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Le Raj, Epsom, London KT17
Evening crew!

This week's featured article is for Le Raj in Epsom, a fancy joint that's earned a spot in the Good Curry Guide. The takeaway prices are a bit lower but you'll have to come and get it yourself, as they don't deliver.

New to RGL but certainly not new to me is the Soldier's Return, the third best pub in Ickenham. It's changed a little since I was drinking cheap lager there in the '90s - the tie's changed from Courage to Greene King, and they've apparently got rid of the (really quite manky) carpet. Also new is Karachi Cuisine in Norbury, a child-friendly Pakistani restaurant that does an interesting-sounding traditional breakfast on weekends. Try the chickpeas!

Finally, the Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia has shut. Apparently the team will be opening a new (hopefully less noisy) restaurant next year.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello and welcome back and sorry for the delay this week; things got busy at work at then... Oh well.

Ferry House, Isle of Dogs, London E14

So the featured article this week is The Ferry House, E14 3DT, a pub on the Isle of Dogs, still very traditional though with fewer dartboards and less sticky carpet than that might usually entail. It's got Courage beer and Sunday roast, though.

One new article is Pivaz, in London-adjacent and Central Line-terminating Epping. It's a somewhat upmarket Turkish restaurant, with tasty breakfast options and attentive staff.

Our reported permanent closures are The Cricketers, a small pub in Croydon (just near the Lebanon Road tram stop), and Dirty Burger in Kentish Town, though it was never much more than an outhouse shack and I was a meat-eater the last time I went there, giving a sense of its long and storied existence (i.e. it's several years old).

Finally, we can report the reopening of Affogato, a Norbury coffee shop and cafe, so there's no reason now to cancel all your Norbury travel plans this summer.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all!

Patisserie Joie de Vie, Barnet, London EN5

This week our featured article is the very French-sounding Patisserie Joie De Vie, EN5 5SN. It's unclear how joyful life will seem by the time you get to High Barnet, but at least once there you can have a crepe or a galette, which surely will help.

There's a new article in the form of Lahpet, a Burmese restaurant in Hackney. I believe the names "Burma" vs "Myanmar" are somewhat political, but as I have no idea what the adjectival form of Myanmar might be, I'm glad the former has been chosen. If you, like I, are unfamiliar with the country's food, then a visit to Hackney may be required, though you may need some patience with the food it sounds like.

There are updates to Shadi Bakery in Croydon (for all your fresh naan needs), Kazan in Westminster (for all your quality Turkish food needs, assuming you don't mind paying a bit more), and Village Bookshop in Woodford Green (for at least some of your book needs).

There's a reported upcoming closure for Dabbous; their final day is 15 July. I guess its period of on-trend success just fizzled out?

Finally the old Chesham Brewery Shop is now called Mad Squirrel Chesham following the renaming of its parent brewery from Red Squirrel to Mad Squirrel. Best of luck with the new name.
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Crown & Pepper, Caterham, London CR3
Hello RGLers!

This week's featured article is for the Crown and Pepper in Caterham, a pub that incorporates an Indian restaurant at the back. They also have a bar menu if you don't fancy the full sit-down experience - try the okra.

New this week, we have the Union Jack pub in Southwark, that perhaps isn't living up to its potential beer-wise, and the French House restaurant in Crystal Palace, a cheerful establishment themed around '60's Francophone pop music (the drinks menu looks pretty good too).

There's an update for the Prince George (just off Queensbridge Road in Dalston) following a visit, which reveals its all-important lime and soda pricing to be significantly cheaper than the Union Jack's.

Finally, Fujiyama in Brixton has closed: lovers of spinach ohitashi will have to venture elsewhere.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back!

Banh Mi 108, Feltham, London TW13

This week's featured article is Banh Mi 108, TW13 4HE. It's a Vietnamese cafe in Feltham. That first part may be clear from the name, and indeed they do banh mi baguettes, including a vegetarian one. I'm not sure what the 108 refers to though. Why not visit and figure it out? It doesn't appear to be the address though.

There are three new articles. One is Curzon Aldgate, a branch of the boutique cinema chain which opened earlier this year in... wait for it... Aldgate! It's quite a nice place (if pricy obviously). A second cinema is at the Close-Up Film Centre in Shoreditch, and yes I added both these entries because I went to my first film at Close-Up just this past week. Anyway, it's also a video rental library (those still exist!) and a cafe, and I'm a member.

