The Embankment sits, as the name suggests, on the bank of the river Ouse in Bedford. The family P stopped in a week ago and found ourselves wondering what could be better than strolling along the river on a gloriously sunny day, pausing only to enjoy a drink at a pub overlooking some of the nicer parts of Bedford*? How lucky then when the aforementioned pub is selling lobster in garlic butter! Mmmmmm, how could we go wrong? We all know that everything’s better with butter.
Wolverton in Milton Keynes is seemingly becoming the jewel in the crown of the MK independent food-scene; whether it’s Japanese kitchen Akasaka, the new Turkish Antep Kitchen, Murati’s Pizzeria or street-foodies UrbanGrilla or Taco Shack (but to name a few), there are plenty of tantilising culinary delights available to residents of West Milton Keynes.
Despite all of this growth, there remained a real gap in regards to a strong weekend home-delivered breakfast offering, which up until a matter of five weeks ago remained (largely) unfulfilled. But that, as you might have guessed, has just changed. Founded by a husband and wife team who wanted to have a crack at fulfilling this demand, Wrap it and Run was born.We have ourselves a revolution people.
Lunch time. A sea of blandness, beige and Sainsbury’s meal deals. Stodge.
I’ve recently started branching out and seeking sensibly priced grab-and-go alternatives to the endless drivel of lunchtime packaged sandwiches, discovering a whole new world of quality and flavoursome food at establishments across London (predominantly Fitzrovia) like the Bang Bang Vietnamese Canteen on Warren Street.
Hot on the heels of our recent Deliveroo coming to Milton Keynes post, with some corporate stuff out the way, we feel that it’s about time for us to return to what we’re all about and love… local artisan food and drink.
Regular readers of Two Men About Town (TMAT) will know that we love the Milton Keynes food scene; whether it’s exploring new ventures such as Taco Shack Milton Keynes, new pizzeria Murati’s in Wolverton, Affamato Pizza, community cafe Heavenly Blends… or more well known but no less special haunts such as The Swan at Salford, The Black Horse in Woburn or Percy’s BBQ Takeaway, we’re blessed in the
city town with a bursting melting-pot of fantastic local business offering home-cooked and locally-sourced grub.
You know what? I fancy a take away tonight. You probably do too but then comes the age old question; curry, Chinese, pizza or kebab? If you think about it a bit more, you might come up with a couple of other options; Thai, or BBQ maybe but what you really want is a plate of pasta or chicken from your favorite restaurant. But the truth is that you can’t be bothered to go out and they don’t deliver… or do they?
Stratford Road, Wolverton is hardly a go-to of high-end gastronomic delight; Dixy Chicken, Silver Sea Chinese, Al Kebab Hut but to name a few. Oh, and a rather run down (but admittedly good) hand car wash and a petrol station. Not then a likely location then for a new (and credible) authentic family-run pizzeria.
As quintessentially British as a bowler hat in the rain, the Maytime Inn sits proudly at the centre of the smallest village I’ve ever seen. It seems to be becoming a bit of a habit now that Mrs P and I are asked to go and offer our totally unwarranted opinion on the merits or lack-thereof of these little pockets of English heritage and so it was that we were called back to the Oxfordshire countryside for another testing evening, although why all these people want to hear what I think is still beyond me!
Still, never one to disappoint, I have to say that first impressions of the Maytime, were impeccable. I would not have asked for a better evening as the sun beamed down and winding our way down the absurdly small lane leading us into the village actually felt like we were driving into pub perfection – hills and fields on the right, quaint little cottages on the left and a beer garden that smelled of mint and rosemary in the afternoon heat.
Last week I may have mentioned that I went to The White Horse, this week I’m back in Milton Keynes(ish) as Mrs P and I were invited to the Swan at Salford to check on their new Summer menu. Sister pub to the Black Horse in Woburn, The Swan Salford is a different propersition altogether and is situated on the corner of the main road through Salford. Well, I say main road but the village is so small that it only has two roads to choose from so you couldn’t really miss the Swan even if you tried!
I like pubs. Pubs are great because they show exactly where Britain’s contribution to world gastronomy came from. The French may have invented the cafe, the Italians are rightly proud of their Osteria’s and the Germans can hold their heads high with a good Beirgarten, but my heart is down the pub and I feel that hauling these pockets of British social cohesion back into relevance one pint of social beverage at a time is the best way to remind ourselves why it would be a terrible thing if they were to disappear.
Having then set the scene for this review, Duns Tew is about as English a village as you might ever hope to visit. Mrs P and I drove along the high street amusing ourselves with stories of an alternative universe where we could afford to move there. Before long though, we pulled into the White Horse and it was everything I had hoped, the place looked fantastic – and full. Very full.
I love a good burger. In fact, it’s a great time to be a
fan of the American fast food icon carnivore, with entrants like Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Five Guys, Smashburger and London-centric establishments such as MEATLiquor and Patty & Bun roaring onto the fast-food-come-gourmet scene. There is now no-end of high-end restaurants to indulge in a gourmet burger, especially in London, and frankly I’m rather happy about this.
So when the good people of Honest Burger announced a new opening on Tottenham Court Road, just a stones-throw from my office in Central London, you can imagine my delight and excitement. I assure you it was akin to a puppy at Christmas.
For me, dim sum is a gift from the gods; a delightful little parcel of savoury or sweet goodness. Serious mouthwatering stuff. It’s like honey to the bee (I promise no further Billie Piper references for the remainder of this review).
A bunch of colleagues and I headed down Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia last week for a spot of lunch between meetings and casually strolled into Dim t; naturally I was rather looking forward to ordering the signature dish.
It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of chain restaurants. The process of duplicating the atmosphere and creating consistency in not just the quality of the food but also the experience of eating it, is one that can suck the very soul out of a place. But many others disagree and even I must concede that some chains are better than others (I’ve not been shy in polishing off a healthy portion of Nando’s in my time). But is what makes a ‘good’ chain restaurant the same as a ‘good’ independent? This was the question that burned in our minds as Suburban Gent and I enjoyed some Mano-a-Mano time when we found ourselves sitting in the puesdo-mexican surroundings of Chimichanga.