Bites: Post-Industrial Chic

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Bibendum Oyster Bar, Michelin House, 8 Fulham Road, London SW3 (020-7581 5817). Daily 11am-11pm. Before Sir Terence put in tables, chairs and crustacea, tyres were changed and oil checked here when this lovely landmark building was the Michelin garage. The Oyster bar's on the ground floor, overflowing into the foyer of the Conran shop with original tiles depicting cars. All the food's cold. Oysters range from £7.50 for half a dozen rocks to £16 for the best natives. Seafood salads, such as crab, for £9.50.

Bibendum Oyster Bar, Michelin House, 8 Fulham Road, London SW3 (020-7581 5817). Daily 11am-11pm. Before Sir Terence put in tables, chairs and crustacea, tyres were changed and oil checked here when this lovely landmark building was the Michelin garage. The Oyster bar's on the ground floor, overflowing into the foyer of the Conran shop with original tiles depicting cars. All the food's cold. Oysters range from £7.50 for half a dozen rocks to £16 for the best natives. Seafood salads, such as crab, for £9.50.

Hotel du Vin, The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol (0117 925 5577). Daily lunch and dinner. This historic building dates back to the 18th century. It began as a sugar refinery and is now a hotel, one of three in a stylish, studiedly unfrilly group. The menu's long, the food's not fancy but it has substance: from shepherd's pie with Vichy carrots (£11.50), to roast partridge with parsnips and grapes and, ultimately, to Dover sole (£16). The wine list's an attraction, too.

The Light, 233 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 (020-7247 8989). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat lunch, Sun 12-10.30pm. Another former power station has been left looking industrial, with acres of exposed brickwork and flaking paints. A handsome space. The bar's rugged good looks are further improved by leather and oak sofas and tables. The spacious restaurant serves good contemporary food like zarzuela (Spanish fish stew, £9.50) to stuffed seabass with clams and herb butter (£13.50). Urban garden outside, noise all round. Railtrack, which owns the building, wants to demolish it. Boo, hiss.

Smiths of Smithfield, 67-77 Charterhouse Street, London EC1 (020-7236 6666). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat brunch and dinner, Sun brunch; lunch and dinner. Top Floor restaurant only. Overlooking Smithfield, Smiths owes its existence to the meat industry. The industrial environment and associations with butchery are played up with bare bricks, big girders and dried-blood red paint. It's dead butch. The thing to eat is meat. It celebrates it with a menu of bloody good steaks, and other well-sourced food cooked with intelligent welly. The downstairs bar with leather sofas and a communal table serves upmarket blue collar breakfast. On the second floor all starters are £4.50, mains £9.50 for chunky, flavour-packed dishes. The Top Floor's upmarket, with a menu of steaks and their sources for up to £25 each. At least £60 a head there.

Stazione, 1051 Great Western Road, Glasgow (0141-576 7576). Daily lunch and dinner. The trains, and even track, are long gone from this disused Victorian sandstone station built in 1847. Stazione was the ticket hall, the more upscale Lux is upstairs, and still has some fittings and fixtures such as radiators and luggage racks. Mediterranean food ranges from bruschette, mezze and tapas, via pasta and pizza to the likes of meatballs in tomato and roast garlic sauce or vegetable kebabs with couscous, flat bread and tzatziki for £9 each. Or take two courses from a set menu for £8.85.

Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company, Royal Native Oyster Stores, The Horsebridge, Whitstable, Kent (01227 276856). Tue-Sat lunch and dinner, Sun lunch. Utilitarian seafood pioneer which has transformed the fortunes of the seaside town known for its oysters. It's in the Victorian and older building on the beach, where the oysters were kept in tanks when the oyster industry (currently being rekindled) was booming. The paintwork's deliberately peeling, furnishings are plain, napkins paper, and prices aren't particularly low but the fish and seafood's superb and the atmosphere briney and lively. Choose from a blackboard: fish and chips (£9.50) is the cheapest, and always terrific. Local dressed crab, langoustine salad, Dover sole, lobster are all as fresh as can be. Good English puddings and ice-creams for afters.

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