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Saravanaa Bhavan, Ilford, London IG1

Welcome back, belatedly!

This week's featured article is Saravanaa Bhavan, IG1 4PU in sunny Ilford. It's part of an international vegetarian Indian chain, and maybe you've been to one of the other London branches in East Ham or Tooting? Ganesha will watch peacefully over your dosa eating if you visit this spacious branch.

Other additions are a shabby pub/restaurant in Worcester Park/Cheam called The HG Wells, a Nigerian restaurant called Coal City in Edmonton (why not surprise the staff by visiting), and Chang's Noodle in London's fashionable Chinatown (excellent quality, and expect more than one noodle).

There's an update to The Gilpin's Bell in Edmonton, now under non-Wetherspoons ownership, but still offering Ruddles and similar cask beers.

Reported closures are Arbutus (always a bastion of unpretentious Michelin-starred fine dining) and The Windsor Castle in Marylebone (a bastion for the moustachioed gentleman).

Finally a couple of reopenings are The Fitzroy Tavern in Fitzrovia, and One and One Chinese buffet in Angel (now with meat, bucking the trend towards veganism).
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Willoughby Arms, Kingston, London KT2

Welcome back! This week's featured article is The Willoughby Arms, KT2 6LN, a pub on the north side of Kingston. Of course, you knew that from the postcode, so I need hardly say. It's a handsome building from the photo, though what were once separate rooms seem to have been knocked through somewhat (as is the style). Go to drink Twickenham ales and watch cricket on the TV, still lovely despite a musty smell.

Two new articles are Sun Luen Snack Bar in Chinatown, with eggy egg tart; and House of Bottles, an off licence in Brixton.

There are big updates to veggie favourite The Gate (their Angel Islington branch), and post-work vertical drinking favourite The Hope Fitzrovia, which used to be a nice pub once upon a time. Still, sounds like it might just be fine on a weekday afternoon if you're ever there at such a time.

Finally, just to mark the reopening of Camberwell's The Bear pub, for which our write-up is sadly rather out of date.
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I'm back-back-back from my holidays to take over update duties from Kat.

風味食堂 (Food House), Chinatown, London WC2

The featured article this week is the imaginatively named Food House, W1D 5QH, which we can confirm does indeed offer food. But perhaps instead you should call it 風味食堂. In fact, it's Northern Chinese and Sichuanese food, moved from that bit of Charing Cross Road currently being refurbished. The food was a mixed affair -- check the review for more details -- but the Chinese 'hamburger' was considered rather good at the most recent visit, and the service is friendly.

Lots of new articles, many of them in Tooting. Those that aren't are a relaxed Italian in Covent Garden, Wildwood Kitchen, and the Clapham Junction branch of We Brought Beer beer shop (we added their Balham branch recently). Moving onto those Tooting outlets, we have: Apollo Banana Leaf (a meaty Sri Lankan); Dosa n Chutny (a South Indian cafe); Gourmet (a Pakistani bakery/sweet shop); Pooja Sweets and Savouries (an Indian sweet shop); and Tooting Daily Fresh Naan, which will sort you out for all yr naan needs (though watch out for the hygiene rating).

There are updates to The Lyceum Tavern and The Edgar Wallace, both on or near the Strand.

Sadly, plenty of reported closures too, most of them pubs as noted in the London Drinker magazine: All Bar One by London Bridge ('redeveloped'); Costa Dorada on Hanway Street; The Fox Reformed in Stoke Newington (renamed); The Gilpin's Bell Edmonton Wetherspoons pub; The Man in the Moon Stanmore 'Spoons; Mela (an Indian on Shaftesbury Ave); The North Pole in Islington (renamed); The Queen's Head in Mitcham; The Widow's Son pub in Bow.

We've heard that Mum's House (a Burmese grocery, not literally your mum's house, unless your mum is Burmese and runs a grocery shop) has moved from Wood Green to Tottenham.

The Misty Moon in High Barnet is now called The Butchers Arms.

Finally, Adams Cafe in Croydon has reopened, for your London Road greasy spoon needs.
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Grosvenor, Hanwell, London W7

Evening all! This week's featured article is the Grosvenor in Hanwell, a large Good Beer Guide pub with decent food (their website features a picture of some delicious-looking toad-in-the-hole) and some nice old-fashioned tiling on the exterior.

New to RGL are Karahi King and the Preston, both in Wembley. Karahi King is a laid-back Indian cafe where you can bring your own booze, while the Preston makes up for its Ember Inns blandness with free lime and soda and generally good accessibility.

The article for the Oval Tavern in Croydon has an update following a visit. Although it's not the closest pub to East Croydon station, it looks like a decent place to spend some time waiting for your train.

