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3 posts from February 2009

27 February 2009


My thoughts on Princi are fairly straightforward.  I love it.

I love the beautiful food - whether it's the basically wicked cannoncini or fagottino alle mele, the stunning pan campagna baked in the on-site wood fired oven, or the pasta and salads I regularly buy for lunch at such reasonable prices.

I love the fact it looks so beautiful - smooth stone, airy space and running water.

I love the slightly grumpy but very glamorous staff, all of whom seem to be Italian.

I love the fact it is so Soho.  Only round the corner from Camisa, one of London's best Italian delis. 

It is open from breakfast through to late in the evening and frankly it's never the wrong time of day for a cannoncini.

It is an uncomplicated place that works very well.  I'm not saying it's the best Italian food in London, you wouldn't expect it to be at £6 for a container of cheesy-tomatoey, beautiful gnocchi, but it is damn good.  and that bread is some of the best I've had in London.  And in case I hadn't mentioned them before their pastries, especially the cannoncini are exceptionally good.  It is everything that is good about Italian food.  It is also no surprise that good-food-mass-appeal guru Alan Yau is one of the owners.

I hope Yau's involvement signals that Princi will be rolled out.  It's the kind of concept he's famed for doing very well.

If you're in any way unclear where I stand on Princi, please leave a comment below.

Google Maps
Google Earth (download)

Princi, 135 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0UT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7478 8888

What others think

World Food Guide - Princi is going to be a fantastic place to hang out with friends - it’s hip but not snobbish, and most importantly, it’s affordable and the food is excellent.

Time Out - ...while extensive use of soothing limestone makes the hard surfaces of the modernist interior cosy, the expanse of glass cabinets displaying good things to eat – cakes, pizza, salads, hot meals – makes it irresistible.

25 February 2009

The Fat Duck Cookbook - not quite as big

Bafty cruggers those publishers.  Whatever Jeff Jarvis might say about the doomed middlemen and the end of the publisher, you can't fault them for their marketing smarts.

Bloomsbury were responsible for publishing one of the most beautiful books last year, Heston Blumenthal's The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. It is stunning, I've waxed lyrical about it before and can't recommend it highly enough as something that looks good and is a fascinating read.

The only problem is, there's no way you're going to cook from it.  It's enormous and expensive - currently £100, not the £60 I snagged it for - it is not a cookbook you want splattered with your culinary efforts.

But, and this is where they show their cunning, Bloomsbury are publishing The Fat Duck Cookbook for £26.25.  It is a pared-down version of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook.  According to the publisher it is still in hard back, but without the slip case, guilded edges and ribbon.  It's due out in October.

So those of us who've forked out a fortune on the original and covet it but won't let near it anything more culinary than a glass of wine, can now buy this version and pretend that one day we might actually cook from it.  As I say, sheer genius - I mean that with only the merest hint of irony.  I'll be buying it without question.

23 February 2009

A little bit of feedback please

I've been reading Jeff Jarvis' new book What Would Google Do? which I've found fascinating.

The premise of the book is that Google represents a new model of distributed business model - it's about understanding working for the customer, rather than getting the customer to work for you.

And it got me thinking: What can I do for my readers that suits them better? It would be more than a little arrogant to assume that you like whatever I write.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to emulate Google, my motive for writing is pleasure rather than profit, but I do want to make sure you're enjoying yourselves as much as possible. 

Therefore, I'd really appreciate it if you could fill in the form below.  It should take no more than a few minutes, most of the questions allow your response to be as brief or verbose as you choose.  I just ask that you answer as comprehensively as possible.

As an aside, I'm going to revisit Jarvis' theory of a googley restaurant in a future post.

If you're reading this on a RSS reader you won't be able to see the form, so please visit the post directly.