2564 days ago
Real Man Pizza Company is one of the worst rated Tripadvisor restaurants in London. Over the past year free speech denying shareholders in blinx, Quindell and other POS companies have reacted to my – vindicated – sell calls by posting bogus reviews and boasting about them online.
Tripadvispor has been shown proof of this but has refused to act. We have not be helped by having only a 1* (on a scale of 0-5) hygiene rating from the Council. That was a result of legacy issues: years of capital under-spend and poor staff training. They knew what to do to follow the rules but could not explain why.
We have invested heavily in upgrading the place and in our staff and for yonks have been begging for a re-inspection as we have known that we were massively underscored for most of last year.
The inspector finally arrived last week and gave us 4/5 classification “good”. That is a lagging indicator as we have been at that level for ages. All those reviews claiming the place was dirty, etc were just lies.
Even last week a bloke posted a review claiming the waiter was drunk. Our waiters are female – they are waitresses. Our
2596 days ago
The prize will be a champagne meal for two at Real Man Pizza Company or something similar as today we launch the new Share Prophets competition which will run throughout 2015. Welcome to AIM Casino fantasy Football own Goal. The Rules are simple.
2600 days ago
As ever the standard of entries was very high. As I sit here in a very much open Real Man Pizza Company I reflect on the poster who has it on “good authority" that RMPC has gone bust, unlike Quenron (QPP) where he is still “long and strong.” To read all 36 nominated examples of sheer idiocy click HERE. But there has to be a winner:
2607 days ago
All my work since I first used the word Red Flag in April 2013 has been vindicated. My scoops of this weekend on Quindell (QPP) have been shown as true - today's statement is a total disaster for Quenron. Bulletin board morons who abused and threatened me get your sorry arses round to Real Man Pizza today to buy a large pizza and expensive bottle of wine and give my fantastic staff a large tip to say SORRY. The following points stand out:
2609 days ago
There was a certain confusion about what to do with it. Do I put it in the oven said lovely Eleni? But with help from a truly bilingual member of the community we are underway. One of the Christmas puddings brought from Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell is now steaming away in the private kitchen of the lovely Eleni at Kourounis taverna. In about an hour it will be ready. I hope. My friend Nikko finished his harvest and pressed his oil today. I now have 2.1 tonnes of olives at the factory. The last bags will come down tomorrow morning and then we press.
I shall take home a couple of cans to rebottle and use as Christmas presents for the chosen few as The Greek Hovel olive oil. The rest we sell and Eleni will pick up the cheque and repay me in the summer. So we celebrate the (almost) end of the harvest with something no-one else here in Kambos has ever tasted before. Fingers crossed.
2610 days ago
On the asylum that is the LSE Quindell Bulletin Board the morons hate me with a passion and revel in posting bogus reviews of the excellent Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell. I guess this poster will not win any friends:
A mate and his wife went to Real Man for a meal last week. Sadly I'm embarrassed to report that they had "one of the best pizzas they'd ever had"! I guess there's no accounting for taste! Sammy
You can book a table to enjoy excellent pizza at 91-95 Clerkenwell Rd on 0207 242 3246
2629 days ago
On Monday I head off to London for the 3rd Real Man Christmas party. I reflect upon those who attended two years ago and how the list has grown. And then I am off to Greece to return to the Greek Hovel and I think about my hopes, my concerns, my worries and my excitement about that trip: snakes, motorbikes, the lovely Eleni and all that lies in Kambos.
In my weekly financial video postcard I forgive the Quindell shareholders who have threatened and abused me during the past six months. They have my sympathies as they face wipeout and I have a few words of advice, even for the folks who sent me death threats. That video can be watched HERE
2638 days ago
And it is done. The 2014 Christmas puddings have been prepared and steamed and now sit in a dark room awaiting their fate. It might seem a bit early but while most of these puddings are for the restaurant others have to travel. Three head off to Canada for a family gathering of pizza hardman Darren Atwater, four head off to Greece with me for Susan Shimmin at The Real Mani but also for lovely Eleni at Kourounis tavern, for Foti the Albanian and for my neighbours at the Greek Hovel in Kambos for our post olive harvest meal. A few are earmarked for gifts.
But the rest will be served at Real Man either as Christmas pudding on our Christmas menu HERE or as Christmas pudding Calzone – a festive desert pizza. It sounds odd but it tastes great!
As is now a ritual Darren and I made the puddings and then all staff members on duty had a stir and made a wish – five pictures five wishes:
2638 days ago
The leaves are now turning yellow on the fig tree that dominates our garden in Bristol. We have a fig tree in Greece too at the Greek Hovel and it was yielding fruit in the summer that was ripe and wonderful. The UK offering has been a little bit less ripe but I was determined not to get it go to waste and so as a family treat we harvested some of the figs and …hey presto we have a perfect fig chutney.
Three smaller pots have already been handed out as presents and the Mrs and I are working our way through a large pot at home. I reckon it might just last until Christmas.
My only regret is that I did not start this earlier and make more chutney on an industrial scale. The figs start dropping in early September and a good number now lie squashed on the paving. As the leaves fall from the tree I can see another batch of fruit that was hitherto hidden and looks pretty perfect for use.
As ever I shall resolve to be more organised next year and make twice as much. Sadly, with such small volumes produced this year, this product is not available at Real Man Pizza Company although it would be fantastic with our Yarg led cheese board. Maybe in 2015.
When I was kid, autumn was a time for boiling and preserving on an industrial scale. The aspiration of my parents – mainly my mother
2645 days ago
I blame Amanda van Dyke and Real Man manager Maribelle for leading me badly astray last night and I am not at my sharpest. Struggling on, today's bearcast covers Concha, Castleton, Verdes Asset management, Quenron, AIM Regulaton and the FCA.
