new york city
Chris Pople

Chris Pople

Cheese and Biscuits

Over the seven years Chris Pople has been writing the Cheese and Biscuits blog, he has written about nearly 500 different restaurants, which is far too many by anyone’s standards. During that time he has been lucky enough to be picked as one of the top food blogs in the Times, New Statesman and Esquire magazine, and for the last three years running has been named as one of London’s 1000 Most Influential people. He’s probably in a restaurant right now, scouring the menu for spelling mistakes and waiting for a martini.


Latest articles by Chris Pople


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.3.2016

The 5 Best Curry Houses in Tooting As anyone who lives there already knows, Tooting is blessed with an extraordinary number of incredibly good places to eat. This is mainly thanks to a large Asian (Sri Lankan, Pakistani and Indian) population whose cafes and restaurants line the high street all the way from Bec to Broadway and beyond. I can’t prete


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.2.2016

London has always been a great place to enjoy some expertly hand-mixed drinks, but it seems in the last few years the pace of quality new openings has really stepped up a gear. It’s no longer enough just to throw a couple of ingredients together; the top bars now infuse their own vodka, steep their own sloe gin and craft their own bespoke garnishes


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.2.2016

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but on paper at least, summer has arrived in London, and with it the few short weeks in the year when outside drinking isn’t just for smokers. And better than being able to enjoy a pint in the sun is being able to do so with a view – London’s rooftop bars are few and far between, but what they lack in number they make up for in quality. Here are the five very best places to head if the weather’s nice:


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

1.26.2016

London’s best Brazilian Restaurants The traditional image of the Brazilian restaurant is the churrascaria, where customers usually pay a set amount for all-you-can-eat selection of charcoal or wood-roasted meats, carved tableside according to whether a paddle is displaying green on one side (more meat please) or red on the other (no more meat pleas


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

11.25.2015

London dry gin is a style of spirit famous throughout the world, and as you might hope and expect, the vast number of micro and macro-distilleries in the city produce a bewildering number of good examples. From internationally recognised brands such as Beefeater, through relatively new names that are already available nationwide (Sipsmith) to brand


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

11.11.2015

The USA's influence on the way the world eats is vast, and reaches much further than the processed junk and Day-Glo fizzy drinks that seem to get it all its bad press. Sure, hamburgers and hot dogs are hardly going to win any healthy eating points, but neither do they have to always involve mechanically-recovered-meat and frozen fries. But the Grea


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

10.21.2015

Growing up in the North West of England, I took good, cheap fish and chips for granted. Soon after moving down to London, I realised not everyone in the world had it so lucky.  To this day I don’t know why it seems beyond the capabilities of most London kitchens to produce a fresh, crisp battered fish, bright, dry-fried chips and a side of proper m


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

10.12.2015

In cities the world over it is demonstrated again and again that the quality of an area’s restaurants unambiguously decreases in inverse proportion to the number of undemanding tourists that frequent it. In Times Square in New York, in St Mark’s Square in Venice, as in Leicester Square in London, there are huge numbers of lazy chains, ripoff steakh


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

9.11.2015

Like so many of the American comfort food classics that have swamped London in the last few years (wings, burgers, ribs, you’ll know the score by now), some of the best hot dog places started life as street food, built a loyal following and then found a bricks-and-mortar site to settle into. Alongside these, a vast number of lazy rip-offs have sinc


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

9.1.2015

Like so many of the American comfort food classics that have swamped London in the last few years (wings, burgers, ribs, you’ll know the score by now), some of the best hot dog places started life as street food, built a loyal following and then found a bricks-and-mortar site to settle into. Alongside these, a vast number of lazy rip-offs have sinc


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.5.2015

Firstly, a bit of science, courtesy of Jennifer Earle of Ice Cream Ecstasy Tours. The precise difference between gelato and ice cream is probably of supreme unimportance once you’ve got to the stage of filling your face with it, but in case you were wondering – usually gelato is just milk and sugar, and usually ice cream is cream, eggs and sugar. I


