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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Finally, just to mark the reopening of Camberwell's The Bear pub, for which our write-up is sadly rather out of date.
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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all! We've got a full update this week, as we're catching up with various changes to pubs from London Drinker magazine.

Old Tom's Bar, Leadenhall Market, London EC3

The featured article this week is a little dive bar under the Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market, namely Old Tom's Bar, EC3V 1LR. They have ales from the Young's range and a short list of food options. Get away from the bustle.

One new article is The Star at Night, a coffee house by day in Soho but at night a gin bar. Many gins! Drink gin! (It's not a candidate for a good photo of the establishment until they finish the Crossrail works though.)

There's a temporary closure to mark for The Railway in West Hampstead, until March next year.

The following pubs have all closed since we last visited:
* The Newton Arms out back of Covent Garden, near Holborn;
* The Old Loyal Britons in Greenwich;
* The Elephant on Fenchurch Street;
* The Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich Village (though this is due to reopen in 2016);
* The Oakhill in Beckenham;
* Glow Lounge in Clapham;
* The Gate bar on Newington Green; and
* The Florence off Upper Street in Islington.

Finally a few renamings:
* Finch's in Moorgate (was The Master Gunner);
* The Pleasure Boat in Alperton (now The Boat);
* The Express Tavern by Kew Bridge (now The Express Ale and Cider House); and
* The Thatched House by Ravenscourt Park station in Hammersmith (now The Butcher's Hook).
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[personal profile] katstevens
Indian Veg Bhelpoori House

Morning readers!

This week's featured article is for the Indian Veg Bhelpoori House, an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet at the end of Chapel Market in Islington. It's completely vegetarian and mostly vegan, and extremely good value at £6. It's a good option if dining alone, with plenty of reading material on the walls about the excellent qualities of veggie food, and a wallchart of prime ministers who all have something in common...

There's a new article for the branch of The Real Greek in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre, where the bean stew is hearty, the cheese is salty and the background music is clichéd to the point of hilarity.

Finally, while it never achieved the status of having its own RGL article, I can confirm that the Birdcage pub in Stoke Newington has closed. Denizens of N16 will now have to eat odd pizzas in the dark elsewhere.
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[personal profile] katstevens
The Broca, Brockley, London SE4

Hi everyone! This week's featured article is for Broca, SE4 2RW. It's an independent café in Brockley - if you come out of the train station on the East side you can't miss it. Their sandwiches have a cinematic theme, but I couldn't say for sure whether any of them are flavoured with Liam Neeson receiving a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the government to transfer $150 million into into an off-shore account otherwise a passenger on his flight will be disintegrated every 20 minutes.

As of this weekend, the Barnsbury in Islington has metamorphosed into a craft beer pub called the Hop & Berry. Your intrepid RGL crew will be investigating it soon! Do you know anywhere else that we should be visiting?
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[personal profile] katstevens
Gate Islington

Afternoon everyone! A quick update this week.

Our weekly featured article is for The Gate, EC1V 4NN, a busy, upmarket vegetarian restaurant in Islington. They have lots of options for people with different dietary requirements (i.e. not just mushroom risotto) and do a really good blueberry brioche pudding.

There are also two new articles: the tongue-twisting City Sweet Centre in Manor Park, which sells Indian sweets and savoury snacks, and Maamala's in East Ham, a cheap and cheerful South Indian cafe. I will leave it up to you to guess which one of these has a coin-operated massage chair!
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[personal profile] katstevens
Trishna

Afternoon everyone! This week's featured article is for Trishna, a fancy Indian restaurant in Marylebone which has a Michelin star, but manages to be relaxed and good value for money. I'd definitely recommend a visit if you have several hours to spare and a hearty appetite.

New on RGL this week is the Gate in Islington, a classy vegetarian restaurant which will happily suit omnivores, vegans and gluten-avoiders alike. Slightly less fancy is Galleria, a Persian restaurant also in Marylebone (a short walk away from Trishna, on the other side of the High Street - you can probably guess mine and [personal profile] ewan's maximum lunch break radius), which will supply you with more rice than you could possibly ever want in one meal.

Finally, some good news for North Finchley residents: the Bohemia pub has reopened.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Muncho, Croydon, London CR0

Afternoon dudes!

This week's featured article is Muncho, CR0 1YG. This is not in fact a dinosaur villain from a cartoon you are slightly too old to remember properly, but a cafe in Croydon that serves Turkish food as well as the usual salads, sandwiches and omelettes. Perhaps one day Muncho will get the better of those meddling gang of detective kids on rollerskates. One day *shakes fist*

New this week is Bombay Burrito in Angel. Curry in a burrito may sound like a Step Too Far into Heston Blumenthal wackiness, but I assure you it works perfectly well: chickpeas instead of beans, dansak sauce instead of guacamole and so on. Give it a go!

Want to help out with RGL? We need photos of our new additions (including Bombay Burrito above)! If you have access to a camera and would like to take a few photos for us, please leave a comment below and we'll try and sort out some conveniently-located places for you to immortalise for ever in pixellated form.

Likewise, if you happen to already have a suitable photo for an article, locale or category that doesn't have one yet, let us know (though please check our House Style Guidelines first for what constitutes a suitable photo).
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[personal profile] katstevens
Craft Beer Co., Pentonville, N1

Bonjour RGL readers!

