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Hello and welcome to another week of London randomness.

Hop & Vine, Ruislip, London HA4

Our featured article this week is a micropub and crafty beer shop in Ruislip, The Hop and Vine, HA4 7AN. Expect friendly service, wood-panelled walls, ales, cheeseboards and, if you're lucky, maybe a dog or two.

Reported temporary closures for the Cartoon Museum (yes there is one and it was in Bloomsbury, but intends to move to Fitzrovia), and Cote d'Azur, a French/Mauritian fusion restaurant in Croydon, which has closed rather more mysteriously (so it may or may not return).

Reported permanent closures are Maze, a fancy Gordon Ramsay-owned restaurant in Mayfair (I'm sure you went all the time, so we're sorry to let you down); The Waterloo Bar and Kitchen which was a bar and kitchen in, er, Waterloo; and finally Obia, an Italian restaurant in "Croydon's restaurant quarter" (South End).
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Hello and welcome back to another week of randomness!

Kalpa, Croydon, London CR0

We understand that the content has been a little Croydon-centric recently, but expect the range to expand soon! In the meantime, your featured article is Kalpa, CR0 2SB, a Sri Lankan and Keralan restaurant in... Croydon! Our write-up suggests the food is a bit hit and miss, but since all the recent recommendations mean you're surely likely to passing through Croydon, why not stop off?

New articles move a bit further north, to Viet Hoa in Shoreditch: modern decor, and well spiced; and the Everyman King's Cross cinema. It's very posh and therefore both very comfortable and very expensive (like the rest of the chain).

Updates have been made to The Duke's Head Hotel in Wallington, and The Royal Oak in Borough. Thankfully the pub remains excellent, the beer good and keenly-priced too.

Finally, we must report the (thankfully temporary) closure of Mamuska! at Elephant & Castle, which is moving to another location nearby later this year. Polish dumpling fans can breathe easier.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back to another week of RGL!

Cricketers, Croydon, London CR0

Ah here is a Croydon pub, and it's your featured article for this week: The Cricketers, CR0 6SG. I've been there, though before it went through its troubled smoked meat phase. I mean, we all do, don't we? Luckily, they have a sandwich good enough that Kake would travel all the way there to eat it. You may demur and say, well, Kake doesn't live all that far from it, but I think it's still enough of a recommendation. Why not read the entry to find out about this wonderful sandwich? (If you like fish.)

We have an update to the Cafe Oto entry. The Persian-inspired food is perhaps a little overpriced, but I'm visiting later this year to see some kind of avant-garde cacophony no doubt, so perhaps shall get to judge it myself.

A reported temporary closure for The Compton Arms near Highbury, but I was told a few weeks ago that it was fully open once again, so perhaps just tread carefully. Perhaps it is, perhaps it's not.

Many other pubs, though, have definitely closed, and closed more or less permanently. There's The Fox in Dalston, there's South London Pacific in Kennington, there's The Fountain in New Malden, and there's the Adnam's pub The Bridge House on Tower Bridge. Times do change, but I can't imagine some of these locations will be closed forever.

One final note about the Earl Haig in sunny Hounslow, not closed but instead renamed to Keg & Cask. Well I for one will be unlikely to visit, but mostly because I rarely make it quite so far out of the centre.
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[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown
Wotcher RGL massive!

Cafe Provencal, Herne Hill, London SE24

This week's featured article is Cafe Provencal, a small family and dog friendly restaurant in Herne Hill serving up cocktails and Canopy beer. I can confirm their brunch selection is most excellent but do book in advance.

Fans of Ethiopian food will be pleased to note our two new articles are St Gabriel Cafe near Elephant & Castle, serving up appropriately sour injera, and Beza Ethiopian Food also near Elephant & Castle, though you might want to dine in to avoid hefty delivery charges.

We have three updates to existing articles this week - Star Tavern, a Fullers pub in Belgravia with a lot of love from RGLers, Zeret Kitchen in Camberwell continues our love for south London Ethiopian scran, and Roti Masters in Croydon continues to impress with substantial meals bursting with texture and flavour.

