Best of the Blogs

Back Online
Hello!  We apologise for being so sporadic over the past couple of months, but we were seconded onto a big project and finished it yesterday at 5.37pm.  So we’re back!  And, man, are we behind in keeping up with the food bloggers out there. Just because we were under the cosh doesn’t mean that they’ve been dining out any less — we have got some catching up to do.  Allons-y!
Obsmo Food Awards
Therefore we are going immediately off-piste to report not on food bloggers’ activities, but to put in a plug for the Observer Monthly Food Awards.  You have until 24 June to vote and these things properly recognise the best restaurant, cheap eats, ethical, place to drink, cookbook (new category), Sunday lunch, inde retailer, food blog, food personality (Does the comparethemarket.com guy count?  You can eat meerkats, right?), reader’s recipe and reader’s cocktail.  So not only do you have a chance to get really great cooks and writers recognised, you can also enter your own genius creations as well.  The judges are top rank: Nigel Slater, Angela Hartnett, Jay Rayner, Sat Bains, Jason Atherton, Thomasina Miers, Tim Hayward and more.  And when you vote you automatically get entered into a competition to win some seriously excellent prizes, including a meal for four at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.  Click the link above and you can get started.
We do have a question:  if a restaurant is ethical, great, cheap and a first rate place to drink with a superb Sunday lunch — uh, which category should it win in?  All of them?  That would be the teensiest awards ceremony banquet ever.
Secrets of Food Bloggers’ Photos
Do you wonder how food bloggers get such brilliant pictures in low-light restaurants?  Are you a food blogger or wannabe who wants to sharpen up your visuals?  Then this Serious Eats blogpost is your NBF (new best friend) because it really lifts the lid — or uncaps the lens cap — on how to get worthwhile food pix when you’re dining then blogging.  We particularly like the illustration for Tip 13 with the dog who is clearly waiting for a moment to snarf the pizza in the background. Wonder how that tale turned out.
Pollen Street Special
Tamarind & Thyme took herself off to Jason Atherton’s exciting new gaff, Pollen Street Social, and had a fine time.  Not everything was fabulous, but enough of it was really fine for her to feel very good indeed about the £20 lunch special that she’d had.  What a price! And at the beginning of the meal, she was given a little key, like Alice in Pollenland, and at the end of the meal she returned it to reception where it was used to unlock a little locker which contained a gift for her.  And we’re not telling what it was.  (nb  She does.)  Though we think that rates dangerously high on the adorability scales, we’re now keen to rush out and try it ourselves.
Riding High
Rocket and Squash has been into unfamiliar London territory and visited the new Riding House Cafe, which R & S found…fine.  This is interesting, because you toptable diners have rated it an average 7.8 so far, which is more than acceptable and heading toward  Top Diner Rated.  It’s a cool, comfortable spot north of Oxford Street sort of Fitzrovia way that’s had money thrown at the design very effectively, but that wasn’t the quibble.  The food apparently needed more punch, according to our guide, but it’s quite early days so here’s hoping it lives up to its promise.