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London Wanted Nothing But Seafood and Spritz Last Week

Plus more piercing insight and sweeping observations from Instagram

oysters, shallot vinegar and lemon at Parsons seafood restaurant in Covent Garden Rachel Palmer | Parsons

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.

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

In just the most recent Insta Stories, orange alcoholic beverages were hailed as *the* pre-eminent choice for the discerning summer drinker. This week, they even come in cans. The new Pimm’s indeed.

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?

“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.

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.

Shot of the week / Sobering sequel to shot of the week

Oh ☹

Sambal Shiok

171 Holloway Road, London, Greater London N7 8LX

Typing Room

Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF Visit Website


39 Endell Street, , England WC2H 9BA 020 3422 0221 Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website