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Sweetcorn Is London Restaurant Instagram’s Hottest Trend

Plus everything else London chefs, diners, and influencers were up to on Instagram last week

Seasonal sweetcorn at Perilla in Stoke Newington — sweetcorn is everywhere in London restaurants and on Instagram right now Cha Eatery/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 practical.

News of the week

To Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, for the annual AA hospitality awards. Big winners from the capital include Sabor (restaurant of the year for London) and Clare Smyth, who locked down 5 AA rosettes, the highest categorisation achievable. Undisputed champion of the night, though, was Claude Bosi, who walked away not just with 5 Rosettes but the coveted Chefs’ Chef gong. #cheflife indeed.

Michelin watch of the week
With the greatest of respect for the UK’s preferred provider of roadside assistance services, the AA awards are basically a warm-up for October, when the truly important prizes are handed out by a certain French tyre-producer. Insta Stories has previously chronicled the Michelin account’s travels to a few of the capital’s restaurants that might consider themselves in with a good chance come the ceremony – assuming it opened in time to make this year’s guide, should we add Jackson Boxer’s (and Andrew Clarke’s!) St Leonards to the list of possible recipients?

Ubiquitous ingredient of the week
Where to eat corn in London: everywhere.

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Sweetcorn, herbs and popcorn

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Fine line between genius and madness of the week
Admit it: you’d drink it.

Convalescent’s panacea of the week
A bedridden chef, being tended to by a member of one of the restaurant industry’s most storied family dynasties – it reads like purest Mills and Boon. But any heavy breathing overheard chez Boxer is more likely to have been due to the house porridge recipe, which involves submerging the normally-stodgy breakfast gloop in vast quantities of what looks very much like cream and brown sugar. Enough to revive even the most afflicted of invalids – as Jeremy Lee indeed proved, returning to vigour with a trip down to cook at Coombeshead farm.

Visiting chef’s itinerary of the week
Polymath chef-genius Albert Adria was in town this week, doing the interview circuit for his upcoming project at the Hotel Café Royal, Cakes and Bubbles. Intriguingly, there was no multi-starred molecular gastronomy on the menu this particular trip – just simple things done well at Bentley’s and compatriot Nieves Barragan’s Sabor.

Anniversary of the week
Happy third birthday, Black Axe Mangal. Rock on! [Devil’s horns emoji]

Dish of the week
If Kate Boxer’s porridge results in food like this, perhaps the whole of London’s restaurant scene should be prescribed a dose.

Collage of aggressively seasonal signifiers of the week
‘Shot of the week’ is cancelled: a single image couldn’t possibly capture the sheer autumnal splendour as the entirety of Instagram embraced the encroaching season with an urgency that can only be due to all of us having spent the past four months gasping in 30-degree heat. Bring on the mists and mellow fruitfulness! #KEEEEEATS

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Autumns here!

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Black Axe Mangal

156 Canonbury Road, , England N1 2UP Visit Website


35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website

St Leonards

70 Leonard Street, , England EC2A 4QX 020 7739 1291 Visit Website