‘My baby don’t care for high-tone prices’

Or, as Nina Simone actually sang, ‘he don’t care for high-tone places’

I’m increasingly less interested in ‘fine dining’ establishments, and attracted by places that offer simpler food in a less formal setting.

Guinea fowl, bacon & wild garlic pie, Rochelle ICA

Well chosen ingredients, prepared with intelligence in the kitchen. Well judged combinations of flavour, and no more than five main components on a plate.

Two such places come to mind,

Rochelle ICA and The River Café


Rochelle ICA is a small dining space, sparsely decorated in white, the colour is on your plate. Everything tastes harmoniously of itself, prices are reasonable, and I love the fact that they offer bar snacks during the day….

Lunch menu, Rochelle ICA

At the other end of the spectrum, The River Café has often been accused of charging excessively for simple Italian food. While they use simple ingredients, they never compromise on finding the best.
If you choose your wine carefully, you can get away with spending about £100 a head. While that’s not cheap, I maintain it offers fair value. I don’t go very often, but The River Café continues to rank high on my list of favourite restaurants.

A menu from The River Cafe, from the archive

These two comments from readers of this blog led me to open a discussion on restaurant pricing:


‘Enjoyed reading your Venice restaurant recommendations having just returned from a few days there – when it was also raining.
My only reservation is that you don’t give any indication of prices – and sadly that is something most of us have to bear in mind when choosing a resto’.
‘I much enjoy reading your posts. Would it ruin the aesthetics if you included the price of the delicious things you’ve tasted?’
Apart from an extra portion of crispy sweetbreads at Frenchie Wine Bar, and a generous complimentary dinner at Chimichurris, I pay for my dining adventures.
I like to find places that offer good value, which doesn’t necessarily come cheap.

The charcoal grill at Chimichurris



I prefer to write about positive experiences, and I’ve been thrilled to learn that readers have followed me to restaurants I’ve enjoyed; from Edinburgh to Venice, and from Norwich to Buenos Aires (OK, an Argentinian near Waterloo station)


Enter the discussion

“Price of a meal for two with a bottle of wine”….. or £ – £££


If you would find it helpful or interesting to have an indication of the cost of a meal in my posts, please let me know by leaving a comment.

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