This week's featured article is also last week's featured article (both myself and Ewan were away in France, eating as many sausages as possible), namely the Craft Beer Co N1, (near Angel tube station, where the old Lord Wolseley used to be). It's part of the small chain owned by the dudes from The Cask in Pimlico, so there's guaranteed to be something interesting to drink, but most importantly this branch has both Carpet and Curtains, i.e. you can still hear yourself think when it's more than half full.

Two new additions: the Crown and Sceptre, a Fullers pub in South Croydon that does a decent macaroni cheese, and Hiba Express, a Lebanese restaurant in Holborn that also does takeaway.

London Bridge pubgoers will probably not be mourning the closure of Cooperage (due to the station upgrade works), but it's always sad to see a proper old-school caff close, such as Farina's on Leather Lane (it's now a modern-looking sandwich bar called Tony's Cafe).

À bientôt!
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[personal profile] katstevens
SM Pinoy Foods, St George's Walk, Croydon, London CR0

Hello everyone!

This week's featured article is SM Pinoy Foods, CR0 1YG, a Filipino grocery tucked away inside an otherwise gloomy Croydon shopping centre. We had some excellent prawn crackers and roasted corn from there at the Croydon Fun Weekend a few days ago (you can see the corn in the background here).

New to RGL is the Earl of Essex, a craft beer pub on the back streets of Islington that is, by all accounts, rather pleasant. It's unclear exactly which Earl of Essex it's named after - hopefully not Walter Devereux (born 1541), who massacred a bunch of Irish dudes then died of dysentery, or Robert Deveraux (born 1591), who tried to get his ex-wife executed for telling everyone that he was impotent. At the risk of us all heading down a Wikipedia Wormhole, let's just say it was Thomas Cromwell (born 1485), shall we?

Is there a new or recently done-up place near you? Let us know in the comments and we shall go and have a look at it!
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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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Wenlock and Essex, Islington, N1

Hello all! Sorry for being a day late, but this week's featured article is Wenlock and Essex, N1 8LN, which is at the foot of a dull office block but is quite a pleasant bar with a good range of drinks. Admittedly I've only visited extremely off-peak, but the burger was top notch.

The new article is a branch of Pizza Express in Clerkenwell, where Goswell and Clerkenwell Roads join.

Two temporary closures are The Ebury sort-of-pub-sort-of-restaurant-maybe-bar in Pimlico (closed for refurb until 2013), and The Catford Bridge Tavern in, well, Catford (closed until we hope the property's owners realise it's quite the best pub in the area, and get sick of forcing all the locals to walk halfway to Forest Hill to enjoy the Blythe Hill Tavern, or halfway to Lewisham to enjoy the Ravensbourne Arms).

There's also one impending closure, which is Ship of Fools, the West Croydon Wetherspoons, which it is planned to return to being a Sainsbury's (having been one far in the past). Because we need more Sainsbury's.
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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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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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[personal profile] ewan
Thali of the day at Shahee Bhelpoori, Norbury, London SW16

Bit more activity this week. Our feature article is Shahee Bhelpoori, SW16 4AD, an Indian restaurant in Norbury.

Two new pages are: Peri Pizza, a (mainly) pizza delivery outlet in Croydon; and Tierra Peru, a Peruvian restaurant on Essex Road in Islington.

There's been an update to Spiceland, a Sri Lankan/South Indian restaurant in Croydon.

Finally, the sad news is the closure of The Bun House, a pleasant locals' pub in Peckham.
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[personal profile] ewan
Akari, Islington, N1

Apologies for another late update, but not much has been happening on RGL this past week.

The new featured article is Akari, N1 8LZ, a Japanese restaurant just by Essex Road station, more or less in Canonbury/Islington.

The two reported closures are The Stinging Nettle, a Young's pub in Shepherd's Bush (by Goldhawk Road station), and a rubbish one at that on my experience of it, and The Larder, a restaurant in Clerkenwell (Modern European cuisine, I suppose it would be).
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Nincomsoup, Old Street Station, London EC1

This week's seasonal featured article is a fast-food soup restaurant, Nincomsoup, EC1Y 1BE, located in the subways by Old Street station.

There are no new articles, but there's an update to Akari, a Japanese restaurant on Essex Road in Islington. There are also several transport-related updates: Farringdon station (the main exit is temporarily closed, but there's a new National Rail entrance on Cowcross Street and extended platforms); Blackfriars station (there's a new entrance on the South Bank); Victoria station (escalator refurbishment is complete); and Kensington (Olympia) station (District Line services have been restricted).

Some pubs have been renamed: The Rugby Inn (formerly the Grand Union) in Twickenham; The Clarendon (formerly The Nobody Inn) at Newington Green; and The Ascott (formerly The Manor) in Eastcote.

Also, The Fox pub in Twickenham has now reopened.
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Moyo Ma, Walworth, London SE17

This week's featured article is Moyo-Ma, SE17 2AL, a Nigerian restaurant in Walworth.

The new articles are all pubs: The Only Running Footman, in Mayfair; The Prince of Teck, in Earl's Court; and The Man on the Moon and The Randall Tavern, both in glamorous New Addington.

Three closures, the last two possibly quite some time ago: branches of S&M Cafe, dedicated to sausage and mash, in Islington and the O2 Centre; and Chakalaka, a South African restaurant in Putney.

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