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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back!

RU@D Cafe, West Ham, London E15

This week's featured article is Rial Cafe, E15 3BT, or maybe Ruad Cafe if you like. It's a cafe in West Ham with eclectic furniture and tasty lunches.

Our two additions are a MICROPUB in Anerley, the Douglas Fir (run by Gipsy Hill and is fairly minimal in decor, but good beers and WiFi), and Resham in Norbury (an Indian restaurant which specialises in Indian-style Chinese food).

Three reported closures are The Belvedere Hotel in Belvedere (which is near Erith, if that helps?), Beer Rebellion in Sydenham (short lived sadly!) and The Camel and Artichoke behind Waterloo station.

Finally the very fine Claret Free House in Addiscombe is now called The Claret and Ale.
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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] katstevens
Yu Xiao, Dalston, London E8

Evening all! A bumper week, kicking off with this week's featured article Yu Xiao, a Chinese supermarket on Kingsland High Street (right near Dalston Kingsland Overground station). It's stuffed full of noodles, pickles, tofu and other East Asian groceries.

Our old peripatetic friend the Japan Centre (currently located in Shaftesbury Avenue) has had an update. A slightly different selection of tofu, noodles etc is available there, as well as a vast number of magazines with Japanese boybands on the cover. The Blythe Hill Tavern in Catford has also had an update, including some useful #limeandsodawatch pricing info.

There are plenty of new pages this week, including three fully vegetarian eateries: the Lighthouse cafe in Catford, Indian restaurant Saravanaa Bhavan in Ilford, and the awkwardly-portmanteaued CoffeE7 in Forest Gate. Guess which one has a chandelier! Also new is the Orbit Beers Taproom, just off the Walworth Road (good for train spotting), and Cappuccino in Norbury (good for fried eggs). However fans of egg will no longer be able to obtain tarts from Sun Luen Snack Bar in Chinatown, as it has closed.

Finally, some cinema news: the Bromley Empire and Leicester Square Empire are now Cineworld Bromley and Cineworld Leicester Square respectively.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Bushwacker Wholefoods, Hammersmith, London W6

Evening all! A bumper week to catch up after the Bank Holiday.

This week's featured article is for Bushwacker Wholefoods in Hammersmith, which stocks a whole range of vegetarian groceries including Taifun tofu (I wonder if they have curry and pineapple flavour?

New new new! Craft Tooting is a small craft beer shop by Tooting Broadway station. Further up towards Wimbledon Park we have more beer at the By The Horns Brewery Tap, while the Pear Tree pub in Purley has little jars of beer in front of the pumps so you can see what colour it is (I love it when pubs do this). Not quite so new but existing under a different name: The Aleksander in St Margaret's is now The Alba.

The page for Lion Inn in Thornton Heath has had an update, as have ones for the Sugahill cafe in Sydenham and Imperial China on Chinatown's Lisle Street (which seems to be *the* place to meet your blind date?). Places *not* to meet your blind date, unless you want to hang around outside a now-closed pub: the Red Herring pub near St Paul's, and the Devonshire House Wetherspoons in Crouch End.

Finally, pre-gig Brixton favourite the Trinity Arms is temporarily shut for a refurb. It's planned to reopen in August, hopefully in plenty of time for any attendees of 'Progress Wrestling: Chapter 36 - We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room Again' wanting a pre-bout pint of Ordinary.
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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, 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).
katstevens: (dogswim)
[personal profile] katstevens
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.
katstevens: (dogswim)
[personal profile] katstevens
Gojo, Ladbroke Grove, London W10

Afternoon everyone!

This week's featured article is for Gojo, an Ethiopian bar and restaurant near Ladbroke Grove. If you wend your way down the rather precarious staircase, you'll be rewarded with all manner of lovely-sounding things to go with your injera, including gomen wot, misir wot and shiro wot. Captain Sensible would be delighted*!

Oui Madame in Stoke Newington is now Oui Monsieur! Honorifics aside, no other changes are apparent. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose! Finally, Portal in Clerkenwell closed earlier this year.

The RGL blog will return after the May Bank Holiday - see you then.

(*Auto-playing Youtube link warning.)
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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
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.
katstevens: (dogswim)
[personal profile] katstevens
Roti King, Euston, London NW1

Afternoon everyone!

This week's featured article is for Roti King At Euston Chinese, funnily enough in Euston. It's a small Malaysian restaurant that shares its basement space with Euston Chinese, so make sure you get the right menu. The food sounds excellent value for money, especially the lamb curry. Worth a visit if you're not in a hurry.

There are major updates to the articles for the JJ Moons Wetherspoons in Wembley (not to be confused with the JJ Moons in Ruislip Manor, or the one in Tooting, or the one in Hornchurch), and the White Horse, a a Fuller's pub in South Harrow.

We have a few new articles too: Bite near Northolt tube station is a Polish cafe serving inconsistent pancakes; M & D in Deptford, a Japanese restaurant with adequate sushi; and the Coach & Horses in Ickenham, site of many legendary outings by your author in the late 90s. Happily it is now around 3 changes of management on from that which BARRED ME FOR LIFE for smuggling in chip-shop-chips when the pub had stopped serving food. Readers, I ate my contraband sheltered from the rain in the nearby Pump, where my thoughtful chum Kirsty brought me out a pint. But enough nostalgia! The Coach still has the best beer garden in Ickenham, but for a quick drink you're better off in the Wetherspoons down the road (mercifully it's not called JJ Moons).

