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!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Whale of a time

I wasn't expecting much.

Supercheap Ryanair flights, a swift one-night break somewhere in Norway, and another boring country ticked off the list. Job done.

But life can surprise you. What I actually experienced this week was a peaceful, pleasant stay in delightful little town and one of the very best seafood restaurants I have ever visited. I've been banging on about it for the last few days since we came back.

If you like your fish you have to go there. You just have to.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Who else would find something to moan about in 99p pints?

It's Spoons Bingo time again, and if you're quick, get down to the Wibbas Down Inn in Wimbledon, where you can pick up Wetherspoons festival ales for a mere 99p a pint!

Such a bargain is nothing to be sniffed at, of course, but the reason behind it is going to fuel a bit of a BV rant-a-thon, so feel free to tune out now.

Still there? Good.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Steak & Kidney Anti-Pie

It's British Pie Week, apparently. (Well, it would be, wouldn't it? They have a week for fucking everything these days.)

Thing is, this could just be me getting older'n'shit, but I'm convinced that pies aren't as good as they used to be. Ironically, before we ever had British Pie Week, pies were actually tastier. Weren't they? Is it just me?

I enjoy a good pie as much as the next fat cunt, but all too often these days we seem to settle for disappointing fillings and bland, dry pastry. Yes, you can get some fantastic 'gourmet' pies these days, and pork pies designed to be served cold are probably better than they've ever been, but I'm convinced that your standard everyday hot pie used to be better.