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High Profile London Food Awards Appear to Ditch Social Photography Category

Plus more news, pretty plates and excellent menus from the London restaurant industry this week, according to Instagram

Wild fennel ice cream with gariguette strawberry and tarragon by chef George Tomlin at P. Franco

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week, filters have been replaced by widespread use of the Layout app, not necessarily successfully.

News of the week

This year, the Fortnum & Mason awards has a dedicated category for social photography — a welcome space to foreground best the influencer sector has to offer. However, when the results were announced, a surprise was lurking: the category saw absolutely zero nominees shortlisted. Is this more of a Clerkenwell Void or a case of KS_Ain’t_Here?

Feed-clogging event of the week

Things have been surprisingly quiet on the invite front of late — perhaps because London is in a rare lull following a seasonal peak (#Easter) and people are actually off enjoying themselves on holiday instead of pitching up to a west London mezzanine to hear a PR hype a dish of charred kale and samphire behind a rictus grin. Some have toddled off to Paris; some to Rome; and there’ll for sure be plenty of envy for the posse of some of London’s best young chefs who made it all the way to the new Noma. Lads on tour!

Faroe island sea urchin, pumpkin seeds and rose oil. #noma #nomaseafood

A post shared by John Chantarasak (@englishhippy) on

Accessory of the week

Diana Henry’s new book / self-help manual How To Eat A Peach has been the work of choice to flaunt on social media of late. This week, the ultimate endorsement from Yotam Ottolenghi, who admitted that he “can’t stop stroking it.” It will be interesting to see if Henry returns the favour for Ottolgenhi’s next book, which has an ever-so-slightly familiar title

Menu of the week

A key focus of Henry’s book is the joy of composing menus — something of a dying art of late. How fitting, then, that chef Jeremy Lee should choose this week as the one to release this absolute beauty for Quo Vadis. All of it — the typography, the illustrations, the word choices, the flow, the ingredients — has something to contribute; the end result is a document that sings harmoniously of spring.

A newly hatched spring menu for the good folk of @quovadissoho

A post shared by Jeremy Lee (@jeremyleeqv) on

Sad indictment of a no-reservations policy of the week

Distressing scenes over in Mayfair, as customers are apparently growing so tired of waiting for a table at Sabor they are resorting to eating not delicious bar snacks, but...

¡Joselito! In his element (and two randoms eating each others’ faces off)

A post shared by Bob Granleese (@bobgranleese) on

Laboriously composed shot of the week

There is a moment at the end of Breaking Bad standout Season 4 episode ‘Crawlspace’, in which lead character Walter White is languishing somewhere under his house, his world slowly falling apart. The camera zooms out, seemingly vanishing into the ceiling itself, creating the illusion that White’s body is being displayed in a coffin. In the director’s commentary, showrunner Vince Gilligan details how they pulled the shot off: A camera was lowered through the hole previously occupied by a lightbulb, and then slowly retracted. The point to all this is: Pulling something like this off takes an incredible amount of work, creating an indelible moment in one of the greatest TV shows of all time. And then there is taking a picture of lunch.

Dish of the week

One of the best things about The Laughing Heart is how it blends forward-looking, vaguely avant-garde flavour combinations with proper, no frills, old-school technique. Exhibit A.

Shot of the week

AKA, how to eat a strawberry?

. Wild fennel gariguette and tarragon Sun’s out, bums out @pfranco_e5

A post shared by George Tomlin (@chefgeorgetomlin) on

Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean Street, , England W1D 3LL 020 7437 9585 Visit Website


35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website


Lancaster Place, , England WC2R 1LA 020 3011 0115 Visit Website

The Laughing Heart

277 Hackney Road, , England E2 8NA 020 7686 9535 Visit Website


287 Upper Street, , England N1 2TZ 020 7288 1454 Visit Website