Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is appealingly retro.
News of the week
A good week for fans of delicious food that just happens to look absolutely gorgeous, and a sad one, too, as Merlin Labron-Johnson revealed his plans for a new, sustainable restaurant round about the same time as Lee Wescott came to the end of his final service at The Typing Room. It’s almost like the London market is in a constant state of flux, or something.
*NEW RESTAURANT* I’m extremely excited to announce that I’ll be launching a new restaurant @theconduitlondon which opens in September. I will continue my work at Portland restaurant, splitting my time between the two projects. I’m currently recruiting for chefs at all levels so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Light Lunch of the Week
Then again, flux is subjective. As long as restaurants in London have existed, people have come to them willing and able to drink some of the finest wines available to humanity; whatever is happening to the local market, that seems highly unlikely to change any time soon.
Envy-Inducing Holiday Snap of the Week
A new award, which will be awarded semi-regularly as peak summer holiday season kicks off. And even if this week has seen the sun shine on the U.K., there’s something about fish at the seaside that’s hard to beat. What’s the Mallorquín for “wish you were here”?
Domestic Alfresco Seafood Dining Options of the Week
Parsons vs Westerns Laundry is, like The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones, a question of personal preference that speaks volumes. Fortunately — given how tailor-made their respective offerings are for balmy summer’s days — there’s no need to write one or the other off on the grounds that there’s no way to eat outside. With the addition of idiosyncratic terrace spaces, two of London’s loveliest restaurants just got a little lovelier.
Further Evidence of World Domination of the Week
Laudable 100% Commitment to Promotional Activity of the Week
After a shaky start, Giles Coren’s Instagram has blossomed into something singular and even kind of wonderful. While #nofilter is more commonly associated on Instagram with photographs of sunsets, in Coren’s case it’s simply the most accurate description of what followers are going to get — it might be dogshit one day, then influencer-worthy food content the next. Either way, it’s hard to imagine most accounts getting quite as into the act of promoting pasta as this.
Giles Coren as #Content of the Week
In another sign that he has officially made it on Instagram, Coren’s photo was also featured by Holloway laksa hype-magnet Sambal Shiok. As for the caption work, well, Insta Stories eagerly awaits the first time Coren either uses, or is presented with, a #FlatLay.
Fast Food Lifehack of the Week
Introducing… the McAffogato?
Sod aperol spritz.. I've got a feeling this may become my drink of the summer. Maccy D's vanilla milkshake with an espresso poured over. A brilliant invention inspired by @ellypear. I'm not a chocolate milkshake fan, but I bet that's even better. The perfect pick me up I needed to head out ingredients shopping for work with a bit of a hangover on a very muggy day! . . . . . . #espressomilkshake #mcdonalds #imlovinit #afogatto #coffeemilkshake #hangovercure #mcdonaldshack #ellypear #lifehack #icedcoffee #heatwave
“Wait… What?” of the Week
Presenting: an Instagram of a feature in a print publication containing pictures originally posted on Instagram. Mind-boggle level: high. That’s so meta level: that’s so meta.
So excited to be in the July @sainsburys magazine in their very first ‘Insta yum’ feature! I’m having some excellent rye bread which we brought back from @trinehahnemann in Copenhagen - topped with cream cheese, figs and pistachio - plus some date stuffed Ma’amoul biscuits my niece brought me from Palestine - a fittingly international breakfast to celebrate! In the magazine feature - my photos from @jacobtheangellondon @thegoodegg_ as well as my trips to Beirut and Shanghai and dishes I made from @nigelslater and @we_are_food ... what a wonderful journey it’s been - so grateful to all the brilliant friends I’ve made and everyone on Instagram who is following along! ✈️
Dish of the week
Eating when the mercury rises demands a singular brand of cooking. Seafood comes to the fore, as do simple means of cooking, like grilling over fire. Something like this, then.