Finally for the new entries, there's Hubbub, a cafe/bar on the Isle of Dogs. It's in a lovely looking building.

There's a significant update to the Ferry House entry, also on the Isle of Dogs, a very old pub given a light makeover.

Reported permanent closures are Shu Castle, a Sichuan restaurant on the Old Kent Road, and The Albion pub in Bethnal Green.

Finally, one pub to reopen is The Marquis of Wellington, once a dowdy-looking backstreets Bermondsey local which now finds itself adjacent to all the coolest new breweries and food vendors along Druid St, so it's been given a makeover befitting that location.
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[personal profile] katstevens
King and Queen, Fitzrovia, W1
Evening crew, here's another update to kick off your week, featuring 100% pub content.

Our featured article is for a pub that's become one of my 'old reliables' over the years, the King and Queen in Fitzrovia. A haven for office workers and weekend rugby-watchers requiring no-nonsense drinking, it was mere 3 minutes away from my (now-demolished) office back in the 2000s. It has offered the same well-kept pints of Tribute, scuzzy carpet and bookable upstairs room for as long as I can remember.

Sadly another 'old reliable' on the other side of Tottenham Court Road has closed - the Jeremy Bentham is now a Simmons bar (I doubt they've kept the shrunken wax head which looks more like Tim Rice than Jezza B). Other closures include the Station Tavern in Brimsdown, the Well in Clerkenwell, the Balham Arms (guess where), and the Crown near Hillingdon Hospital.

Some slightly more cheering news from Muswell Hill, where the Victoria Stakes has reopened after a fire. The Camel & Artichoke in Waterloo has also reopened, while the Melbourne in Wallington is now The Star and the Norbiton & Dragon in Kingston has dropped any pretense at mythology to become merely The Norbiton. I guess I'll now have to get my dragon content from Duolingo Welsh, which seems very keen that I learn the phrase "mae ddraig goch yn ddiflas" (hashtag #notalldragons).
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello and welcome back as RGL takes you to...

The Teapot, Forest Hill, London SE23

Leafy Forest Hill, where our featured article, cafe Teapot, SE23 3HF, awaits you. It's not big, but it will do you a good panino, and child-friendly portion sizes if you have children with you, which you may not.

There's a new entry for Jackson and Rye, a chain bar/restaurant in Richmond. I know there's one in Soho, as I've walked past it many times, but that's not a review. You can follow the link for that but be warned, there is a distinct lack of blueberries.

Finally, the reported permanent closure of Matsuri, a teppanyaki restaurant in St James's, by Piccadilly. You might miss some of its excellent food, but you won't miss the prices.
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Squires, Canning Town, London E16

Evening RGL crew!

This week's featured article is for Squires, a Nigerian restaurant in Canning Town serving at least two different types of pounded yam! I couldn't say if this is a 'typical Naija restaurant' as stated in the window but there are branches dotted around East and South London if you want to find out for yourself. If your prefer a cup of tea in Forest Hill instead, we have a new page for the Teapot cafe, which does a decent panini too.

Pub news! Famed Fitzrovia pie-haunt the Newman Arms is shut for a refurb, as is the Duke of Argyll (a Sam Smiths) in Soho. The Dartmouth Arms in Tufnell Park, the Widow's Son in Bow, the Lucky Rover in Chessington and the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey have all recently reopened - the latter is now owned by Fuller's, so expect the beer selection to be a little different.

However: the great pub deity giveth, and it taketh away again. The Taylor Walker-owned Devereux has shut, as has the Three Horseshoes in Southall. Also closed for good is Canal 125 on the Caledonian Road, once home to various club nights run by denizens of Livejournal. As small venues go it was pretty terrible, and I'm amazed it kept going that long. Let's hope whatever replaces it is better!
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all, and apologies for the particular delay this week, caused by jet lag (on my behalf).

at Cah Chi, Earlsfield, London SW18

This week's featured article is a Korean restaurant in Earlsfield called Cah Chi, SW18 4HP. Dumplings, noodles, efficient service and K-pop are your selling points for making the southwestern trek.

There's one reported closure, of Hason Raja, a Bangladeshi restaurant in Holborn described by our reviewer as "OK".

There's an update to the reopened The Beehive gastropub in Marylebone.

