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Suddenly, It’s Winter Warmer Season on Instagram

Here’s everything else London restaurateurs, chefs, diners, and influencers were up to

Potato and bone marrow agnolotti in brodo at Littleduck the Picklery
Thom Eagle/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is the two genders.

New(s) of the week

For wine geeks, the third Thursday in November is better known as the day on which vignerons in the region of Beaujolais release a wine made from grapes picked earlier that year. This Beaujolais nouveau, a vin de primeur bottled only a few weeks after harvest, is youthful and fruity, designed for immediate, plentiful drinking. Never ones to pass up this kind of invitation, the team at Bloomsbury’s Noble Rot hosted an industry knees-up to celebrate, with beloved chef and cookbook writer Simon Hopkinson knocking out outrageous Francophone food for the day. The smart money is on things having got quite messy.

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Rotter’s Beaujolais Day.

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Fake news of the week

Instagram has said that it will take more proactive steps to weed out fraudulent activity oon the platform — which may mean certain accounts that have used third party services to boost their profile could take a major hit on followers and likes. It’s a necessary step, as Instagram looks to defend the integrity (and therefore profitability) of its advertising revenue stream, but — as with other pronouncements regarding questionable activity in the feed — it may be a question of “will they,” rather than “when will they?” Here’s a cute dog courtesy of the fascinatingly anodyne @Instagram account in the meantime.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqI2V0fhjeo/

Good news of the week

As with any social media platform, it would be much easier to pile on to Instagram and decry it as an unethical cesspool if it didn’t show occasional flashes of being a genuine force for good. It has been instrumental in spreading the word about #CookForSyria in the past; this week showed it could also be harnessed to help out closer to home.

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The Salvation Army in Leytonstone run a Christmas Present Appeal that we think is really awesome. We personally take part every year and thought that some of you might like to too. The gist of it is that those that would like to participate are allocated a child to buy a gift for and then that gift is passed on to the child by their parents on Christmas Day. It’s a simple premise that will make the world of difference to those families where money is perhaps a bit tight. There’s a couple of rules to keep in mind: 1. The presents are to be a minimum of £5 (to ensure it's something a little nicer) 2. Gifts need to be donated unwrapped (donations of wrapping paper appreciated though) and with the number that’s allocated to you attached to them (this is very important as it ensures your gift goes to the right child). 3. If you buy a toy that requires batteries, please include them. All children are local and the point of the appeal is not only to provide children with a gift, but to empower the parents, as the children don't know these have come through the appeal, to be able to give their families a gift this Christmas. Drop off Point: Arch Rivals Final Date: 13th December Get in touch with us if you’d like to take part and we can allocate you a child (so you know the gender and age of the child you’re buying for). We have 45 children to allocate so please help us get over the line and make 45 kids’ Christmases that little bit better. Thank you.

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Wow…. That response was amazing. We’ve found gifts for 55 kids at The Salvation Army and we’ve now partnered with The Magpie Project to do exactly the same for them. The Magpie Project (@magpieprojectuk ) have given us 110 children details. Great news is that we’ve already found gifts for 51 of them from our waiting list, which means we only have another 59 to go. The premise is the same, those that participate are allocated a child to buy a gift for and then that gift is passed on to the child by their parents on Christmas Day. There’s a couple of rules /tips that the Magpie Project have asked to keep in mind. 1. Please keep the gift small if possible as often in the children’s homes space is at a premium 2. Gifts need to be given in unwrapped (donations of wrapping paper appreciated though) and with the number that’s allocated to you attached to them (this is very important as it ensures your gift goes to the right child!!). 3. If you buy a toy that requires batteries, please include them. 4. Please don’t buy anything too messy. The parents have enough on their plate without tidying up after messy playtimes 5. They’ve had loads of books already donated, so perhaps something other than books would be appreciated. 6. The boys and girls love the kitchen and toy food at the project, so if you’re struggling for ideas, this is a useful little tip (also dinosaurs, dolls and animals are popular toys with them too) All children are local and the point of the appeal is not only to provide children with a gift but to empower the parents, as children don't know these have come through the appeal, to be able to give their families a gift this Christmas. Drop off Point: Arch Rivals Final Date: 13th December Get in touch with us if you’d like to take part and we can allocate you a child (so you know the gender and age of the child you’re buying for). We’ve only got another 59 gifts to find to make 165 kids Christmases that little bit better. Thank you.

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Important update of the week

Eater London broke the huge news about La Famiglia Rana’s range of Instagrammable pastas a couple of months ago. Now — praise be! — it can confirm that a bricks and mortar pop-up has popped up, where people can buy their own. Dubbed the ‘Ultimate Instagrammable Grocer,’ it’s in Marylebone, and early imagery suggests that it is indeed Instagrammable AF. Natoora’s got some unseasonal competition.

On-trend Baltic hedonism of the week

Cost price caviar! With bone marrow waffles! Take it away, Parks and Rec!

Mashup of the week

Fusion food has never really got its due: everyone can recall at least one disastrous experience involving something like cornflake-coated grouper with jalapeño vinaigrette and mangosteen pilaf. But the basic principle — respectfully flexing rigid boundaries between national or regional cuisines — is a sound enough one, and has clearly proved influential for a number of chefs working today. Without it, this sandwich is inconceivable, and is a world without sesame toast steak sandwiches really one you’d want to live in?

Subtle design accent of the week

Real blink and you’ll miss it stuff, friends.

Dish of the week

Now this is winter food.

Shot of the week

O.K., now this is winter food.

Noble Rot

51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London, Greater London WC1N 3NB +44 20 7242 8963 Visit Website

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