Is the sketch show dead? Obviously not in the eyes of commissioners, because here’s another one. But does the format still have legs? That’s a tougher question. As is always the way, this new Anna Crilly and Katy Wix offering (coming after a ‘Comedy Lab’ pilot in 2011) is hopelessly patchy. The ‘Great British Bake Off’ spoof doesn’t really go anywhere and soap parody ‘The Lane’ doesn’t even start anywhere. But elsewhere, there’s some promise.
The pair are strong on detail, skewering the grammar-mangling of ‘The Apprentice’ (‘you should have cleared that with myself’) and crafting a pungently German take on ‘Countdown’, complete with oompah band interludes. So as a standalone show, this has its moments. All the same, we anticipate the numbing effect of seeing these sketches repeated, with minor variations, for the rest of the series and wonder if talented comedians couldn’t find a better format to deliver their ideas.
The team behind South Place Hotel – D&D London – understand their City clientele. Smooth service is always required, as is a reliable and consistent dining experience. As such, their fine dining restaurant on the sixth floor (they also have a more affordable brasserie, South Place, on the ground floor) is never going to be the most daring restaurant in London, but it makes up for this in technical excellence and professionalism. The bevy of greeters may direct you past the wine wall to one of the understatedly monochrome tables, or in good weather, the slim outdoor terrace (no bookings are taken for this, it’s first-come). The à la carte is for expense-account diners, and there’s no shortage of these here. By comparison, the set menu at £27.50/£32.50 for two/three courses, seems good value. Ingredient quality and cooking skill was impeccable in everything we tried, from a creamy ‘potted salmon’ layered under a cucumber and apple jelly, to a succulent piece of cod with brown butter, tiny capers and a copper pot of buttery mash. Our only criticism is that the presentation of some of the dishes takes 'deconstruction' a step too far. Their expression of a waldorf salad – delicious though it was – had so many ingredients strewn across the plate it looked more like a Jackson Pollock canvas than a starter; even a simple risotto was garnished with a crash–landed fried courgette flower, candied orange and strips of both sweet pepper and courgette. But the texture of the rice was f
Venue says: “Try our special 'Taste of Spring' menu with 4 courses and a glass of Champagne for £48”