Finally an art materials shop which was by Aldgate then Brick Lane, called Atlantis Art, has moved premises to Old Street.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Provender, Wanstead, London E11

Evening folks!

This week's featured article is for Provender, which is not a gritty archeological crime series on ITV3 but a French restaurant in Wanstead with quality napkins and tasty souffles! (Next time on Provender: Detective Ian Provender eats some delicious prawns and then discovers a mysterious amulet on Wanstead Flats - could this be linked to the murder??)

New this week are entries for Battersea Pie Station in Covent Garden, which I keep calling Battersea Stodge Station in my mind (the pies are stodgy but in a good way), and the Crown & Pepper pub in Caterham, which also has a restaurant section serving Indian and Indian/Chinese food.

Affogato in Norbury is temporarily closed while they sort out the drains and the licensing (yikes), but it's good to see the Catford Bridge Tavern reopening. It's no longer an Antic pub but hopefully the new owners will have retained its friendly atmosphere and spacious interior.

Finally, here at RGL Towers we mourn the passing of the best named combination-cafe-and-juice-bar in South Croydon, Juicy Squeeze. A carton of Five Alive just won't cut it anymore.
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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
Sorry for the late entry this week! I hope it hasn't thrown out your planning for all the places you want to check out...

Murger Han, Euston, London NW1

This week's featured article is Murger Han, NW1 1DA. It's a Northern Chinese restaurant in Euston, and although I've never really been sold on 'Euston' as a descriptor of the area, I recognise most people probably know where you mean (this is really Somers Town, surely). Anyway, I'm getting distracted from the important thing, which is that for all its utilitarian decor, you can get some interesting porky fatty burger-type things (these it seems are the "murgers" of the name), and a nicely-balanced vinegary soup. Don't try and pay with Scottish currency, mind.

One addition is a Nigerian restaurant in Canning Town, Squires, with decent thoroughly-cooked fish stew.

There's an update to Napura, a Portuguese restaurant in Nunhead, from which you can also order takeaway.

Two temporary pub closures are the Aeronaut pub in Acton, and the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey.

Finally the reported permanent closure of East Dulwich tea shop Le Chandelier. Now a restaurant called Spinach, the idea of which isn't really thrilling me tbqh but I don't live in East Dulwich.
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[personal profile] katstevens
IMG_20160906_175036163

Hullo RGLers! This week's featured article is for the Penny Farthing, a friendly micropub in Crayford, with plenty of real ale and real cider. If you happened to be walking from Wroxter to Canterbury along the old Watling Street Roman road, it would be a perfect 162-mile pint pit-stop.

There are a couple of new pages, one for Potli in Hammersmith, a reasonable Indian restaurant/takeaway, and one for Cafe Shack, a greasy spoon in Old Coulsdon (decent deep-fried sausage but maybe give the milkshakes there a miss).

Mayfair lost a couple of Michelin stars in October with the closure of Hibiscus - I had a cracking bowl of soup there once. I never had a decent bowl of soup from the Chiswick branch of Oddbins, but that's closed too. Finally, Lancaster Gate tube station is shut until July, while they sort out the lifts.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello, and after a bit of seasonal break, welcome back to a new year, 2017!

Lulu's Caribbean Cuisine, Finsbury Park, London N4

This week's featured article is Lulu's Caribbean Cuisine, N4 3EN. It's pretty small and colourfully painted, and if you're there for a weekday lunchtime you may find yourself the only one. Generous portions and flavourful too, worth checking out we think.

There are three new pages: A&N Brothers Cafe in South Croydon (decent breakfast); Steakout in Norbury (neon pink, but decent steak); and The Fox pub between Coulsdon and Caterham (more a restaurant than a pub, but you can drink there, and the food is... decent).

Our two reported permanent closures are Bottledog on Grays Inn Road, and The William Jolle pub (a Wetherspoons) in Northwood Hills.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Andu Cafe, Dalston, London E8

Hullo all! Our last round-up of the year kicks off with our featured article, Andu Cafe in Dalston. The menu is both short and vegan! Having a dollop of everything on a massive expanse of injera sounds like an excellent plan. The archives tell me I've already linked to the Captain Sensible song about wot, so here's Wiley instead.

We have a new page for Suda, a busy and modern Thai restaurant in Covent Garden, hidden away in the courtyard off Upper St Martin's Lane, and there's an update for Cristina's steak house in Barking, following a recent visit. The Glamorgan gastropub in Croydon has closed, while Cafe Bohemia off Mare Street in Hackney is due to close in January.

