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Blogs exploded on to the online stage at the start of this century, and since then, food bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with on the London dining scene. Their clout in the world of food and restaurants has become increasingly clear – witness the burgeoning success of London’s Food Blogger Connect event, an annual international food-blogging conference.
SquareMeal.co.uk now incorporates bloggers’ accounts of their visits to London restaurants on its site (click the ‘blog’ tab on our restaurant listings), but if you want to explore the world of London’s bloggers – both influential and up-and-coming – in a little more depth, allow us to recommend a few leaders of the pack and ones to watch.
Author Beth Brookfield’s vintage-styled show-and-tell of her nights out in the newest London restaurants and bars, plus her food-and-drink creations, comes with gorgeous dish-by-dish photographs of everything that goes into her mouth.
Chris Pople does not limit himself to opining on the foodstuffs in the title of his popular blog. The Cheese and Biscuits author can always be found at London’s latest launches, wrapping his chops around anything from the newest burgers on the scene to the hippest chefs’ signature dishes. This year his doctored Tube map – showing the best restaurant closest to each station on the London Underground map – went viral. In short, he knows his stuff.
Between working in Camberwell and living in Peckham, blogger Helen Graves has South London covered, whether she’s making the ultimate pork sandwich (cooked to tender perfection in a sous-vide machine) in the comfort of her kitchen or dining out in under-the-radar pop-ups, local legends or even – gasp – north of the river.
This collection of features written and curated by a team of food writers covers all food-related subjects imaginable – from a day in the life of a bakery owner to the economics of edible hedgerows, plus restaurant reviews. Its strong journalistic grounding, aspirational tone and photography, and dedication to the enjoyment of good food and drink won it The Guild of Food Writers New Media Award 2012.
Grumbling Gourmet is one of SquareMeal.co.uk’s most prolific reader reviewers, and has been shortlisted for the Amateur Critic of the Year award two years running. ‘His ongoing exploration of everything the London restaurant scene has to offer entertains as much as it informs, providing readers with a trustworthy and witty guide to where they should be eating,’ says Square Meal’s editor Ben McCormack.
Rating the restaurants she visits in terms of ‘swank level’ and basing her reviews on two important questions (‘would I want seconds?’ and ‘could I afford seconds?’), this anonymous blogger charts London’s culinary highs and lows so that you don’t put a foot wrong when dining out.
Despite being born in Brazil to Japanese and Italian parents, The London Foodie sees himself as a native Londoner, having lived in the capital for more than 20 years. A banker-turned-trained chef and supper-club host, he intersperses his perky accounts of meals out, behind-the-scenes adventures and holiday eating with delectable photograhy.
Debonair man-about-town Hugh Wright is a self-declared bon viveur who eats his way around London with gusto in the company of glamorous friends and fellow bloggers. His blog is a collection of his authoritative and witty verdicts on his experiences.
A Harper's Bazaar journalist moonlighting as a blogger, Helena Lee writes about being out and about after-hours at all the latest launches and coolest watering holes. She weaves her way across the capital, taking in market stalls, high-end hotels and everything in between, entertaining readers with each entry. Another convert to the power of Instagram.
Table for two? Yes is always the answer from this gastronomic power couple, who eat their way around the city, snapping every dish they order for our vicarious enjoyment and giving the prices for each – some might say it’s the perfect way to present a menu. A great read for those who think a picture tells 1,000 words...
Originally from Boston, Jo Yee brought her Canon 7D to London and promptly set about capturing her foodie experiences on film. The result is a collection of images that make you want to stick your head inside the screen, depicting everything her renditions of chocolate-chip cookies to her gourmet adventures in Kerala.
Loved by the media, prolific on Twitter and always on the go – whether she’s cooking for a farmers-market stall, running masterclasses or writing her cookbook – Niamh Shields has been one to watch from the word go. Read about her travels and travails here.
Guardian writer Felicity Cloake lives and breathes the London food scene: her days might see her finding the ‘perfect’ classic dishes for her regular slot on the paper’s Word of Mouth blog, testing recipes for her cookbooks, taking food photography lessons or lunching at The Cube by Electrolux. Whatever she’s up to, her blog provides those in the know with a funny, down-to-earth diary of her antics.
My Cooking Hut offers quick, healthy recipes with a French or Asian bias. Author Leemei Tan is a professional food photographer and stylist, so it goes without saying that her well-written recipes – from seasonal soups to clams steamed with sake – come with prettily photographed eye candy to whet the appetite.
A veritable treasure trove, Rachel’s blog mixes gems from her favourite cookbooks with inspiring recipes of her own, all served up with helpful, no-nonsense tips. Her forays into the world of supperclubs and butchery inspire her followers to get their hands dirty in the kitchen – no matter how big or small their kitchen may be.
Do you want to know more? Are you a food blogger yourself? Make contacts and develop your skills at the world’s leading international food-blogging conference. foodbloggerconnect.com