2645 days ago
Before last night's four presentations at the ShareProphets Seminar - videos of which will appear later - I made a few comments about the Westminster Group (WSG) ebola appeal. All this week - Hop-tu-naa week - at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell we will be donating 20p per pizza sold to the appeal and I hope that others will chip in. Details of the appeal can be found HERE
2646 days ago
Real Man is not unaware of the Ebola crisis occurring in West Africa. I see that some pompous arses object to my use of the phrase “I’d rather drink a pint of warm Ebola” than (buy Quindell shares etc.) but that is because the English language is a joyful tool allowing such illusions to make a point not the preserve of pompous self-righteous prats (see my tweet hate mail at the weekend).
As it happens we have a long relationship at the restaurant with our friends at Medicins Sans Frontieres. And as such we are delighted to support an emergency Ebola appeal launched today by Westminster Group (WSG) an AIM listed company operating in the Ebola heartlands.
Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell will donate 20p per pizza sold all week ( ending 1 Nov) at the restaurant to the Westminster appeal.
We hope that you too will donate, and it does not need to be cash.
2673 days ago
A couple of folks asked about the unusual chicken recipe that I shall be preparing for the Mrs shortly. I think I have written about it before but it comes from Real Man regular Colourful James.
The side servings are roasted spuds and parsnips and there is also some kale boiled then quickly fried in garlic butter. The centrepiece is a normal roast chicken except that it is stuffed with a mixture of boursin and peanut butter. It sounds crackers but it tastes amazing! It’s the only way to eat chicken, I promise you.
2675 days ago
As ever, I arrived at Paddington at 10.31 PM. It does not matter what time I leave Real Man in Clerkenwell my taxi always arrives just as the penultimate train of the day pulls out for Bristol Temple Meads. Then there is the dilemma.
I can hang around until 11.30 and catch the last train to Temple Meads. It will be full of English drunks and will stink of fast food. Gradually drunks get off the train but – especially on a Friday – drunks also pile on at Swindon and Bath heading to the bright lights of Bristol to get even more drunk. Does everyone born in Swindon have the intelligence of a 12 year old Orang Utan? The taxi fare from Temple Meads home is less than a tenner. But Paddington is a ghastly place to spend 45 minutes and the Mrs is not that impressed if I pitch up at 1.45 AM.
And so there is the 10.45 to Bristol Parkway. I get home just before 1 AM, the taxi fare at the other end is c£20 but there is less time to kill at Paddington. The real downside risk is that I fall asleep and this train carries on all the way to Swansea. I have more than once woken up to find myself heading into Newport, a truly dreadful place, and facing a £45 cab ride home. On this train there is also the stench of fast food but most of the drunks are Welsh. As such, while buying a coffee at the bar, I have just listened to three sheep shaggers discussing in a most animated fashion how to say “The toilet is broken” in Welsh.
I guess you learn something new every day.
2685 days ago
Easy peasy. To win a lunch with me on 30th September at Real Man all you need to do is supply the funniest caption for the cartoon below. Feel free to go with a non Quindell (QPP) theme but the Quinnovation Group or Quenron as it is sometimes known seems an easy target.
2700 days ago
I set what I thought was a very easy prize quiz on Friday offering to buy the winner lunch at Real Man. All you had to do was name company xxxx. You all said it was Quindell (QPP). And you were all wrong. Quindell shareholders you should be very frightened.
The task was to identify company xxxx based on two quotes. The first is how it described itself. The second was an analyst’s sell note. The quotes are:
“XXXX offers market-leading solutions for insurance companies, enabling substantial cost reduction through improved efficiency of claims processing. Integration of insurers' claims systems into the downstream supply chain increases control over the whole claims process, reducing 'claims leakage' where supply chain inefficiencies generate additional costs of 10-20%.”
“XXXX has been highly acquisitive, undertaking 16 acquisitions and investments over the past nine months. We believe that acquisitions were undertaken at premium prices, with an implied overall multiple of 6x sales. In at least three cases, it appears that companies involved in these deals have also been customers of XXXX. The potential, as with any acquisitive company, for financial performance to be temporarily decoupled from underlying trading concerns us.”
You all said Quindell. Not quite.
2719 days ago
Last week Quindell (QPP) owning Bulletin Board Moron James Beckwith told folks on twitter that he’d like to put a knife to my throat – see HERE. This week he has a new game, joining all those other Quindell owning morons who delight in posting bogus reviews of Real Man Pizza Company on Tripadvisor.
2774 days ago
Over the weekend yet more bogus and damning internet reviews of the Real Man Pizza restaurant have appeared from folks who have never reviewed any restaurant in their lives. The same folks boast openly on Bulletin Boards about how they are destroying my livelihood. But the commercial blackmail does not end there. I share with you an email received yesterday.
2778 days ago
Fair dues to Dave Breith, the CEO of Coms (COMS). I ripped him apart a couple of weeks ago HERE and he popped into Real Man yesterday and insisted on buying me lunch. I had a salmone e penne, he had a Thai chicken pizza. The food was great and I rather warmed to the man who accepted that my comments were fair.
He admitted that the need to restate accounts was a howling error. He does not wish to start a witch hunt but we talked through how it happened and I do not blame HIM. I accept him at his word that actions will be taken which won’t be painless, to ensure that it will not happen again. I am not sure if Dave was bald before the hiccup but it has obviously been a hard time for him. I am happy to leave it at that.
2778 days ago
I return to the dual themes of free speech and the intolerance of the left when it comes to dissent in this week’s video postcard.
I have had to record early when too tired after Thursday’s Quindelliferous day in order that Darren can get away to celebrate his wedding anniversary. But the message should still be clear.
If you support free speech feel free to come along to the AIM Cesspit awards dinner at Real Man in Clerkenwell on 30th June with myself, Evil and Lucian. Tickets can be bought for £40 HERE
My weekly financial video postcard looks at the way that Quindell deals with the press and analysts. It is almost unparalleled in my 25 year career and it can be viewed HERE
2811 days ago
It is entirely likely that thanks to Labour dirty tricks, that is to say the Mrs neglecting to put me on the electoral roll, I shall not be able to vote at all this week. We will troop over to the polling station near her old flat on Thursday and find out.