Pubs you should not wait for a train inside, as they have recently been on fire: the Beehive near Baker Street and the slightly less swanky New Cross Turnpike in Welling have both temporarily closed while they pat out the flames. Meanwhile the Ravensbury in Mitcham is not on fire but is also temporarily shut while its new owners figure out what to do with it, and the Fitzroy Tavern (which I feel I must point out is in Fitzrovia) is having a major refurb, and due to reopen next summer. Doctor Who fans will have to find somewhere else to meet up for now.

Finally, Sam's Brasserie and Bar in Chiswick has shut, to be replaced by a branch of Foxlow (owned by the Hawksmoor dudes). I am not keen on Foxlow as a brand, through no real fault of theirs - they replaced Homa in Stoke Newington which did extremely awesome takeaway pizza, a fact I only found out about just before they shut for good! Foxlow are clearly to blame for me not paying attention to local pizza opportunities for the previous 8 years.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all, bit late this week, sorry.

Kin, Fitzrovia, W1

The featured article is Kin, W1W 6DT. This is a veggie cafe near to where I work in London's Owl Country (it's a long explanation, you can call it Fitzrovia if you prefer). They have a sort of classic real-food wholesome vibe but poshed up a bit for yr modern market, tasty food and plenty that's vegan friendly (clearly marked) if that's your thing.

Our one addition is a sandwich shop in Croydon, Stuffins Unlimited. It's a decent selection for hungry council staff, with great fresh bread.

There's a brief update to The Bull and Gate to note that it's been reopened and it's more gastro than grunge nowadays. Certainly, there's no music unless you count jazz on a Sunday afternoon (NB I don't know if they do jazz on a Sunday afternoon, but it's the kind of thing I'd imagine they'd do).

Two pub renamings are The Black Cat in Catford (formerly the Catford Ram), and The Flying Horse on Oxford Street (formerly The Tottenham).

And then there are the pub closures. There's The Fanny on the Hill in Welling; The Smithfield Tavern by, er, Smithfield; The Noble in Crouch Hill (now The Hopsmiths, run by those Late Knights people); The Skylark and The Tin Goose both in Heathrow Terminal 1; O'Brien's in Brentford (now The Northumberland Arms); and The Lord Wargrave in Marylebone (now the Wargrave Arms, though I'm not convinced about that change of name).
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Olympic Studios, Barnes, SW13

Welcome back! This week's featured article is boutique cinema Olympic Studios in leafy Barnes. It's quite pricy, and the snacks are all artisanal, but it's very comfortable in the Everyman Cinemas sort of way. There's also a cafe attached, but I didn't visit that.

We've got an update to Three Compasses pub in Hornsey, where Kake enjoyed a selection of brown bitters and the company of half a dozen people on a Friday afternoon.

Finally, the reported closure last month of Fino "tapas bar" in Fitzrovia. According to the news article announcing this, the owners believe London dining preferences have moved on to a more informal style of eating (i.e. like actual tapas bars).
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Ethos, Fitzrovia, W1

Hullo all!

This week's featured article is for Ethos, a vegetarian eatery in Fitzrovia. It's a self-service buffet set-up, with everything clearly labelled for those with dietary requirements. The food is good quality but apparently the buffet can get a little low-stocked during mid-afternoon, so you may want to stick to lunch and dinner times.

We've got a couple of closures to report: visitors expecting some Ghanaian food at Bongo East in Barking will now be greeted by a Bulgarian cafe instead, while our intrepid RGL team discovered at the weekend that Royal Palace by Surrey Quays station is now a completely different Chinese restaurant called Noodle Family. It still does decent food, though!

Finally, JD Wetherspoon has put The Foxley Hatch in Purley up for sale, and it will close when it's found a buyer.
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Wood Green Cineworld, London N22

Hullo all! It's been a busy week for me - I've moved nearer to the Equator! Lots of other stuff has been happening too.

Our featured article this week is for Cineworld Wood Green, which I personally visited a few months ago to see the amazing/terrible Jupiter Ascending (2015) starring Mila Kunis as 'a young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.' Don't get it mixed up with the Wood Green Vue which is just by the tube station. I definitely didn't do this. Meanwhile the old Cineworld in the Trocadero is now the Picturehouse Central, and looks much fancier for it.

New to RGL are two veggie cafes in Fitzrovia: the miniscule Kin off Great Portland Street, and Ethos near Oxford Circus, which sells by the slightly pricey 100g. Even more costly however is the loss of Beatroot on the other side of Oxford Street, a fine veggie cafe which has closed due to the redevelopment of the bottom end of Berwick Street. In further sad news for vegetarians, Food For Thought on Neal Street has closed too.

The RGL crew has paid a visit to the Hagen and Hyde, an Antic pub in Balham which does a reasonable food menu, as you'd expect. There's also an update to Manchurian Legends in Chinatown following a dinner visit.

