ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Now that's what I call a trophy!

Ben Viveur London Pub of the Year is a pretty damn prestigious thing to be, and I've felt for a while that it needs to go beyond a congratulatory blog post.

I'll have a large one, please
Not being the sort of person to do stuff by half measures, I didn't think the winners should have to settle for some piddly certificate either.

Pubs might be closing like never before, but there are still several thousand in London, and being the best of the best is surely an accolade worthy of a big fuck-off trophy.

'Trophy shopkeeper', I said to the trophy shopkeeper, 'I'd like to see the biggest, fuck-offest trophy in your shop, if you please, Sir'.

As it turned out, nothing in the shop was big and fuck-off enough, so they ordered one in especially from the World of Trophies Trophy Warehouse. Or something.

And as of last night, that trophy has pride of place behind the bar of the Catford Bridge Tavern.

Like Oscars night but with more beer

It's a slightly unusual situation, mind.

There you go...
In an ideal world, we'd have had a big, lavish ceremony, presented the trophy to the winning pub, and they'd have kept it until next Summer, when we'd take it back, crack on with the judging for 2013-14 and then give it to the winning pub.

(And the winning pub may very well have been the Catford Bridge Tavern for a second successive year.)

But we don't live in an ideal world, unfortunately.

Impressive trophy or no impressive trophy, the days of the CBT are sadly numbered. Any day now they could get the call telling them to close for the last time.

So we had to hastily arrange to present the trophy to Alex and Theresa last night so that they'd at least be able to display it for a few days.

We are the Champions!
Morally, of course, they'll continue to be the reigning champions long after the doors have closed and the usurpers have moved in.

If you heed just one piece of advice today, make it this: Stop whatever you're get yourself down to the CBT; Enjoy the awesome beer and food and check out the trophy while you have the chance, because the pub ain't gonna be there forever.

Because if any pub is worth going out of your way to visit for one last time, it's the Ben Viveur London Pub of the Year.

The Catford Bridge Tavern!

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