Youngs Pub Group Celebrate 185 Years

youngs pub

Young’s needs you! To celebrate 185 years of the pub group, it’s time to share your memories from your local Young’s pub – whether it’s a romantic proposal, the Queen Ma’am pulling her first pint or that time John Young bought a pair of live wallabies into the pub, submit your photos on social media tagging @youngspubs using the hashtag #185YearsYoungs.

185 Years Young’s – Share Memories and a Pint with Young’s Pub Group

This year, Young’s has taken a trip down memory lane, searching the archives for pictures of its oldest establishments, noting how they’ve changed through the years (or haven’t changed, in some cases). The pub group now wants to share memories with their loyal customers to mark 185 years in the business.

If nostalgia doesn’t float your boat, simply head to your local Young’s pub on the 22nd September to celebrate with a free pint of your favourite beer – just sign up at Served in a beautifully designed commemorative glass, Young’s have created a beer for the occasion; Young’s Autumn Gold. Sip on a pint of fine, golden pale ale with notes of pine, citrus and warming caramel – perfect for celebratory drinking.

Selected pubs have birthday treats in store, including a ‘hark back to days gone by’ at The Lamb Tavern, Leadenhall, with a visit from the Young’s Shire horses, live band and an outside bar and The Paternoster at St. Paul’s has a “Good Ol’ Fashioned Cockney Knees Up”, with classic songs, food and cockney riddles. Meanwhile the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon is hosting a Mad Hatters Beer Party, with ale tea pots, jam tarts and hats galore. The Alma in Wandsworth are combining their birthday celebrations with the anniversary of the Battle of the Alma and The Weyside in Guildford will host a prohibition-themed party.


Young’s Pubs | @YoungsPubs


Sarastro Restaurant Drury Lane| Theatre with Turkish delight

Sarastro restaurant review

Sarastro Restaurant Review

Two friends and I decided to go the theatre in the West end to see the Jersey Boys which turned out to be a wonderful musical about Frankie Valli and the four seasons the famous 60s pop band. We had a pre theatre meal at a fascinating restaurant close by called Sarastro.

On entering Sarastro Restaurant it looked like a scene from the Arabian nights, the interior was an amazing multi-coloured visual adventure for the eye to behold. The main area is made up of many different design styles based on Byzantine, Ottoman, Gothic and English offering a diverse range of seating accommodation.

The air was awash with equally diverse flavours as the menu is Turkish orientated, the food is broadly Mediterranean in style, and with a two course meal on average working out to as little £25 we knew we had chosen well.
We ordered a bottle of Echeverria Merlot a juicy ripe soft red wine from Chile which we all started to consume way too quickly! whilst awaiting our food.

We decided to go with the 2 courses set menu at £28.95. For starters I had Cacik, a delicious yoghurt with chopped cucumber and garlic which I gobbled down quickly with some hot crusty bread. My mate Steve had Shashouka, an appetizing aubergine, green peppers and sautéed onions in a tomato sauce while Claire choose Cheese Boreck, tasty cheese filled puff pastries.

The main course had some wonderful exotic sounding choices, I decided to go with the Lamb Anatolian which is a slow cooked lamb shank served with mixed vegetables and keskek which is a traditional Anatolian creamed wheat. It’s truly amazing how a slow cooked piece of meat really does have more flavour and tastes scrumptious then the usual fast cooked meat, and along with the veg and tasty creamed wheat I certainly can recommend this dish, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Claire chose the Chicken Mediterranean dish which is a chicken breast served with sautéed baby spinach, crushed potatoes topped with a béchamel sauce. She said the flavours were just gorgeous and described it as classically delicious! The dish gave off a wonderful aroma that was demanding serious attention.

Steve who took his time eyeing up the food ended up having Mutancana, a speciality dish in honour of the Ottomans which comprised of a sautéed beef with onions, peppers, apricots and mushrooms served with rice cooked in a seasoned broth. According to Steve this dish is a prime example of the lack of homage that we in the West give to the eastern Turks who deserve to be recognised as gastronomic geniuses, he obviously enjoyed the meal.

