Paul Ruel

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  • The National Cafe brings Flanders to London

    Saturday February 26th, 2011

    The National Cafe has a new menu of food from Flanders to celebrate the Flemish artist Gossaert and his works on show at the National Gallery. There's not a mussel in sight but, as we found out, there's plenty of clever, tasty cooking and a range of deliciously dangerous beers.

  • Imli

    Wednesday February 9th, 2011

    If you’re not in the income bracket that can afford to eat at Tamarind, the Michelin-starred Indian in Mayfair, you can at least afford to eat at Tamarind’s little sibling Imli in London’s Soho. Food here is light on the pocket but also light on the stomach.


  • We try a taste of Aussie Xmas Pudding

    Thursday December 2nd, 2010

    Pudding Lane puds are hand made in Australia then flown over to us. Forget Heston's hype these are puds you can put your faith in.

  • View from the top at Vista this Xmas

    Tuesday November 23rd, 2010

    The roof terrace has been domed for Christmas and the view is spectacular. For one thing you're a lot nearer to Nelson than you will ever otherwise be and can actually make out the expression on his face. He looks like a Londoner who has finally made out the number of the approaching red bus and it isn't the one he was waiting for.

  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo on test

    Monday November 22nd, 2010

    We’ve had a lot of coffee makers in the office this year and not all have been interns. Some we have plugged into the electricity socket to see what would happen. In the case of the interns it was a lawsuit,  but the machines weren’t so fussy. The last one we tried this year was the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo. If the Nespresso is the George Clooney of coffee machines, this is his younger, racier, brother.


  • Eating up north at Bar 166 & Bistro and Voda

    Monday November 22nd, 2010

    I found myself returning to my motherland of Yorkshire to eat at two eateries owned by Matthew Jones, a local lad who makes encouraging noises about fresh food and local produce in all the marketing material. Voda, promoted as a bar & grill, is a stone’s throw from Huddersfield railway station, while Bar 166 is a bistro in Horsforth, a town north west of Leeds.

  • Baileys go nuts this Christmas

    Tuesday November 16th, 2010

    Baileys really know their main market is Xmas, much as they would like to move it on into all year drinking. Somehow the British psyche associates Baileys with Xmas as much as it does Warninks Avocaat and Stone’s Ginger Wine, drinks my parents would put out on the sideboard every year for the 18 years I lived at home.

  • What a load of waffle

    Tuesday November 16th, 2010

    Wafflemeister's 50s-themed waffle store is designed to evoke the rock ‘n’ roll revolution of that decade (although that has yet to reach Belgium)  and is echoed in the decor with leather finishes and chrome accents.

  • Sainsbury's kippers - something fishy going on

    Monday November 15th, 2010

    The big surprise is that these kippers are not made from herrings, as is traditional, but from sardines. Sainsbury’s is the first retailer to launch kippers made from sardine using the age-old smoking method, usually associated with herring.

  • Slowly does it. The Cuisinart Slow Cooker on test

    Monday October 18th, 2010

    You can have it fast or you can do it slow. As winter draws in coming home to a hot and hearty meal becomes more and more important. We tested the Cuisinart CSC400U Cook and Hold Slow Cooker to see how well a modern take on classic cooking works in the households of today.

  • Venetian meal now at The National Gallery

    Thursday October 14th, 2010

    At these prices you can enjoy the Canaletto Venetian exhibition and eat an unusual but satisfying meal without pushing the gondola out, so it’s well worth a punt we say. Ah now that's witty wordplay.

  • Rubens Afternoon Tea - afternoon delight

    Monday August 16th, 2010

    One of the better places to take Tea and something different to the norm with its attractive big windows and interesting view The Rubens takes great care in its afternoon tea offering and the price reflects the fact that Mr Kipling does not make an appearance on the cake stand.

  • ecoffee - it doesn't cost the earth

    Saturday July 24th, 2010

    With ecoffee you get a choice and the chance to feel morally comfortable too. The ‘e’ in ecoffee doesn’t mean it’s delivered via the interweb but stands for environmentally conscious. The coffee is grown on bio-diverse farms under the rain forest canopy and the coffee plants grow amongst trees and other foliage so that they are a natural part of the eco-system.

  • Nozomi, Knightsbridge

    Thursday July 15th, 2010

    Nozomi is battling to bring down costs by offering special Bento box deals at lunchtime as a way of luring in locals. Bento boxes are boxes of of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, originally designed as take out meals or lunch packs prepared at home for people to carry to work or school. In the UK we call them Tupperware Boxes.

  • Hix Oyster and Chop House - Mark Hix

    Wednesday June 23rd, 2010

    A new recipe book from Mark Hix, he of all the restaurants strewn around London bearing his name and the chef most beloved by ‘blokes’. Not for Mark the pansy hand of fusion, the effete mannerisms of molecular gastronomy. He’s the prop-forward of seasonal cuisine, always ready for a ruck, a maul and a singsong with the critics in the showers afterwards, while trying to stitch his ear back on.

  • The Moor the merrier. Curry kits with proper flavour

    Sunday June 13th, 2010

    These kits made the most authentic and tasty curries we’ve ever knocked up in the kitchen and the convenience factor is ideal for a weekday night.

  • Nespresso. Wake up and smell proper coffee

    Tuesday June 1st, 2010

    Home coffee makers promise a lot but rarely deliver. Gleaming machines with intricate plumbing, sleek looks and fancy ad campaigns they invariably make all the right gurgling noises but deliver coffee as weak as water. So we viewed the Nespresso machine with cynical eyes. God knows we need a decent coffee machine in the office; the price of decent coffee around Carnaby Street is high even for the directors and totally prohibitive for the interns who already sleep under their desks to save money.

  • Cuisinier Gascon - Pascal Aussignac

    Monday May 10th, 2010

    With a foreword from Grand Master Pierre Koffman, this is a real celebration of real food – it can look pretty but it never sacrifices visual appeal for visceral satisfaction. Get greased up with some duck fat and dive into this unique collection of taste and terroir.

  • The Book of Tapas- Simone and Ines Ortega

    Thursday April 29th, 2010

    Simone and Ines Ortega are the chef/authors and names to drop whenever talk turns to tapas. Their book, 1080 Recipes is a fixture in just about every Spanish home kitchen and they are a trusted authority. Their Book of Tapas has the tone of voice of  people who know what they're doing and if you pay attention you will too.

  • Seasonal Spanish Food - Jose Pizarro

    Thursday March 11th, 2010

    A professional chef, and the man behind the successful Brindisa tapas kitchens, Jose Pizaro knows his stuff. As Spain continues to culinarily crush all before it, thanks to the El Bulli factor, Jose still has his heart set on the simple honesty of tapas type meals.