are lovely and so you should visit it and buy things there, either new or second-hand.

Reported closures are Pappadom Indian takeaway in Camberwell, Peninsula Chinese restaurant in North Greenwich, and Ministry of Spice Indian takeaway on Greenwich-Lewisham borders.

Finally, in long-awaited happy news, The Ivy House pub in Nunhead is now community-owned and open again, after a battle with developers.
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Bombay Burrito

Hello RGL readers!

This week's featured article is for Bombay Burrito, EC1V 7JL, a cheap and cheerful burrito joint in Angel that puts chickpeas and curry sauce into the burrito instead of your usual Mexican-themed beans and salsa. It's a great place to pick up a quick dinner post-pub or pre-cinema (or vice-versa). Though be warned - it shuts early on Saturdays.

Plenty of fresh items on the menu this week - we have two new bookshop articles for Woolfson and Tay in Southwark (which has recently moved premises from Bermondsey Square) and Kew Bookshop, handily located in Kew (next to Kew Gardens tube station). There are also new pages for Meze Bar and Grill in Eastcote (free bread), the Well gastropub in Clerkenwell (expensive food but great starters), Maotai Kitchen in Chinatown (tasty spam and black fungus) and the New Fairlop Oak, a large Wetherspoons in Fullwell Cross (with stained glass windows).

There's also been an update to the page for the Ascott, a Greene King pub in Eastcote which was refurbished a couple of years ago and as such no longer has a dartboard!

Last but not least, the Mr Cad camera shop has moved from Croydon all the way to Victoria. That is a pretty hefty zoom by any standards...
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Bookseller Crow on the Hill, Crystal Palace, London SE19

This week's featured article is the squawkingly independent Bookseller Crow On The Hill, a family-run bookshop in Crystal Palace. Their website features a variety of ridiculously unreadable fonts! The owners appear to be very fond of the local Crystal Palace dinosaurs - as am I.

A slew of new additions this week! First of all is the Marylebone branch of Natural Kitchen, a grocery and cafe that specialises in seasonal/healthy/hippy food (i.e. plenty of vegetarian/vegan options). We also have the Angel branch of the Craft Beer Co, which has a) lovely curtains and b) a lovely carpet, meaning you can actually hear yourself think on a Friday night.

The Little Squiggles Cafe is a child-friendly caff on Sutton High Street, which has a 'buggy park' for pushchairs and pet dinosaurs. Finally, there's Vinoteca, the busy (but friendly) Soho branch of the wine bar and restaurant chain, that does a decent fried iguanodon steak and chips.

The name change didn't do Zeitgeist Coffee Bar much good it seems, as it's now closed down. Instead, Lambeth North now has a Crave Kitchen & Bakery. The Vietnamese restaurant next door, Ha-Noi, has also closed. Perhaps that corner of Westminster Bridge Road is just going through a bad patch, not unlike the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event?
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Lucky Seven, Stoke Newington, London N16

Happy New Year! This week's featured article is Lucky Seven, a second-hand bookshop and (mostly) record shop in Stoke Newington. I went there for the first time the other week having not even registered its existence before and it was filled with things from floor to ceiling, often precariously piled and stacked.

One temporary closure is Imperial War Museum, for six months.

Three reported permanent closures are, very sadly, Hoopers Bar, an excellent real ale-loving local in between Camberwell and East Dulwich; the Camberwell branch of Wing Tai; and the N1 Centre branch of Yo! Sushi (in Islington, that is). The last is the least sad, as I've ranked them on a sliding scale. Feel free to disagree with my ranking (unimportant as it is) in comments.

Also, Foote's Music has moved from Soho to Bloomsbury, so take note, music instrument fans.

In more positive news, a pub has reopened! In this case, The Wheatsheaf by Borough Market (no, not that one), meaning there are now two competing Wheatsheafs within a few steps of one another, ostensibly the SAME PUB (the first was opened when this pub closed for the Thameslink work and the management went around the corner to the Hop Exchange).
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Fish and Grill, Croydon, CR0

This week's featured article is Fish and Grill, CR0 1DP. It is a fish and meat restaurant in Croydon, related to some upmarket ones in Chiswick and Sutton. It does good fish, you'll be pleased to hear.

New entries are: Sutton and Sons, a fish & chips shop in Stoke Newington; the Bookseller Crow on the Hill, a book shop in Crystal Palace; and Good Taste, a deli also in Crystal Palace.

Following the closure of the inner South London loop from London Victoria to London Bridge via Peckham Rye, and its replacement with an extension to the London Overground's East London Line, taking it from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction, there are updates to the South London Line and East London Line entries.

The one reported closure is Maggie's Bar in Stoke Newington, which closed years ago.

Finally, The Catford Bridge Tavern has reopened after a brief period of closure, and we may be thankful, though I heard today that Mr Lawrence off licence in nearby Brockley is going to close in the New Year. It is a rollercoaster ride of alcohol-related emotions in south London.
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The Bookworm, Carshalton, London SM5

Greetings, RGL crew.

This week's featured article is The Bookworm, SM5 2PT, a secondhand bookshop in Carshalton. As far as we can tell it's not one of those bookshops that isn't there when you go back and try and find it again, only to be told by a retired one-eyed sea captain that there Ain't Been A Bookshop Here For Forty Year. Indeed, The Bookworm firmly resides in the correct universe at all times.

New additions to RGL this week include two large pubs Out East (the County Arms in Highams Park and the Larkshall in Chingford); Black Pig With White Pearls, a new tapas place in Stoke Newington and Tsuru, a Japanese restaurant on Bishopsgate with a possible penchant for the music of Will Young.

Closures include the Lock Dining Bar in Tottenham Hale, Joshua's Tea Room (the cafe in Allders in Croydon, which itself has sadly now sold its last cardigan), Shanghai Village in Twickenham and the Lemon Monkey cafe in Stoke Newington. We are also sad to report the closure of Lovely Beer Haven Mason & Taylor in Shoreditch, which will shortly be replaced by a new craft beer bar run by the chaps at Brewdog.

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