The service was prompt and impeccable throughout and we had no hesitation in leaving a good tip.

Along with a live band playing a mix of jazz and Turkish style music that was on while we were there we could not have enjoyed ourselves more, it felt as if we had just experienced some kind of exotic introduction to the Jersey Boys show that we were about to see.

Review By: Joe Piroli

Sarastro Restaurant:
126 Drury Lane, TheatreLand, London, WC2B 5SU
Tel : +44 (0)20 7836 0101 | Fax : +44 (0)20 7379 4666


The Amazing Health Benefits of Kidney Tea

Barbara Wieland aka The Tea Alchemist explains the benefit of her best selling Kidney Tea…

I have always loved teas!

Tea is a flavorful source of hydration without the calories, fat, sodium, carbonation and sugar.

Tea also contains flavonoids, a naturally occurring compound that has antioxidant properties.

Despite my passion for tea up until to this point, it was my partners Kidney Disease (diagnosed in 2002) that inspired me to search out and refine a blend of teas to aid his condition.

After much research of different herbs and the benefits of those herbs I developed a Kidney Tea. I wish I could tell you it went down as smooth as Lemon Zinger but quite honestly it was originally an ‘acquired taste’.

Undeterred, my friend and I created a tea that served its primary purpose which was a Kidney Cleanse and after tweaking and adjusting it tasted pretty good too.

It was this experience with Kidney Tea that inspired me to test and develop a variety of other herbal teas, which eventually lead to the Tea Cleanse.

Through my experience experimenting with different teas it became clear to me that Herbal Teas (Tisanes) and Medicinal Teas should be part of everyone’s diet and when consumed correctly it can improve the quality of life and health for many.

Today my partners Kidney condition is stable – actually the GFR has improved a little.

Now let’s be clear, we are not suggesting that taking Kidney Tea was responsible for the improvement, but it along with a better diet and regular exercise has meant an increased quality of life!

So why would you want to drink Kidney Tea you may ask yourself?

Let’s look at 5 Good reasons to drink Kidney Tea.

=> It helps to nourish the kidneys to help them function more efficiently
=> Nettle contains valuable minerals including iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium
=> Couch grass have diuretic and antibacterial properties
=> Horsetail is a great antioxidant and immune booster
=> You will feel cleansed and better than before

All our 4 kidney teas are made from many plants, flowers, roots, bark and seeds. Our recipes blend natural flavours of different botanicals worldwide without any nasties.

Our teas are fragrant, delicious, long lasting and nothing is crushed, unlike some other commercial teas.

In addition, Kidney Tea is:

=> Free of Artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives
=> Gluten Free
=> Dairy Free
=> Naturally Caffeine Free
=> Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans

Cleansing of the kidney is very important to stay healthy and fit as it regulates the removing of waste and toxins from the bloodstream.

For thousands of years tea was an alternative medicine, used to treat colds, stomach problems, skin conditions, constipation and for many other health issues.

If you would like to know more about Herbal Teas and potential Health Benefits we have a Free eBook available here.

To better health..

Barbara Wieland
The Tea Alchemist

Also available: Liver Detox Tea


The Refinery, Regents Place Restaurant for Good Food & Attentive Service

The Refinery, Regents Place – Tel: 020 73884979

Ask a foodie to suggest where to eat out near the Euston Road and quite possibly they will be left scratching their head. This corner of the capital has always been a bit of a desert in terms of culinary hotspots – however, things have finally picked up. Regents Place is a new pedestrianised development which has added a huge amount of life to this part of Fitzrovia, with an abundance of cafes, shops, bars and restaurants. It’s a modern space, conveniently situated near three different tube stations, the nearest being Warren Street, making it a very easy destination to meet friends from all over town. The atmosphere is a bit like being in Hong Kong or Singapore, as the complex is very contemporary, with steel and glass structures conveying a rather stark yet slick futuristic environment. The interior is relaxed and open plan with high ceilings and subdued copper lighting whilst the kitchen is on full view. The décor is a melange of wood, brick and concrete, all very fitting for the modern exterior of the complex outside.