If I can vote what should I do? As a dyed in the wool Eurosceptic and someone who believes that the entire political class should be strung up with piano wire my natural inclination is to vote UKIP. After all the European elections do not really matter do they? My guess is that enough folks will view it this way to ensure that Mr Farage and his supporters will be celebrating triumphs in both the local and European elections as I explained HERE earlier.
I do not care if UKIP contains more than a smattering of prize loons that does not deter me.
However, I find that when Mr Farage moves away from Europe, where I agree with him 100%, to other matters I get rather agitated. He is clearly now trying to appeal to traditional Labour voters and so he supports a minimum wage (a tax on jobs) and there is talk in UKIP circles of backing the living wage. This is not a pro-business agenda but it will also not assist the poor since it will destroy jobs.
I remember wincing when I heard him at UK Investor Show 2013
2822 days ago
There was I sitting in Real Man in Clerkenwell tapping away happily on my PC when I became conscious that there was a man outside staring at me. He seemed rather agitated and was mouthing words at me one of which began with F and rhymed with ducking and the other one rhymed with blunt. Whatever..
I carried on tapping away and the man stormed off. He looked
2860 days ago
Nigel Wray, Ben Edelman, Evil Knievil, Vin Murria, Cassandra Harris, Lucian Miers, 90 Growth Company CEOs, myself, Steve Moore, Malcolm Stacey, David Lenigas, Amanda van Dyke, 34 other star speakers, 1500 serious investors will all be in Westminster on April 5 for the Investor Show of the Year? Want to join them? There are now fewer than 50 seats left – you can book HERE
Book this weekend and your tickets will be in the post at Mount Pleasant before first post Monday.
This is a once a year event. The list of growth companies attending is awesome and can be found HERE
The full speaker list is HERE
And there are now fewer than 50 seats still going free so if you want one book now HERE
I look forward to seeing many readers of this blog in London on April 5, in just six days time. Incidentally if you are making a weekend of it in London for the show, bring your ticket along to Real Man Pizza Company on Friday and you get 20% off. I shall be there with Steve Moore, my wife and various speakers and CEOs and would look forward to saying hello ( and you buying me a drink!)
2861 days ago
Every day of the week, anyone with a Student ID can buy a pizza or a pint of beer for just £3 at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell (and a litre of wine at £10). But as of this weekend we have a bonus Saturday offer for students.
At any time after six just show your student ID and you can enjoy one of ten pasta dishes for just £5. Personally I’d recommend penne e salmon but the gnocchi sorrentino comes a pretty close second.
This bonus student offer starts this Saturday from 6 PM and will run every Saturday thereafter.
2868 days ago
Matt Lofgran, CEO of Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) wants to buy you a pizza and a beer on Thursday 27th March and to explain the investment case for his firm.
If you are free from 6PM on Thursday 27th Matt will be at Real Man Pizza Company, 91-95 Clerkenwell Road London holding forth. I too shall be there with a few thoughts on life. To give us a rough idea on numbers if you want to pitch up can you drop me an email at [email protected]
See you on the 27th.
2876 days ago
I was meant to be cooking Fortune Mojapelo, the CEO of AIM Listed Bushveld Minerals (BMN) breakfast at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell, but the fellow missed out on a cracking omelette as he failed to show. But I tracked him down later and we had a good chat.
I can forgive him for snubbing my cooking and for the greater sin of having trained as a management consultant, for Fortune seemed a competent and realistic fellow.
Bushveld’s share price was smashed in the autumn by two founder shareholders placing out big lines of stock in a cask-handed manner. At 5.45p with a value of £22 million are the shares cheap?
Hmmmm. There are a number of points here.
2916 days ago
I lost my voice screaming at Upton Park yesterday so no videos are possible – I sound like I have gargled razor blades. And I am afraid that there is no Tomograph newsletter either. Today I have been flat out at Maribelle’s.
And next week I am also more or less on writing holiday. Steve and Ben are in charge, this is Maribelle’s week.
The signs went up last week. The carpenters finished this morning and, this afternoon, Darren, myself and Maribelle herself have been flat out unpacking alcohol, setting up the till, printing off menus, moving chairs. The work will continue late into tonight and will start again tomorrow first thing as Darren pucks up some rather unusual artwork which with our new wine & tapas bar will be decorated. We open at 1 PM and close at 11 PM Monday to Friday starting tomorrow.
n a brief break Mirabelle and I enjoy a bottle of Estrella Galicia, a Spanish lager which is not half bad… now back to laying out the tables. Naturally I would be delighted to see any blog readers at Maribelle’s this week. We are at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5BX, underneath the Real Man Pizza Company quirky Italian restaurant, and I am in residence all week.
Oh and here is a view of a well-stocked bar.
2945 days ago
Our two week holiday is almost over – and we all needed it after a hectic November & December. Real Man Pizza Company opens its doors in Clerkenwell once again from 12 Noon on Monday 6th. We wish all of our customers past, present and future a Happy New Year.
The kitchens have been humming in preparation since Friday and we are ready to go for Monday for our quirky Celtic Italian cuisine.
It should be an interesting January as we prepare to launch a new 2014 Menu mid-month and in February…watch this space.
We look forward to seeing old friends and new from Monday.
2993 days ago
This was fun. A calzone – for the uninitiated – is a folded up pizza. So it is shaped like a Pasty but it has a thin pizza crust. I had a little bit of extra Christmas pudding mixture left over, not enough for one pudding but enough to steam. I could not resist.
And so the steamed Christmas pudding mix was cooked inside the Calzone in the oven. What came out was doused in warm brandy and then set on fire. We served with cream – our home made brandy butter will not be ready for two weeks. Thoughts:
1. We used a 7 inch base but for a Christmas pudding dessert that is too large for one. We move to 4 inch in v2.
2. It tastes great. The Christmas pudding is pretty alcoholic and fruity – and the contrast with the very slightly salty pizza base is just amazing. A normal pizza base is crispy. A Calzone is softer. That works for Christmas pudding.
