July 2010: Fine Dining Guide July Newsletter

Posted on: July 4th, 2010 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

www.fine-dining-guide.com 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. The latest episode: Brand Management in the Internet Age analyses the challenges faced by marketeers in such a dynamic and fluid environment.

The site also had the pleasure of interviewing Jori White to discuss the rise of her eponymous Lifestyle PR organisation.

newsletter interviewees

The site has conducted four interviews since the last newsletter, spanning two chefs, a sommelier and a wine estate owner.

Returning to London and welcomed with open arms, Bruno Loubet has re-established himself quickly as a leading light in London at The Zetter Hotel. The eponymous restaurant Bistrot Bruno is also reviewed

Recently recognised for his contribution with a stake in the business, Antonin Bonnet – like a true artist – continues to produce Michelin Two Star standard cooking at The Greenhouse. Antonin speaks openly  about his journey through the culinary world.

Gary Jordan is a South African wine maker with a passion! His vineyards in the Stellenbosch are world-renowned and recognized for their excellence with numerous prestigious awards. His London eatery is High Timber, beautifully set on the north bank of the Thames.

Laura Ward is a young sommelier bursting with channelled enthusiasm. Vivat Bacchus Farringdon has gone from strength to strength as both a food and wine destination. The site interviews Laura  and reviews the restaurant

Extending the site’s interest in Hotel/Resorts, Daniel Darwood found time to review The Chewton Glen Hotel including a review of the Marryat restaurant.

Twitter/Facebook: The Twitter page continues to grow and now approaches 1900 followers (http://twitter.com/finediningguide). The top 20 or so news tweets can also be found on fine-dining-guide’s News page.

fine-dining-guide is pleased to announce a new Facebook page, which carries photo galleries of restaurant visits and updates of new articles.

General Website Updates: The summer months in a tough recession are never the happiest for top end fine dining restaurants and the website has pretty much held its own during these times with around 50,000 page views from 18,000 unique visitors since the last newsletter.

The Michelin Section continues to be updated with the complete list of Michelin Three Star Restaurants in Europe for 2010.

The Restaurant Picture Gallery  continues to be popular with readers and has been updated with visits to: Brasserie Joel, Gauthier Soho, Waterside Inn (25 Years Michelin Three Star celebration dinner), The Square, L’Ortolan, (The New) Petrus, The Greenhouse, The Marryat at Chewton Glen and Bistrot Bruno.

In terms of restaurant reviews, The Two Views section now carries new pieces regarding The Milroy at Les Ambassaduers  and Michelin Starred Quilon Restaurant.

Opinion/News: There is certainly an interesting trend toward more informal – all-things-to-all-people – dining. There is a growing band of top end chefs opening “brasserie” style restaurants that appear to offer a mixture of haute cuisine fine dining and more typical bistrot/brasserie food.

Naturally, this is accompanied by more relaxed prices, too – or at least significantly lower prices – than a more formal “high service” environment. Heston Blumenthal, Daniel Boulud, Bruno Loubet, Joel Antunes and Pierre Koffman (just to mention a few who are all formerly or currently Michelin starred) are treading this mid-market path.

You might wonder whether such a trend is one borne out of neccessity due to the recession or whether we are witnessing a cultural shift in British eating preferences. This question was raised by fine dining guide over five years ago with regard to the growth of the Gastropub phenomena. The concept may equally be applied to this new crop of “brasserie/bistro(t)” addresses. See: Gastropubs: Cultural Shift or Question of Economics

In any event, one might argue that any trend that opens up restaurant eating to a wider audience has to be welcomed!

Until next time, Happy Eating!