34, the latest restaurant from the Caprice Holdings stable, was the focus for Jay Rayner this week who found perfect steaks, incredible desserts and a scattering of phone-hackerati.
Writing in the Observer, Rayner said that while early publicity had billed 34 as a meaty version of its sister fish restaurant Scott's, he wasn't sure that was true. "The menu is broader than that," he says. "But certainly a list of very good steaks is at its core, including Australian Wagyu at fearsome prices and Scottish cuts which are both more affordable and leave less of a whacking carbon footprint, with American steaks in between."
Up North, Elaine Lemm wrote in the Yorkshire Post that the Punch Bowl Inn at Marton cum Grafton was charming the villagers with its exemplary service from new owners Provenance Inns.
"Three weeks from signing the contracts, the Punch Bowl was again open with staff in place, menus written and a major refurbishment undertaken. I was tempted to hotfoot it over there the first day, but with respect, I waited for a week and found the place heaving on a Thursday night in November, a bit of a rarity these days."
The Times's Tom Chesshyre, meanwhile, found Jolyon's at No 10, a new 21-bedroom independent hotel in Cardiff as "a breath of fresh air" in a city full of "big, boring, corporate chain" properties.
"The bed was wide and there was a tiny bathroom with a "Japanese bath" - a deep, square trough. Some of the rooms are quite tight, but with suites such as mine from £80, you can hardly complain."
However, the Daily Telegraph's Matthew Norman wishes to forget his visit to Massimo, London, adding "the first and last thing to be said in Massimo's defence is that it is a prisoner of one of those hotels, The Corinthia off Whitehall, that suck the life out of restaurants like dehumidifiers. Such paeans to marble-sanitised vulgarity may be perfect for lobbyists to entertain their prey, and well suited to very young and blonde Bulgarian women seeking quality time with a new uncle or godfather from Moscow. But it is hard for any restaurant within them to create an atmosphere, and despite its lavish decor Massimo did not come close."
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