The Grove in Golders Green has closed and is now a mysteriously goth-looking bar called 'Wallace'. Finally, the Melton Mowbray Fuller's pub on Holborn has been done up and rechristened as the Inn of Court. And that's your lot for this week! Even if I hadn't been unpacking boxes I'd be exhausted after all that.
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Hello there! Katstevens is on holiday (I haven't ever learned how to link other users in DW, and I'm not going to start bothering now), so I am taking over for a second week. That said, it's a pretty short update...

Draft House, Fitzrovia, W1

Our featured article is the tiny corner pub on Goodge Street called The Draft House, W1T 1TA. Actually the company tend to refer to it as "Draft House Charlotte" due to its position on the corner of Charlotte Street (which must be the trendier street, I guess), though it's not on the pub itself, which is part of a small chain. It does a very basic menu what with being tiny, but it has many lovely beers on keg, on cask and in bottle form, so unless you're visiting after-work o'clock when it gets horribly busy, it's definitely worth checking out. Mid-afternoon would be ideal, I think, or Saturday.

There's also one new review: Roti King at Euston Chinese, by Euston station. There's little to commend it in terms of flashiness -- it's down some narrow stairs, the menus have clearly been retained through many moves and outwardly it's a Chinese place, so you need to ensure you get the right menu. That said, the roti (which is what you come for) are excellent.
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Bongo East, Barking, London IG11

Welcome back, and for this week's update your featured article is the wonderfully named Bongo East, IG11 8RW. It's an unflashy Ghanaian bar and restaurant in Barking, with a nice line in spicy fufu and a tempting kelewele. Seems like it might need a few more customers, so why not pop in next time you visit Barking?

My colleague Kat has added an article about Back on Track Coffee in Marylebone which is a coffee shop with a model train twist and a punning name to match. We also have a Chinese restaurant in Bloomsbury, China City, but you might be better off avoiding it for dimsum.

I've also added a bunch of pubs: The Hack and Hop, near Blackfriars; The Draft House on Goodge Street (or "Draft House Charlotte" as the website calls it); and Mother Kelly's "tap room and bottle shop" in Bethnal Green. All three do great beers, in slightly different ways.

There's an update to Hampstead Heath Station (it's accessible!), and a temporary closure at The Half Moon in Herne Hill. Closed more permanently is The Prince of Wales in Battersea, which I certainly have memories of. Finally, a possible closure is Manus Palm Grove in Stratford, pending further information, but it hasn't been open for a while it seems.
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amico-bio-frontage

A short update this week ushers in this week's featured article, Amico Bio, WC1A 1BH, a completely vegetarian Italian restaurant in Holborn. It's also very friendly towards vegans, and has a way with popped rice.

The only addition is a branch of Benito's Hat near Oxford Circus, offering more of that chain's burritos and tacos with the added twist of mambo covers of 90s dance-pop. Plus it's not so busy as their other branches.
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Ship, Fitzrovia, W1

Hello! This week the featured article is The Ship, W1W 6YB, an old-fashioned pub right in the middle of that vague area generally called Fitzrovia (and coicidentally very close to where I work), which still serves excellent pints of Bass, and has a huge amount of brass decorating its walls. There's also a rarely-spotted upstairs room which is all very pleasant.

Kat has added a Scandinavian restaurant in Marylebone called Verru. They also have Estonian beer. Good for taking parents to, as well.

The reported permanent closure is Soho Japan, again in Fitzrovia. I walked past it the other day, and it was all boarded up with workmen hard at work doing something to it.
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Lord Nelson, Sutton, London SM1

Ahoy London landlubbers! This week's featured arrr-ticle is the mainbrace-splicing Lord Nelson in Sutton. "But Kat," I hear you holler in a sea-shanty style. "I see no ships in Sutton, as it is literally 60 miles from the Sheerness seaside!" Well that may be true, but any landlocked pirates will feel right at home at the salty Nelson, which has its own parrot. So be careful not to divulge the secret location of your treasure chest while quaffing your pint of Young's Ordinary!

Two new non-nautical additions to RGL: the terrifically-named Rock and Sole Plaice fish-n-chip joint in Covent Garden, and La Rochelle, a French restaurant on Croydon High Street that does a decent chicken supreme.

The branch of Palms of Goa on New Cavendish Street has now shut - after two disappointing meals there I can't really shed a tear for it. Any pirates in the area looking for South Indian cuisine would be better off going to Ragam, just round the corner.
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Dost, Uxbridge, London UB8

Morning RGL crew!

We have a brand new featured article this week, in the shape of Dost, UB8 1QT, an Indian street food restaurant in the thriving micro-metropolis of Uxbridge. Kake loved the dal maa dumpukht on her visit, so if you're in the area why not give it a go? It does takeaway too, in case you're not a fan of Bollywood posters.

