FROM the same stable as the Fire Station in Waterloo, and adopting much from the Eagle and the French House, St John promises to be one of the most exciting new eating and drinking venues to open in London this year. Located in an old smokehouse near Smithfield market, St John will feature a bar built into a big fireplace, and a large dining area with an open kitchen in one corner, where Fergus Henderson will be cooking.

Considering its proximity to London's wholesale meat market (which has, incidentally, been splendidly repainted), the likely specialisation of St John should be obvious. Fergus has hitherto been joint head chef with his wife, Margot Clayton, of the French House Dining Room in Soho, and he aims to continue offering the robust grub for which that place has become known - with, perhaps, a greater emphasis on offal.

The main difference will be one of scale: the French House has room for 30, whereas the dining-room at St John will seat 120. Presently, it is a building site, but the Gastropod is assured that St John will be open for business by the middle of September.

FOLLOWING the high-fibre laxative loaf, made from sprouted wheat and guaranteed effective, the Gastropod is delighted to report the advent of Everslim.

Developed by Everfresh Natural Foods, which markets a range of organic sprouted-wheat breads under the Sunnyvale brand name, Everslim contains more fibre and protein, but less fat and sodium than most other breads. This nutritional integrity is achieved by using rye sourdough and adding buckwheat flour and beet fibre, giving a bread with a dense texture that is both filling and highly absorbent.

Consequently, it's claimed that eating seven to 10 slices of Everslim each day, washed down with water, will significantly reduce one's appetite and simultaneously help to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins.

READERS who prefer to obtain their daily dose of fibre from a bowl of breakfast cereal will no doubt be familiar with the name Jordans. Millers since 1855, based in Biggleswade, the Jordans have long played a vital role in the rural culture of Bedfordshire, even before young Bill Jordan took over the family firm and built it into the most successful purveyor of organic cereals in the country.

Now he has teamed up with a local brewer, Charles Wells, to celebrate traditional country life by co-sponsoring the Bedfordshire Festival, which takes place this bank holiday weekend at Old Warden Park, Shuttleworth. Among the attractions are a funfair, cinema and a scale model of Biggleswade railway station, along with demonstrations of such archaic skills as coppice- working, hurdle-making, thatching and bodging.

Much of the action will take place around a 'village square' with a bandstand, bakery and pub. Jordans will be milling flour with a steam-driven machine, which the bakery will use to make Bedfordshire clangers. These are not unlike Cornish pasties and go very well with a pint of Charles Wells's special Festival Brew. Tickets at the entrance cost pounds 6 for adults, pounds 3 for children and pensioners.

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