The Kitchen Rat is back: In a spin at the Standard, divine intervention in the north east and plant-based pleasure

24 July 2019 by
The Kitchen Rat is back: In a spin at the Standard, divine intervention in the north east and plant-based pleasure

The EHO has had me under surveillance for a few years now, but I've finally nibbled my way to freedom to once again sniff out the news behind the scenes of hospitality. Assuming I can avoid the chef's rolling pin and the traps set by maintenance, I'll be back each week, bringing you all the stories I overhear. If you've got something that'll get my nose twitching, email

me at

No bull

Plant-based is the marketing term of the moment in restaurants, but there's a surprising convert leading the charge towards creating the perfect meat-free menu item. Chef Neil Rankin, who has made his name for his skill in smoking meat, is now turning his talented hands to the ultimate vegan burger. Having set up Simplicity Burger, he's getting into the science of burger pleasure without the petri dish. As its Instagram reveals, early efforts "smash it so far out the park we

have most meat versions looking sad in comparison".

Getting in a spin

All new hotels experience teething issues and, at King's Cross hotel the Standard, these appear to have come in the form of a revolving door. Several guests are rumoured to have got themselves in a tangle manoeuvring the large, revolving entrance, possibly while disoriented by its signature upside-down hotel sign to their right. To spare their blushes, the hotel has added a simpler sliding alternative.

Holy inappropriate

The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland, has also had to reassure its guests after several reported experiencing an odd feeling of being watched as they undressed in its historic Chapel suite underneath a stained glass window (right). Now a note in the room reads: "To avoid divine intervention, may we ask that you cover up your privates. The former sisters have a ‘habit' of looking down on you."

Pick of the litter

The great and the good descended upon Borough Market for piggy treats and to celebrate the publication of The Pig: Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and Beyond by Robin Hutson and the Pig team. The Telegraph's hotel critic Fiona Duncan praised Hutson for the decision to go with the Pig name, telling the gathering of more than 200 supporters that many swines had copied its winning formula, making for a litter of "mere copiers" across the country.

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