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[personal profile] ewan
Mama Pho, Deptford, London SE8

This week, our featured article is Mama Pho, SE8 5DG. It's a Vietnamese cafe in Deptford, a successor to Cafe East. Expect generous portions, tender meat, and disappointing salad.

A new addition is, for a rare change, a station! It's Lea Bridge Station, which used to exist as a passenger station but some time before RGL was founded. Well it's open again, so grab your trains to Stratford and TOttenham Hale here.

Finally, an update to Picture Palace, a former Wetherspoons pub in Ponders End, now sold on to another operator, but it's still a pub.
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[personal profile] katstevens
IMG_20160115_134859143_HDR
Evening all, hope your Bank Holiday was pleasant! I spent mine looking at my local supply of anatomically incorrect dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park.

This week's featured article is for Dexter Burger in Purley, home to interesting veggie burgers with a high rating on the all-important Bun Structural Integrity scale.

We've got new pages for Lamberts in Balham, a restaurant specialising in seasonal British produce, and Tandoori Naan And Chapati, a bakery in Walworth with a seemingly slapdash attitude to food hygiene. I think I'd rather go to Lamberts, myself.

There are Vietnamese food updates in the form of Dat Cang Supermarket and Mama Pho, both in Deptford. Also updated following a visit is vegan-friendly creperie Senzala, over in sunny Brixton.

Closures to report: the Breadroom bakery in Brixton has literally ended up in Valhalla, while the Cineworld Hammersmith is to be demolished. I cannot confirm or deny that the last film to be shown in this (admittedly rather run-down) Art Deco building was Kung Fu Panda 3.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Fresh Fields Market, Croydon, London CR0
Happy New Year to all our RGL readers!

Our first featured article of 2016 is Fresh Fields Market in Croydon, a supermarket that stocks interesting craft beers, including some on cask.

A whole bunch of new stuff has arrived over the Xmas break: also hailing from Croydon is An Nam, a Vietnamese restaurant in the Wing Yip centre, and just across the Purley Way is Tigris, serving Middle Eastern food. A fast train to Victoria will plonk you outside the St George's Tavern, a large, busy Nicholson's pub which you can book out for events. Moving East to Limehouse, the Husk is a coffee shop and community space run by the London City Mission, just down the road from the Old Ship (a trad pub that still has some carpet left) and Shanshuijian, a Chinese restaurant specialising in a tasty-sounding lamb hotpot.

Holland Park tube station has decided to sit out most of 2016 and get its lifts replaced instead. After hauling myself off the sofa and back into the office today, I have to say don't blame it.
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[personal profile] ewan
Viet Rest, Deptford, London SE8

This week's featured article is Viet Rest, SE8 4NS, a small Vietnamese restaurant/takeaway in delightful Deptford. Kake has visited a couple of times to get takeaways, and it sounds like the glutinous rice with braised pork is the dish to get.

Sigificant updates to the article on Shahanshah in Southall, an Indian cafe/takeaway with fantastic samosas but watch out for unsolicited peas.

Finally reported closure for Golden Day on Shaftesbury Avenue.
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[personal profile] katstevens
The Cafe Below, St Paul's, London EC2

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Cafe Below, a cafe in the crypt of St Mary Le Bow church in Cheapside. It may be underground but it's still around 28 metres above sea level (according to this altitude finding tool). An unusual spot worth investigating for lunch in the City, with decent veggie options.

We've got a handful of new articles too: the Hackbridge Cafe is an above-average greasy spoon in the eponymous South West London suburb; Viet Rest in Deptford has a fish tank, and does a great glutinous rice with pork (among other Vietnamese treats); Tram Stop is a small, child-friendly cafe in Addiscombe, with a good view of the passing trams.

Finally, The Bookworm bookshop in Carshalton has closed.
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[personal profile] katstevens
banh mi hoi-an

Morning everyone!

This week's featured article is for Banh Mi Hoi-An, E8 1BP, slap bang in the middle of Hackney on Graham Road. It may be small but the banh mi baguettes are fresh and the spiciness level is just right - excellent value if you're in the area.

