Eats, writes about it. Ponces about on telly. Plays a bit of jazz piano. Has big hair.

The Astor Grill at Cliveden House, Berkshire: restaurant review — The Astor Grill at Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire SL6 0JF (01628 607 107). Meal for two, including wine and service: £160-£195 Mediocrity is often, by its nature, hard to spot. The mediocre doesn't yell for attention. Mediocrity doesn't tap dance into the limelight for fear of tripping over.

Goring Hotel: not appetising — The Goring Hotel, which has been open for 100 years, is celebrating by putting on its restaurant menu a selection of dishes drawn from the various periods through which it has lived. It is a fun idea, though not necessarily the happiest route to a good meal.

I know salt's unhealthy - but love it — Recently I owned up to having acquired the services of a personal trainer, in an attempt to move my body shape out of the column headed "endomorph". There are lots of reasons for my gym habit: guilt, ludicrous ambition, overweening vanity. I'm not ashamed; in a man over 40 a certain amount of vanity is a virtue.

Petit Pois Bistro: restaurant review — Petit Pois Bistro, 9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU (020 7613 3689). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £75 Not long after the Petit Pois Bistro opened in Hoxton Square, London, word began circulating about one of the desserts on offer. When he heard about this, the head chef apparently let out a howl of despair.

Why do so many people choose dull ‘death row’ meals? — Where death is concerned I am with Woody Allen: I'm not afraid of it; I just don't want to be there when it happens. My desire not to dwell on the subject is regularly undermined, however, by the number of people who ask me what my death row meal would be.

Blandford Comptoir, London: restaurant review — Blandford Comptoir, 1 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DA (020 7935 4626). Meal for two, including wine and service: £90-£140 Context matters. And so, while I suspect you're sick of the grinding tumult and heartbreak, I should tell you that I ate at Blandford Comptoir the day before the EU referendum and wrote about it the day after.

Headteacher of Alleyn's gets lesson from his own former pupils, as they rally to the cause of the Judith Kerr Primary — Last week I explained how the Judith Kerr school, a state primary in Herne Hill, South London, was threatened with losing its outdoor playing area in a deal which was designed to benefit three prestigious fee paying schools, Alleyn's, Dulwich College and JAGS. You can read that piece here.

Santo Remedio, London: restaurant review — 22 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DY. Mostly no reservations, except for large parties who can book online ( Meal for two, including drinks and service: £60 All too often in the food world, the war of expertise becomes a lumbering battle between the Real Thing and the Good Stuff.

Jay Rayner’s Ten Food Commandments — When it comes to food, the original Ten Commandments have little to offer, other than the advice not to covet your neighbour's oxen, which can be tricky. There are some damn fine oxen out there.

Why a state primary school may lose its playing fields to fund Dulwich College (and Alleyn's and JAGS) — Back in February I wrote about the impact of Dulwich Estate, the huge South London landlord with charitable status, upon the neighbourhood in which I live. It is in the process of ripping the heart out of my local community in pursuit of commercial imperatives that enable it to pay millions of pounds to...
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Jul 24, 2016

This reads as if only two people came. There were more than two people. 

Jul 24, 2016

A huge thank you to everyone who came to our shows @pizzajazzclub last night. You were both brilliant audiences.

Jul 24, 2016

@seantrent argh have tried that. Will try again. have also deleted and reinstalled. no change

Jul 24, 2016

Brilliant techie hive mind: why would emails suddenly have stopped sending from my iPhone when nothing had changed. Still receives

Jul 23, 2016

RT @Susan_Rae1: Smokin' jazz from @jayrayner1 Quintet tonight @pizzajazzclub Tales of food and handcrafted penises, + thrilling trilling of @PatGordonSmith

Jul 23, 2016

RT @kathyclugston: Few tix avail 4 @jayrayner1 @PatGordonSmith jazz combo @pizzajazzclublate @2230. Wonderful standards, lots of food & sex…

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