Friday, December 12, 2008

Children friendly pubs: and the winner is...

The Marlborough sits chiefly on top of Richmond hill and boasts one of the largest gardens -complete with children playground- of the area, making it one of the favourites around, along with the Victoria in East Sheen (great food but overpriced), the Tapestry in Mortlake, The Crown in St Margarets, Stein's on the river and the Hare and Hounds in Sheen.

(I must say the Lass'o'Richmond is missing, I have yet to investigate this one).

So, back to the Marlborough: garden is great, wine and beer selection is adequate and the food good: fish in general is great, meat not so tasty and burgers are rubbery and overcooked, the mediterranean platter is great to share with friends.
Service is fine, though quite slow in busy summer days.
Pricewise, it's in line with the other pubs around -not the most expensive, but not particularly cheap. Kids portions are reasonable.

Verdict: thousand times nicer than ending up at Pizza Express and probably one of the best pubs for summer evenings with children and relax WE lunches all year long (book early though).

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Children aren't the center of the world

The Times has more today on Childcare is bad for your baby, working parents are warned. If this doesn't make any working mum feel guilty, what will?

Beyond the tabloidic headline, there's more on the fallacy that socialising children in bad for them. But nothing on the benefits for mothers and the society of women in the workforce. And nothing either about brats spoilt by mothers bored at home...

It's quite amazing to read this in 2008...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gastropub review: The Plough

The Plough - Bars and Pubs in east sheen, United Kingdom
The Plough (link to the Trusted Places page where you can leave your own ratings) in East Sheen has been "gastropubed" recently, refurbished from a traditional pub into something more in tune with its fancy sourroundings.

We ate there with the family back in August and had a sirloin (overcooked) and some Toulouse sausauges with lentils vinaigrette. The food was good but the portions small (even the additional chips was ridiculous), the kids meals were dear at £6.50 even if the mains were sensibly priced (£14.50 and £8.50 respectively).

Wine list and beer taps are middle of the road, so is service.

Verdict: value alternative to the nearby Victoria even if they miss a kids playground.

The Plough
42 Christchurch Road

East Sheen

London SW14 7AF (good idea to grab this domain name, even better if they actually had a web site!)

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Restaurant review: Le Bouchon Breton

Le Bouchon BretonLe Le Bouchon Breton is nicely located on the new mezzanie floor of Spitafields market -perfect for a city lunch and Xmas shopping in one trip. The seafood is excellent, the menu goes around all the French classics, even to the risk of being cliche'd (like the frog legs).
And as France is the largest country of Europe, inspiration doesn't stop at the Brittany borders: there's choucroute and meat.

I tried the oysters (very good indeed) and the choucroute -very nice despite being a bit watery- with an excellent Alsacian riesling.

The service was very attentive, they gave me the "champagne table" though a quite slow for a lunch. My partner in crime took a salade de pissenlits (dandelion salad) and some smoked eel -and loved it. We ended up with some profiteroles (too much ice cream to my taste) and a Coteaux du Layon. The lunch came at £160 which isn't cheap despite the high food quality.

Highly recommended!

Le Bouchon Breton
1st Floor, 8 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market,
London E1 6EW
08000 191704

See the other reviews:

Le Bouchon Breton London - French Restaurant Review, Online ...
  1. Le Bouchon Breton Restaurant. 8 Horner Square, Old Spitalfield Market, London, E1 6EW - Tel: 0800 019 1704. Reviews, Menus, Maps and Book Online.
    - 47k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
  2. Le Bouchon Breton Champagne Bar London - Pub & Bars Information ...

    11 Oct 2008 ... Le Bouchon Breton Champagne Bar London - Pub & Bars Information , 8 Horner Square, Spitalfields, 8 Horner Square, Spitalfields London - Pub ... - 63k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
  3. Restaurant review: Le Bouchon Breton | Life and style | The Guardian

    15 Nov 2008 ... Outstanding but with an eighth of the bustle and merriment of a cafe on La Rue Morgue. - 90k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
  4. Le Bouchon Breton - - Review - Time Out London

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

More on Manor road and Heathrow

Seems now the government is embarrassed:

Decision on third runway delayed(

"Anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners claim the government is stalling"

"A decision on whether a third runway
should be built at Heathrow Airport has been put back to January 2009,
the Department for Transport has said.

And also, the impact of the Airtrack on local level crossing is making into national news:

BBC NEWS | England | London | Rail link 'may cause longer wait'

Read also my previous post: Airtrack and North Sheen Crossing

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