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This Week, Throwback Wine Flooded Instagram

It’s Bojo, but good


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 game-changer.

News of the week

Look at it one way, and Beaujolais (aka BoJo) Nouveau day is a flashback to when things weren’t so great in the London hospitality industry — when restaurants, food, and wine lists were mostly French and the spiciest thing on offer was likely the sommelier’s contempt for how you pronounced ‘sauvignon blanc’. These days, of course, things are different, which actually makes Beaujolais Nouveau day the good kind of throwback — one that reminds us how wonderful French wine and gastronomy are when consumed in moderation, alongside all the other wonderful cooking and drinking London now has to offer. All in all, easily a good enough reason to raise a glass of Fleurie (or seven).

New opening of the week

[Extremely 2 Chainz voice]: 26 Grains!

Flawed diagram of the week

Hard to disagree with any of the labels — mais, quoi about la tete?

Bright Idea of the Week

Suggested slogan: drink your fil(ament).

Knees-up of the week

The recipe for the average book launch is simple: hire out a vaguely appropriate venue, serve book-adjacent food and drink, send everyone contentedly packing by approximately 8.45. Then again, Black Axe Mangal is no average restaurant, so why shouldn’t its book launch take place in a working men’s club, or feature a cross-dressing pro-LGBTQ Donald Trump, lamb offal pizza, and an entirely blasphemous London food scene homage to The Last Supper? Well, exactly.

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Found some common ground with Don.

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Philosophical questions of the week

Genuinely difficult to say which of these is harder to answer.

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Frilly knickers?

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Clean-up job of the week

Talk about a heavy sack

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Venue of the week

Can’t wait for them to say ‘pie do’ in next year’s ceremony.

Divisive promotion of the week

For: free ice cream; cute pink truck.

Against: the phrase “an agent of change sent by the post milk generation movement”.

Guys: chill.

Winter warmers of the week

Christmas jumpers still unacceptably early; all other knitwear appropriate and encouraged.

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Five quickish things about cooking your own beans: (1) You should — they'll become a staple side/base and work with so many 'centrepieces'. (2) You don't have to, mind. Honestly, tins and (in particular) jars are fine. (3) But if you do a key benefit is the broth that derives from the cooking process. And the whole soaking in advance isn't a big deal; for me it’s more that you need 3ish hours to cook them (though, as it happens, that’s the same amount of time it takes to turn 2cm thick strips of pork belly into wibbly things that can be cut with a spoon). (4) Weigh out, say, 300g of dried beans. Cover with cold water and leave for 8-12 hours (some instructions say you can just do boiling water and leave for an hour or 2, just takes a little longer to cook them through but idk ‘a little longer’ really drags on). Simmer gently until soft (2.5-4 hrs with a load of aromatics — onions, celery, garlic, bay, herbs, tomatoes, carrots, pork). Keep topping up with just boiled water whenever the level drops close to the beans. Add lots of salt once done. (5) Then just make sure you've got enough broth to spoon at least a ladle over each portion. Stir things like rocket, mustard leaves, cavolo nero through last minute. Serve with confit duck, sausages, pork belly, lamb shoulder, onglet, hake, cod etc. And pimp the dish with something punchy like an aioli, chilli salsa, pesto or tapenade. #driedbeans #broth #moodfood #seasonaleating #onthetable #spoonfood #instafood #f52gram

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Christmas tie-ins of the week

The Guardian may have just completed an encyclopaedic review of the best high street offerings, but London food Instagram is about more than affordable, sufficiently edible sustenance. It wants excess, richness, the genuinely and deliciously Extra. Warning: this is only going to get worse as the fateful day approaches.

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Panettone. Stewed Apple. Custard. #poundfarm

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If you are going to make a sandwich....

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The Grinch @bodega.ritas

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Dish of the week

Nothing to do with Christmas but, still, Good Lord.

Shot of the week

Normal brain: People don’t eat offal because it’s gross

Expanding brain: People always used to eat offal; they only don’t eat it these days because modern supply chains have created a profound disconnect between the meat available in supermarkets and the whole animal that has supplied it

Galaxy brain: People don’t eat offal because they have a kindred feeling with a brain, or a heart, whereas it is harder to identify with a steak

Deep-fried calf’s brain: