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!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Golden Pints: BV's best beers of 2021

Well, it's now 2022, which means it's time to look back on my favourite beers of the past year.  

It's been another year disrupted by lockdowns, restrictions and - in my view - unnecessarily draconian - legislation, but, hey, we're all still here. Apart from the Duke of Edinburgh, obviously. And Alan Bradley. Well, the actor who once played him.

Now as you'll almost certainly know, my drinking preference - the default position if you like - is to drink cask beer in a pub, and, putting it politely, that habit isn't altogether compatible with the COVID situation. I didn't even get to drink a pint at a pub until April 11, when the grand midnight re-opening at PotY The Kentish Belle marked perhaps the most memorable quenching of thirst in history!  

But let's not let such happy occasions distract us from the sad fact that the hospitality industry is still suffering, and the biggest threat of all is to places that rely on selling cask beer!