Leicestershire and Rutland Food and Drink Guide

Date
Ongoing

Client
Food and Drink Guides

Type of work
Advertorial copy

A healthy savoury breakfast pan containing eggs, peppers and spinach

Food and Drink Guides publish comprehensive guides to eating out that cover 30 regions of the UK. The regional guides are available for free in Waitrose stores. There are also online and mobile app editions. I write review-style advertorials for the Leicestershire and Rutland edition of the guide.

Each assignment starts with an interview with the business owner. This helps me to identify what makes the restaurant unique and forms the backbone of my article. On the visit itself I gather more information from staff about the restaurant’s philosophy and values. I also make sure to sample some of the signature dishes – not a terrible hardship. I need to write, polish and submit my review the following day, so it’s important that my work is speedy and accurate.

Writing these reviews without resorting to cliché is a challenge I relish. I forbid myself from using vague words such as “delicious” and “mouth-watering” to describe food. Hackneyed phrases such as “hidden gem” and “something for everyone” fall under the same self-imposed ban. Instead, I uncover what makes the restaurant distinctive and relay this to the reader as accurately and vibrantly as I can. The positive feedback I get from the restaurants I write about proves the value of my approach.

Read the latest edition: Leicestershire and Rutland Food and Drink Guide 2019.

Sample

Head chef Rory McClean has brought the technical flair he gained at Michelin-starred restaurants in London to this beautifully restored rural pub in the village of Shawell. The White Swan combines the welcoming atmosphere of a traditional country inn with refined, imaginative and stunningly presented cuisine.

After enjoying an aperitif in front of the wood burner in the cosy snug I began my meal with roasted quail, mint, feta and pomegranate quinoa. It was an expertly balanced dish in which the colours, flavours and textures complemented each other beautifully. My main course of sea bass with spiced tomato fondue, saffron tagliatelle and Exmouth mussels was beautifully fragrant. Dessert was an inventive rhubarb bakewell enhanced with cardamom and stem ginger – the perfect conclusion to an indulgent meal.

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