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The Glorious Twelfth Takes Over Restaurants’ Instagram Game

Jeremy Fox eats his way around London while Bao goes on holiday

Grouse at The Clove Club, Shoreditch, on the restaurant’s Instagram The Clove Club/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is eye-opening.

Sloe news day of the week

Last Sunday was the so-called Glorious Twelfth, traditionally a high point in the English social calendar, marking the start of grouse season. Accordingly, after a twenty-four hour delay (shooting on a Sunday is decidedly not on), the ‘grams took flight: special grouse dinners, special grouse preparations, with many more surely to come. Insta Stories is not the place to discuss the ethical and cultural baggage that accompanies the practice of eating grouse, but it is worth remarking on how acutely well-suited seasonal delicacies like this are to the platform. What people crave more than anything is affinity. A short window of availability of a specific ingredient — whether game, asparagus, gull’s eggs, or morels — makes it exponentially more likely that everyone will be posting images of the same thing, reinforcing that community and commonality. Thus, the IRL excitement around the event is replicated on Instagram, in a storm of mutual likes; users present their credentials and rubber-stamp those of people who post the same stuff as them. Does this replicate the structure of the restaurant industry at large? That’s probably not one for Insta Stories, either — here’s a pretty picture instead.

Chicken of the week
Talking of seasonal delicacies…

Chicken of the Woods For tomorrow with Rye Toast & Garlic

A post shared by George Tomlin (@chefgeorgetomlin) on

Chef on tour of the week
The fantastic Jeremy Fox is in London this week, cooking a handful of guest dinners at Lyle’s. It’s always interesting to observe how visitors to the city spend their time here — Fox, to date, seems to be ticking some pretty pretty boxes, including Bright, Neal’s Yard Dairy, and, of course, Lyle’s itself.

Borderline indecent fruit imagery of the week
Come on, boys. Behave.

Elle était fort déshabillée

A post shared by Thom Eagle (@thomeagle) on

Plum perfection #foodie #london #fruit#summer

A post shared by Pierre Koffmann (@pierre.koffmann) on

Alt-Sunday Lunch of the Week
As London’s restaurant and high-street minipocalypse claims more victims, it’s no surprise that restaurants are seeking out ways to pack in the punters and generate interest outside periods of peak demand. First there was DUM Biryani with alt-brunch; now, it’s JKS Restaurants’ turn to innovate as they target Sunday lunch with specific events: dedicated feasting Sessions at Hoppers and brass-band-soundtracked, free-flowing barbecue roasts at Brigadiers. The future may not yet be bright, but it’s certainly going to be interesting for casual punters looking for something a little different.

Extreme eating challenge of the week
Could you take it?

Envy-inducing holiday snap of the week
Even for Bao’s extraordinarily well-travelled tote bag, this is pretty far-flung.

Representing in Philippines @agssilva

A post shared by B A O 包 (@bao_london) on

Dish of the week
Again, ethical stuff around grouse aside, this may be the very best time of year to be an enthusiastic eater and drinker. Is it late summer? Early autumn? There’s stone fruit, there’s corn, there’s game, there are mushrooms, there’s (theoretically) a gradual cooling-off from peak summer temperatures that means that the preferred style of red wine is no longer fridge-friendly berry-led stuff but something a little more complex and structured. All of which is to say: yes, mate.

Shot of the week
To close, pudding.

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