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Another week, another round-up of RGL updates for you!

Bob Wines, Sydenham, London SE26

Our featured article this week is Bob Wines, SE26 5EU, no relation to the bob of this parish. Instead, it's a very handy shop for those living in Sydenham who have need of alcoholic sustenance, offering local 'craft' beers, as well as fine wines, including English ones and a tasty viognier. You can get refillable wine bottles too.

Two new articles are: The Masons' Arms, a pub in Kensal Green which has real ale; and Bread Ahead, a small bakery in Covent Garden with some excellent sweet things.

There's an update to The Thatched House pub (really a restaurant) in Upminster.

Temporary closures are reported at The Lucky Rover in Chessington, and The Crown on Blackfriars Road.

Closed more permanently are: Doukan, a Moroccan restaurant I have enjoyed in Wandsworth; Si Mangia Italian in East Dulwich; and McLaren's Cafe Bar and Grill in leafy Honor Oak Park.

Finally, just a note that The Armoury pub in Wandsworth has reverted to its original name of The Crane, with a refurb to boot.
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Ezo Bistro, Barking, London IG11

Hello! Our featured article this week is Ezo Bistro, IG11 8TU, a cafe in the concourse of Barking Station. Stations are never usually conducive to good cafes, but RGL feels this one might be an exception. They've made an effort with the decor, and there's a mix-and-match sandwich menu for which you might get bonus spinach side-salad.

Several new articles too! Gurkha's Diner in Balham is a Nepalese restaurant which doesn't go very heavy on the spices (if at all). The Roebuck is a pub in Borough, busy on a Friday as you'd expect. The Blue Eyed Maid is another pub not too far away from that one, on Borough High St, and do Indian food during the day. Finally, Cafe Nomad in Norbury is a halal Mediterranean pizzeria and restaurant.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Wych Elm, Kingston, London KT2

Evening RGL crew!

This week’s featured article is for the Wych Elm, an inviting-looking pub in Kingston, serving good food and Fuller’s range of ales. Speaking of which, I do wish Fuller’s would bring Discovery back, it’s not even listed anywhere on their website these days. Unless the point is to ‘discover’ it ourselves somehow? Let us know in the comments if you've seen it in the wild recently!

There’s a couple of new articles: Rabot is a cacao/chocolate-themed restaurant overlooking Borough Market, where unsurprisingly the puddings are the highlight. Over in Clerkenwell, Foxlow does a very good steak, as one might expect from the dudes behind the Hawksmoor.

Finally, an update to Domali in Crystal Palace, which has turned into a regular brunch haunt for one happy RGL contributor! The vegan BLT definitely sounds worth a try…
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all! I forgot to do my duty this week so apologies for the lateness.

Scone and jam at the Quaker Cafe, Euston, London NW1
[Picture CW: not vegan, although vegan options are available]

This week's featured article is Quaker Cafe, NW1 2BJ, which is a cafe open to the public in the Quaker Friends' House opposite Euston Station. It has hot food, bright white walls (to compensate for lack of natural light) and is child-friendly.

There's a new sandwich shop addition to our articles with No. 5's in sunny Forest Hill.

We also offer significant updates to the articles for The Misty Moon in Northwood which entirely coincidentally I walked past recently. It still looks like an (ex-)Wetherspoons and it still has handpulls. For the 'real deal' go instead to The William Jolle in nearby Northwood Hills. It's what you expect from a JDW.

Finally we report the impending (permanent) closure of Brew Wharf by Borough Market. It was an early adopter of trendy brewing scene but never really gained the cachet of other SE1 operations. Another reported closure (only possible at this stage; it might be a refurb) is Vegetarian's Paradise on Marchmont St.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Cat's Back, Wandsworth, London SW18

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for the Cat's Back in Wandsworth, a small Harvey's pub with lots of lovely beer and tasty snacks. It's the second closest to the North Pole of all the Harvey's pubs, after the Royal Oak in Borough.