There's a new article for Martin's Place, a small bistro on Uxbridge's Windsor Street which also does good value food at lunchtime. Perhaps best to avoid the omelettes though. We also have updates to the articles for the White House Wetherspoons in Stockley Park and the Cafe Below, located in the crypt of St Mary Le Bow church on Cheapside. Apparently St Mary Le Bow used to be haunted due to all the black masses being held there in the 12th century (tsk!), but after it burned down in the Great Fire of London (and was subsequently rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren), the curse was lifted and the ghosts scarpered! So you can safely enjoy a nice vegetarian meal in the crypt without having spooky chains rattled at you.

Finally, Thai Rapide on Clerkenwell Road has closed, and is now a kebab place called Chifafa.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Ladudu, West Hampstead, London NW6

Afternoon all, a quick update this week.

Our featured article is for Ladudu, a modern Vietnamese coffee shop in West Hampstead. Perfect if you fancy a bit of pho before jumping on the Thameslink, or indeed some chicken livers before embarking on the Jubilee line.

We've also got a new article for Mazi, a Turkish restaurant in Croydon serving quality ocakbasi kebabs and stews. They serve fresh Turkish bread rather than your standard dry pittas and the lamb is lovely and tender. I can almost smell the charcoal from here!
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[personal profile] katstevens
Williams Ale & Cider House, Spitalfields, London E1

Afternoon RGL crew!

This week's featured article is for the Williams Ale And Cider House. It's a cosy Good Beer Guide pub, hidden away in a Spitalfields alleyway, not far from Liverpool Street station. As you can tell from the name, it is keen to promote its large range of beers and ciders, and overall seems like good alternative to the more obvious pubs on Bishopsgate itself.

New to RGL is Ladudu, a Vietnamese restaurant and coffee shop in West Hampstead. It's named after the Vietnamese for 'papaya leaf', and as well as coffee, the menu features a choice of three different Vietnamese beers to go with your spring rolls.

Finally, Dost in Uxbridge has closed. The good citizens of UB8 now have an ice cream shop in its place.
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[personal profile] ewan
Untitled

Hello, it's that time of year, time for the new Good Beer Guide and all the new pubs it brings. The category page for this book is therefore, of course, the featured article.

Before we get into that, there's one new unrelated article, which is Banh Mi Hoi-An in London's trendy Hackney, which will do you a decent noodle salad.

Now this leaves us with all the new pubs for this year, so brace yourselves:

* The Aeronaut in Acton (also a brewpub!);
* The Argyle in Clerkenwell (Hatton Garden area);
* The Black Horse in High Barnet (also a brewpub!);
* The Clarence in Mayfair;
* The Constitution in Pimlico;
* Craft Beer Co. in Brixton (ell, can't complain about the beer selection I guess);
* The Crooked Billet in Upper Clapton;
* The Crown in St Margaret's, Twickenham;
* The Elephant and Castle in Kensington;
* The Flying Pig in East Dulwich;
* The George in South Woodford;
* The Grapes in Sutton;
* The Grove in Ealing;
* The Hops and Glory in Canonbury (Essex Road);
* The Hour Glass in Brompton;
* The Huntsman and Hounds in Upminster;
* The King's Head in Tooting;
* The Leyton Technical in Leyton;
* The Lighthouse in Battersea;
* London Fields Brewery Tap Room by the park of that name in Hackney (really a brewery);
* The Lord Aberconway by Liverpool Street;
* The Misty Moon in High Barnet (ex-Spoons, obviously);
* Oaka at the Mansion House in Kennington (the Oakham Ales pub);
* The Old Bell on Fleet Street;
* The Old Loyal Britons in Greenwich;
* Old Tom's Bar under the Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market;
* The Pig and Whistle in Southfields;
* The Prince of Wales in Clapham;
* The Railway Bell in New Barnet;
* The Royal George by Euston Station;
* The Shortlands Tavern in Bromley;
* The Sporting Page in Chelsea;
* The Station Hotel in Hither Green;
* The White Lion in Warlingham;
* Williams Ale and Cider House in Spitalfields; and
* Woodin's Shades around the corner on Bishopshate, by Liverpool Street Station.

There are also two stub entries which will be filled out by Kake in the next week or two:
* The Door Hinge in Welling (a micro-pub!); and
* The Hare and Billet in Blackheath.
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[personal profile] ewan
Kenya Coffee House, Romford, London RM1

Featured this week is Kenya Coffee House, RM1 1ED. Your intrepid RGL friends have ventured to furthest Romford for Kenyan food and report back that it is good. You may go for the Christian soft rock, but stay for the excellent creamed spinach with your tilapia. They also do coffee.