The Refinery is a fun place to go if you like your evenings lively. The food is good and the service attentive and prompt.

The Refinery is situated on a large modern piazza consisting of innovative stone seating which has been pleasingly dotted with bonsai trees. On the night I visited it was packed with office workers un-winding after the daily grind. The music played inside the restaurant is loud, so if you prefer a serener environment I suggest you follow my example and eat outside. The welcoming staff provided us with sheepskin rugs, blankets and even hot water bottles as we commenced our evening with an aperitif. My guest selected a cool and refreshing glass of Chardonnay, whilst I settled on my new favourite, a French Picpoul with delightfully clean and fresh overtures.

To commence we shared a basket of Italian breads and some very good olives, followed by a very generous helping of appealing antipasto comprising of chorizo, salami and Serano ham. This was greedily tucked into by my guest who was making all the right noises of someone who is enjoying himself, whilst I tucked into a plate of feather light crispy tempura squid with a zingy sweet chili and soy dip. To follow, we both stuck to fish, my companion tucking into a hearty dish of grilled salted mackerel which came with tasty mash and vegetables, whilst I settled on a fish pie. This arrived in a skillet and was very pleasing on the eye, however I felt it was a little too heavy on the potato with not enough emphasis on the filling to score a high mark.

By now the temperature outside had dropped quite a bit so we went back inside for pudding. I was relieved to see the throng of after work crew had lessened significantly so the music was now at a level that was more tolerable to the likes of yours truly. We tried a rich and creamy flaming baked Alaska, served with plenty of warm acidic fruits and a juicy berry crumble with vanilla ice cream.

The Refinery is a fun place to go if you like your evenings lively. The food is good and the service attentive and prompt. It deserves to do well and from my experience last night it is succeeding. At last this corner of the capital has got somewhere worth trying.

Louise Elgin. April 2015.

A meal for two with wine and water is around £110.00

The Refinery
Brock Street
Regents Place
London NW1
Tel: 020 73884979


Diciannove Restaurant | Crowne Plaza Hotel Blackfriars | Review

19 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6DB
Tel: 020 7438 8052

If you’re looking for a slice of rustic Italian cooking in the heart of the city then try Diciannove. It’s a new place to eat and has recently opened on the ground floor of The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blackfriars. The restaurant, which seats about sixty, is tastefully decorated, with distinctive lighting and an attractive bar area. We were seated in a booth with a four foot wide table, which though ideal for business meetings, was possibly not conducive to intimacy.

The menu presented a galaxy of choice, so whilst nibbling some wonderful homemade Italian breads and savouring a glass of refreshing Gavi, I deliberated contentedly.

There was certainly plenty to tempt my greed and I could have easily ordered half a dozen dishes … but there are limits! Several signature dishes caught my eye including ricotta and spinach gnocchi, and fillet of beef with polenta and mushrooms, but I had to control myself and order only one. Such a pity but do try these as they are bound to be extra special.

Diciannove, Italian flavours

The Head Chef, Alessandro Bay, has trained under Georgio Locatelli so I had high hopes of things to come. I began with a mound of soft and buttery burrata, (a type of mozzarella cooked with soured cream), which proved delicious with the salty focaccia bread ideal for mopping up those creamy juices. My guest was full of praise for his starter, a plate of superbly cooked scallops. He said they had a huge depth of flavour with a hint of smokiness and were served with a contrasting pool of butternut squash puree.

To follow, I had a plate of mouth-watering monkfish stew with a pleasing kick of chilli, whilst my guest’s signature dish of grilled swordfish with cherry tomatoes and rocket salad was in his own words, perfectly cooked, authentic, healthy, light and satisfying.
All evening we drank white wine, which ranged from £5.50 through to a rather steep £9.00 a glass. However, wines by the bottle were much better value, commencing at £21.00 for an Italian Chardonnay.

