Life and Style

The odds are stacked against the Wright Brothers. First of all, their latest restaurant is in Spitalfields Market, which nobody aged 30 or over should ever be seen near. Second, this is a seafood place, and I've just come back from Italy and Cornwall, where I had so much fish that the thought of another crustacean makes me ill. Third, this restaurant is out and proud about its crustacea – which means you have the dubious pleasure of seeing them fighting in huge tanks barely two metres from the seating area. Fourth, this opening is part of a chain (the third of its kind in the capital, following openings in Soho and Borough market), and your correspondent demands higher standards from chains. Fifth, I am in an extremely foul mood, had you not twigged, having just had my latest in a series of contretemps with a fellow journalist.

The Emperor's New Clothes (03/06/12)

We're all meant to love Pimm's, but Simmy Richman, picking the mint from his teeth, thinks otherwise
The Orbit

The curious case of OB216: A little bit of history that no one's watching

It is perhaps not altogether shocking that £15 tickets to go on a rollercoaster that has already crashed don’t appear to have sold that well.

Black bean salad with prawns and pickled onion

Black bean salad with prawns and pickled onion

Ingredients to serve 4

Last Night’s Viewing: Secret Eaters, Channel 4
Felicity Kendal's Indian Shakespeare Quest, BBC2

According to Anna Richardson, "we each make about 200 eating decisions a day". Judging from the ballooning of the national waistline, pretty much all of those decisions are "Oh go on then. I shouldn't but I will".

Solear Manzanilla, Barbadillo, £4.99, half-bottle, Waitrose, Tesco.com

Sunshine in a bottle: The freshest, lightest vintages to sip this summer

Solear Manzanilla, Barbadillo

Steamed razor clams with chorizo and broad beans
A little bit of everything: Seashore salad

Seashore salad

Serves 4

A hearty fish soup

Ingredients to serve 4-5

Sophie Heawood: The baby's screams say it all - we'd much rather be in another supermarket

My friend Wyndham – yes! He's a posho! – went on his inaugural visit to Tesco the other day and came back complaining that he didn't like it, horrible place, why would anyone in their right mind shop there, etc. After I sat him down and patiently explained that we can't all afford Fortnum's, dear, he said he vastly preferred Lidl.

Wine: Something for the weekend

Couch potato

Friendly: The restaurant's bar-and-grill area

Le Pont de la Tour, 36D Shad Thames, London SE1

Nothing on the landscape of London dining so greets the spring as the array of restaurants that lines the Thames at Tower Bridge. When the daffodils are out in Hyde Park, and legs of spring lamb hang in the windows of Allen's and Lidgate's, then (as Chaucer might have put it) folk long to go dining al fresco. For 20 years, the Pont de le Tour has offered City locals and rich tourists a gorgeous view of the river from the terrace. Terence Conran's flagship eaterie started life in 1992. Since then it's been bought by the D&D group (which owns 19 London restaurants, including the Pont's less posh neighbours, the Blueprint Café, the Cantina and Butler's Wharf Chop House) and celebrates its 20th birthday in October. Inspired by the whiff of Easter spring in the air last week, I went to pay my respects.

Wine: Something for the weekend

Couch potato

Titanic 3D (12A)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

Michael Booth joins a group led by Roderick Sloan into the water to dive for sea urchin

Globe-trotting gastronomy: Out to sea in Norway with the 'mad Scot' who has helped make sea urchins fashionable

For years now, the Danish chef René Redzepi has been telling me about a mad Scot who lives way up in the Arctic Circle on the coast of northern Norway and supplies his restaurant, Noma, with the most exquisite sea urchins. You always know when René is really excited about produce because the hairs on his arms stand up. When he talked about these sea urchins, he bristled like an excited grizzly. Eventually, I got to taste them for myself in the "beachscape" dish at the world-beating Copenhagen restaurant, their pale-yellow innards dried and scattered across frozen pebbles with herbs and raw shrimp in imitation of a beachscape.

Globe-trotting gastronomy: Giant crabs and peerless pork pies in Yorkshire's Filey Bay

When my parents left me a small modern house near the North Yorkshire resort of Filey, in early 1997, my instinct was to sell. I had been living in south London for 25 years and the 500-mile round trip made it unfeasible as a weekend retreat. But before selling, my wife and I decided to use the house for a long summer holiday. At the start of our break, we received a surprise invitation to share a house in Malibu. It may seem insane to reject such an offer but, as we walked on the sand of Filey Bay with the North Sea crashing ashore in great breakers, my wife said, "How could it be any better?"

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