And that's it for 2016 - RGL wishes all our readers and contributors a very Happy New Year!
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[personal profile] katstevens
Ram's, Kenton, London HA3

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Ram's in Kenton, a vegetarian Indian restaurant and sweet shop with a decent all-you-can-eat buffet. Unlimited bread! There are also two new pages on RGL: Cactus Grill in Wallington serves Mexican/American food with a lunchtime meal deal, and Hap Lee in Norbury does the usual Anglo-Chinese cuisine (maybe skip the aubergine).

There's an update for the Orange Room in Mile End, just around the corner from a house where approximately half the population of Livejournal has lived at one point or another, including this author. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a local Lebanese mezze place at the time - but now there is!

Several pub closures to report: the Hatchet near Mansion House, the Chequers in Hendon, and the Greenwich Pensioner in... wait for it... Poplar! (Come on, why would you think a Greenwich Pensioner might be in Greenwich?) The Victoria Stakes in Muswell Hill is also temporarily shut following a fire, but the Good Samaritan in Whitechapel has reopened: very handy for a pre- or post-Tayyabs pint.
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[personal profile] ewan
Lighthouse, Catford, London SE6

Hello! This week's featured article is Lighthouse, SE6 4SP, or "LightHouse" perhaps, as that's what the facade looks more like. It's a vegetarian cafe in Catford with glamorous light fittings and texturally interesting porridge. Also, other food. Plenty of options.

Only one new addition for this update, which is Rial Cafe in West Ham, though don't look for that name anywhere on the outside. (This is developing into a bit of a theme this week eh?) It's a pretty small cafe with eclectic decor.

Finally, the reported closure of Hendon's Atari-Ya (or... "Atariya"?) sushi bar, which was rather nice. Still, the other Atari-Yas are still going as far as we know.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Coal City, Edmonton, London N18

Evening everyone! We head to the far frozen North for this week's featured article: Coal City is not a colliery in Yorkshire, but a small Nigerian restaurant in Upper Edmonton. The edikang ikong (a hearty veg soup) was just the right level of spiciness to thaw out our intrepid reviewer.

New to RGL this week is Cafe Rosh in Shadwell, serving an all-too-rare combo of fried breakfasts and biryanis (and chicken themed sandwiches) for a very reasonable price.

Elsewhere, The Melbourne in Wallington has closed for a quick refurb, while in Chinatown, RGL favourite Leong's Legend has moved around the corner to Gerrard Street. I'm sure we'll get round to paying a visit to the new location soon!
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back to another week where we plunge ourselves into the pubs, restaurants and shops of London.

Woolwich Equitable, Woolwich, London SE18

This week our featured article is a watering hole, The Woolwich Equitable, located in a former building society headquarters (guess which one) and run by the Antic pub company. It tones down on their usual quirk and has some decent food and music which is not too loud in the afternoon.

Three new articles are Shadi Bakery in West Croydon, good for all your naan needs, Coughlan's Bakery in Wallington, good for your lunchtime sarnie needs, and Little Bar in Tooting, which is indeed very little and offers bottled beers, wines and cocktails.

There's a significant update to The Elephant and Castle pub in the lovely Elephant and Castle area, again taken over by Antic.

Finally the reported permanent closure of The Dignity, one of the few pubs near Finchley Central, and pretty decent one too. But gone now. Gone.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Sharon's Card Crafts, Swanley, Kent BR8

Evening everyone! Our featured article this week is for "the best thing in Swanley", Sharon's Card Crafts. Behind the humble exterior lies all the papercraft supplies you could ever need. If you need to replenish your glitter stocks before the festive season, and you feel like going on an adventure to Zone 8, then this sounds ideal.

We have a new page for Murger Han in Euston, a cash-only Northern Chinese restaurant serving salty noodles and juicy dumplings, while the page for Khan's Indian restaurant on Westbourne Grove has had an update following a visit. It's reassuring to know they can tell the difference between prawns and king prawns - mollusc knowledge was a tie-breaker on University Challenge the other week, so you never know when you might be called on to identify crustaceans.

Elsewhere, Italian restaurant Enoteca Turi has moved from Putney to Pimlico, while the Ravensbourne Arms in Ladywell has been rather abruptly abandoned by Antic, as they're shortly opening a different pub up the road.

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