From the choice of eight puddings I had a bowl of vanilla ice cream with an accompanying shot of expresso. This added an enjoyable bitter kick to the sweetness on the palate. My guest remarked of his plate of soured cherry with ricotta and pistachio that it was a little on the bland side, although it had a pleasing crunch.

Diciannove apparently means nineteen in Italian, which is a bit of a coincidence as I would award Diciannove 19/20 for a very enjoyable evening out.

Louise Elgin. October 2013.

A three course meal with a bottle of wine and water is around £60 a head.


Stay in and dine out with new dinner party service

Today sees the launch of My Chef, a new service, which provides a Michelin calibre restaurant-dining experience in your own home.

My Chef is aimed at those wanting to provide the best entertaining at home, but without the time to plan

My Chef is aimed at those wanting to provide the best entertaining at home, but without the time to plan, prepare and create a beautiful meal. It offers a fully vetted and professional chef service, with chefs trained in highly respected Michelin and Rosette restaurants, at a fraction of the equivalent restaurant price.

The My Chef service incorporates the complete dinner party experience from menu planning, shopping and food preparation, to cooking, serving and clearing up. Ranging from ‘Fat Duck’ trained, Michelin or Rosette experienced chefs to family cooks and cookery school graduates – prices start from £150.

Debbie Salter, managing director at My Chef, which is owned by Greycoat Lumleys said:

“Having spoken to many of my friends, colleagues and clients over the years, we all agreed that we love good dinner parties, but rarely have the time to do them properly. And with growing pressure on expenses, eating out isn’t always an option. This is where the concept of My Chef was born and we’re delighted to be officially launching the service today. We offer a range of different chefs to meet everyone’s needs, with different levels available, taking all of the stress out of the dinner party and offering the best cuisine from the best chefs and cooks, but without the cost associated with dining out.”

The launch of My Chef takes place at a party in the Wolf and Badger Gallery, Dover Street in the heart of London’s Mayfair, on 3rd October, surrounded by artwork from aspiring artists.

My Chef can be booked via the website at, or by calling 020 7976 6000. It is currently available to people living in London, Greater London and the Home Counties, with further national expansion expected soon.


Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham appointed as Beefeater’s new Boss of Beef

Our video shows Sir Ian Botham being appointed as Beefeater’s new Boss of Beef. He celebrates his new role by paying tribute to iconic bosses in a lighthearted photo-shoot before putting on his chef whites at the Whitbread Skills Academy.

As England prepare to smash the Aussies for the sixth time in this year’s Ashes series, cricket legend Sir Ian Botham is swapping his cricket whites for chef whites to become Beefeater’s new Boss of Beef this summer. To celebrate his tenure as the official Boss of Beef and bowl Brits over, Sir Ian Botham – known affectionately to millions as ‘Beefy’ – pays tribute to iconic bosses in a series of tongue-in-cheek pictures. Watch our video to see the exclusive behind the scenes footage.

Our video shows Beefy as he dons a mobster suit to recreate the classic shot of Marlon Brando’s character in The Godfather; pointing the ‘You’re Fired’ finger at a quivering Apprentice, dressed in a classy suit as no-nonsense entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar and finally taking on the role of the nation’s most cringe-worthy boss, The Office’s David Brent. And of course, the day wouldn’t have been complete without Sir Ian Botham also commencing with an induction into his new role by spending time learning how to grill the perfect steak at the Whitbread Skills Academy.

More information at:


The Elgin, Maida Vale Restaurant Review London

The Elgin
255 Elgin Avenue
London W9
Tel: 020 7625 5511

Having lived in Maida Vale for over 20 years I have had to put up with very little choice on the eating out front. Fortunately I now have The Elgin right on the parade of shops where I live in Elgin Avenue. Situated within a stone’s throw of the tube it is a buzzy and lively place. Apparently, it’s full of yummy mummies at lunchtime, but in the evening it is definitely a hip and happening spot full of thirty something’s looking for a good night out.
The interior has a metropolitan, almost industrial feel, with raw RSJ’s, wooden floors, and seating. Music is played at a volume a little too loud for my liking but it seemed to suit the environment.


