Guide editor blasts chain gastropubs

By Lucy Britner

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurants

London Restaurant Guide editor Charles Campion tells true gastropubs to give themselves another name to distinguish them from pubco imitators.

"True" gastropubs should "invent themselves another name" to distinguish them from inferior pub company imitators.

That`s the view of Masterchef regular and Evening Standard food writer Charles Campion, who edits the London Restaurant Guide 2009. Released this week, the guide includes about 20 pubs.

Campion said: "When it started with the Eagle in 1991, the gastropub concept was very valuable.

"People were basically able to get a restaurant without paying for it. We are still living with the consequences of this and when a small indie does it, they get a round of applause. But when a pubco or brewery thoughtlessly imposes its gastropub idea on managed houses, it goes pear-shaped. If I see another lamb shank, I`ll scream.

"True gastros should invent themselves another name," he added.

Campion said there is a second wave of pubs that operate like restaurants and restaurants that operate like pubs. "The House in Islington and the Fox & Anchor in Smithfield are examples."

According to Campion, it is easier to offer decent food in London because people are prepared to pay for it.

Campion, who has edited London restaurant guides for more than 10 years, said the number of pubs included over the past decade has slowly risen, "but so has the number I`ve left out," he added.

The guide is priced at £8.99 from Profile Books.

This article appears in today`s edition of the Morning Advertiser​.

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