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 5, 2018

BV London Pub of the Year 2017-18 - the results

When I was a child, records used to rise up the hit parade over several weeks - if you topped the charts it was often the result of a lengthy climb. A song going 'straight in at No. 1' was almost unheard of.

During my teens, the music industry gradually changed, and with better marketing and more aggressive promotion in the first week of sale, it was an increasingly common occurrence. Eventually it became the norm for all No. 1 records to go straight in. A song actually climbing up the charts became the rarity.

This isn't some nostalgic music blog though, it's the much-anticipated Pub of the Year winner announcement. Last years top five vs five new- and re-entries. We've crunched the numbers and reached a final decision.

Mind you, talking of going straight in at No. 1...

The new top five...

This year, at No. 5, dropping down a place we have the Euston Tap(s) - not one, but two excuses to miss your train.

In fourth place, its a four-time winner, the Craft Beer Co. Clerkenwell, still a great place to drink fantastic beer from around the world and the only pub to have made the top five every year.

In third, last years winner, the Hope, Carshalton. A proper community pub in an unlikely corner of South London - but it's not the only one.

Live The Good Life with this range of beers!
The 2017-18 runner-up is, for the fourth year in a row, the Craft Beer Co. Covent Garden. It's the 'Last Christmas' of the PotY, seemingly destined to linger at No. 2 indefinitely.

And so, the winner then, and putting Surbiton firmly on the map for the first time since Tom and Barbara planted their allotment... Yes, it's The Antelope! Straight in at the top of the charts!

It's a victory for people-power as much as splendid beer and cracking food. A couple of years ago, I hardly knew of the Antelope and had probably only been to Surbition a couple of times in my life.

But every time I talked Pub of the Year - with beer writers, ordinary drinkers, ardent followers of 1980s chart music, anybody - the one place that kept coming up time after time was the Antelope in Surbiton. I couldn't ignore it any longer.

And it is, of course, a fantastic pub, with an extensive and varied range of beers in brilliant condition, not to mention home to the Big Smoke Brew Co. If you haven't been to Surbiton, you have a very good reason to go now!

Congrats to everybody at the Antelope - the best pub in London!


Comments are always welcomed and encouraged, especially interesting, thought-provoking contributions and outrageous suggestions.