And so a new recipe is born at The Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell. Christmas Pudding Calzone.
It will go on the menu (alongside normal Christmas pudding and a full Christmas menu) as at December 1st. If you are looking for a Christmas booking at Real Man you should book now on 0707 242 3246
3044 days ago
The couple walked into Real Man last night. A take away he suggested, the small pretty American woman suggested they eat in and he agreed. He ordered a coke, she tap water. I sat in my chair and waited for them to order. Neither drank a thing. There were a few quiet words exchanged.
Then he grabbed his jacked and walked out. He looked angry. She seemed close to tears. “Is everything alright” I asked. “”Sure.” She ordered a glass of Orvieto and a meal and said “ I shall be dining alone – we just split up”. As an afterthought she said, “it’s okay I initiated it.”
She nibbled a slice of pizza and toyed with her phone. She looked as if she was close to tears throughout. It was painful to watch. But she just wasn’t going to let the world know how upset she was. I boxed her meal for later didn’t bill her for the coke. The coke was the past, the rest is the future.
And then she wandered out to take the pizza home. Alone. I suspect once insider her own door the self-control would just disappear.
But as she sat there my thought was “ I want to put my arm around you. Poor woman. She may have initiated it but she has grace and is upset. He was merely angry and unshaven. “
3052 days ago
Bad news for Abbe Aronson, the girl who broke my heart in 1985 – she will have to go topless for now. For Abbe requested a “Sefton is fucked T-shirt” which I dutifully ordered for her but had not quite got around to posting. And blow me down but a customer rolled into Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell today and said he really, really wanted to buy one. The chap is apparently trying to get a mining exploration company in Afghanistan underway. If he ever organises a press trip, I told him he can offer my place to someone back at t1ps who really deserves a week or two in Helmund province. Don't all say it - I am just too much of a nice guy.
Anyhow, sorry Abbe. On that holiday you are planning (I really do recommend Albania) you will have to go topless. I shall order another one for you right away.
3055 days ago
Yes it is time to think about Christmas already. We have just had our first big booking – the whole place will be closed for a private party from 3PM on 18th December (until very late). Do you want a private party here? We can offer either the run of restaurant or our basement room, with its own music system and bar.
We have also published our 2013 Christmas menu – in fact two of them if you want to book a Christmas meal at Real Man, the quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. Whether it is for 1 for 60 we would be happy to oblige.
We will stay open this year until Saturday 21st December and will re-open on 6th January. So all the time up to and including 21st December we are open for festive bookings.
If you want to discuss bookings feel free to pop in at any time or call us on 020 7242 3246.
Maribel, Darren & Tom
3055 days ago
Maybe it is the name that attracts them? I do not know. But it certainly adds to the joy of working here. First we met up with Pauline Amos, the naked artist as you may remember from this video article here. And now it is senior waitress Maribel who is getting her kit off.
Fear not, it is all in the name of world peace. All 77 pictures of her in the altogether. I kid you not. On her Facebook site (which not surprisingly has almost 4,000 followers) Maribel explains:
To my parents: Father, Mother, you are not going to like this, but it is what I must do.
To my friends: You know me, so you will understand.
The rest of the world: I do this because I must use what power I possess to act out against war and barbarism.
I expose myself to reconcile my body and my soul.
I use my body because all I came into this world with, and all I will go out with, are my body and my soul.
I use my body because I am a woman, and women are the most used, humiliated, the weakest and the strongest of humanity.
We bear the children they send to war, to kill and die.
We are still the temptations, the objects of desire—Eve, the Original sinner—from the East to the West.
I use my body because, at this stage of "civilization", nothing is more revolutionary than to show us as we are—people, human beings, a majority of humanity, who want to live in peace.
Only the sick of soul want war.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND, I FORBID the use of these images for profit—not even for me or on my behalf.
I encourage everyone to take the same action, but if your modesty prevents you, use my images.
Paste them on Facebook, distribute them by email and post, or print them, until there is not a corner of the Earth that does not know that the majority of humanity calls for Peace.
I am of course really into peace & love and all of that stuff but shall pass on taking the same action myself.
The facebook page is shown below.
If you’d like to discuss World Peace or to see more of Maribel, just pop along to our quirky Italian restaurant Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell at any time – perhaps this Wednesday for Ken Scott’s gig?
3067 days ago
By popular demand the voice of Wiltshire retro rock, Mr Ken Scott, will be playing another gig at The Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell – on Wednesday 18th September from 7 PM. So if you fancy a pizza and a bit of rick from the Stones up to more recent material that I am too much of a fogey to be able to name, we’d love to see you.
Ken was the man who saved AIM listed ILX but stepped down as its CEO last year and is now involved in far too many projects for his own good. He always hates me for saying this but he was a stand out as a self-made CEO on AIM of Afro Caribbean origin. Someone with good taste in men once said that Ken looked a bit like Sidney Poitier (apart from when he grew a daft white beard a few years ago which made him look 103). But he is a great singer and guitar player and that is why September 18th is a diary date to make now.
I shall be there, as will be Ken’s former colleague, Mr Caption Contest himself Jon Pickles. I look forward to seeing you on the 18th in Clerkenwell at www.therealmanpizzacompany.com
3072 days ago
Perhaps they were all psychic and sensed pending news but Clerkenwell's finest celtic Italian restaurant Real Man Pizza was a buzz all day yesterday. First up was blog reader Gareth to whom I promised a Piss off Argentina T-shirt in a caption contest a while ago. We will not go into details as to how much of a while. Gareth was in town, popped in for lunch and was – as you can see – presented with his shirt by myself (wearing my Sod off Spain T-shirt which is getting stacks of positive comments). You can buy both shirts only HERE
3074 days ago
Maribelle our senior waitress is from Spain but has worked in Gibraltar and is a right-thinking sort of bird and so was keen to model the new Sod Off Spain T-shirt which arrived at Real Man in Clerkenwell today.
