Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase 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. And as a critic 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, June 26, 2013

5000 not out!

I reached a big beer milestone last night - 5000 different real ales since I started counting!

The beer itself - Atlantic 'Gold' in the Catford Bridge Tavern - was pretty much of a muchness: a 4.6% golden ale with the (not overwhelming) addition of ginger.

But that's not the point. (The point is I'm fucking great; Go me!!!)

OK, I know that there are plenty of tickers who have reached 10,000, 20,000 and more. I met an old guy recently who was claiming a tally somewhere north of 35,000.

But I don't feel particularly despondent in the face of any such cock-waving because very few of these tickers insist on having a full pint of each beer. Most drink halves or thirds and some count a beer even if they just have a tiny sip of the stuff.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Coming soon... BV London Pub of the Year 2012-2013

Oi, Landlords!

You have just a couple of weeks left to impress me if you want to become the second Ben Viveur London Pub of the Year.

11 days actually.

Actually less than that, because I'll be in Russia for three of those days. Or four if you count travelling time.

And you can deduct a few more days when I'll be fasting and not drinking any beer.

OK, basically you have about one day remaining to wow me into a creamy frenzy with the most amazing beer you can find.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The miracle that didn't happen

I'm not exactly an investigative journalist, am I?

Too lazy. Too languid. Probably too self-absorbed (or at least, too absorbed in the stuff I like and a reality with which I'm comfortable).

But since I've been doing the 5:2 diet I've heard a fair few whispers about these 'ere new-fangled 'Miracle noodles', and so a little investigating really had to be done.

Just a teensy bit, mind. Basically just trying the product and then writing about how amazingly great / shittingly bad / soul-numbingly indifferent it is. (It's the middle one.)

After all, I'll try pretty much anything once. I've eaten alligator... ants... silica gel... a meal in Spaghetti House...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A fucked-up breakfast for a fucked-up Britain

What's Black, Blue and Green?

The flag of Tanzania, perhaps? Nope, that's got a little bit of yellow on it.

A martian that's been savagely beaten?

How about a martian that's been beaten up whilst shrouded in the Tanzanian flag, but has excreted a viscous black-bluey-green bile all over the yellow bits of the flag, thus concealing them?

Is this all sounding completely fucking idiotic? Maybe a bit disturbing? Good.

Actually, it's no more disturbing than a couple of surveys I noticed in this morning's Metro.