Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is cerise.
News of the week
After what feels like an eternity of heat-related delay, one of London’s most anticipated restaurants of 2018 finally (re)opened its doors. Thumbs at the ready: given the extremely photogenic like-magnets glimpsed in the short window between first opening and premature closure, this is even bigger news for Instagrammers than, uh, regular punters. Let the geotagging begin!
Feed-clogging event of the week
To Fortnum & Mason, for a verrry luxe preview dinner to celebrate the launch of the WAGYUMAFIA pop-up. Some of the scene’s biggest names enjoyed insanely high-end dishes, including nigiri, gyoza, and some very 2018 “sandos.” The last time the London restaurant industry shared this much beef, it was called Twitter.
A very special preview of @WAGYUMAFIA's EPIC pop-up @Fortnums in #London ~ hosted by CEO @EwanVenters and chef Hisato Hamada || Highlights from the menu include WagyuMafia's ICONIC melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef nigiri sushi with Japanese uni & caviar, crispy wagyu beef gyoza dumplings and *THAT* world famous Kobe beef katsu-sando ~ washed down with sake and wine pairings with special guests in the Fortnums boardroom || Unfortunately tonight's pop-up is completely sold out but stay tuned for some exciting news coming soon from #Fortnums & #WagyuMafia ✌ . . . #WagyuMafia #Fortnums #London #WagyuBeef #KobeBeef #KatsuSando #Sushi #PopUp #Invite #Preview #Friday #Weekend #London @London #
Other high-flying residency of the week
Seasonal curiosity of the week
‘Tis the season for that most peculiar of phenomena, Christmas In July, in which brands grant a preview of their festive product range to a handful of select (and only slightly discombobulated) journalists. Cheers...
Had enough of summer and declared it officially Christmas - celebrated with a Fortnum’s feast, including their extraordinarily good blanc de blancs; foie gras with Sauternes jelly and truffle brioche (just what we normally kick off with on Christmas Day obv); my favourite bit - poached halibut with Oscietra caviar and a beurre blanc; baked ham with Stilton bubble and squeak; an excellent crisp prune d’Agen and almond tart; (yes there’s more) chocolate trifle with the candied fruits I’ve been making eyes at downstairs for at least twenty years; potted Stilton and port; Black Forest Yule log (Christmas cake, gingerbread, mince pies, ruby chocolate etc not even pictured - authentic pleasurable festive queasiness set in on the 38 home) #whofanciesagameofcharades #christmasinjuly
New Game of Thrones cast member of the week
No wonder the reviews are so positive.
Normal, in no way tensed bicep of the week
AKA flex of the week
Endorsement of the week
One in an ongoing series.
Dad of the week
The pomegranate seeds are on the inside, presumably.
Envy-inducing holiday snap of the week
Holidays don’t have to involve going abroad. Just an hour or so outside London is The Fordwich Arms; this is just the latest in a series of posts that make it look very much worth a day trip.
Yesterday, my fit-of-pique, overworked, overwhelmed, overBrexit, overTrump lunch took me to the glorious Fordwich Arms in the Kent village of Fordwich. I took the train to Sturry and then walked through Britain’s littlest town to the gorgeous Fordwich Arms and ate by the riverbank. When I set off I thought I might swim in the river – having seen wild swimming pictures at that same spot from @susiebearne – but I got a bit fiert on my own. I’d been wanting to go to the Fordwich Arms for months but kept waiting on a pal and the right time. After seeing pictures from @hollow_legs the day before I thought the food looked like my idea of perfection in high summer. So, I decided I needed a day off (I can work at the weekend) and then when I got there I decided treat day should really be treat day and had the full tasting menu. It was utterly glorious and @fordwicharms is now right up there with @inverrestaurant and @cartersofmoseley in the ‘I’d go back in a heartbeat’ stakes. And now, back to work. Pique-nicked.
Dish and dish of the week
In the Age of Food Instagram, plates are just as important as what a chef ends up putting on them. Think P Franco and the glorious blank slate provided by its stoneware, think Neptune and its maritime design accents. Or think Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles in Shoreditch, and the Insta-ntly recognisable yellow ceramics. Virality beckons, and not just because the food is excellent.
Shot of the week
Look again: it’s a cheese.
I mean COME ON... Look at the goo! There are few things worse than running out of cheese (well, wine) so alongside @cafemurano we are super happy to have Royal Fam favourites @paxtonscheese from neighbouring Jermyn Street Welcome to WCB P&W! (This particular cheese, called Eve, happens to be wrapped in a vine leaf too which is handy). . #cheese #wine #food #winecarboot #independent #market #london #stjames #stjamesmarket #wcb2018 #WCBxSJM @stjameslondon #tasting #market #collab #bigcheese #jermynstreet #haymarket #history @paxtonscheese