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

7.3.2015

With your average London local pub hosting a more impressive range of single malts than a dedicated whisky bar would have done 15 or 20 years ago, the very best places have therefore had to step up their game significantly to stay ahead of the pack. So the following don’t just serve good whisky, they also offer a particularly extensive selection, backed up by especially knowledgeable or enthusiastic service, that make them a must-visit destination for whisky lovers.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

5.8.2015

Africa is a big place, and home to a remarkable variety of different styles of cuisine, from the tagines of Morocco to the fine dining restaurants of Capetown. There’s also the little matter of chicken chain Nando’s starting life in the continent, but I wonder whether this is really what Africans would consider their finest culinary gift to the wor


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

4.8.2015

It has often been called Tall Restaurant Syndrome. If you have a site blessed with an incredible view, with a steady stream of undemanding customers happy to fix their focus on the horizon rather than the food on their plates, then why spend extra effort where it’s not needed? It is a problem hardly confined to London either, as anyone who’s ever a


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

3.11.2015

For a long time, your options for Italian food in London fell along two main lines. Firstly there was your friendly local high-street Italian, called something like Mamma Mia or Don Luigi’s where you could get a plate of pasta penne or lasagne, a thin crust pizza or even a commodity steak if you were (un)lucky, and eat it by the light of a candle s


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

2.25.2015

for this list, I’ve tended to lean towards places that look and feel comfortably ancient over and above any grand claims about heritage.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

2.12.2015

As the seasons change, a good restaurant knows how to work the availability of ingredients to their advantage and shift the focus of their menu accordingly, rather than rely on foreign imports or (shudder) frozen produce. But with native oysters, there’s no room for maneuver - from May to August it’s literally against the law to eat these beautiful bivalves, all the more reason to treasure their availability the rest of the year. With an almost crunchy leanness, and a metallic punch of flavour that belies their size (they are generally smaller than the usual rock oysters), they are a salty, mineral package of ocean loveliness. But as they are harder to get hold of, and more expensive to eat, not everywhere specialises. Here are my pick of the best places to eat native oysters.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

1.29.2015

Although I have been known to go to quite extraordinarily tragic lengths in search of a good meal (I once went to Hendon for a burger), sometimes circumstances (hangover, illness, just general bone-idleness) dictate my dinner is brought to me whilst I’m sat in my pants in front of Antiques Roadshow. And in these situations, it helps to have a shortlist of reliable, fresh pizza delivery operations that can deliver while the toppings are still hot and use great ingredients. While I’ve nominally split my top 5 by region, actually some deliver city-wide where indicated.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

1.12.2015

5 Brand-New and Brilliant New London RestaurantsThough the pace of change in London restaurants has never been anything that be described as “slow”, it seems that as 2014 turns into 2015 the sheer number and variety of new openings threatens to become overwhelming. Here are my picks of the best of the recent crop, make your reservations now before


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

11.19.2014

The top 5 places for afternoon tea in LondonYou’d think the assembly of freshly cut sandwiches, cakes and tea wouldn’t be beyond the wit of most people, never mind some of the best hotels in London, but like many things that are superficially straightforward, serving afternoon tea correctly is a surprisingly difficult endeavour. Make the sandwiches


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

11.3.2014

Just like wine, or ham, or any number of parts of a meal that involve careful purchasing rather than intervention by kitchen staff, there’s a real skill in selecting, keeping and serving cheese. These are the best I’ve found.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

10.20.2014

Pity the French restaurant. For hundreds of years shorthand for the very best food on the planet, in recent times it has become popular in the UK, and London in particular, to dismiss them as fussy, stuffy, expensive and out of touch. And whilst it’s true there are plenty of Michelin-starred tasting menus around to soak up your paycheck, French cui


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

9.16.2014

You want a New York quality steakhouse? No problem. The finest tapas North of Madrid? Take your pick. French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian – we’ve got some of the best in the world right here. But Mexican? You might struggle. I’ve given up trying to explain the dearth of fish tacos, mole and tamales in London - perhaps it’s the lack of ingredients s


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

9.8.2014

We’re used to being told that the traditional British pub is becoming a thing of the past, a relic of the days before every home had a TV and buying discount booze yourself involved hiring a van and driving to France. Clearly things are difficult for many landlords, but there are some places still fiercely holding on to their individuality in a mar


