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Low Intervention Wine Restaurant Airs Dirty Laundry on Instagram

Plus everything else the London restaurant scene was up to on Instagram this week

A post from Westerns Laundry on natural wine and the food industry, in response to a restaurant review from Tim Hayward of The Financial Times Westerns Laundry/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 a signature blurry look.

News of the week

The fast food burger chain thirst-trap wars continue apace. McDonald’s this week launched its attempt to hold the line against Burger King’s Toto-enhanced PR strategy, taking over its High Street Kensington branch for the invitation-only launch of the Signature Collection. Love Island winners mingled with at least one high-powered restaurant critic and fellow social media influencers to the strains of a string quartet; burgers arrived under silver cloches and were served on the finest tableware. A moment’s reflection might reveal this to be as questionable a strategy as the company’s recent flip-flop on premium coffee, but fortunately there’s a ready-made defence for occasions like this. It’s just top banter.

Natural Petulance of the week

Maybe harder to file this one under sick bants. As the week in reviews has already summarised, last weekend the Financial Times’ Tim Hayward took issue with the wine list, and broader wine philosophy, at Westerns Laundry, pillorying the various examples served to him with some especially vicious turns of phrase (“It tastes as if someone gave a five-year-old a home-brew kit, some Toilet Duck and an Alka-Seltzer.”) In flagrant contravention of its stated low intervention policy, Westerns then hit back, with a series of posts (five at the time of writing, though others were posted and then deleted) stridently defending its chosen approach. It’s almost like this issue has now entered the realm of pure ideology, or something.

Smouldering cover star rivalry of the week

Who will prevail in the battle to be anointed as one of the (new) new gods of food? There can be only one.

Positive groundswell of the week

With a name like Laksamania, the restaurant called Laksamania was always going to face an uphill battle (to recap: because of its name, which is Laksamania.) But over the past couple of weeks, posts have started appearing — many from ‘grammers persuaded, no doubt, by @hollowlegs’ early evangelism. And now look — the honest-to-goodness restaurant critic of The Sunday Times has given it the seal of approval. Can Instagram… Use its powers… For good?

Semantic heavy lifting of the week

“tends to”

They’ve got game of the week

A fleeting category, checking in on how London’s restaurants are serving one of the country’s defining delicacies. Two new entrants this week.

If you go down to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise of the week

Time was that the average punter taking an evening stroll through the copses that adorn Hampstead Heath might have been on the end of something rather more adult than a teddy bear’s picnic. Still — bring it on, #christopherrobinmovie!

Conflicted nigirigram of the week

On the one hand: Instagram is definitely ruining sushi. On the other:

Obligatory envy-inducing holiday snap of the week

The gelato brioche is a rite of passage for any would-be Sicilian Instagrammer. Chefs do it. Critics do it. Welcome to the club, Bob Granleese!


A post shared by Bob Granleese (@bobgranleese) on

Dish of the week

Shuck yeah.

Big guy, little guy @bobby__banjo

A post shared by Freddie Janssen (@freddielookatme) on

Shot of the week

Isn’t this how everyone celebrates a successful car boot sale?

Westerns Laundry

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