23 August 2014

Restaurants & Bars

Find and book great restaurants

Find a Restaurant

Square Meal Selections

Register here for your Square Meal Guides


How do you feel about London's gourmet burger trend?


Our contributors


Our in-house editorial team works on Square Meal Lifestyle, Square Meal Restaurants & Bars Guide, and squaremeal.co.uk with help from a collection of freelance contributors who bring specialist knowledge about restaurants, bars, wines, spirits, or cuisines to the work they undertake on Square Meal’s behalf.

In-house editorial team

editorial team picture_2012 montage - editorial-team-montage.jpg

Editor: Ben McCormack
Associate editor: Julie Sheppard
News and online editor: Nicky Evans
Deputy online editor: Ami Kang
Sub-editor and staff writer: Stuart Peskett

(pictured above from left to right)

Freelance contributors

Hilary Armstrong contributors 2012 - Hilary-Armstrong.jpgHilary Armstrong

Hilary Armstrong is a freelance journalist who specialises in food and restaurant writing. She has written for The Sunday Times, Waitrose Food Illustrated and Olive, and is also a former features editor at Restaurant magazine.

Women mean business: the rise of female chefs
The World's Weirdest Restaurants

tim atkin contributors 2012 - Tim-Atkin.jpgTim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin MW is an award-winning wine writer whose work appears in a number of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, Woman and Home, and Intelligent Life. He appears regularly on the BBC TV show Saturday Kitchen, and runs his own wine school at Vinoteca in London. He is also co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.

RestauRANT: why do some sommeliers derive such pleasure from belittling diners?

keith barker main contributors 2012 - Keith-Barker-Main.jpgKeith Barker-Main

Keith Barker-Main is a journalist whose work has featured in Metro, The Guardian, and Grazia, and currently also supplies advertising copy for numerous blue-chip brands. In his spare time, Keith is a keen artist whose attempts to pickle himself in vats filled with Vesper martini are inspired by the works of Damien Hirst.

Fire your imagination: London’s best winter pubs
Pub rockers: London’s rock ‘n’ roll pubs
Escape the London Olympics

nina caplan contributors 2012 - NinaCaplan.jpgNina Caplan

Nina Caplan is drinks critic for New Statesman and editor of Eurostar magazine Metropolitan, which means she spends a lot of time in Parisian bars. She also writes for Time Out, The Sunday Telegraph, and Condé Nast Traveller.

Restau-RANT: why can’t more local pubs offer a decent wine list?

contributor andrew catchpole 2012 - Andrew-Catchpole.jpgAndrew Catchpole

Based in Brighton, Andrew Catchpole writes on wines, spirits, restaurants and travel for numerous publications including Imbibe, Square Meal, Decanter, and The Guardian.

Living the dream: quitting the City to become a vigneron
London gets fizzical: where to enjoy Champagne in London
Best London bars for alfresco bubbles
Beau Selecta: exploring Beaujolais
Click and clink: online wine shopping

sophie dening contributors 2012 - Sophie-Dening.jpgSophie Dening

Sophie Dening writes about food and travel for Olive, Harper’s Bazaar and Editer.com. She was a founding editor of mrandmrssmith.com and is currently working on guides to Lyon and Paris for Wallpaper* City Guides.

Something for the weekend: luxury UK getaways

sarah jane evans contributors 2012 - Sarah-Jane-Evans.jpgSarah Jane Evans MW

Sarah Jane Evans is a journalist and Master of Wine, with special interest in flavour and in drinks and food matching. She writes monthly for BBC Good Food, and regularly for Imbibe (Square Meal’s sister title) and Decanter. Other specialist subjects include sherry, Arsenal FC, fine chocolate (Evans is the author of Chocolate Unwrapped), Spain, fortified wines, and artisan cheeses.

