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27/11/2008

Smythson's Restaurant List

The 2009 Smythson pocket diary, which has been out a week or so, includes a list of 50 London restaurants. A little glimpse, through Samantha Cameron's eyes, of places to eat - or perhaps to be seen to eat. Here it is, quoted in full:

Bentleys
Bibendum
Boxwood Cafe
Cafe, The, at Sotheby's [yup, that's how they list it]
Caviar House
Cecconi's
Cheyne Walk Brasserie and Salon
Cipriani
Connaught, The
Daphne's
Fifth Floor, Harvey Nichols
Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's
Gordon Ramsay
Green's Restaurant
Hakkasan
Inn The Park
Ivy, The
L'Atelier de Joel Robucnon [sic]
Le Caprice
Le Gavroche
Le Pont de La Tour
Les Trois Garçons
Maze
Mitsukoshi
Moro
Mr Chow
Nahm
Neal Street Restaurant
Nicole's
Nobu
Nobu Berkeley
Paternoster Chop House
Petrus
Poissonerie de l'Avenue
Quaglino's
Red Fort, The
Riva
River Cafe
St. John
Savoy Grill
Scotts
J. Sheekey
Simpson's-in-the-Strand
Square, The
Tamarind
Tom Aikens
Umu
Wiltons
Wolseley, The
Zafferano

I know, I know: Smythson don't claim to produce restaurant guides - despite issuing this rather beautiful thing. But even allowing for the inevitable W1 and SW1 bias (31/50, up to 37 if you include SW3), it's still a baffling list.

What's going on here? There are plenty of schleb-spotting places - J. Sheekey, Hakkasan, and of course The Ivy. But no Sketch? It's also disappointing not to see more recent high-profile openings, like L'Ambassade de l'Ile, or Murano, or L'Anima. Daphne's hasn't been a destination for twenty years - but somehow Richard Caring persuaded them to shoehorn it in there. I've heard some very negative things about The Cheyne Walk Brasserie and Salon, although I confess I haven't been. The Caviar House is just another midmarket chain these days, in an airport lounge near you. Fifth Floor at Harvey Nicks once served me raw pork, and I've rarely been more ill. Where's Locanda Locatelli? Pied à Terre? Do we really need both Nobus? And what the hell is the Paternoster Chop House doing there?

5 comments:

  1. That list is shocking.
    Precisely, where is Sketch? Even, celebrity-loved Locanda Locatelli did not make it...
    And Petrus? This has been out a week, you write?

    All the more disappointing that this is lovely Smythson...

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  2. The list seems to look like a Gordon Ramsay love-in - I mean seriously... a restaurant like Boxwood cafe is deserving of being listed? I assume Murano is not listed because the list was compiled before it was open based on the fact that Petrus (instead of Marcus Wareing) is on the list.

    Plus why is Savoy Grill even on the list? As far as I know, Savoy has been closed for refurbishment since december 2007 and is due to reopen in may 2009.

    Not to mention the oddities such as Caviar House, Le Pont de La Tour and Les Trois Garcon (seriously... stuffed animals?)

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  3. L'Ambassade de l'Ile is a bizarre suggestion! It won't be there in time for the next publication anyway.

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  4. Thanks everyone. I suppose they could justify including the Savoy Grill on the basis that it should be open for seven months of 2009 - although they gave no indication that it was closed until May.

    Douglas, what do you mean? Is L'Ambassade set to close?

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  5. Mr. Blyde really does not like l'Ambassade...lol

    Chacun à son goût…

    ReplyDelete