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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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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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Redemption, Old Street, London EC1

Evening everyone! I hope you all found time to do something interesting over the holiday weekend. We're taking a few weeks off for some beer-related investigations, but there's plenty this week to tide you over until then.

Our featured article is for Redemption in Shoreditch, a vegan restaurant with an interesting (and 100% non-alcoholic) drinks menu. I don't think I've ever heard of a cocktail with lettuce in it before, let alone drunk one.

We've been to Swanley! The station is now in TfL zone 8, giving Oystery access to the Greene King-owned Lullingstone Castle pub, the Blue Harbour fish'n'chip shop (big portions, give the peas a miss), The Chef Chinese Restaurant and Sharon's Card Crafts, which sounds like a must-visit for papercrafters.

If for some reason Swanley doesn't float your boat (perhaps you are allergic to swans?) there are new articles for Cafe Adagio in Addiscombe, the Tulse Hill Hotel pub (another Greene King establishment), Pepe Italian Street Food (a pizza/pasta takeaway in Soho), The Finsbury pub near Manor Park station and the Somali Town Restaurant in Streatham, where the menu options have a refreshing simplicity (no lettuce cocktails).

The Mimosa cafe in Herne Hill has had an update following a visit, as has the Old Ale Emporium in Harringay (not to be confused with Haringey) and our old Ewok-village friend in Finsbury Park, the Faltering Fullback.

Finally, one sad closure to report: the lovely old Tudor Rose in Marylebone is going to become a restaurant. When I worked nearby I was always happy to spend time in this pub, especially in winter with its open fire and seemingly semi-permanent Christmas decorations hung all around the walls.
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Oval Tavern, Croydon, London CR0

This week, as members of the RGL community prepare to visit the Great British Beer Festival, our featured article is a pub: The Oval Tavern, CR0 6BR in sunny Croydon. It does around five real ales served from the cask, pub quizzes, food, darts, proper locals' pub stuff done well, just like you need sometimes.

We also have three new articles for you. There's Redemption, not the brewery but instead a vegan restaurant in Shoreditch, which I can co-sign on because I have visited myself, though I didn't add it to RGL. But it does tasty food. Note that aside from dairy, honey and other animal products, they are also free of alcohol.

There's also Bloomsbury Farmer's Market, a regular market every Thursday in Torrington Square; and Manor Bar and Grill in Tooting.

We have a significant update to The Prince Arthur in Hoxton, a classic Shepherd Neame pub.

Sadly lots of reported closures this week: The Good Samaritan in Whitechapel; Boho Mexica in Spitalfields; The Duke of Wellington in Marylebone; The Only Running Footman in Mayfair (though it's still a pub, just not gastro, which sounds fine actually); and The Tyburn, a Wetherspoons by Marble Arch.
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Welcome back!

32 great queen street

This week's featured article is Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA. It's a restaurant and bar in the shadow of the Freemasons' HQ and has some great food even after all these years. Good for treating the parents.

There's one new article, being Rio's Britannia Cafe in South London's Norbury. Does what a greasy spoon is supposed to do, albeit without pork.

Our reported permanent closure this week is Ergon, a Greek restaurant and deli in Marylebone.
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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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Big update this week, mainly thanks to Oddbins. Anyway, here we go...

Tram Stop, Addiscombe, London CR0

Our featured article is Tram Stop, CR0 6RD, which is not in fact a tram stop but is right next to one (Addiscombe tram stop that is). It's a small coffee shop and cafe. It's child-friendly, and offers newspapers and bookswap books. The food is seasonal and good too!

Two new articles are: Magma, a small Ghanaian restaurant in Thornton Heath with a fine palaver sauce; and Gojo, doing Ethiopian food in a North Kensington basement, better than it sounds.

Four reported closures we've caught up with are: the Marylebone High St branch of Nicolas wine shop; the Barnes branch of Spirited Wines; Just Falafel in Covent Garden; and Japanese restaurant Kibou in sunny Wimbledon.

Those Oddbins renamings (generally from Spirited Wines or Nicolas) are:

* the Oddbins Beer Shop in Blackheath;
* the Notting Hill branch;
* the Wimbledon branch;
* the Kew branch;
* the Baker Street branch;
* the the Crouch End branch; and
* the East Dulwich branch.
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[personal profile] katstevens
French Cafe, Balham, London SW17

Bonjour everyone!

This week's featured article is for the French Cafe, just off Balham High Road. It's a modern establishment that does cuisine française, as you might expect. I've been trying to learn French recently, and with a bit of help from Google Translate I can tell you that le pâté there is tres bon although le pain is rather less than génial. C'est la vie!

There's a new article for the Langthorne, a pub in Stratford that's part of the Stonegate chain. It won't charge you over the odds for a lime and soda, but it's a bit loud inside. Mes oreilles!

Veggie-friendly Cafe Crema in New Cross has been sold to a new owner, but we're not sure yet if this has meant drastic changes or business as usual. Qui sait?

Finally, the Pontefract Castle in Marylebone has closed - another pub building seemingly destined for luxury flats. Des vaches maigres!
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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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Welcome! (A day late as usual for me.)

Black Horse, High Barnet, London EN5

In case you thought High Barnet was just a destination on the Northern Line, our featured article this week is for a brewpub up that way, The Black Horse, EN5 4HY. It's split into a few different areas, and features above-average pub food. Also, obviously, their own beers, amongst others.

