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 31, 2023

BV London Pub of the Year 2022-23 - the results

What combines the anticipatory excitement of a gender-reveal party with the hoppy aroma of a cool, fresh pint, and the excited anticipation of a different gender-reveal party?

That's right - the BV London Pub of the Year contest. And the hour is hand for the winner to be revealed, so let's crack on with our top five for 2022-23.

So, here we go...

(Oh yeah, read the actual content of parts one and two first, otherwise none of this will make any sense.)

So, here we go. For real this time...

Friday, August 11, 2023

GBBF 2023: A Call to (Volunteer) Arms

I've been attending the Great British Beer Festival for 29 years now, and have long been a staunch supporter of the event. 

Typically I'd get a Season Ticket, attend most or even all of the sessions, and drink lots of beers during the week, which would be one of the highlights of my year. I've seen it grow in size from the mid-90s onwards; the evolution as it moved from Olympia to Earl's Court and then back again. And I sorely missed it in 2020 and 2021, when it didn't take place. Its return in 2022 brought a sense of purpose back to my life. Well, back to my first week in August, at any rate.

But despite being a GBBF Superfan, I'd never volunteered - until this year - and it's only right that I now give you my honest assessment of how I got on last week.