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The Restaurant Stories of the Week, According to Instagram

Pancake day, Glandstonbury, and hashtags MIA

Yesterday was pancake day; beige circles were all over the platform
Felicity Spector/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a new column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is Clarendon, with a little more saturation than is strictly necessary.

News of the week

One of the quirks of Instagram is that sharing the same piece of information is relatively difficult. Regramming is still a laborious, manual chore; as a result, there is not the same communal, water-cooler spirit that users can find on Twitter. All of which is to say, despite all sorts of newsworthy things happening in the real world, on Instagram, not much seemed to be up. Perhaps it’s more a question of reading the tea leaves and trying to extract further meaning from them. Luca is now doing breakfast, and a post from the Quality Chop House account hinted at a major piece of news to come. London’s restaurants seem keener than ever to make the most of the space available to them. Here’s another.

Feed-clogging event of the week

In any just world, the focal point of this section would obviously be Andrew Clarke’s highly laudable Pilot Light campaign, which aims to increase awareness of mental health issues within the hospitality industry, and which launched at Brunswick House with a fair few grandees (plus one Granleese) in attendance. Some questionable responses aside, it’s exactly the sort of thing people should be sharing and talking about more.

But this is Instagram, where nothing is more important than pancakes. A whole day dedicated to the highly stackable, infinitely customisable delights was always going to be ‘gram crack, and so it proved, with (almost) everyone getting in on the act. Giant ones. Skinny ones. Imaginary ones. Mini rye ones. In short: ALL OF THE SIMILAR FOODS.

Hashtag MIA of the week

The once much-maligned #invite seems to be having a bit of a moment, with industry figures like Adam Hyman increasingly doing the decent thing and declaring comped meals. Can it be too much to hope it’s now the turn of #client?

Virality watch (AKA Baewatch)

It’s always interesting to see how quickly ‘grammers constellate around a single dish at a new opening — the shorthand that smugly signals “been there, done that” to a jealous audience of followers. In the past, these dishes used to be colourful, eye-catching, fresh-looking. But now, in a weird backlash against poké bowls and matcha soft serve, a perverse anti-aesthetic seems to be emerging: muted colours, wintry flavours, no-frills presentation. So, now that chef Henry Harris’ The Coach has opened its doors, expect to see many, many more examples of his grilled rabbit with mustard sauce and smoked bacon, which carries as an added bonus just that little soupçon of stardust from Racine, the Knightsbridge institution where the dish originated. The Coach may be classic French — but few places feel quite as en vogue right now.

Dish of the week

On the theme of not-quite #uglydelicious, but certainly not #sopretty Instagram, the annual Glandstonbury offal-fest at The Drapers Arms is often a source of precisely this sort of robust, defiantly unstyled, old-school cooking. So it’s only fitting that this week’s winner comes from the 2018 edition – in the form of this decidedly, uh, gutsy assemblage from Jackson Boxer.

Chicken & Sweetbread Boudin, White Beans & Trotter #Glandstonbury

A post shared by Jackson Boxer (@jackson_boxer) on

Shot of the week

More like February King, lol.

Brunswick House

30 Wandsworth Road, , England SW8 2LG 020 7720 2926 Visit Website


88 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4EH 020 3859 3000 Visit Website


1731 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 964-6790 Visit Website

The Drapers Arms

44 Barnsbury Street, , England N1 1ER 020 7619 0348 Visit Website

The Quality Chop House

88-94 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 7278 1452 Visit Website

The Coach & Horses

391 High Road Leyton, , England E10 5NA 020 8281 3398 Visit Website