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This Is How Summer Ends in London’s Restaurants

Girolles, ceps, and puffballs take the stage as autumn rolls in

Wild mushrooms, including ceps and girolles, at Murano in Covent Garden Murano [Official Photo]

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 quintessential British comfort classic.

News of the week

Seasons are weird in a looming environmental apocalypse. When winter has set in, it feels like spring will never come, as cabbage rolls into cabbage and leek buttresses potato. And then, in a flash, green stuff starts emerging, then fruit, then other kinds of fruit, then yet more kinds of fruit, until without warning there are mushrooms everywhere and Keats-bating mist blankets the damp autumnal turf. This week brought definitive proof that summer is definitely over for this year, but the sheer suddenness of the season’s demise might give pause for thought. The recent fungal eruption may look wonderful on the ‘gram, but it does raise a slightly troubling prospect: given the changing climate and impact it will have on Britain’s ability to grow produce, is this really the best time to be entering a political reality where native fruit and vegetables are the only fruit and vegetables that won’t cost more than a small car? Perhaps, perhaps not. On the plus side, it’s almost decorative gourd season, motherf******!

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Wild Mushroom Tart

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Poignant vindication of news of the week

Gallo’s humour.

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The end of summer.

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Geometric viennoisserie of the week

Fans of the popular escape room format probably owe a debt of gratitude to 1997’s survival puzzle-horror, Cube, which placed a group of strangers inside the titular three-dimensional space and tasked them with escaping a number of puzzles and traps, some of them decidedly more lethal than the ones usually encountered in The Crystal Maze. Could this discovery from Chengdu prove similarly influential on the ever-evolving world of fancy pastry?

Good cholesterol of the week

What a country.

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Celebrated with a battered pizza

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Best revival of a washed meme of the week

But is saltimbocca a hot item?

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hot veal summer

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They don’t make them like that any more of the week

You loaf to see it.

Tasting note of the week

In Cork Dork, Bianca Bosker provides a fascinating history of the evolution of wine tasting jargon, covering the character-based assessments of the mid-20th century; the “smells like chervil” years of the 90s and 2000s; and the contemporary scientific approach that highlights specific chemical impact compounds like pyrazines. Each approach has its own merits, but it’s fair to say none of them looked anything like this.

Pasta dish of the week

No judgment for anyone who wants to go to bed in/with this.

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Maltagliati in brodo, pork broth, egg yolk

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Dish of the week

One for the squid ink and activated charcoal festival’s growing roster of dishes.

Shot of the week

And another.