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!

Monday, July 18, 2022

BV London Pub of the Year 2021-22 - part two

What's hotter than the current ambient temperature and more competitive than the race to be Prime Minister?

Why, yes, it's the second part of the long-overdue Return of the Revenge of the Pub of the Year!

If you haven't already read part one, you might want to so so first. Otherwise, here we go with the remainder of this year's contest. Let's find the best pub in London, shall we?

And, not unexcitingly, we happen to begin with two former winners!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

BV London Pub of the Year 2021-22 - part one

It might not feel like it, but it was fully ten years ago that I launched my London Pub of the Year award. 

And now, at last, it's back!

Yep, after a long wait it's time to once again pick my favourite pub in the Greater London area from the past 12 months. God I've missed doing this.

Counting down to the end of lockdown!
The last couple of years have been a bit, well, disrupted, and you'll probably know that for the 2019-21 period I decided upon a 'special award' for the Kentish Belle in Bexleyheath who went above and beyond the call of duty during the first lockdown as well as being a damn good pub the rest of the time. (Well, it was originally only going to be for 2019-20, but further lockdowns meant that this effectively held true for an additional year!)

Anyway, because I wasn't able to run the contest and do full pub surveys for the past two years, we're going to have a completely fresh start, and then - fingers crossed, no more fucking lockdowns please! - return to normal this time next year.

So, this year's competition will consist of eight pubs, including previous winners, returning old favourites and a couple of new entries, and the top five will automatically come back next year, alongside five new ones to keep things fresh.