The Artichoke is as sweet and charming as its modest staff. Go there, very occasionally, for a posh bite and if you drink the Knott list and don't knock yourself unconscious, you should leave happy... I also left Blanchette pretty happy - a long and narrow French place in Soho. I think it was French, I mean it was good, lots of little sharing dishes with soft pulses, nice unctuous meat, crispy long chips etc etc, but to be honest if I'd been blindfolded it could have been an Opera Tavern, or a Salt Yard or a Polpo.
Simply put, London is rubbish at food markets. Yes, we have Borough Market (inexplicably only open three days a week) and we have some very decent farmers' markets in suburban car parks, but there is nowhere in the capital that comes even close to the glorious Rialto Market in Venice or the sumptuous San Miguel Market in Madrid or the vibrant Cours Saleya Flower market in Nice.
"Our restaurants do take reservations; in fact you can book more often than not" (of the five restaurants we operate, 4/5 take lunch bookings and you can book dinner at 2/5). I usually find that people don't want to hear that answer. What they really want to know is why they can't reserve a table for six on Friday night for Alice's birthday. It's a fair question.