Entropy on the move

January 21, 2013

Interesting news coming out of Leicester’s West End. Entropy – high-performing, Slow Food loving, rare breed cooking, all-round nice guys – is up for sale. It’s not closing yet – and as far I’m aware it continues to trade successfully – but has more to do with chef patron Tom Cockerill’s desire to get back to the countryside. He’s not letting on whether he’s actually found a venue but I do remember conversations with him when he expressed a desire to open a restaurant or food-led pub in the relatively under-served countryside between the Eastern edge of the city and the Rutland border. If that’s the case, it would be a really exciting development for those of us in that catchment area. He says wherever it is, it will use the Entropy model of “relaxed informal dining using amazing Leicestershire produce”.

It’s a bit of body-blow for the West End, Entropy was one of the earliest and the best venues that sparked the regeneration of that area. But maybe a quality operator will want to take on and extend Tom’s leagcy. If that’s you, contact James Philips at APB on 0116 254 0832.

Mrs Bridges

January 6, 2013

Leicester-based readers will probably have worked out for themselves that Mrs Bridges Tearooms on Loseby Lane is a cut above your average cafe.  But nonetheless it’s worth reminding people that it really is rather good.

Forget about the cutesy name – this is a food-led place, staffed with proper chefs who have a real interest in flavour and quality.  It’s not exactly the most comfortable place, small tables in a cramped environment, but it should definitely be high on your list of places for a lunch, brunch,  takeaway sandwich or just a cup of tea.  I had a very good pot of Assam today, with a sandwich of hot pork, layered with salty feta cheese, fresh spinach and beetroot ketchup. Inspired matchings these and served on really excellent crusty sourdough bread.

Sandwiches are highly recommended then, but look out too for their set lunch dishes which change monthly and might include genuine iberico ham with a crispy poached egg (lightly deep fried with a polenta crust), pork red wine and fennel ragu and a vegan-friendly almond milk ice-cream with crumbled brownie and home-made peanut butter.



Lunch for Even less

January 5, 2013

I’d prepared this story for the January issue of Great Food (thanks Carolyn at Hambleton Hall), but as that’s not happening, you might as well get a version of it here:


Seven of the region’s top restaurants have once again joined together in a scheme to promote custom in the quiet days of January and February.

The Lunch for Even Less initiaitve is an ideal opportunity for a good lunch, and maybe in particular to try out a top restaurant you’ve not been to before. The precise details vary between venues but you can find two courses lunch deals for as little as £12.50. You will generally need to book in advance, mentioning the offer.

The seven restaurants include Hambleton Hall, Langar Hall, Berkeley Arms, Marquess of Exeter, The Olive Branch, The Red Lion (Stathern), and the Wicked Witch, Ryhall.

Look out for the flyer or you can see full details of the specific offers here

The Lighthouse

January 4, 2013

Happy New Year everybody. Sorry you’ve not heard from me for a while.  I’ve rather fallen asleep at the wheel I’m afraid. The sad demise of the print version of Great Food has led to me being a little out of the loop and I’ve not been eating out much  – just a regular early January visit to Kayal but you all know that is fantastic anyway (one tip though – if you see the Squid Pepper Fry on the specials board, order it!).

But interesting news for the new year is that the highly-regarded Firenze in Kibworth has rebranded itself as the Lighthouse and become a specialist fish restaurant. It’s still run by Sarah and Lino Poli who call it “a seafood restaurant and more ” and promise both British and Mediterranean classics from potted shrimp and fish and chips to lobster.  They also say they will offer plenty for meat eaters and vegetarians.

Haven’t seen a full menu yet but I wish them all the best  – if anyone fancies a trip out there, let me know 🙂

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