The Sidcup pub formerly known as The Portrait is now Hill Top Tap, and the Sekforde Arms, a Young's pub in Clerkenwell, has reopened as The Sekforde pub and restaurant.

If you're looking for knitting supplies, I Knit London has moved from its previous Lower Marsh location but fear not, it's only a short walk away to its new location near Lambeth North station.

Finally, we have four reported permanent closures - Duke of Hamilton is now occupied by the Hampstead Lounge & Jazz Club, Fuzedown pub in Streatham, Tas Turkish restaurant in Farringdon,and L'Anima Italian restaurant near Liverpool Street station.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Polish Kitchen, Cheshunt, EN8

Evening RGLers! This week's featured article is for Polish Kitchen, a cosy restaurant in Cheshunt where the pierogi made a good impression on our reviewer. The zapiekanki sounds like a popular local choice too.

What's happening in sunny Cheam, I hear you ask? Well, our team has been to the Pepper Pot sandwich shop and deli, and there's a new article as a result. Expect their fridges to feature on a German electronica compilation near you soon. Hashtag Cheam!

Living room news: the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road has shut for a refurb, so your only view of it until 2020 will be from above (on the platform at Hoxton station). The Sir Richard Steele in Belsize Park is also undergoing a redevelopment, while The Oxford opposite Kentish Town station has been sold and has plans for redevelopment too.

Lastly, lovers of boshing techno will be sad but not surprised to hear that Elephant & Castle landmark The Coronet has finally closed.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back to another week of Randomness.

Mitre, Richmond, London TW9

This week's featured article is The Mitre, TW9 1UY. We're calling this as North Sheen, but apologies if you don't believe that area exists: the map shows it, and this pub is near the station of that name, so don't @ us. It entered the Good Beer Guide this year, and I'm assuming the 14 handpumps had something to do with it, but it sounds rather nice.

Our one new article is Polish Kitchen, a cheerful Polish restaurant in Cheshunt. Go for the pierogi.

Three significant updates: confusing pricing at The Green Dragon in Croydon; pricy lime and soda at The Camel and Artichoke by Waterloo (and if you're getting your soda from a big bottle you've bought down the local shop, it shouldn't cost more); and low prices at Mamuska! in Elephant and Castle, which thankfully is not the Polish food equivalent of that recent film Mother! (or maybe it is; I've not seen the film).

Finally, the reported permanent closure of The Grape and Grain in Crystal Palace, a large corner pub which had been looking a bit empty for a while. Apparently owned by Wetherspoons but looks like it may not open as one.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Hasi, Barking, London IG11

Evening all! We're back after a week off, with another featured article: Hasi is an Albanian restaurant and bar in Barking, with no discernible menu. Sounds like the food was tasty though, so certainly worth checking out if you're in Barking and/or want to brush up on your Albanian current affairs.

Two new pages this week! The Pan Tao Garden stall in Tooting Broadway Market serves boxes of extremely good value (if not particularly adventurous) Chinese food, while the Oasis Cafe in Thornton Heath has both British and West Indian menus (including a West Indian breakfast) - no Gallagher brothers sighted on our visit however.

Sydenham's best vegan cafe, the Honey Hive, has had an update following a visit (alas featuring the most terrible vegetable of them all, in 'rice' form), as have the Fox On The Hill Wetherspoons in Denmark Hill and Brasserie Vacherin in Croydon.

The Japan Centre has moved (yet again) just round the corner to Panton Street - its previous home in Shaftesbury Avenue now specialises in ceramics and books. Meanwhile further down Panton Street, the Odeon has closed, and is due to reopen at some point as a rather more 'luxurious' cinema. London Bridge's cinema/bar combo Roxy Bar and Screen has a less glamorous future: it is turning into a KFC. Finally, Croydon's fine dining scene is mourning the closure of Albert's Table (it's currently unknown whether or not it will become a fried chicken emporium, but if so they are welcome to take "Albumen EinstHEN's" as the best name I could come up with in 5 minutes).
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Karachi Cuisine, Norbury, London SW16

Welcome back! The featured article this week is Karachi Cuisine, SW16 4XD in exotic zone 3 Norbury (that's in South London, so don't be confused by the name). It's a Pakistani restaurant with excellent reviews from our team of tasters (a "very good" is not dispensed to all and sundry on RGL).

