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, November 29, 2023

The Heart and Soul of England

Some time ago my father posited the concept of the relationship between pub and church as embodying 'the Heart and Soul of England' (I forget exactly how long ago, but given the rate at which time now passes it might be as long as 30 years!) with the pub being the 'heart' of this country, and the church its 'soul'.

We would occasionally revisit the topic and sometimes even consider the 'expanded universe', so a butchers shop would perhaps be 'the Loin of England' and the great universities the Brain, but the core of the idea - and indeed the core of any traditional English village - was very much Heart and Soul; Pub and Church. Perhaps located tangentally across the road from one another, inextricably linked through generations of the worshipful and the thirsty.