Spend most of my time eating or thinking of eating. Ex-Restaurateur and Film graduate and a screenwriter...
I have 7 screenplays, unfinished, because that's what life is like as a screenwriter.
Struggling for Breath.
A CONFESSION. Back in 1953, I think, I moved here with my parents. Old 19th century homes and willow trees lined the village streets, dominated by the vast expanse of a motionless Lake in its centre. From the view above, houses form a ring around its almost perfect circular edge. One singular, strikingly bold tree now stands proud at its centre, lifted into view by a small, muddy island. In a lot ways, the village and lake is still as charming as it ever was, but yet starved of modern conveniences, with little to no local amenities. The local bars and shops are a car ride away. However, it's also a town where few homes are ever sold, or attempted to be. Confusing, as much as it is unremarkable, perhaps. But all is not as it seems.
The Ugly Butterfly review
When I was younger and playing guitar was at the centre of my youthful focus, I remember my friend Alan, having the most amazing home. A large Tudor style monster, in the grounds of one of England's most desirable locations. Winding through the, seemingly never ending hallways, eventually we found ourselves standing in Alan's bedroom, his Mesa Boogie guitar amp stacked atop his speakers, stacked atop mine. There may even have been an old Marshall amp of mine amongst them. We had never had eight, 12-inch Celestion speakers, all linked together before... We had never heard the full capacity of our amplifiers... So we turned it up. We kept turning it up until we couldn't even hear our own voices as we spoke. It was awesome...like the guitar scene in 'Back to Future', where Marty is blasted across the room by an impossibly large speaker... Our stadium gigs suddenly became real (in our heads)! Now, 20+ years later, I have just one speaker... Volume no longer provides the punchiness we once craved, form and subtlety has taken over. Getting it "right" is an endless search, but the drive to find it... the new 8x12 inch speaker with the volume to 11... has evolved.
Restaurant Review: The Tudor Room, Great Fosters Hotel - Egham, Surrey
In amongst the bombardment of emails for luxury spa days at random, historic houses-come-4*hotels throughout the UK, lies few outstanding gems. It is, then, unfortunate that these few gems have become diluted, sanitised and, in some cases, found to be dwindling, as large investment companies seek to find a corporate reworking of these beautiful palaces. But it is no small feat to take an historic setting and transform it to a 5* standard, which is why, so many of these olde-worlde homes simply don't live up to their aesthetic. And so, this aesthetic, very much goes before them in their marketing campaigns, boasting lush gardens and pretty plates of food...most of which are just replated versions of very familiar fare.
Restaurant Review: Dirty Bones - Soho, London
Buried deep inside the assiduous streets of Soho, London, is an area so rife with life that it makes Times Square in NYC seem like a funeral wake. Together with raucous noise and ambience, the streets are littered with the cool kids from every corner of the globe, sauntering through the back streets of a once seedy part of cultural hell. Since those days, of course, the area has undergone significant change, bringing in the vibrancy of innocent youth, as opposed to the 70s underbelly of the punk era. Both retail and food have long since moved in, offering up a hub for social and touristic enterprise. In the heart of it all, a relatively new centre has been created: Kingly Court.
Restaurant Review: The Ninth - Fitzrovia, London
Walking through the back streets of Fitzrovia, central London, is like taking a "Star Tour" through the Hollywood-rich areas of LA.... but instead of seeing the size of Jennifer Anniston's elaborately conceived, paparazzi stifling front gates, we get to marvel at some of the most famous names in the UK restaurant Scene. Located just a few doors away from the juggernaut, 'Pied-a-Terre', is the eloquently hidden 'The Ninth'.
A Life to Live
I'm approaching 40. It's not an age that's particularly enhanced a viewpoint of dread... I'm not having a "midlife crisis," as they say. But, it is an age for which I hold great reverence. It's a midpoint: a place at which you should begin to witness the fruits of your labour, have a direction, and see your goals materialising to fruition. And, therein lies the ultimate evaluation... Can you see yourself living the way you considered you would, back in your early life, or in your mid 20s? If the answer is yes, congratulations. You've certainly fared well by comparison... But if your answer is no, then perhaps a change is required—a tweak, maybe, or a complete overhaul! The latter is perhaps a bit extreme, but given the startling rate at which men in their 40s commit suicide, I wholeheartedly support any method we take to find a way to combat the inevitable stage of questioning our happiness—not solely as men either, but with each and every one of us.
London: Food from the High Street
Growing up, food in the UK was not one of our strong suits. The old foe from across the stream used to mock us for our poor range and diversity of edible nutrition, nicknaming us "Les Rosbif" after our supposed favourite and only dish of note, roast beef. In fact, even today, we are more known for fish and chips than anything else... But let's not get confused, London particularly is one the greatest places on earth for food. The diverse range from Japanese to Nigerian to US Soul Food is abundant. The Michelin Star guide ranks London the seventh best city for top ranked food marginally behind New York, Paris, and Japan (Japan has four cities within the top five!), and let's not forget that we have both Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver to our name... and who hasn't heard of those guys?