Two additions for you: Lituanica is a Lithuanian and Eastern European deli/takeaway in Barking, with plenty of exciting pickled things in jars and a Wall of Dumplings. Further west is Dabbous, a trendy Michelin-starred restaurant in Fitzrovia, which by all accounts is very difficult to get a booking at - well done Kake and friends! Dabbous is slightly larger and noisier than Pollock's Toy Museum just opposite, but their hispi cabbage is way better.

Succumbing to the 2nd law of thermodynamics this week: Cantina in Holborn may have shut (but we need to confirm it), while Bodrum in Stoke Newington has definitely shut because otherwise there wouldn't have been room for the tapas restaurant I visited there a few weeks ago. Unless you start getting into the Many Universes Theory of parallel dimensional space, and let's face it, it's too early on a Monday morning for all that.
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Somers Town Coffee House, Somers Town, NW1

This week's featured article is the Somers Town Coffee House, NW1 1HS, which despite its name is a gastropub near Euston station. It's been refurbished since it was a French-themed pub.

There are four additions this week: The Clapton Hart pub in Lower Clapton, another fine Antic outpost; Shane's on Chatsworth, a restaurant not too far away; The North Pole, a self-described craft beer pub in Islington; and Tramlink Route 4, a new tram route on the Tramlink in south London using some extra double-tracking (but no new stations).

There's been an update to the stub entry for The Lord Palmerston, a Geronimo Inns gastropub in Dartmouth Park.

Five permanent closures have been reported: Ping Pong's branch on Goodge Street; the Texas Embassy Cantina by Trafalgar Square; Melati, a Malaysian restaurant in Soho; The Compass, a gastropub in Pentonville, at the end of Chapel Market (reopening as another gastropub called Hundred Crows Rising); and Langton's Bookshop in Twickenham.

Finally, confirmation that Morgan M has fully moved from its site in Holloway to Smithfield.
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Mestizo, Somers Town, NW1

This week's featured article is Mestizo, NW1 3EL, a dependable Mexican restaurant on Hampstead Road, near Euston station.

One new article is the Hackney Homemade Market, in various venues in Lower Clapton.

There's an update to Somers Town Coffee House, a pub in Somers Town, which has changed management.

Two reported closures are: The New Cavendish, a greasy spoon in Fitzrovia; and Teapod, a tea shop in Covent Garden.
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Catford Bridge Tavern, Catford, SE6

Hello, sorry for the delay.

This week's featured article is the excellent new Catford Bridge Tavern, SE6 4RE, an Antic pub which I can heartily recommend.

There's one reported temporary closure (due to refurbishment), The Gate vegetarian restaurant in Hammersmith.

Three reported closures (permanent) are: Gourmet Garden, a Chinese restaurant near Oxford Circus; El Paisita, a Latin American restaurant by Elephant & Castle; and The Castle, which was once a lovely pub in Battersea but was sold off and run down by Young's.
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Red Lion, Leytonstone, E11

This week's featured article is an excellent pub in Leytonstone, The Red Lion, E11 3AA. Lots of good ales and beers, and tasty food. Heartily recommended.

Three new articles are: The Crown and Anchor, a new "craft beer" pub in north Brixton from the people behind The Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington; The Hatchet, a Greene King pub by Mansion House station largely catering to vertical-drinking City workers; and Store Street Espresso, a well-regarded coffee shop in Bloomsbury.

Three reported permanent closures are: The Ivy House pub in Nunhead; The Northumberland Arms pub on Goodge Street (set to become a Draft House pub in July); and Amano, a cafe not far from London Bridge.
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Gatehouse, Highgate, N6

A bit of a busier week this week, and possibly our first featured Wetherspoon's is the Gatehouse, N6 4BD. Being in Highgate, it's a rather upmarket outlet for this budget chain, and has long been in use as a pub.

New additions are: Pitt Cue Co., a bbq rib outlet in Soho; and Roti Masters, a Caribbean cafe in Croydon.

There's an update to the stub entry on North Nineteen, a Good Beer Guide pub in Upper Holloway, now with a full review. I liked it there!

There's one temporary closure for refurbishment, Toad's Mouth Too Cafe in Brockley.

There are also three permanent closures: The Rugby Inn, a pub in Twickenham; Rasa Samudra, an Indian fish restaurant in Fitzrovia (moving its operation to the sister restaurant in Mayfair); and Saf, a vegan raw food restaurant in Shoreditch.
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Bourne and Hollingsworth, Fitzrovia, W1

This week's featured article is a cocktail bar down some steps in Fitzrovia, Bourne and Hollingsworth, W1T 1JF, which goes for an American Prohibition era style.

We have only additions this week, no closures: The Queen's Head, a pub in Soho; Spring Cafe, a greasy spoon in Camberwell; Sichuan, a Sichuanese restaurant in North Greenwich; and Edibles, a cafe/deli in Banstead.

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