The menu changes daily according to market produce and is all cooked from scratch. It is the sort of place you can just have a snack or a three course meal, and there are plates to share, such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, if you just fancy a cheap bite with friends.

From the choice of seven small plates I began with crunchy asparagus, perfectly salty speck ham, with a soft poached egg. Not only was it beautifully presented but it tasted divine. A wonderful melange for the taste buds. We also tried some tapas-style braised beef croquettes which were served crisp and piping hot with some zingy mustard, adding a good touch of spice.

To follow, I had a spicy king prawn, mussel and pollock stew. This was plentiful and satisfying, piquant in its flavours, and took me straight back to sunshine filled holidays in the Med. My guest’s sea bream came with slow cooked fennel, tomatoes and olives; he commented it was very well cooked with good pronounced flavours. To drink, we tried a bottle of Cote de Provence Rose, which was a very dry, with fresh and light overtones.

For pudding we shared a rich and satisfying caramelised pear tart with a toffee glaze. It was light in texture and plenty for two to share and came with a zesty stem ginger ice cream which proved a pleasing end to our feasting.

The Elgin has really cheered up my local area. It’s the sort of place it’s a pleasure to go into as the casually dressed welcoming staff seem genuinely pleased to see you. It’s perfect for large groups, or a first date, where you don’t want to be seen to be trying too hard. They also have a huge light and airy upstairs room that can be hired out for private functions. As for me, all I have to do is stumble back across the road afterwards. How perfect is that?

Louise Elgin. June 2013.
A meal for two with wine and water is about £40 a head.

The Elgin
255 Elgin Avenue
London W9
Tel: 020 7625 5511


The Spaniards Inn, London NW3 Restaurant Review

The Spaniards Inn
Spaniards Road
London NW3 7JJ
Tel: 020 8731 8406

The Spaniards Inn has a huge amount to fascinate. Firstly, it’s a traditional 16th century coaching inn full of character and original features. Secondly it has an intriguing history, being mentioned in both Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Highwayman frequented the area and it is thought that the infamous Dick Turpin was a regular. The inn is opposite the former toll gate on the main road to London which was then some two hours away by horse-drawn carriage. Nowadays Hampstead Heath is considered part of the capital and just a short journey from the centre of the thriving metropolis, and yet The Spaniards still has the air of a pub in the country.

On the evening I visited, although nearly the end of March, snow was still on the ground and the inn couldn’t have looked more olde English and welcoming. The interior, which has recently been re-furbished, is all about highly polished oak, with traditional wood panelling, original beams, thick walls, low ceilings, log fires, traditional snugs, and a general feeling of comfort.

The welcoming staff showed us to our table which was a cosy candlelit oak booth. I began with a satisfying bowl of warming beetroot, apple and horseradish soup, complete with apple segments, a good bite of horseradish and the velvety tang of beetroot which all jostled for first place on my palate. My guest had a well presented plate of char-grilled cuttlefish with peas, mint and lardons which he pronounced as tasty.

To follow, from the seven main courses, I had an inviting plate of free–range Gloucester Old Spot smoky flavoured sausages and mash with cider gravy. Nowadays, with so many horror stories about where food is coming from, how reassuring to know that one’s plate is coming from a reliable source. Here the food is all cooked from scratch which is another feather in its cap and hence the relatively concise menu. My guest had a plate of chicken hotpot, with bacon, ale and picked onions, which he declared an ideal dish for the cold winter’s night.

To drink, we tried a bottle of Reserva Carmenere Maipo Valley 2011 Chilean red. With its hints of pepper and blackcurrant spice and pleasing blend of tannins it was a noble fortification for the freezing temperature outside.

To conclude, we shared an indulgent slab of bread and butter pudding laced with brandy and currants, served with a rich buttermilk ice-cream.
The Spaniards Inn is perfectly situated for walkers coming from Hampstead Heath needing sustenance. For the ale enthusiast there is a plethora of speciality beers and real ales to sample, and at weekend’s brunch is on offer followed by Sunday lunch which is served all day or until supplies run dry. Parking shouldn’t be too much of a problem as there is a large car park complete with a doggy wash area which I think must be fairly unique – well, I have certainly never seen one before!

