More bollocks than you’ll see on a prize ram at the Lambeth Country Show
August 5, 2018 2:40 AM   Subscribe

In which Jay Rayner struggles to travel through England on public transport - “One train is cancelled. Another sits outside Swindon for an hour, unwilling to enter, as if it’s been there before and is in no hurry to repeat the experience” - but reaches The Painswick and enjoys a splendid lunch. Other recent positive reviews include the crab chip butty and the fried cheese sandwich. [Some previous Jay Rayner]
posted by Wordshore (18 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Obviously at a Gloucestershire restaurant, you’d be coming from London, where everyone lives. But I can’t really get annoyed with Jay Rayner.
posted by Segundus at 2:59 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I often wish Rayner would publish even longer and more reviews. They make wonderful reading, and I always look forward to the next one.
posted by 15L06 at 3:33 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


Seeing as I've got a fully laden bike to take by train from Shropshire to Somerset and I'm in a town with one train every two hours which has two bike spaces, I think I'll give this article a miss until I'm in the comfort of my own home.

On the other hand, even though the National Trust tea room in Carding Mill Valley is decidedly by the Booker* in terms of food quality, and there's no shade on the roof terrace, there's a blackbird pecking away at my cake crumbs and the view of the Long Mynd is spectacularly beautiful, so I'm contentedly boiling away the hour until the next train.

I love Jay Rayner, though. He is a lesson in living a life filled with things you like.

*I've spent a week of my holiday time cooking for 125 children and adults, so I'm currently extremely familiar with British restaurant suppliers.
posted by ambrosen at 5:05 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


(A word on portion size: occasionally people study the pictures that accompany these reviews, and whine about the amount on the plate. Doubtless they’re looking at this starter right now and rolling their eyes. They can stop. Do I look like a man with a bird-like appetite? Do I look like someone who can be satisfied with a postage stamp of lunch delivered with a bow and a heel click? Of course I bloody don’t. If I don’t whinge about portion size, rest assured it was enough for me. Which means it’s enough for you. And if it isn’t, you are the one with the problem.)
That made me strangely happy.
posted by Grangousier at 5:46 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


For an extra quid they’ll throw on salted anchovies and capers, and if you wouldn’t pay up, we’ll never understand each other.
This sounds like John Constantine doing restaurant reviews.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:54 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Of course the pork was good. He was in Gloucestershire, the home of the Old Spot. Gloucestershire is where I've had the best pork in my life.

He doesn't mention any of that which is surprising because most places in Gloucestershire are anxious to advertise the breed and source of their pork, so now I don't trust him to tell me whether this was good, for a Londoner, or good by Gloucestershire standards.
posted by vacapinta at 8:42 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I love his reviews, lyrical and straightforward, just what food reviews need to be.
posted by arcticseal at 9:03 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


He's also excellent on The Kitchen Cabinet, a food-based panel discussion show on BBC Radio 4.
posted by winterhill at 9:07 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Gloucestershire is where I've had the best pork in my life.

You say you left the UK because of what we'll periphrastically call the recent political nastiness, but how can I be sure that it wasn't because you came out with this kind of unguarded political statement at a butcher's in Wiltshire?
posted by ambrosen at 9:09 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


Ooh, does anyone have a recipe or even a name for this dish?

Long-braised pork is finely shredded, spun through with fresh herbs, pressed, then seared in a hot pan until the surface is crisp. It’s served in an oblong so sharp you could use it as a ruler. There’s a dollop of a coarse salsa verde and one chargrilled spring onion.

Sounds delicious.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 9:47 AM on August 5


I think they just call it crisp pressed pork (with romesco sauce, grilled onion).
posted by Segundus at 10:19 AM on August 5


I love Jay Rayner. On Sunday morning the first thing I turn to in The Observer is Jay's review. I confess I always like it better when he's had a really bad experience. Most of the places he likes are ones I'll never go to anyway.

But I was in Manchester for the day on Friday and had a half-hour window to get some food before my train back to London, and there was only on place I wanted to go - Bundobust - thanks to Jay's review 18 months ago. It was great.
posted by essexjan at 10:40 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


It looks like Bundobust has traded up and their digs in Manchester are looking to be of a higher quality that their original location in Leeds. Although the Leeds location does have a certain kitsch by making it look more built out of scrap wood. Funny that according to Jay:

It is one of a kind, but if there isn’t a Bundobust like this in every university town across the north of England within three years I’ll be very surprised.

It is one of a kind (but the first was in Leeds) and there will be a chain of them soon. Funny how nothing outside of London ever exists until someone from London has seen it.
posted by koolkat at 1:03 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


> Other recent positive reviews include the crab chip butty

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I woke up hungry, have the day off, live in Hackney and just checked the opening times of this fine establishment; it seems 5.30pm is the earliest I can smash one of these into my face and by god I look forward to doing so
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:21 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


In my imagination Rayner would be a fine dinner companion indeed. Kindly do not disabuse me if in reality he is an ass.
posted by bystander at 3:26 AM on August 7


mash one of these into my face

So how was it?
posted by arcticseal at 5:52 AM on August 10


So how was it?

Also my question if anyone does get to go to dinner with Jay Rayner, who as far as I can tell is very much not an ass.
posted by ambrosen at 3:01 PM on August 14




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