How often does a reviewer visit a restaurant? If the review’s for a US newspaper, three times is the norm, before any review is published. In the UK – where food and restaurant culture is taken less seriously by London’s fourth estate – most celebrity newspaper critics will visit once. For British restaurant guide books, it varies from every couple of years (as cost-cutting has become rife) to several times a year, depending on the guidebook and the importance of the venue. At Time Out? It varies. Once is usually enough to get a snapshot of a new venue before writing about it; we often follow up with a second visit to update an online review or rating, usually weeks or months later. Twice in a year’s certainly not unusual, as we revisit to update the review for a new feature or publication, such as our annual Eating & Drinking Guide. But three visits in one month? Well, that must be somewhere special. And Ember Yard in Soho is special. Guy Dimond
To discover why it’s our first five-star review of 2014, read on here.