Finally, Taste Inn in Lewisham has renamed itself China China. Personally I think 'Happy Smell' is a better name, but there you go.
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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
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] ewan
Hello all!

Calthorpe Arms, St Pancras, WC1

The featured article is the Calthorpe Arms, WC1X 8JR, a proper old school traditional pub with carpet and locals and tasty unchallenging beer with a friendly atmosphere. I'm not sure I'd call it Bloomsbury, but who has a better name for the area? Is it Holborn?

There are two new articles, again for pubs. There's The Monarch, which is on the Chalk Farm end of Camden Town, and often has gigs on, but certainly could be a lot worse than that suggests. And then there's the new BrewDog outpost in Shepherd's Bush, which is great if you like that kind of bar (industrial look and feel), and that kind of beer (there's nothing on cask, but there's an interesting range of both BrewDog and guest beers in the hoppier vein of "craft").

Finally, the St James Tavern in Bermondsey has closed in its guise as an old-fashioned locals' boozer and has reopened as St James of Bermondsey (website link here for those who want to judge what kind of market it's going for now).
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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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[personal profile] ewan
Horse and Groom, Belgravia, SW1

This week's featured article is The Horse and Groom, SW1X 7BA, an unpretentious mews pub, albeit in a very upmarket part of town. Sadly, its great age and lesser size mean that it's not very accessible.

Our one addition is Lime Orange, a Korean restaurant with good beef but too many onions. Kake, are you learning Korean now?

One reported permanent closure is Roganic, a fine dining outpost for Simon Rogan which was only ever set to be open two years (whether this makes it a "pop-up" or not, I'm still not clear on) and has indeed closed after two years.

Moving south to Croydon, the old Fish and Grill has been renamed to Brasserie Vacherin, under the same ownership.

Finally, a closure of sorts is The Northgate, a pub in De Beauvoir Town which has now reopened as The De Beauvoir Arms. At least it's still a pub.
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[personal profile] ewan
Esarn Kheaw, Shepherd's Bush, London W12

This week's featured article is Esarn Kheaw, W12 7LJ, a Thai restaurant with their own homemade sausage, which certainly gets me interested...

There's been one new addition, Thanh's Bistro in Croydon, a pretty good Vietnamese restaurant.

Sadly though we have four reported closures: Stash Yarns in Putney; Cakey Muto, a hipster cake shop cafe in Clapton; La Rochelle French bistro in Croydon; and The Ship of Fools, the Wetherspoon's pub opposite West Croydon station.

One significant renaming is Mitchells and Butlers chain of Castle Pubs (which were called Metro Professionals, not that they advertise it as a brand).

Finally, happily, a pub reopening is The Wenlock Arms in Hoxton, a CAMRA and locals' favourite which has now been permanently saved and refurbished too.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Crown and Sceptre, South Croydon, CR2

Afternoon RGL crew! We're back from our mini-break and London's looking pretty nice out there in the sunshine, isn't it?

This week's featured article is the Crown & Sceptre, CR2 6RB, a Fuller's pub in Croydon. It's a bit smaller than most of the Fuller's pubs I frequent, but the last time I went there my pint of Chiswick went down a treat. Their macaroni cheese has mustard in it - depending on your point of view this might be an AMAZING thing or a TERRIBLE thing, but either way, now you know about it.

I am proud to include my local haunt Best Turkish Kebab in Stoke Newington as one of our new articles. The shish is almost as good as the picture of Ainsley Harriot they have on the wall! Also new is Fishworks in Marylebone, a fancy-ish restaurant on the High Street that focuses on sustainably-sourced fish and seafood.

Clearing up confusion in Maida Vale is the Union Tavern, another Fuller's pub which has changed its moniker from the 'Grand Union' -- a sensible move considering it is neither a type of 4-way railway junction, a burger chain nor a sizeable means of organising a workforce. Now if only we could get the nearby Grand Union Canal's name changed too, that would be perfect.

Finally, we have a reopened and refurbished pub (hurrah!) in the shape of the Windsor Castle on the Lower Clapton Road in Hackney. According to our RGL pub expert it now 'looks quite nice' and 'was quite busy'. Good to know!
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[personal profile] ewan
Chandos, Covent Garden, WC2

This week's featured article is The Chandos, a Sam Smith's pub at the corner of Trafalgar Square that anyone who has ever had a drink in central London will probably be familiar with. You may already have an opinion of Sam Smith's pubs, but at least their beer tends to be dependable.

The new entry is The Smithfield Tavern, which you may have guessed is a tavern just off Smithfield Market, central London's major meat market. Given this fact, you'll be surprised to hear it's totally vegetarian, and the food sounds pretty good to me.

Reported closures are Delfina on Bermondsey Street (probably permanent), and Mizgin Restaurant on Green Lanes, Harringay (definitely permanent; it's been replaced another Turkish restaurant). We also have a reported temporary closure for Hoxton's Wenlock Arms, but this is promised to be just for a refurbishment.

Finally Just Deli in SE1 has been renamed as London's Kitchen Cafe.
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[personal profile] ewan
Star and Garter, Soho, W1

This week's featured article is The Star and Garter, W1F 7NX. It's not trendy and it doesn't have a huge range of beers, but it's a comforting and cosy single room pub in Soho which has been very useful on many occasions.

Permanent closures reported this past week have been The City Retreat, a pub in Holborn, and Tadim Cafe in Camberwell.

Finally, the old Wargrave Arms at the edge of Marylebone has been renamed as The Lord Wargrave.

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