New articles are: Villagers Sausages, providing sausages to the villagers of, er, Beckenham, and I seem to recall that I went there once years ago and yes the sausages are very good; and The Horse and Stables, a pub near Lambeth North that used to be called just The Horse, and remains fairly bland.

Reported permanent closures are two Vietnamese places in Deptford (Cafe @Migo in Deptford and West Lake) and Inshoku Japanese restaurant out the back of Waterloo, clearly not trendy enough for modern dining needs.

Finally, we have a reopening in the form of Panda Panda in Deptford, just slightly rebalancing the number of Vietnamese places in the area.
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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
hiba express

This week's featured article is Hiba Express, WC1V 6JQ. It's a Lebanese restaurant near Holborn station, does good takeaway food. bob likes it, in any case. Thanks to Bec for the photo.

We have two new articles: Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park E9, an upmarket greasy spoon; and Pieds Nus in Marylebone, a so-called 'pop-up' taking the place of the old Roganic (so it could be there for several years), featuring fine dining with a 'barely-cooked' (low temperature/slow-cooked) gimmicky twist (hence the 'naked' in the name) from those Pied à Terre people. However, yr correspondents can confirm it was super extra tasty, especially the breads and the artichokes and the meats and the fish, but stay away from the duck egg, potato and cheese thing.

Finally, Panda Panda in Deptford is more-or-less closed, i.e. it's not a Vietnamese place anymore, just a standard sandwich shop.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Au Lac, Highbury, London N5

Good afternoon RGLers! After last week's mega-pub-update, we're turning our attention to restaurants this week.

Our featured article is for Au Lac, N5 2XE, a reasonably-priced Vietnamese restaurant in Highbury. Their fish sounds very tempting, especially the Tilapia - awesome little dudes who are also a natural alternative to pesticides, as they eat algae and malaria-carrying mosquito larvae. Though I'd expect that the pest-eating fishes are probably not the same fishes that will end up on your plate. For non-piscine fans there are a whole bunch of veggie options too, including sizzling aubergines!

Two other restaurants have been added to RGL: Priya in East Ham, specialising in South Indian and Sri Lankan food; and Kibou, a Japanese restaurant in South Wimbledon with decent food and some interesting beers. There are two reported closures as well: Punk bar off Oxford Street (demolished as part of the Crossrail works) and Impress Food Oriental supermarket in Bayswater which looks likely to be turning into yet another Sainsbury's (sigh).
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[personal profile] ewan
George, Belsize Park, NW3

Hello! This month's featured article is The George, NW3 2AE, which has been done up by Spirit Pub Co to be the first in a new premium brand. It sure is pretty posh, with blonde wood panelling and light from big open windows at the front and rear. That said, the food is overpriced and my burger was a bit disappointing. Still, there you go.

Lots of new additions, the first two in the Kilburn area. From there we have Barraco, a Brazilian restaurant, and The Carlton Tavern, an old man pub on the Maida Vale end. From Greenwich, there's Vietnam Oriental Cuisine, which despite the name is mainly Chinese. Finally, Rose Vegetarian in Kingsbury, which perhaps won't get you rushing out to visit Kingsbury, but if you're in the area, seems as good a bet as any.

Significant update to the entry for The Moon Under Water in Hounslow, which despite having been in many Good Beer Guides had remained a mere stub entry in RGL. Possibly because there's not much you can really say about yet another outpost of a Wetherspoons pub of this name.

Temporary closure for The Ladywell Tavern to do refurbishments.

Reported permanent closures are Elephant Walk, which was a fantastic Sri Lankan place in West Hampstead, and The Red Lion, a pub in Amersham (which by very few relevant criteria can actually be considered to be in London).

Finally, the Imperial War Museum has (mostly) reopened.
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[personal profile] ewan
Whistle and Flute, Putney, London SW15

This week's featured article is The Whistle and Flute, SW15 1SQ, a Fuller's pub somewhere in between scruffy and gastro. It has the usual range of Fuller's beers and ales, so it'll do you fine if you're in Putney for a drink.

Lots of new articles this week, as certain maintainers of our community have been getting out and about in London. We have Amasi, a Middle Eastern cafe on an industrial estate in Perivale, so er yes, if you find yourself on an industrial estate in furthest West London, now you know where to go. We also have Shree Krishna Vada Pav, an Indian cafe in Harrow.

