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Thrilling news from the world of the fork, napkin, seared this and nestling-on-a-bed other: London restaurants, according to the publisher of an international guide, are more interesting than those of Paris, and make the capital one of the top eating experience locations of the world.

Thrilling news from the world of the fork, napkin, seared this and nestling-on-a-bed other: London restaurants, according to the publisher of an international guide, are more interesting than those of Paris, and make the capital one of the top eating experience locations of the world.

What a pukka malarkey, as Jamie Oliver might say or, indeed, has probably said by now. And yet, as we study the bill in these new metropolitan temples of taste and the space thoughtfully left blank on the credit card slip to add some more to the service charge, are we alone in experiencing just a little nostalgia for meals past and the comfortable reassurance of the brown soup and the chop, accompanied by the lugubrious inquiry from the slightly unsteady waiter: "Roast or boiled? Peas and carrots?"

Still, amid the admiration for The Ivy and the works of Mr Gordon Ramsay among the eaters surveyed and the flattering comparisons with Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris, there are still hints and touches that recall those golden days of British cuisine: "...some irritations included the wine waiter drinking the wine and a dish served with 'tepid gravy'..." Now, who's having the scampi?

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