Sweet victory

I’m smiling. It’s July. It’s warm and sunny (shocker!). We’re less than two months away from my birthday. I’m eating strawberries. Baby8cake is down for her pm nap. These are all true facts but unfortunately completely irrelevant in explaining my smile. My display of happiness is down to a little victory. A victory in the form of a small (but in my world) significant recognition of my ranting and raving about where I eat.

Squaremeal, where my food and restaurant obsession first began, has only gone and awarded me a spa treatment for two followed by afternoon tea at The Dorchester. A luxe token of admiration for my ‘prolific reviews‘. And there are certainly many. In the five years that I’ve been gobbling my way through the capital’s gastronomic delights, I’ve recorded no less than 95 reviews. There have been dramatic, almost perfect highs and crashing lows in my search; the holy grail of the perfect restaurant. It’s now 2013 and this morning, as I saw my profile name appear in the Be the Critics summer prize winner feature, I quietly jumped for joy.

Not wanting to sound cliched or warble on in award speech mode, I will just say this; its focused my energies and made me evaluate what I want to achieve out of this little cyber real estate of mine. This space is for me, my thoughts and my feelings. It’s a medium, a cathartic process and a piece of history for my future.

But it’s also for you. I was having a twitter conversation with an old uni friend this very morning and it led me to wonder. Why do restaurants exist? In their most basic form, they provide you with sustenance. In a practical form, they perform a service you’ve chosen to outsource and pay for. And in its most sophisticated and intangible form, a restaurant has the power to transform your expectations, provide you with new experiences and truly indulge your senses.

It’s this last function, the hardest task of all, that we hope and pray for. Whether a good restaurant experience enriches our lives anymore than a bad experience robs us of it, I don’t know. But I do know that we are all seeking something more than a meal when we choose to go to a restaurant. This is the reason why I review and why some months back I chose to go it alone and set this blog up. It’s a way of figuring out what I got out of a night out, other than the contents of the dishes in front of me. Did it enlighten me? Did I learn something new?

I realised that in reviewing, I could also help others (should you choose to be interested) make informed decisions based on my experiences and at the very least, have some idea of what lies in store. And if not, then at a practical level I can tell you in my humble opinion of whether the financial trade off was worth it.

So there you have it, in a roundabout way you still got an awards speech. Thank you @Squaremeal for providing a platform on which I (and my appetite) grew greedily, restaurant by restaurant.

Now back to you. If after this long winded admission, you still want to check out some of these ‘prolific reviews’ click here . And if you’d prefer to read my latest blog posts directly in your inbox, hit the unmissable orange ‘Follow me’ button at the bottom of this blog.

Right…baby8cake has emerged from her afternoon slumber. Back to mummy duty!


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