December 2009: Fine Dining Guide December Newsletter

Posted on: December 4th, 2009 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood is delighted to announce the continued success of a free iTunes podcast series. You can find any episode by typing “fine dining uk” in the main iTunes search box.

A packed newsletter this month – The last of 2009 – with a broad range of interesting features and updates to share. The website itself has experienced some minor enhancements, around a new look and feel, with centre aligned pages of uniform (wider) width, a brighter background and freshened up section pages.

newsletter interviewees

Content wise fine-dining-guide bring two great feature chef interviews – the first is with Alain Roux of The Waterside Inn : Alain talks openly about his fond memories of food and restaurants through to his philosophies for taking the institution that is The Waterside Inn forward.

Respectfully regarded by many in the industry as a “chef’s chef” Phil Howard of the Square gives an insightful, food-led, interview that makes impressive reading. fine-dining-guide also reviewed the restaurant.

This issue also sees a lead feature interview for the National Guides Section: Andrew Turvil, Editor AA Restaurant Guide talks about answers to all those interesting questions that those both inside and outside the trade are always asking, well worth a read.

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons has been celebrating her 25th anniversary this year and fine-dining-guide were delighted to participate: An interview with Philip Newman-Hall, Director/General Manager¬† proves informative and educational about philosophies of hospitality and the skills associated with luxury hotel management.

Twitter: The fine-dining-guide Twitter page continues to grow and now approaches 1200 followers ( The top 20 or so news tweets can also be found on fine-dining-guide’s News page.

General Website Updates: Apart from the aforementioned minor enhancements, successful search criteria on Google has gone up 20% since the last newsletter. Google have also found the website sitemap – type “fine dining guide” into Google and you will find a more extensive listing and indexing (subheadings). It may take some time for these to settle down and be of genuine use to readers but a good start!

Overall viewing figures have been steady since our last newsletter – around 50,000 page views from 22,000 visitors but there is a marked trend in improved Google conversion. This may be due to a breakthrough on US and Asian searches finding the site quite highly placed for Michelin related searches.

To encourage this, The Michelin Section has been thoroughly updated with the Hong Kong & Macau Stars and Press Release, Tokyo Stars and Press Release, Osaka Kyoto Stars and Press Release and New York and San Francisco Star and Bib Gourmands Listings (all 2010 Guides) (

The popular Restaurant Picture Gallery continues to be updated; visits to Apsley’s, Aqua Neuva (plus review) and Pierre Koffman’s Restaurant on the Roof at Selfridges as examples.¬† Opinion/News: As 2009 draws to a close, a look back at the last twelve months has witnessed a market in a state of flux, enduring turbulent times: The most successful have displayed a constant stream of creativity in making battling strides forward, indeed the top end restaurant scene perhaps experiences it’s most progressive periods during such times. Examples are abundant of the creative menus and intelligent promotions that have characterized the year.

The local, organic, sustainable produce debate has been brought to a wider audience during 2009, certainly making an impact on thinking and menus, a trend that perhaps has natural endurance into the future. Likewise, as customers search for optimum value from the wine list, the burgeoning New World has stepped a further rung up the ladder of quality, value and availability

Finally, fine-dining-guide, would like to pass on sincerest thanks to all those who have participated in 2009 including those who have provided significant assistance in making many of the articles possible. The year has proved by far the busiest both in terms of traffic and output and we look forward to 2010 with optimism.

Merry Christmas! Until next time Happy Eating and Happy Drinking!