Our intrepid RGL team have paid a visit to Dartford and there's a whole bunch of new pub articles as a result: the Paper Moon (a typical Wetherspoons), the Wat Tyler (traditional old pub with a Tudor-style exterior), the Ivy Leaf (a large Good Beer Guide pub), the Foresters (a back street local's pub with a few decent ales) and the Malt Shovel (a Young's pub and CAMRA hangout).

Our non-Dartford additions include BG Zakuska Bulgarian Breakfast in Barking, a small cafe which will zap you some pastries in the microwave, and Great Queen Street, a great little bistro restaurant in Covent Garden run by the dudes behind the Anchor & Hope (but crucially you can book tables).

Rounding off a busy week, the Wych Elm in Kingston has had an update following a visit (the soup sounds good!) and the Ruse bar in Borough has closed.
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Antelope, Surbiton, London KT6

This week's featured article is The Antelope, KT6 4AW, a pub in Surbiton with an on-site microbrewery. Even if it's a bit dimly-lit, there are 15 handpulls for ale, and food ranging from good to odd.

Two new articles are: Thai Silk, an efficient and fairly cheap restaurant and bar by Southwark tube; and Cafe Zizou in Twickenham, if you find yourself in that part of town.

The reported closure is The Half and Half in Croydon, soon to be a cocktail bar it seems.
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[personal profile] katstevens
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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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all! This week we travel a world of food.

Maida, Streatham, London SW16

There's a new featured article again this week, which is Maida, SW16 6AB. It's a good value Somali cafe/restaurant where you can load up on as much tender lamb as you want.

New articles are: Ergon, a Greek restaurant/deli in Marylebone; Bunga Raya, a good Malaysian restaurant and takeaway in Thornton Heath; VQ, a 24hr cafe in Bloomsbury; Castle kebab shop in Walworth; and the Guy's Hospital branch of dependable coffee stall AMT Coffee.

Permanently reported closures are, sadly, the very excellent locals' pub The North Pole on the Isle of Dogs, and Moyo-Ma, a Nigerian restaurant in Walworth.
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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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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] katstevens
black cat cafe

Hello RGL crew! This is the last update of 2013, and there's plenty to report.

Our featured article for the next three weeks is the Black Cat Cafe, a vegan co-operative on the site of the old Pogo Cafe, which sounds like a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon chatting over tea and cake.

Our sources tell us that banh mi and other Vietnamese dishes will soon be back on the menu at Panda Panda in Deptford. New year, new noodles!

Unfortunately the following won't be around in 2014: the Old Duke of Cambridge in Bow is likely to be turned into flats, as will the Whitesmiths Arms in Borough (shame - they had a great jukebox) and the Victoria Cross in Thornton Heath. London is certainly short of decent, affordable flats, but at this rate it will be short of decent, affordable pubs too...

The Lamb Brewery pub in Chiswick has changed its name to simply 'The Lamb'. It's no longer a brewery, so fair enough! This follows its takeover by the Mitchell & Butlers chain (along with other former Convivial London Pubs outlets The Botanist, the Crown and Anchor and the Clifton, the latter of which may not yet have reopened after its sale).

Finally, the Pilot Inn in Greenwich has reopened after a refurb. We have no idea what it's like now! There could be a cross-dimensional portal in the ladies' for all we know. If you're in SE10 over the festive period, why not pop in and check it out for us?

Thanks again to everyone who's contributed to RGL over the last year, especially [personal profile] kake and [personal profile] bob (and of course my co-blogger [personal profile] ewan!) for keeping everything running smoothly. See you in the new year!
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Handpumps at the Bree Louise, Euston

This week is that week when the Good Beer Guide is released, so we can add all the new Good Beer Guide 2014 pubs, which Kake and bob have been diligently adding, helped by a few others. I shan't try to sum up the views of our sterling reviewers (you should read the entries to find out their favourites), so here is a list of those with new entries in RGL as a result:

In the centre:
* The Chamberlain (Aldgate EC3);
* The Exmouth Arms (Clerkenwell EC1);
* The Hung, Drawn and Quartered (Tower Hill EC3);
* The Sun (Covent Garden WC2); and
* The White Swan (Covent Garden WC2).

