With ten days to go before Christmas, this week’s Foodie Friday kicks off with a corker story about Champagne prices ranging from a fizzy £10 to an explosive £121,060.50, read on to find out more as well as other interesting food stories

The Evening Standard: The London Cocktail Line, Richard Godwin



With the festive season in full swing the Evening Standard have created a Tube map Inspired by the recent restaurant map produced by the food blogger Cheese’n’Biscuits (cheese’n’biscuits), to find the most characteristic bars of the capital, from the Sloaney hangouts of the west to the opulent hotels of the centre and the scuzzy speakeasies of the East. Each tube line has been appropriately been renamed to match the boozy theme.;

– Liquorloo Line
– Mentral Line
– Mortal Line
– Pissedrict Line
– Hammered, Sloshed & Squiffy Line
– Cosmopolitan Line
– Naughty Line
– Pickledsilly Line
– Wreckedoria Line


The Guardian: The Pielympics, officially the games of the XXX OlymPIEad, or more commonly known the World Pie Eating Championship, Martin Wainwright

Desperate Dan from the comic The Dandy Photography; DC Thompson

This week saw the return of the World Pie Eating Championships hosted at Harry’s Bar in Wigan. Competitors are challenged to eat a very pleasant smelling range of 12cm by 3.5cm pies with a maximum side angle of 15 degrees and at least 66 percent meat content excluding pastry in the shortest amount of time.

The world record is held by Civil Servant Neil Collier, who two year ago did the business is an impressive 29.19 seconds! However like any other great sporting event controversy surrounds this remarkable effort which resulted in “sweepers” having to be employed to check the floors for any sneakily discarded material. There was also a photo-check of the initial heats when Collier was accused of starting to grab his pie before the pie master’s yellow starting stick had fallen.

Some participants are taking inspiration from London’s Olympic Games and have created the “Pie-bot” where they act out holding an invisible pie in two hands in front of their mouths, a craze they’re hoping could sweep the nation like the “Mo-bot”.


The Times: Player wins big on the tables but looses on the bubbles, The Times


We all like to splash out around Christmas time but Dexter Koh, who owns a public relations company in Shoreditch went a little over board. After a big win on the poker tables Koh decided to spend his wining at Aura Mayfair and racked up a staggering bill of £121,060.50.


The Evening Standard: No food poisoning cases recorded but Westminster council presses on with rare burger crackdown, Jonathan Prynn


Restaurants offering rare or medium-rare burgers face a grilling after Westminster council decided to crack down on the dishes for safety reasons.  Restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill and Soho house run by Nick Jones might be affected. Westminster safety chiefs were then accused of a “massive overreaction” after admitting there has been no recorded case of food poisoning from eating rare burgers in the West End. The disclosure provoked disbelief in London’s restaurant scene where rare and medium rare burgers have been taken off menus after council inspectors ordered a St James’s wine bar to change the way they cooked them.

And finally…

The Evening Standard: Hard times can’t dampen our appetite for champagne, Andrew Neather


Five Christmas party seasons into this recession and our national appetite for champagne remains astonishing. Last year we shipped 34.5 million bottles of the stuff, down only about 11 per cent on the last year of the boom, 2007. It seems the supermarkets are helping us to enjoy the bubbly stuff this Christmas as they engage in price wars. This Christmas you can pick up a bottle of Champagne from leading supermarkets for under £10 however don’t except to find the likes of Veuve Clicquot at this price.


Hazel Henbury and Alexandra Wardall