You can show your support for our countrymen in Gibraltar by wearing your own shirt, which can be bought here.
3079 days ago
I was up all night working on some Real Man business and at 4 AM the phone rings. I am, as you know, a nice guy so I answer. “Can I have a delivery please?” slurred the voice.
“Er…I am sorry but no. We close at 11 PM on Thursdays” said I. No you don’t said the drunk. I suggest you look at our website and we do. So what’s the address? www.therealmanpizzacompany.com I said and the drunk asked for a minute to check it out.
I gave him his minute and he came back: “I want to make a complaint about you.” Ok said I, address it to the manager at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, EC1R 5BX. Good night. And I put the phone down.
Three minutes later it rang again. I answered. “I want to order some cheese.” Heck, we do not deliver at 4 AM and we do not deliver some cheese I said. “I want to make a complaint about that too.” At this point I was beginning to lose my patience and so politely said “I am going to put the phone down now, my next call is 1471 and if you call back I shall call the Police and report you for harassment. I put the phone down and he did not call back.
Some folks ….
3082 days ago
You should always end on a high. And I am on a high right now. Last night I exposed Jim Ellerton for the fraud and liar he is. The Nomad to Sefton (Allenby) has told me by email that if my initial allegations re the Dillabaugh case were proven either Allenby or Ellerton had to go. If it is the former the shares are suspended and won’t come back. If it is the latter the sole witness for Sefton in its libel trial against me will have resigned in disgrace. So I have won. I gather that the Sefton board is meeting this afternoon so, one way or another, the AIM career of Hawaii Jim is almost over.
I have already popped over to the offices of uber expensive bully boy City lawyers Pinsent Masons , champagne in hand, to record two short videos and when they go live that will be it from me.
Publicly I have put a brave face on this battle and on the Sefton dirty tracks campaign. But it has been a strain. I fear that there is not a cat in hell’s chance of me getting my costs back. Would I want to do this again or would I rather spend time with the bird, take up fishing again or do a bit of what I really want to do (goat farming)?
My priorities going forward are the restaurant, the UKInvestor Show, my partner (the deluded lefty) and my family, notably my step mother and ageing father - not necessarily in that order. As such the 666 shirt of investigative financial journalism united is (temporarily) retired. After today I shall confine my public comments on shares to my premium Nifty Fifty website. If you want to know my thoughts on shares pop along to Real Man Pizza and buy me a salad or subscribe to the Nifty Fifty
Shareprophets has 20 writers including younger investigative stars such as John Crawford and Ben Turney who I shall advise, if asked, but for now that is it from me on shares. The younger guys will take the battle against the AIM bad guys forward. I have a book to write (on Sefton), articles to write for this website on West Ham, Greece and other really important matters and a life to lead.
Thanks for your support since this battle commenced. My 36 hour drinkathon now continues and anyone who fancies coming along to Real Man tonight after 6 is more than welcome.
3082 days ago
Jim Ellerton has tonight been exposed as a liar and a cheat. His position is untenable. I thus serve up my video postcard with a simple message to all involved in this pitiful affair. I Win! Fuck you Ellerton and fuck you Pinsent Masons for invoicing Sefton for so much in pursuit of a daft libel case you could not win. Your case is in tatters now as Ellerton is damned by his own words.
I shall be spending the next 36 hours proving that my partner's parents were right - I am a drunken Fleet Street bum. The celebrations will culminate at Real man Pizza where we offer half price champagne while stocks last from 6 PM tomorrow. Thereafter I shall sleep it all off and then plan a year's sabbatical from investigative financial journalism ( yes there wiull be a book Pinsents will be delighted to know) while I focus on more productive matters.
3082 days ago
Jim Ellerton told his Nomad and his fellow directors that he had not under oath stated that Sefton had paid benefits to dentist Gary Dillabaugh to offset personal loans made by Gary to Jim. Jim Ellerton lied.
Under Oath in 2009 he claimed exactly that in Court. He also claimed that he lobbied Sefton Directors to give Gary the job with Sefton to compensate him for the loans.
Jim Ellerton will have to resign first thing tomorrow.
Jim Ellerton was to have been Sefton’s sole witness in the case of Sefton vs. Winnifrith and Sefton vs. Levi. I think you can safely say that Jim is toast, that libel case is in tatters and Sefton is almost certainly finished.
There will be 50% , off Champagne at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell
3107 days ago
The postman has just strolled into Real Man Pizza Company ( 12.15) and among the usual batch of bills, cheques and junk mail were three envelopes from East London. Yessssss! My West Ham Season tickets are here.
Oddly the bread delivery guy and I were chatting about the season earlier today. He is a diehard hammer. We both reckon that another striker is needed but elsewhere we look okay. The midfield looks very strong although if Scotty Parker were to come back as has been rumoured we would not be objecting.
Cardiff on the 17th. Bring it on.
3109 days ago
In 40 minutes time I head off from chez Spiros. By 2 PM I shall be back in The Corner of Clerkenwell which is home to naked artist Pauline Amos, Real Man Pizza Company, colourful James and so much else. I do not want to leave Greece but if I have to go somewhere there are far worse places to go.
See you all at the quirkiest celtic Italian restaurant in London, Real Man Pizza, as of mid-afternoon
3119 days ago
There is no doubt that Greece is enjoying a better tourist season this year than last. Folks are used to the new normal that is bankrupt Greece teetering on Euro exit with the odd riot thrown in. As a bonus, there are more Russians here than last year. But it is still pretty dire and as I digest a 48 Euro bill from last night I say that Greece still does not get it.