In the North:
* The Bohemia (North Finchley N12) [PS already closed! BOO!];
* The Bull (Highgate N6);
* The Charlotte Despard (Archway N19); and
* The Stag and Hounds (Lower Edmonton N9).

In the East:
* The Bell (Walthamstow E17)
* The Duke's Head (Walthamstow E17); and
* The Sebright Arms (Haggerston E2).

In the South-East:
* The Royal Standard (Blackheath SE3);
* The Ship (Borough SE1); and
* The Star Inn (Plumstead SE18).

In the South-West:
* The King's Head (Earl's Court SW5); and
* Powder Keg Diplomacy (Battersea SW11).

In outer London postcodes:
* The Barking Dog (Barking IG11);
* The Europa (East Molesey KT8);
* The Feathers (Rickmansworth WD3);
* The George Staples (Sidcup DA15);
* The Jolly Coopers (Hampton TW12);
* The London Apprentice (Isleworth TW7);
* The Moon on the Hill (Sutton SM1)
* The Tailor's Chalk (Sidcup DA14);
* The Three Tuns (Uxbridge UB8);
* The Windermere (North Wembley HA9); and
* The Woodman (Farnborough BR6).

There's also a stub article for The Viaduct in Hanwell, so if anyone would like to visit and let us know how it is, why not do that? We'll get along eventually, I'm sure.

One other pub addition, not in the GBG, is The Change of Horses in Farnborough, which is upmarket traditional. If you're going to go all the way to Farnborough you might as well try a couple of pubs, eh?

Reported closures, are, er, the Bohemia (see above). It was a nice pub, I hope it will be back... :(

There are significant updates to the entries for The Red Lion in Isleworth, The Portrait in Sidcup, and Ye Olde Whyte Lyon in Farnborough.

There is a temporary closure for The Pilot Inn, a wonderful and lonely pub in North Greenwich. Meanwhile, The Gate vegetarian restaurant in Hammersmith has reopened.
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Barrowboy and Banker, London Bridge, SE1

Sorry for the delay this week, but we don't have much to report.

The new featured article is The Barrowboy and Banker, SE1 9QQ. That's a large Fuller's pub (one of their "Ale and Pie Houses") just near London Bridge station and the bridge itself. It's in a former bank branch (the very first branch of NatWest in fact), and is very handy for Borough Market, not to mention walks along the Thames. It serves all the usual Fuller's beers, and I can't really say too much against it if you like decent pubs.

Sadly, there are no additions, but then again there are no reported closures.
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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] katstevens
Aces and Eights, Tufnell Park, NW5

Good morning, RGL dudes!

This week's featured article is Aces and Eights, NW5 2HP, a drinking establishment in Tufnell Park (where Bar Lorca used to be) which will serve you a bunch of bourbons, a cavalcade of cocktails and a procession of pizzas. It's a friendly place with an American rock-n-roll diner theme so expect QUIFFS (personally I am very partial to quiffs).

Brand spanking new articles: Wenlock and Essex, a bar near the bottom of Essex road with a decent beer selection; La Bodeguita Deli, a Colombian cafe at the top of Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre; Caffe Venezia, a patriotically-decorated Italian cafe over in Hounslow; Bromley Cafe, a greasy spoon in -- wait for it -- Bromley; and the branches of AMT Coffee and Marks & Spencer in St Thomas' Hospital.

Red marker pen at the ready! You can permanently cross off the Gramaphone bar in Spitalfields (shortly becoming a Mexican restaurant) and the Clarendon pub in Newington Green (once the 'Nobody Inn', now called 'The Dissenting Assembly').

Further renaming confusion: tiny German sandwich shop Zeitgeist Lunch Box is now called Zeitgeist Coffee Bar. As long as they still do sauerkraut that's fine by us.

Have YOU been to a newly-opened pub or restaurant recently? Were there pictures of Italy on the walls? Was there sauerkraut? Let us know in the comments and we'll go and check it out!
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[personal profile] katstevens
Charles Dickens

Hullo RGL crew!

It's time for another featured article, namely the Charles Dickens, SE1 0LH, a Good Beer Guide pub in Borough. Highlights include scampi and lovely scrumptious pints of mild!