There's new entries for drinking establishments too: Ward's Freehouse, a pub in Harrow lacking any real ale; The Hussar at the edge of Hounslow, ditto; The Earl Haig, also in Hounslow, also no real ale; and The Beagle, a cocktail bar/restaurant in trendy East London's Haggerston/Shoreditch boundaries.

There are significant updates for The Old White Bear in Hampstead, and Au Lac, a Vietnamese restaurant in Highbury.

Two reported closures are The White Swan, one of Golders Green's few remaining pubs, and, sadly, an excellent East Dulwich wine shop/bar, Green and Blue.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hole In The Wall, Waterloo, London SE1

This week's featured article is The Hole in the Wall, SE1 8SQ, a pub hidden away down the side of Waterloo station which feels like a proper traditional locals' pub rather than a transient station drinking hole. It's bigger than it looks too.

The one addition is the Fox @ Connaught, a pub in the Royal Docks across from London City Airport. There's precious few pubs in this area, so just having some handpulls makes it a bit of a haven (relatively speaking).

Significant updates to the entries for The Railway and The Black Horse in Greenford, and The Lemon Tree in Covent Garden, no longer run by Jack Beard's (thankfully) and largely still avoiding the tourist trade.

Reported permanent closures are Sweet and Spicy Indian restaurant on Brick Lane, and Little Hanoi Vietnamese just off Old Street.

Finally, possibly a temporary closure for The Horse in Lambeth North may be a more permanent one, but we're not sure.
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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] ewan
Little Squiggles, Sutton, London SM1

This week, we travel south south south to Sutton for our featured article, which is Little Squiggles Cafe, SM1 1NR. As you may have guessed from the name, it's aimed at children, so having some would probably help.

Otherwise, it's a very quiet week, with only one reported closure, of the Royal Margin Vietnamese restaurant in Surrey Quays.

If there are any places you've recently visited and want to let us know about, why not suggest them below! If you're an RGL contributor already, why not add or update an entry with details of somewhere you've been to recently? I shall try to do my part...
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[personal profile] katstevens
Bookseller Crow on the Hill, Crystal Palace, London SE19

This week's featured article is the squawkingly independent Bookseller Crow On The Hill, a family-run bookshop in Crystal Palace. Their website features a variety of ridiculously unreadable fonts! The owners appear to be very fond of the local Crystal Palace dinosaurs - as am I.

A slew of new additions this week! First of all is the Marylebone branch of Natural Kitchen, a grocery and cafe that specialises in seasonal/healthy/hippy food (i.e. plenty of vegetarian/vegan options). We also have the Angel branch of the Craft Beer Co, which has a) lovely curtains and b) a lovely carpet, meaning you can actually hear yourself think on a Friday night.

The Little Squiggles Cafe is a child-friendly caff on Sutton High Street, which has a 'buggy park' for pushchairs and pet dinosaurs. Finally, there's Vinoteca, the busy (but friendly) Soho branch of the wine bar and restaurant chain, that does a decent fried iguanodon steak and chips.

The name change didn't do Zeitgeist Coffee Bar much good it seems, as it's now closed down. Instead, Lambeth North now has a Crave Kitchen & Bakery. The Vietnamese restaurant next door, Ha-Noi, has also closed. Perhaps that corner of Westminster Bridge Road is just going through a bad patch, not unlike the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event?
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[personal profile] ewan
28°-50° Wine Workshop and Kitchen, Marylebone, W1

This week's featured article is 28°-50° Wine Workshop and Kitchen, W1U 2NE in Marylebone. For those wondering, apparently most vineyards are located between 28 and 50 degrees latitude. They don't even say on their website, so maybe it's just really obvious?

The one addition is Longdan Express, a Vietnamese and pan-Asian supermarket near Hoxton station on Shoreditch/Haggerston borders.

There's an update to Hackney Picturehouse cinema entry, by me, the gist of which is that it's a really nice cinema (comfy seats, big screens) and the cafe/bar is excellent too.

Reported permanent closures are: Chicago Rib Shack in Knightsbridge; and The King's Arms near Victoria station, which has closed and is set to be demolished along with all the other pubs in that area (The Stage Door, The Duke of York, The Stag) to make way for a new DEVELOPMENT called Victoria Circle. Yay.

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