Just before we left the landlord showed us a volume of intriguing stories, mostly written by previous residential staff who over the years claim to have seen ghosts here. I wasn’t really surprised. A pub with this much history is going to have secrets and that I think is part of its charm.

Louise Elgin. March 2013.

A three course dinner for two with a bottle of wine and water is around £40 a head.


The Publican, Chicago, Restaurant Review

Review by Charles Saumarez

837 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555

As I start my grand tour across America, I do not go without sussing out some decent eateries along the way first. For my first leg of the trip, I am saddened to learn that Charlie Trotters is no longer with us, having closed in August 2012. Such alternative arrangements directed me to another well known Chicago restaurant group. Under the highly acclaimed Donald J Madia and Chef Paul Kahan, operating two such restaurants in a slightly off the beating track part of West Chicago among the far less touristy part of Chicago.

The flagship restaurant The Blackbird had been booked out weeks ago, so the suitable alternative was the slightly more informal eatery The Publican. Bracing the harsh Chicago winds and still feeling slightly ropey (the previous night, I had reached the inevitable conclusion that jet lag and sampling the extensive micro breweries in the area is not the most fruitful of endeavors) I had trekked (all part of the adventure) across to West Fulton Market, with all kinds of anticipations and a growling stomach.

The interior was a swathe of heavy wood furniture, in the form of booths, long communal tables and individual bar seats, overlooking the open plan kitchen. The ceiling was a matrix large pearly lamps striking a resemblance to large white alien eggs. The servers all wore a combo of checked shirts and brown piano remover coats. There were pictures of pigs in various shapes and forms, not unlike he St John Chophouse in Smithfield, London. I knew this was informal dining at it’s best without stuffy pretentiousness. The thing I liked most about the Publican was the lack of barriers to communal dining, with the emphasis on shared tables and the many bar seats. I had a nice close view of the open kitchen, with the cold counter at the front. I was strongly reminded of Anthony Bourdain’s early years from kitchen confidential watching the rhymatic poetry in motion which was the evening rush. The menu told a story of adventure, colour, land, sea true American hearty chophouse style eating. The beer and wine menu was totally different tale of discovery, palates from around the world and merry ending!

With the menu being mainly sharing platter style, I started off with a couple of oysters (you can’t not when such a wide selection was on offer) having picked out a Dabob Bay and Peters Point (Washington State and Massachusetts respectively).

My main entree of pork short ribs from Slagel Family Farm, Fairbury, Illinois by no means fell short of expectations. Being a combination of hearty, smokey, succulent married with sweet tangy exotic flavours, dotted with crunchy little fleurettes of cauliflower and butternut squash, the most accurate rendition was that I was eating America! My accompanying carafe of Chateau Barreyre from Bordeaux served not in a wine glass but a tumbler, a true reminder of my student days and rural France. Dark, oaked yet fruity and heavy tannin matched well with the succulent meat and the mix of complex flavours of the main dish. All the time this was going on, I was watching a new bartender being put through his paces being tutored on the finer points of mixing a Negroni (incidentally my cocktail of choice).

I exchanged a few words with my friendly server before my dessert of Rice Pudding brulee served with nougatine, rice crispy praline and a macadamia ice cream, served in novelty coffee cup the size of a soup bowl. It again failed to disappoint, being hot and crisp on top just how a brulee should be combined with a toasty aroma of the praline. Although refreshing I failed to finish, being unaccustomed to the generosity of American servings!

Upon thanking my server who said that England was on his bucket list, I had to leave the warm undercurrent of the Publican and brace the unforgiving sub zero Chicago evening outside.

The Publican is the kind of place good for either large groups of if your a solo explorer, offering an unique American hospitality, with exceptional value for money. Booking is essential though!

837 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555


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