We have three new articles: Munal, a Nepalese/Indian restaurant in Worcester Park with some oddness; Barwell Cafe in sunny Chessington, where you'll get classic greasy spoon vibes but beware some of the ingredients; and Cocum Keralan restaurant in East Molesey. Kerala is a state in South India for the record.

We have an update to Affogato, also in Norbury. I assume they offer an affogato on their menu, but no one amongst us has tried it. Still the other food options seemed to go down well.

Reported permanent closures are to Craft Beer Co. in Clapham (it's quickly morphed into another pub), and Kathiawadi Cuisine in Thornton Heath.

One of our entries has moved, which is Mandalay Golden Myanmar now in Brondesbury NW6 (from Edgware Road in W2), though we don't have much of a write-up.

Finally the cinema in Bermondsey Square has renamed to Kino Bermondsey from the Shortwave Cinema.
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[personal profile] katstevens
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] katstevens
Curzon Aldgate, Aldgate, E1

Morning RGL crew!

This week's (slightly belated) update sees the Curzon Aldgate cinema, opened this year, as our featured article. Currently at the Curzon Aldgate, humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime has vanished. It's up to the unlikely alliance of Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock to save the day via a series of expensive-looking explosions.

There's a new article for Long Shot Coffee in Whitechapel, serving coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches. Tito's Peruvian restaurant in London Bridge has had an update after a visit (featuring an insufficient quantity of prawns), as has Le Raj in Epsom (which does a decent veg biryani). The latter also has air-conditioning, so I'm sorely tempted to go there this very instant.
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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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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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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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Chang's Noodle, Bloomsbury, London WC1

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Chang's Noodle on New Oxford Street. Their intriguingly-named Man and Wife offal turns out to include some spicy tripe! It feels like ages since we featured tripe on the RGL blog, doesn't it? If that doesn't get your mouth watering, there are plenty of other Northern Chinese dishes to try - the pork belly with shredded cucumber and the baked buns sound pretty good.

There's a new page for the Meantime Beer Box, located just outside the O2 in Greenwich. Meantime may not be quite so locally-focused as they used to be, but their beers are all present and correct in this bar, including some experimental ones.

Last but not least, we have an update to the Rockingham Arms, aka the Elephant & Castle Wetherspoons (housed in the former Ministry of Health headquarters, the Grade II listed Metro Central Heights). Given the location I would say it's a good Spoons for bus spotting, but the outside space is a bit limited and it's hard to see out from inside.
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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
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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Ezo Bistro, Barking, London IG11

Hello! Our featured article this week is Ezo Bistro, IG11 8TU, a cafe in the concourse of Barking Station. Stations are never usually conducive to good cafes, but RGL feels this one might be an exception. They've made an effort with the decor, and there's a mix-and-match sandwich menu for which you might get bonus spinach side-salad.

Several new articles too! Gurkha's Diner in Balham is a Nepalese restaurant which doesn't go very heavy on the spices (if at all). The Roebuck is a pub in Borough, busy on a Friday as you'd expect. The Blue Eyed Maid is another pub not too far away from that one, on Borough High St, and do Indian food during the day. Finally, Cafe Nomad in Norbury is a halal Mediterranean pizzeria and restaurant.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Sun Luen Snack Bar, Little Newport Street, London WC2

Hullo RGLers!

This week's featured article is for Sun Luen Snack Bar in Chinatown, which sounds like a nice quiet place for a breather (and an egg tart) in the centre of town.

A bunch of new articles have appeared! There's a branch of the Franco Manca pizza chain in Wimbledon; long-established dining spot Joanna's in Crystal Palace; the organisationally-challenged Tartine Artisan cafe, and Lebanese restaurant Meza, both in Tooting Broadway. The Bond Street branch of Rasa has had an update following a visit, by me! Spoiler: it's still great, and you should all go.

Lastly, after what seems like aeons, the Waterloo Tap is finally open, and ready to sell you some craft beer.
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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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