Ben Fogle’s recent dalliance with hallucinogenic oblivion confirmed something we’d always suspected. Here was a true psychic voyager, a man whose thirst for enlightenment would never be satisfied by simply presenting colourful items about cheese rolling on ‘Countryfile’ and writing columns for The Daily Telegraph. This new series marks the first step in what will surely become a wild lunge towards the extremes of human potential.
Tonight’s opener sees him travelling to Australia’s Restoration Island to visit David Glasheen, a man who reacted to losing $10 million on the stock market crash of 1987 by retreating to the wilderness. Eventually, we can imagine Fogle doing something similar, before returning, burnished by peyote and isolation, to take his rightful place as the Hunter S Thompson of the green welly set.
For now, though, Ben doesn’t run before he can walk. He confirms that Restoration Island is beautiful. He establishes that Glasheen is a little lonely. And he deduces that, for now, lovely as the island is, he wouldn’t particularly want to live like that. Still, watch this space…
Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar
Gillray’s occupies a large site inside the London Marriott Hotel County Hall, facing the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. Get the right seat and you'll be treated to some spectacular views of both, and down the Thames. It takes its name from the eighteenth-century satirist James Gillray, and features some of his works on the walls (though wisely they've omitted 'The Gout', his grotesque take on good-living). It's mostly about steak here, with T-bones, rib-eyes, fillets and sirloins alongside an imposing-looking 'bull's head' – a butterflied prime-rib weighing in at a kilo. Pork T-bones, Barnsley chops, loins of veal and BBQ spare ribs are also on the grill, plus there are burgers, slow-cooked lamb rump and seared cod with confit celeriac, broad beans and a sorrel and razor clams sauce, too. Afternoon tea also features, ranging from the traditional to a 'gentleman's' version with unlimited ale.