We also have a trinity of new articles: Tommi's Burger Joint, W1U, a trendy burger place in Marylebone that doesn't appear to have a Ridiculous Queuing PolicyTM; Honest, W1F, another burger hangout which you may recall replaced the Soho branch of Palms of Goa. Finally there's the Cock Tavern, E8, a new brewpub bang in the middle of Mare St, which -- brace yourselves -- does not currently have burgers on the menu. Or indeed, anything else! (Early days, of course.)

Wailing/gnashing of teeth news: RGL-haunt Le Cassoulet, CR2 has abruptly shut! Sniff! Also for the chop: Geeta, NW6, Koreana, HA3, the Case Is Altered, HA3, Cafe Rajistan, E14 and Beaufoy Bar, SW11. Jolly locals' pub the Whitesmiths Arms, SE1 in Borough is also temporarily shut for a refurb (they'd better keep the awesome jukebox).

Zombie of the Week Award goes to the Bloated Mallard, TW11 which has reopened.
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[personal profile] ewan
Tapas Brindisa, Borough, SE1

This week's featured article is Tapas Brindisa, SE1 1TJ, a high turnover tapas place by the corner of Borough Market, near London Bridge station. Even on a Saturday, you should be able to get a table without too long a wait, and the food is still decent after all these years.

New articles are: Pratts and Payne, an Antic pub in Streatham replacing a Goose pub; and a short one about The Globe, a fairly unmemorable pub opposite Baker Street station.

Reported closures are: The Masons' Arms in Walworth; and The Plough Inn, another victim of Young's sell-off of their pub estate (and heritage). It's a rather attractive building, so a sad loss.
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[personal profile] ewan
Canbury Arms, Kingston, London KT2

We took a break to get things back on track and can now exclusively reveal that this week's featured article is The Canbury Arms, KT2 6LQ, a gastropub in Kingston. (NB There was a featured article for last week, which was another pub, The Pilot Inn, SE10 0BE in North Greenwich, which I last went to years ago, but it's rather nice.)

New additions are The Moon Under Water, a Wetherspoon's pub (if you hadn't guessed already) in Norbury, and Lahore Masala House, a Pakistani restaurant in Kentish Town.

There are updates to The Gatehouse, another Wetherspoon's pub in Highgate, Shahee Bhelpoori, an Indian restaurant in Norbury, and Quinn's, a pub on the Kentish Town/Camden borders.

Two reported closures are the Good Beer Guide stalwart, The Manor Arms in Clapham, and Livebait, a restaurant on The Cut in Southwark.
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[personal profile] kake

Sorry for not posting last week! [personal profile] bob and I have been moving house, and had a lot to do. I did get the featured article up on RGL itself, just didn't post about it here — it was Dial Arch, SE18 6GH, a Young's gastropub in Woolwich.

This week's featured article is Bermondsey Brazilian Shop, SE16 4BD, a small cafe on the Bermondsey/Rotherhithe borders. They serve drinks and desserts during the week, and a buffet of hot food on weekend lunchtimes. They also sell various Brazilian groceries.

Recent additions to RGL include Princess Garden, an upmarket Cantonese restaurant in Mayfair; and the Melbourne, a Stonegate pub in Wallington.

Reported permanent closures are Hiba on Borough High Street, Himalaya Palace Cinema in Southall, and Ochre Lounge in Chiswick. Temporary closures are the New World in Chinatown and the George on Borough High Street.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Champor-Champor, SE1 3QJ, a "modern Malaysian fusion restaurant" in Borough, just south of London Bridge Station.

The decor is somewhat idiosyncratic, the air is scented with incense smoke, and the food tends to have quite a lot going on on the plate, but I quite like it.


Recent additions to RGL include Amurg, a Romanian and Moldovan restaurant in Leytonstone; Shanghai Village, a dim sum restaurant in Twickenham; Langton's Bookshop in Twickenham; and the Cheapside branch of Daunt Books. We've also updated the writeups for four of Twickenham's pubs: the Fox, the Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and the Rifleman.

One reported closure: Only Fools and Falafels just off Tower Bridge Road.

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