Review – The Restaurant

Posted March 21, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of The Restaurant by William SitwellThe Restaurant: A History of Eating Out, William Sitwell

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this survey of eating out through the ages covers Britain most heavily, especially toward the end of the book. Which somewhat makes sense as a strategy, given the scope of the theme “eating out”, but the subtitle doesn’t really make that clear. In the end, I don’t know a lot about food, so I can’t say much about the accuracy of the actual information, but Sitwell writes clearly (if not always with sparkling prose) and introduces the important points well, developing his theme about the fact that British food isn’t really that bad after all, and that we have our own food-wizards.

Like I said, though, it’s not always sparkling prose, and I did drift off a bit. It’s actually a nice source for a story I want to write, so it served its purpose, but… to put it another way, it’s not the kind of non-fiction where I turned to my wife to ask “did you know? did you know?” — nor the kind of non-fiction I read compulsively, eagerly, regardless of the topic. (And there are certainly books that fascinate me about topics that don’t; Richard Fortey can make me enthused about geology, for goodness’ sake.)

So, interesting, but not special, I guess would be my summary.

Rating: 3/5

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