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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

It's almost Pub time

If you run a pub, it might be time to start getting excited. Nervous, maybe. Perhaps even a little aroused.

You see, we're into the final few days of June, which means that the epicentre of the year is fast approaching, and the judging of the 2013-14 London Pub of the Year can begin.

Now in it's third year, the competition is likely to be more intense than ever as the number of brilliant pubs in the capital has increased substantially over the past 12 months. (Obviously if your pub is fucking shit you have nothing to worry about. Move along, nothing to see here...)

You'll probably have noticed that we have a bit of a logistical dilemma though, in that last year's winner, the very wonderful Catford Bridge Tavern closed its doors for the last time just a few months after picking up the trophy.

So, I've given things a lot of thought and come to a decision. I think it's a good one because there are literally no losers. Not yet, anyway.

Sounds like a plan

When the CBT closed, some of the staff went to the newly opened Baring Hall hotel in Grove Park, and some went to the about-to-open Catford Constituional Club, just down the road.

Who will pick up the trophy this year?
It's only fair then that, as the spiritual successors to the CBT, both these pubs get a chance to compete as defenders of the title, and the four other pubs in last year's top five will also return automatically, as planned.

This gives us six returning pubs, so to balance things out, for this year only, we'll also have six new pubs in the competition. ('New' can now mean a pub that didn't finish in the top five two years ago, of course).

I told you nobody loses with this ruling.

Now, leave me alone, I've got pubs to assess. By which I mean, 'beer to drink', obviously.

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