The appeal of Greece of old was that it was cheap and cheerful. 48 Euro ( call it £40) bought a bottle of piss poor house rose, a nasty bruschetta followed by basic moussaka for me, a very weak tomato salad followed by a lamb spaghetti dish for the little woman and some dire service. Her starter arrived first. Five minutes later the other three dishes arrived.
A comparator offering at the Real Man Pizza Company on Saturday night would have been ½ litre of (much better) house rose and two pasta dishes a mixed salad and very good bruschetta which would have set you back £34 on the 2 course special offer (£40 without). Better food, better service in Central London at £34/40 or £40 for what we paid in Corfu. The Greek’s, I am afraid, still do not get it. Expensive and cheerful does not float my boat.
If Greece is to solve its problems it is not just the public sector that must reform (finally sacking those public sector workers) but the tourist industry needs to compete. That either means leaving the Euro or cutting prices by 25%. Either way it means a fall in the standard of living for those involved but, perhaps, having a few more customers might offset that.
Today we are off to Albania. I would have left earlier had I been in charge and would by staying longer. The same meal there will cost £25 and the food wiull be better.
3125 days ago
And now for something completely different at Real Man Pizza Company, our quirky Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. Naturally we still sell Coca Cola and both English and Italian lemonade. But now we add to the list a premium cola and lemonade - it tastes very different and is from hip Dalston in Hackney. We are always keen to support small independent producers so Real Man is delighted to add both Dalston Cola and Dalston lemonade to the menu.
3133 days ago
At Real Man Pizza on Saturdays, kids eat for free. And as a result we have an increasing number of junior customers coming in to enjoy the Pirate’s menu of pasta, pizza (including chocolate pizzas), garlic bread and of course our 16 flavours of ice cream.
Saturday’s star pupil was George. He tried to drink his father’s Curious beer. He fought granny over control of a knife he seemed keen to stick as far up his mouth as possible and his eating … he enjoyed his food. You are welcome back at any time young man.
3133 days ago
It is two days since Friday but I am still irked by a total bitch who came into Real Man Pizza Company that lunchtime. Our Clerkenwell quirky Celtic Italian restaurant was packed out, having to seat some folks in the basement so busy was the session, and she came in with six very charming colleagues one of whom had been in earlier that week when we had had a long chat about this that and the other. I ensured they had the best table we have.
Noting that we were flat out, the other six ordered drinks quickly but she just said “You are Bob” to me. Er…no I am Tom. “Oh I was told you were called Bob”. Her colleagues shook their heads. Eventually she asked for tap water after all her colleagues had been served. Her intent was not to make life easy.
This lady wanted the set menu. But would you mind not doing penne arrabiata with chicken but spaghetti arrabiata with chicken? I guess the concept of set menus is a just a bit above some folks but, since I rather like her colleague who was in earlier in the week, I assented.
3136 days ago
It is a bit of a day for reflection. For it was exactly a year ago today that I headed down to Gatwick Airport to fly to Greece. It was a one way ticket as frankly I was not exactly sure if or when I would bother coming back. As I am sure you are all aware my world had pretty much imploded. As I sit here a year later an awful lot has changed.
At one level it is all to the good. I shall have a quiet meal with my deluded lefty partner tonight. Professionally, the writing and the Real Man restaurant and UK Investor Show are all pretty much on track. Nothing happens as quickly as you might like but the trend is my friend.
But there is always another side.
3138 days ago
The wine flowed freely at the awards dinner. So freely that my speed of writing today has been not even snail’s pace. Non-existent is the word. I found myself playing the straight man in talks by Lucian Miers and Evil Knievil which were funny and hard hitting. From the floor various CEOs and other types chipped in. The food, naturally, was superb…as you would expect at The Real Man Pizza Company.
3143 days ago
3143 days ago
And so someone I respect told me yesterday that I was hated in the City. Not by everyone but in certain quarters. Tell me something I didn’t know. Apparently some folks feel that saying nasty things about companies, advisors, PR firms etc. is just despicable. “Other journalists don’t do it…why do you?” And it gets better.
Apparently this person was told by a well-respected City group not to be seen to work with me because I was being sued for libel by Sefton. To give them credit they did ask the City Group if they knew about the case and was told no. There was just the assumption that if listed company issues libel proceedings then the person it is suing must be a baddun.
Where do you start here? Without commenting on the specifics of this case I would point out that I have had legal proceedings threatened and commenced before. The companies who tried it on before have all disappeared or been censured (in the end) because they were liars or crooks or both. Any trade body/City group which in a blinkered fashion believes that companies always tell the truth and so without doing any research automatically sides with the company in such matters is frankly a joke organisation. Perhaps these folks have never heard of Robert Maxwell or Asil Nadir or Bernie Madoff? Some companies are bent…just accept it.
And so why write articles which point out that certain shares are overvalued, that certain companies are – if one analyses their published statements – running out of cash or that certain companies have issued RNS statements that are verifiably false or over optimistic? Let me think for about fifteen seconds:
3144 days ago
Nope, the BB morons have no reason to celebrate. I was not assisting the Old Bill with their enquiries. Nor was I being questioned for revealing who was shagging who in the Downing Street Affair. Instead…. Well it is a long story but it started mid-afternoon. I am starting to worry that I am not a complete bastard after all and can actually be a good guy on occasion. I may have to seek counselling from someone really bad and immoral. Where’s Colourful James when you need him most?
Mid-afternoon two ladies from Informa popped in to Real Man Pizza Company seeking prizes from local businesses for a charity raffle. Since I only support one charity (Woodlarks) my standard answer to such requests is No! But I found myself offering a prize of a meal for four. I clearly was on a slippery slope towards virtue.
