THERE is always a certain sense of loyalty that tugs when you find a restaurant in a random corner somewhere that holds fast to its values, that has perhaps survived a few years and been validated by the locals. Having been a restaurant critic for a few decades, you don’t drop the habit that easily. I don’t use this place to slag or show off, but just to record places that seem to me be of interest to anyone in the area or anyone at all interested in good cooking. I make no apologies for it being completely random location-wise. It is not meant to be a guide in the sense that if you happen to be in Hexham you can look up somewhere to eat. It is about an idea, an idea of what restaurants can or should be perhaps, a case for the prosecution. Of course I favour what we used to term Real Food and is now upgraded to farm to fork, although we are some way off in the UK at least the idea of the Third Plate, although I found one in southern Italy.
The geography of restaurant journalism tends to be very rigid. London and New York get most of the lineage. Guide books also tend to be specific. It is one thing following Michelin in Paris but another in Hong Kong. Michelin also demands a certain approach, which is fine, but not what I necessarily am looking for. TripAdviser can work OK but ultimately there is no editing so the results are arbitrary, although I tend to double check myself by looking to see what the latest comments might be, in case…They are all here.