Tom FaheyTom Fahey

Tom Fahey is a restaurant critic who juggles writing for various UK guidebooks with running his own IT company. His favourite London restaurants are The Ledbury, Medlar and Arbutus.

contributor giles fallowfield 2012 - Giles-Fallowfield.jpgGiles Fallowfield

Giles Fallowfield is an expert on Champagne, as well as sparkling wines in general, and has been visiting the region for more than 20 years. He also writes about restaurants, food, travel and other wine-related subjects for many consumer and specialist trade publications. He has been shortlisted for the Louis Roederer International Champagne Writer of the Year five times.

laura foster contributors 2012 - Laura-Foster.jpgLaura Foster

The Destination: the hottest events in London and around the UK

Laura Foster is a freelance food, drink, travel and culture journalist who has written regularly for Imbibe, Dazed & Confused, Q and NME. She is happy to face gale-force winds in the Hebrides, wade through knee-deep mud at Glastonbury, or sit in a top restaurant to rate a slap-up meal – all in the name of research.

tanya gold contributors 2012 - Tanya-Gold.jpgTanya Gold

Tanya Gold is a columnist and feature writer, writing for The Guardian and The Sunday Times. She is the restaurant critic of The Spectator, so she gets force-fed tasting menus a lot.

Restau-RANT: are tasting menus just chefs' vanity?

Chris HardingChris Harding

Raising the steaks: the renaissance of London steak houses and burger bars

contributor jane hayward 2012 - Jane-Hayward.jpgJane Hayward

Jane Hayward shifted from magazine journalism to freelance travel writing following a rambling US road trip in which every town seemed to throw up an absorbing story. She has since written more than 500 articles for national titles, on subjects ranging from Mauritius's multi-ethnic cuisine to John Lennon's Irish odyssey.

simon hoggart contributors 2012 - Simon-Hoggart.jpgSimon Hoggart

Simon Hoggart was the wine writer for The Spectator, as well as parliamentary sketchwriter for The Guardian

RestauRANT: is it too much to expect a restaurant to make you feel welcome?

Nigel HuddlestonNigel Huddleston

Know your rites: beer and cider rituals

contributor natasha hughes 2012 - Natasha-Hughes.jpgNatasha Hughes

Natasha Hughes is a freelance wine and food writer who's hoping to become a Master of Wine later this year. Over the course of the past decade, she's been lucky enough to taste some unforgettable wines on the pretext of researching articles for a number of magazines, including Decanter and Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine.

What's the alternative? Good-value substitutes for classic wines

contributor alex kammerling 2012 - Alex-Kammerling.jpgAlex Kammerling

Alex started his bartending career 19 years ago and has won numerous cocktail competitions, written a cocktail book for the BBC and worked with brands such as Grey Goose, Schweppes, Campari and Martin Miller’s. In 2011 he launched his own brand, Kamm & Sons Ginseng Spirit.

alice lascelles contributors 2012 - Alice-Lascelles.jpgAlice Lascelles

Alice Lascelles is bars & spirits editor-at-large of Square Meal’s sister title, Imbibe, and a bibulous contributor to the Financial Times and Prospect. She also has a second life as a musician, which has included touring with The White Stripes and the release of her debut album, Blood & Bone, in 2011.

conrtibutor chris losh 2012 - Chris-Losh.jpgChris Losh

Chris Losh has been a drinks writer for more than 15 years. He’s written half-a-dozen books and edited three magazines, some of which lasted several years before closing. In the course of his professional life, he’s survived being fed fried cows’ ears in Spain, driven at breakneck speed by mad Portuguese winemakers and drinking Pinotage. He believes wine should be more fun than root-canal surgery, and significantly cheaper.

Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year: shortlist 2012
Reading between the wines: how to approach wine lists
Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year winners 2011
Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year: shortlist 2011
On the list: the secret to a good wine list

contributor eleanor maidment 2012 - Eleanor-Maidment.jpgEleanor Maidment

Eleanor Maidment is a food writer and stylist, and an avid home baker. She is currently the food editor of Waitrose Kitchen magazine.

Ben McFarlandBen McFarland

Planet beer: pairing food with beer

contributor patrick mcguigan 2012 - Patrick-McGuigan.jpgPatrick McGuigan

Patrick McGuigan is a freelance food and drink journalist, who has written for titles including Harrods Magazine, The Spectator and Traveller, among many others. He works closely with The Guild of Fine Food and is a co-founder of The Brighton Food Society.


Chris MercerChris Mercer

Eau so special: matching food with water

James Mottram contributors 2012 - James-Mottram.jpgJames Mottram

Marina O’LoughlinMarina O’Loughlin

Restau-RANT: what’s the point of foraging?

