Discoveries at Two Temple Place

A cracked egg, a Greek god’s foot, a dodo skeleton and a collection of goggles through the ages do not immediately sound like a recipe for a fun day out. But these objects are just some of the weird but wonderful exhibits in the new show at Two Temple Place. Kate West went to see the most curiously compelling exhibition in the area this Spring. Every year Two Temple Place opens its doors for a few months to host an exhibition, with the specific remit to showcase UK regional collections. In 2012, their inaugural year, they held a very successful William Morris exhibition and last year a … [Read more...]

Review: Club Gascon, West Smithfield

Well what can one say about Club Gascon which hasn’t been said by reviewers before.  It provides a gastronomic experience, though not necessarily to everyone’s taste, courtesy of top chef Pascal Aussignac who is an expert at blending and matching ingredients to whet one’s tastebuds.  As such it is one of three Michelin starred restaurants in the Clerkenwell/Smithfield area (the others being North Road and St. John) having maintained this culinary accolade since 2002.  Reviews by perhaps more gastronomically experienced critics than the writer are almost overwhelmingly extremely … [Read more...]

Water, water everywhere… (The Rain Room at The Barbican)

Water, water everywhere... but not a drop of it falls on you in the Rain Room. The latest show at the Curve space in the Barbican Centre, has been causing long queues since its opening in October. Kate West went to find out if it is worth the wait. I've long been a fan of the Curve Art series. Since its launch in 2006 I've seen things that I loved - roller coasting bowling balls (Jeppe Hein 2007) and guitar-playing finches (Céleste Boursier-Mougenot 2010), things that I thought I would hate but ended up loving - numerous piles of someone’s mother’s hoarded possessions (Song Dong 2012), … [Read more...]

The Grill on the Market, West Smithfield.

Simplicity with a bit more personal choice & the sizeable wine list has something for everyone.   The Grill on the Market (formerly Smithfield Bar and Grill – and before that The Living Room) has been refurbished again, but is still managed by the same company and the layout is pretty well unchanged with entry through a large bar area (the restaurant menu is available in the bar too, but there is no specific bar menu), and then up into a fairly spacious, but windowless, restaurant area. Visiting at a lunch time, my starter of seared foie gras (£10) comes pleasantly presented … [Read more...]

Review : The Shakespeare – more than just pub food

There was a time when the Shakespeare pub on Goswell Road close to the Barbican YMCA was anathema to many Barbican and Golden Lane residents with an ultra noisy clientele – sometimes seemingly under age – indifferent pub food and a bit of a run down decor.  The Firkin Group moved in to try and improve it without much success, but for the past couple of years now it has been given a new lease of life since its take-over by the Anglo-Italian Toma family, who have an impressive history in the hospitality, catering and food supply business, and who have presided over quite a transformation.  … [Read more...]