In 2013 I spent a year conducting a (rather self-indulgent) experiment. I realised that I’d got stuck in a rut of eating in the same places all the time. Which seemed a waste given that in my local neighbourhood alone there are enough restaurants to not have to eat in the same place twice over the course of the year. Mind you, you would have to eat an awful lot of kebabs.*
So I made a set of rules …
Never eat in the same restaurant twice (defined as somewhere where the server brings you the cheque) unless it would be rude to enforce your will on your dining companion(s). Branches of chains where the variation in the menu is minimal are treated as being the same restaurant. If compelled to eat in a chain restaurant one must never eat the same dish twice. The Delaunay is the joker – why punish yourself? Ratings based on value for money, comfort, service and quality of food.
As I went along I made a google map of everywhere that I’d been with a little review and a rating. What did I learn along the way? It’s very difficult to do without Pizza Express – it’s a standby for good standard, reasonably priced food and more importantly it’s always child-friendly. Having a lot of friends with kids (and kids of my own) made it very tricky to find a convenient alternative. I also found out that I spend a lot of time (and money I guess) in restaurants! It also made me look at restaurants in a different, more analytical way. If I was enjoying myself I was thinking is this the food, the service, the ambience or the company that’s working? Of course it’s always a combination of all of these factors but it also made me think about what made each of these elements good.
So I hope to repeat the experiment this year and use the blog to record my progress through a culinary London year. I’m not sure if I’ll use the Delaunay as the joker though as much as I like it I haven’t been for a year or so because I tend to spend more of my time in other parts of London now. I’ll try and get a picture of each restaurant along the way and give fair praise and criticism in equal measure.**
* I could live with that. Harringay is blessed with the best.
* * Please don’t expect any pictures of food though. I always feel a bit of a cheese taking pictures in restos unless it’s for a birthday or similar.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).