Friday, August 24, 2007

A year of eating differently

I work in Soho Square, so I'm surrounded by sandwich bars, restaurants, pubs, dirty cafes, felafel specialists, the lot. I've been working here for almost a year now, so I've sampled quite a few places, got stuck in a rut quite a lot too. What I'm going to attempt to do is not lunch at the same place twice over the next 12 months.
There are a few ground rules to establish near the start:
  • You have to be back at your desk an hour after you left - no sneaking off to Mayfair in search of variety

  • Starbucks on Soho Street is not Starbucks on Wardour Street - it's the establishment, not the brand. I think this is fair, if only because the croissants at the Pret A Manger on Frith Street are never as warm and flaky as the croissants at the Pret A Manger opposite Soho Street; there is variation even in these brands

  • I can do what I like for breakfast and dinner. Otherwise, I could seriously handicap my going-out activities, and I need a certain number of bagels with marmite to get me through a year

  • Work meals don't count - so if they keep ordering in from Make Mine and I'm forced to have that in a lunch meeting rather than skip out, then the exercise isn't invalidated. Or if I keep getting dragged to Claridge's - well, it's not my fault, ok?

  • I can buy food from the Tesco's on Dean Street, the Sainsbury's on Charing Cross Road, or any other supermarket I like, but not the same meal more than once in a year. That way, if I find all these restaurants demolish my wallet, I can at least find some succour in cheap food

  • Home produced food is probably cheating. Haven't figured this out yet, but I trust that my disorganisation every evening and morning should mean we don't run into a problem here for a few weeks...

I'm already two lunches into it: one pizza and one Korean. Will write up a meal every day from now on, until the 22nd of August 2008. Here's hoping we don't decide to move the office to Winnersh Triangle in the meantime.
And if you're interested, you can see where I've been on this handy map:

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