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 24, 2015

Get your drinking glasses on, it's a Pub of the Year preview!

So, there are just six short days left for the fine pubs of London to wow me with their beertastic awesomeness.

OK, technically they're six of the longest days of the year, but who gives a fuckpig for such pedantry when the fourth BV Pub of the Year contest is lurking just around the corner!

You know the drill by now. Last years finalists go head to head, toe to toe and cask to cask against five spanking new contenders and we'll see if anyone can wrest the shiny trophy away from the Craft Beer Company in Clerkenwell.

Importantly, I will be making a few adjustments to the rules this year, following feedback from readers, co-drinkers and an important missive from the Iranian embassy. (OK, so, one of those didn't actually inform the decision all that much.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

London's best shawarma is BACK!!!

Late night takeaways are a fact of life.

We've all eaten our share of dodgy fried chicken and toilet-grade kebabs when stricken with ferocious hunger pangs shortly after leaving the pub. Beer can do that to you.

Got a much better takeaway than the man on the bus
Perhaps the only real downside of the longer opening hours we've enjoyed for some years now is that most of the food options available at chucking-out time are invariably dire.

Well, almost invariably dire. There are, believe it or not, a few very special places where you can actually get something decent to eat at 12:37 AM.