digest emily green

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Indy Lifestyle Online
LONDON

There is an academic, almost comic, quality to the olde Englishness of the cooking at St John, 26 St John Street, EC1 (0171-251 0848). So the buffalo mozzarella brigade find themselves offered celeriac and boiled egg, deep-fried cockscombs, partridge and pease pudding, mince and tatties. That said, the whitewashed dining room is effortlessly chic, the staff are dashing and the wines are good. By Jove, the tuck is not half bad, either. (It can, in the case of pumpkin soup in a rough ham stock, be deliriously good.) Though, mind, avoid the mince. Open daily lunch, 12-3pm; Mon-Sat dinner, 6-11.15. About pounds 25

BRISTOL

There is a timeless, almost art-directed quality about Hunt's, 26 Broad Street (0117-926 5580). And it is very British. The windows glisten with steam, woodwork gleams, and though there may be some crass estate agent barking into a mobile phone, the setting is so suggestive that you seem just as likely to encounter the innocuous-looking spooks of Conrad and Greene novels, the sort who tuck their napkins over their waistcoats and ties before calmly taking instruction for some ghastly bit of espionage. The cooking is conservative, but touched by real talent. A signature dish is guinea fowl with Calvados. Open lunch Tues to Fri, 12-2pm; dinner Tues to Sat 7-10pm. Set lunch pounds 11.50-pounds 13.50, all in about pounds 20-30

DORSET

On several occasions, readers I have referred to the Three Horseshoes Inn, Powerstock, Bridport (01308-485328) have written me letters of thanks. One even copied his to the editor (cheers). Quite what all the fuss is over a perfect country pub deep in the south Dorset lanes, I don't know. Maybe it's the local ale. Maybe the fresh fish. Might be the room above, where pets and children may take their parents. The proprietors are sweeties, that could be it. Meals from pounds 15. Vegetarian dishes. Open daily lunch, 12-2pm; dinner 7-9pm

FIFE

Though the Michelin Tyre Company is infuriatingly blind to it, the Peat Inn, Peat Inn, Cupar, Fife (01334-840206) is a perfect one-star, a right twinkler. There is preposterously padded taste in the form of big bad sofas and dizzying carpets. Its bread-and-butter customers must be rich golfers from St Andrews. Yet, as with any good restaurant, its soul will rest in local custom. David and Patricia Wilson, hearty west coast Scots, have only slowly been winning round the folk of Fife. But they appear to be succeeding. Their secret weapons? A heroic wine list, rich jugged hare, roast pigeon, and a pot au chocolat to die for. Add to that genuine charm and true hospitality. Open Tues to Sat, lunch 12.30 for 1pm; dinner 7-9.30pm. B&B from pounds 75, dinner pounds 40-60

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