Jane ParkinsonJane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson is an award-winning freelance wine journalist who is Restaurant’s wine editor at large, Stylist’s wine expert and Tesco Magazine’s wine columnist. As well as being one of The Wine Gang, she hosts wine tastings everywhere from food markets to wine shops, and she also regularly judges in competitions.

A fizz for all reasons: Champagnes for every occasion

james ramsden contributors 2012 - James-Ramsden.jpgJames Ramsden

James Ramsden is a London-based Yorkshireman. He runs the Secret Larder supperclub and has written about food and cookery for a range of titles, including The Times, The Guardian, and lovefood.com, among others. His first book, Small Adventures in Cooking, is out now.

Western promise: exploring the food scene of Australia's west coast

margaret rand contributors 2012 - Margaret-Rand.jpgMargaret Rand

Margaret Rand writes for Decanter and The World of Fine Wine among others, and is general editor of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book. She's also general editor of a new Pocket Beer Book, to be published in 2013, so is suddenly an expert on wort and lautering and all sorts of thrilling things.

The light fantastic: the renaissance of Valpolicella
A wine less ordinary: get to know Viognier
Good times: the end of bad vintages

neil ridley contributors 2012 - Neil-Ridley.jpgNeil Ridley

Neil Ridley is a wine and spirits writer who co-founded the award-winning website caskstrength.net and hosts spirits tastings across the globe. He has also co-authored a book called Let Me Tell You About Whisky.

contributor fiona sims 2012 - Fiona-Sims.jpgFiona Sims

Fiona Sims skips the globe in pursuit of top chefs, hot hotels and legendary winemakers. She writes about her experiences for a number of magazines and newspapers, including The Times, Delicious and Food and Travel. She has also published a couple of books on wine, including Guide to Wine. And no, you can't carry her bags for her on the next trip.

Street eats: best street food in London

oliver smith contributors 2012 - Oliver-Smith.jpgOliver Smith

Oliver Smith used to work as a personal finance journalist, but now writes about food and travel for a number of UK publications. He is former Young Travel Writer of the Year, and he likes real ale, Turkish food and model railways.


tom vaughan contributors 2012 - Tom-Vaughan.jpgTom Vaughan

Tom Vaughan is an award-winning features writer whose work has appeared in The Sunday Times Magazine, Olive, and The Daily Telegraph. His career includes trekking to darkest Hampshire to have tea with the British UFO Society, and reeling in cod with a Scandinavian Elvis obsessive to report on sustainability.

'Waiter, waiter, there’s a fly in my soup…' How to complain in restaurants
Drinking outside the box: a crash course in unusual grape varieties

contributor richard woodard 2012 - Richard-Woodward.jpgRichard Woodard

Richard Woodard writes for a variety of drinks magazines and websites on a broad range of wine- and spirits-related subjects, and is currently editor of The Spirits Business magazine. He compiles the wine news for Imbibe magazine and website, and is also a regular contributor to Decanter and decanter.com and various other consumer and trade titles.

Frozen assets: the importance of ice

contributor simon woods 2012 - Simon-Woods.jpgSimon Woods

Wine writer, consultant and presenter Simon Woods has won awards for his writing, his website and his can-can dancing. While he spits out most of the 8,000+ wines he tastes each year, he does confess to swallowing a few of them…

What to drink now: summer 2010
What to drink now: autumn 2010
What to drink now: summer 2011
What to drink now: autumn 2011
What to drink now: summer 2012

Guide reviewers

Margaret Clancy

Amber Dalton

A journalist who has been writing about food, restaurants and travel since 2000 when she joined Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine. Now a freelance writer and events organiser, she runs wine lunches at top London restaurants through her company Sip & Savour. Amber contributes to various magazines including Olive, Sainsbury’s and Countryfile, as well as websites and restaurant guides.

Niall Firth
Kate Lauer
Charmaine Mok
Emma Sturgess

A freelance food writer and restaurant critic who trained at Ballymaloe in Ireland and is on the committee of the Guild of Food Writers. She also writes for Metro, Word of Mouth, Fire & Knives and Food and Travel.

Fionnuala Synnott
Neville Walker
Carl Wilkinson

This list was updated in August 2012.