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

9.1.2014

There’s no shortage of Chinese restaurants in London if all you’re after is a portion of sweet and sour pork balls and egg fried rice. For the good stuff, you have to know not just where to go but what to ask for – many great (e.g. Sichuan) restaurants have a list of high street favourites for timid English people and a secret menu of spicy regional specialities for those brave or, er, Chinese enough to deserve it. Here are some of the best places to indulge your passion for peppercorns.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.26.2014

If all you want from a pub snack is salt & vinegar crisps or a packet of dry roasted peanuts, then quite obviously you’re spoiled for choice and need not worry about which particular pub or bar to spend your time in. But the discerning barfly needs something more; something hot, fresh, cooked to order. Something drawing upon centuries of tradition,


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

8.11.2014

Thanks to long association with the high life - taking in the Rat Pack and James Bond along the way - no other cocktail evokes style, class and sophistication like the dry Martini. But, considering the wide availability of ingredients (every pub in the country must stock gin and vermouth) and relatively simple method, it's odd how few places even attempt to serve one, never mind do it well. Below are five London bars where you'll get a great martini (briefly: always gin, in a frozen glass if at all possible and never shaken), and a great martini means a great bar.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

7.28.2014

In a city that’s been a centre of commerce and trade for longer than most countries have existed, it’s no surprise that London can boast some seriously old school dining spots. Steeped in tradition and having dodged centuries of fads and trends, not to mention two world wars, these places are still with us. And it’s not just because they’re living, breathing museums but also because, in many cases, they’ve subtly reinvented themselves to remain relevant to contemporary Londoners. If you want a dinner that feels part of history, but not in a being-sent-to-the-Tower way, you can do worse than these.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

7.14.2014

Moscow, like London, has worked hard to shed its reputation for culinary dowdiness by using its lack of international food identity to its advantage and going in a million different directions at once. There are Russian restaurants in Moscow, just like there are fish and chip shops in London, but they are competing for attention amidst so many Spanish, Italian, Chinese and so on that only the most accomplished get a regular custom. Here are some of the best places to sample Russian hospitality in London.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

6.23.2014

Most people's experience of 24h "dining" in London is a 3am trip down to the local corner shop when the gin and pringles run out. But believe it or not, although we have quite a way to go to match the red-eye eateries of New York or Tokyo, there are still a few options for when the club lights come on and you fancy a bit to eat before grabbing the


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

6.3.2014

As anyone who’s ever been to Thailand will tell you, most of the food served in this country that purports to be ‘Thai’ is a rather timid facsimile of the levels of fire and flavour that you find over in South East Asia. There is, of course, a good reason for this – authentic Thai dishes are often so ludicrously spicy that only a native or someone with a mouth lined with asbestos could hope to eat them. And, as surely one of the first rules of running a restaurant is “serve food that people are actually physically able to eat”, it’s the chilli that’s the first thing to go.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

5.18.2014

We’ve come a long way since the legendary Hawksmoor Spitalfields kicked off the London steakhouse revolution back in summer 2006, but it will truly only have come of age when the last horrid chain “steakhouse” (and I use that word loosely) ceases trading, or collapses in on itself and disappears in a supernatural vortex - which is more likely given the horrors committed inside. Until that time, here are the five best places to get your T-bone and béarnaise fix.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

12.5.2013

Not long ago, the best you could hope for when sitting down to a Spanish meal in London was that the albondigas had been thoroughly microwave-reheated and that the house sangria not too heavily diluted. These days the situation is much improved, but the continued existence of a few unnamed diabolical chain restaurants is evidence we still have some way to go. The following five places are doing things right – great food, great service, and not a frozen squid ring in sight.


Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

Chris Pople | Groupon Guide

4.18.2013

You can spend as much as you want on seafood in this town. If you have £200 to put towards your dinner then by all means head off to Scott’s of Mayfair or J Sheekey’s in Covent Garden and go wild – I can particularly recommend the fruits de mer for 2 for £60 including service if you happen to be a Russian oligarch or a recent lottery winner. For the rest of us, well, we have to be a bit more discerning. But the good news is, it’s still possible to get a plate of great seafood without taking out a second mortgage, if you know where to look.