I was lucky enough to get to see the Haroon Mirza (now closed) and Mark Fell shows recently. Both have “extreme” modern sound works, using the new materialities of mass controllable LED lights, for one. Focal Point is always worth a trip to Southend (and see their great ongoing Radical Essex work).
It emerged that Polpo was struggling against a massive tax bill, and from long-term management malaise. It seems a sad story of bringing in a management team to let the founders go off and do other things (eg Four Seasons) but then losing a lot of the magic that the mini-chain was known for. The first funny smell for me was opening a Spuntino in Heathrow Airport. The owners have a lot of goodwill in the industry, and it’s times like this you really need it. Hopefully they can turn the chain around.
I saw Wagamama advertising on TV. TV ads for restaurant chains (fast food excepted) are pretty rare here compared to, say, the US. It’s hard to know what to focus on, other than that “we still exist”. I get the feeling all the mid market chains are feeling very exposed at the moment, whilst trying to pull themselves out from voucher-driven deals. It’s going to get nasty.
Time Out did a list of best pastries in London – like their recent list of ‘best bakeries’, some great ones are mentioned, but it’s ended up a fairly mixed list, with some massive holes. Their list of international bakeries is more interesting.
The chef at Sheffield’s Rutland Arms, whilst single handedly trying to pull pub-goers away from brown food, has a good list of places to eat
I wish Mexican sandwiches would become London’s next food trend
the infamous Joe Beef restaurateurs sober up
I’m here for fruit watercolour Twitter
Tour an Amazon fulfilment centre (now booking again, includes Tilbury)