And so after an evening of being exceptionally nice to everyone, sending staff home early so I could tend to the last few customers (two of whom hung around forever) I sat down fully intending to spend the whole night writing. But at midnight I heard the sound of banging on the shutters. I peered out and there was an Indian bird in obvious distress. So I opened the door and through the shutter she said she needed to find a church to pray at, a priest to speak to and that the Catholic Church would put her up for the night as she was homeless but needed directions. Hmmm “We are a catholic restaurant hang on while I get an A-Z”
Before I knew it she was sitting inside Real Man and had made me turn off my music (AC DC by Joan Jett was playing at the time) and from my laptop she was playing her favourite hymn. She then explained
3146 days ago
Friend of colourful James, fan of the Real Man and artist – what more could be said about Pauline Amos. My initial article about her performance art at the opening of her show attracted a few comments. The video of that art (showing her taking her clothes off and inviting folk to paint her body) attracted rather more views. In case you missed it, the video is below.
But as promised I went along to Pauline’s exhibition which is in the basement art gallery at the Tramshed on Rivington Street Shoreditch and runs for another week or so. The gallery details can be found at www.cocknbullgallery.com
The Tramshed itself has become a Mark Hicks restaurant which is pleasant enough, if far from cheap. The new world of Shoreditch. But the bird was paying and so after seeing Pauline’s show I had a pleasant enough glass of wine and a few – overpriced – nibbles. As to the show…
Its theme is how man has killed man through the ages. There are prints and some contemporary art paintings hung in an unusual way. The colours and layout are meant to shock and they do. It took the bird and I about 15 minutes to wander around the cold basement checking out the 20 or so smaller pieces on the wall and the ten or so large main features (including the canvas which Pauline was painted on).
As I think most folks know I am not a great art expert so cannot offer up 500 words on the inner meaning of it all. If it was meant to appear violent, angry and shocking (as I think it was) then Pauline has succeeded. The bird and I both took that message from the show and if you are in the area you could find a lot worse ways to kill a quarter of an hour before heading off to The Grill, or The Diner or even, if it is still going, that Moroccan Place on Old Street ( but not the Tramshed) for something to eat.
3146 days ago
Pizza, pasta, soup, ice cream, Nigel’s American cheesecake – whatever you fancy – the menu for our two courses for £9.95 is a long one. And all the food is produced in our own kitchens from fresh produce (apart from the sixteen flavours of ice cream which comes from a local supplier). The two course for £9.95 runs all day Monday through to Wednesday at Real Man Pizza Company, the coolest and quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell if not London. Actually are there any other Celtic Italian restaurants in London? We think not. Pictured below is a pizza not on the menu but which a customer asked for and which we tried and it is delicious. We always take requests however odd. This one is a Margherita with ricotta cheese. It is really good, honest!
3146 days ago
3148 days ago
Saturday is always our quietest day at Real Man Pizza, our Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. Folks come in throughout the day but it is rarely hectic. As it happens, despite the rain, it is far busier than usual today but still there is time for me to amble down the street to replenish my supplies of (legit) tobacco. Generally Saturday is a catch up on writing day.
As I ambled down the road wondering how I was to conclude my (poisonous) Conviction sell of the month for Spreadbet Magazine I heard a loud female voice saying “hello Tom.” Rather startled and not used to strange women greeting me as I ambled, looking a tad “casual” down the road I turned around as blond woman, stuck out her hand “Emma Kane, glad to meet you.”
Emma, is a local resident but has so far declined my offer to pop into Real Man perhaps aware that regular customers include Lucian Miers and Aubrey Brocklebank. For Emma is the head PR bird at Redleaf Polhill, employer of foxy Bex, and indeed stepped into the void when Bex was on hols to look after Cupid. Emma is intelligent which among PR birds is a novelty but is she also psychic? Is she aware of what my sell of the month is?
Foxy Emma has promised to hook up at Real Man soon. I quickly scuttled back to finish my article on…..
3149 days ago
At The Real Man Pizza Company, we are picky about our food. For example, our pasta and pizza dough is handmade every day by our chefs and we buy our absolutely amazing ice cream from a local creamery.
Today, it's our coffee. We have switched to Clerkenwell roaster Workshop Coffee, who source and roast their beans just down the street from us. Drop by and taste the difference at Clerkenwell's quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant.
3151 days ago
We like it when our customers are happy. And the verdict has been: people love our two courses for £9.95 meal. So we have made it an official Monday to Wednesday special at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell.
That's a 12" personal pizza or homemade pasta plus a starter or dessert. (We have a special menu for this that makes it easy to choose.). Yesterday saw our busiest Tuesday in memory on the back of this and so now it is an every day offer: Monday to Wednesday at Clerkenwell's top Italian restaurant.
3155 days ago
When: Monday 24th June 7PM
Where: Real Man Restaurant in Clerkenwell
Registration: It is £75 a ticket and you can order tickets and your food on the evening HERE
The AIM Cesspit awards 2013 will be handed out to those companies that have disgraced themselves most gloriously on the junior market on 24th June. The occasion will be a special dinner which will also aim to raise money to assist Tom Winnifrith in fighting the libel case brought against him by Sefton for pointing out how it has mislead investors on a serial basis.
The guest speakers are infamous short sellers Lucian Miers and Evil Knievil.
3156 days ago
One of the joys of being involved with a good, if quirky, restaurant is the customers. And so last in on a busy Thursday at Real Man Pizza Company was colourful James, the local spaghetti vongole loving art entrepreneur.Time for a quick pizza? Of course. And a pint of Curious beer? Of course. James being James it was not one pint. His guest was an artist called Pauline Amos who has an exhibition running at the Tramshed in Shoreditch just down the road from Clerkenwell. I used to live in the 'Ditch and know the Tramshed well.
The exhibition is about how man has killed man over time. And so naturally at the opening Pauline had to take all her clothes off and allow visitors to paint her naked body. 'Natch. You don't believe me? The video is below. Given my interest in contemporary art, I shall be popping along at the weekend to see more.
3158 days ago
Maybe we'll change the name to the Real Man Veal Company, because that's what our lunch crowd is ordering. Veal Escalope is veal grilled in breadcrumbs with spaghetti and it's only £9.95 today at the Real Man Pizza Company - the hippest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell.