Three additions are: The Union Cafe in Marylebone (good for wine, pleasant and lively); The Log Cabin in Leytonstone for 24 hour burgers and breakfasts; and Finezja in delightful Neasden, where you can get good solid, gloopy Polish food, with a side of Polish news.

Finally, we have the reported closure of London's premier Argentinian-New Zealand restaurant, Lola and Simon in Hammersmith. At least, I'm assuming it was the premier, because I can't imagine there are many others...
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Abuja Connection, Crystal Palace, London SE19

Evening all!

After last week's flurry of Good Beer Guide updates, it's a brief post today. Our featured article is for Abuja Connection, a friendly Nigerian restaurant in Crystal Palace. It's down the hill from the station, although of course this means you have to walk back up the hill on your way home, full of tasty afang stew.

We also have one new article - regular readers will be amazed to learn that it's a restaurant in Marylebone! Aubaine is part of a small chain doing reasonably-priced if unremarkable French cuisine. Do try one of the pastries though.
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Bumblebee Natural Foods, Holloway, London N7

Hello again. This week's featured article is Bumblebee Natural Foods, N7 0BT on the Kentish Town borders, a health food shop and grocery, with bulk foods, takeaway food, fruit and veg, baked goods, cheese and other such things.

The one new article is for a branch of Mexican food chain Wahaca at Westfield Stratford City's glamorous E20. If you've been to any of them, you'll be familiar with the concept. Our correspondent particularly recommends the plantain tacos.

Reported closures are for The Fat of the Land, an uneasy tapas bar/pub hybrid in Marylebone, and Parade Gastrobar in South Woodford, which sounds like some kind of painful dietary device. Also closed is Little Squiggles Cafe in sunny Sutton.
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Afternoon all! I hope you had a good long weekend.

Zolio

This week's featured article is for Zoilo, a smashing Argentinian restaurant in Marylebone near the Wallace Collection. The wine list is interesting and the empanadas are excellent - if you're going for lunch, make sure you don't have to go back to work afterwards.

Your contributors have been busy this week: we've got new articles for Franco Manca, a branch of the sourdough pizza chain in Westfield Stratford City; the new-ish Baker Street branch of the Natural Kitchen, which has plenty of unhealthy options to choose from; Bumblebee Natural Foods (an independent grocers and bakery) and Kami (a Japanese restaurant), both in Kentish Town; and - long overdue for a write-up, considering how often I go there - the 24-hour Bagel House in Stoke Newington. I can recommend the £1 pizza slice as a satisfying late night snack.

Kika in Canonbury has closed and is now a cafe called The Fig Tree. Finally, although we don't have an article for it yet, it may be useful to know that the Phoenix bar in Cavendish Square (near Oxford Circus) is temporarily closed for refurbishment, reopening in early September 2014.
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Finger Licking, Croydon, London CR0

Hello all!

This week's featured article is for Finger Licking, CR0 2RB, a small Ghanaian restaurant close to West Croydon Station. They do takeaway boxes that may or may not include tripe, according to your tripe preference!

Three new articles this week, all for restaurants: Panda in Leytonstone specialises in dim sum with some Sichuan dishes too, while Abuja Connection in Crystal Palace does some interesting-sounding traditional Nigerian food, including fried plantain, egusi stew and - yes, you've guessed it - tripe! Although on their last visit our intrepid reporters preferred the chicken instead. Fischer's in Marylebone is a shiny new Viennese 'cafe' that would love you to believe it was still the 1930s. It's certainly a pleasant environment in which to tuck into your schnitzel*, and most importantly, my Mum likes it a lot.

There are a few pub updates following recent visits: the Postal Order Wetherspoons in Crystal Palace, the Trafalgar in South Wimbledon (which has had a revamp for the better) and Birkbeck Tavern in Leyton.

Finally, the Capitol Wetherspoons in Forest Hill is set to close, although exactly when this will happen is still a mystery.

*I spent at least ten minutes trying to find a pun here and failed - jokes about Austrian food are the würst.
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Ergon

Hello from your belated RGL updates team!

If you're like me, you may be thinking that the featured article this week is some kind of Scandinavian design consultancy (my mind goes straight to "ergonomic", which sort of suggests that kind of thing, but maybe that's just me). Well, fear not, for Ergon, W1U 1BP is a Greek restaurant and deli in Marylebone. It's pretty good value according to my fellow correspondent, but keep an eye on what you're being served.

We have two (albeit related) new articles: one for the Broca cafe in Brockley, home of perky jazz, good service and tasty thick-cut sandwiches; the other for Broca Food Market, a hippy food shop on the other side of the tracks (literally), but run by the same people.

Following refurbishment, the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth has reopened.

Finally, Nivla Restaurant in Camberwell has now closed, so you will need to do further research for your Sierra Leonean eating options in London.
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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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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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[personal profile] ewan
Hello folks, and sorry for the delay, what with the bank holiday and my own disorganised inbox, I forgot about this update!

Noble, Stroud Green, N4

This week's featured article is The Noble, N4 4AP near Crouch Hill station. It does play a bit of music now, but it's still a nice alternative to the two other nearby pubs (Old Dairy and Stapleton Tavern), with a decent range of beer and some pretty nice food.

We have two new articles. There's Cubana behind Waterloo, which has been a Cuban-themed bar for as long as I can remember, so I guess that makes it some kind of institution. There's also Zoilo, an Argentinean restaurant in Marylebone for which I can promise I have photos, I just haven't uploaded them yet. Wonderful empanadas and a top range of well-chosen wines. Bonus also for the very garlicky fries.

Finally, a reported closure is The Old Anchor pub in Twickenham.
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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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