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!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Burgers in the rain

With the Government 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme about to come to an end, I wanted to make sure I availed myself of the discount at least once, having been let down in this department by the Real Jerk last week.

So a trip to Bleecker Burger Victoria was very much in order as Bleecker had been marketing themselves on the back of the scheme fairly aggressively on Social Media, and I'd wanted to try their burgers for some time anyway.

So here's a quick-fire review of a pretty decent no-frills burger joint. We haven't done one of them for a while...

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Who's the real jerk?

Compared to many foodie blogsters, I'm not usually all that bothered about 'service' in restaurants.

Most of the time, if the food is good it'll take a lot to make me notice that other departments are lacking and even when I do, I tend to take a pretty relaxed and forgiving view.

So this review of The Real Jerk on Streatham Hill is going to be a bit of a strange one, because stuff other than the food has actually been bad enough for me to notice and indeed care about it!

Monday, August 3, 2020

BV London Pub of the Year 2019-20 - a special award

The past few months have seen the pub and brewing industry hit spectacularly hard. It's almost spitefully trivial to even be thinking about a best pub competition at this time.

But my London Pub of the Year award has been going for quite a few years now, and it feels right to do something this year, for continuity and because no virus can stop me recognising a fucking good pub when I see one!

Can you tell where it is yet?
The award 'year' runs from July to June, which means that most of the serious decision-making inevitably takes place during the months of March, April, May and June... when of course everything was locked down tighter than a locksmiths chastity belt.

Therefore a full and fair contest just wouldn't be possible. However, a few weeks ago I came to a couple of decisions.

  1. Assuming everything gets back to normal, the competition will make a full return for the year 20-21, and will include the five finalists from last year, plus a further five pubs. It will be open to all e.g. the five long-listed non-finalists from last year will not be excluded.
  2. A 'special award' will be given out for 2019-2020, to a pub that went the extra mile during lockdown.

And that special award goes to...