3160 days ago
You get all sorts hanging out at the Real Man Pizza Company and they are all welcome – the mix makes it more of a fun place to eat. But Saturday saw a pretty unusual card game take place with three wizards playing.
Real Man is just 20 yards away from a world famous magic store. It is not as if Clerkenwell Road is Diagon Alley but we do get more than our fair share of wizards popping in.
So pick a card said wizard one. The eight of diamonds was my pick. Miraculously he picked a card from the pack. It was the two of clubs. But then he tapped it and it was suddenly the eight of diamonds.
He then put it back in the pack and put the pack on the table next to his empty pizza dish. Oddly, said he, I have one card that I picked earlier here in my pocket. He dipped into his jacket and out came…the eight of diamonds.
What do wizards eat? Prosciutto e funghi pizza (ham and mushrooms to you and me). And for the avoidance of doubt those are not magic mushrooms but our pizzas are so tasty that they always disappear fast from the table with no need for them to be cut in half first.
3160 days ago
The Veal Escalope in breadcrumbs with spaghetti was such a hit last week, we've brought it back. It‘s £9.95 today at the Real Man Pizza Company - the hippest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell.
3161 days ago
It was a year ago today that the first article appeared on this blog. Most blogs fold after a period of months but I am still here. And to celebrate a glass of bubbly for breakfast! The toast “to you dear readers for continuing to read this site”
A year ago my life looked unimaginably bleak. At a personal and health level it was a mess and I was days away from leaving Rivington Street and t1ps the company I founded. To the victors the spoils and so it was repeatedly asserted that all t1ps’ problems were of my making and that new management was turning it around. Yes I have read the interim results released at 6PM on Friday. Hmmmm. You might say that but I could not possibly comment.
That however was a former life for me. My line in the sand was drawn in September. By then I knew who my friends were. To folks such as Richard Poulden, Abbe Aronson, Darren Atwater, Steve Moore, Clem Chambers, Monisha Varadan, Chris Potts, Amanda Van Dyke, Lucian Miers, Chris Booker and Zak Mir I am forever in your debt. To you I say “cheers” – another toast.
I chatted yesterday to most of the above and life has changed pretty dramatically. At the Real Man restaurant we were losing £5,000 a month when I took it on officially in September. There is now just one of the staff at that time still working here and I have hired and fired aggressively and made a stack of other changes. Having just enjoyed our busiest Saturday in memory we are now happily making a profit, our customers like us and we serve far better food. That was achievement one. I guess that “new management line” is true sometimes. Miaow.
Achievement two was getting the UK Investor Show organised in just a few months and it went well. Now with my friends at ADVFN we are well on track to deliver an even better show on April 5 next year. And I now rather suspect we will be the only show featuring master investors happening next spring. Miaow.
But perhaps the biggest win has been in writing. It is what I do best (although I can knock out a fantastic Risotto con salsicce e funghi these days as well). The launch of the www.shareprophets.com site has exceeded expectations. After 50 days it has half as many registered users as we managed to attract in one year at UK-Analyst. More join every day. And gratifyingly more and more writers seem to want to join the team and write for us. Another two will debut this week. Meanwhile other websites…no that is enough miaows.
But www.Tomwinnifrith.com is my real love. It started as therapy but being able to write exactly what I thought without some corporate hissy fit ensuing soon became an addictive drug. The fact that I use the odd naughty word or talk about birds does not appeal to everyone – notably Google and PR prude Kay Larsen of College Group – as you may remember here and here.
But it is me. I do use naughty words. I do find myself drifting into the vernacular of my favourite TV show (The Sweeney) now and again. And I do have strong views on Israel, welfare scroungers, the EU, global warming and civil liberties. Why hold back? I had been gagged for so long that the release was joyful and still is.
But there was also a release in that I ceased to by a City insider and became an outsider. As such there was no need to kiss arse – anyone and everyone was fair game. The past year has shown me that not only is it fun to constantly expose and poke fun and to say what you want but that I can earn a reasonable living doing that and looking after Real Man Pizza. There is no need to hold back. While I might have been tentaitive at first I am now in 5th gear and will not be slowing down or getting softer in my approach.
And so looking back I reflect on those who have brought inspiration and pleasure to me:
1. The visit to Butrint (photo article)
2. Damian Conboy of Alecto hooking up with the Playboy PR girl
3. Kay Larsen PR prude at College Hill
4. Sefton Resources & Jim Ellerton – thanks Jim you have made my year ( see you in court Bitchez)
5. Taking a contrary view on the Olympics
6. Vroula – the fascist Greek athlete and defending her right to free speech
7. The visit to the Berlin Jewish Museum
8. Standing by St Paul’s for Lady Thatcher’s funeral
9. The start of the AIM Cesspit campaign
10.Going on stage with Nigel Wray and Nick Leslau at UKInvestor show – feeling I was with friends.
11. Being complimented by the Goddess
12. The Guardian and deluded lefties everywhere
13. The Baker of Zitsa
14. Albania - National Leave your Gun at home day
15. Financial PR firms & the AIM Cesspit - another fight picked
I am sure that I have missed out a few highlights.
At a personal level, many of you met my partner at UK Investor Show. She may be an utterly deluded lefty. No okay she is an utterly deluded lefty but she has been a rock at all times. She even now knows who Joe Cole is and that Mark Noble’s veins are claret and blue. What more could a man ask for?
Thank you all for reading this website over the past year. Year two starts on Monday. What will it bring?
3162 days ago
Fancy free high quality fresh food for your children?
Pop along to Real Man Pizza any Saturday and your wish is granted – children eat for free. Yes it’s true. Check out our Pirates menu here.
Yes it includes, pizza, pasta and our 16 flavours of ice cream and more besides.
All day Saturday children can choose two courses from the menu and their food is absolutely free. The only condition is that you need to have the odd adult present and ordering a main course (at least)
For every adult enjoying a main course, up to 1.5 children can eat free. We are not expecting anyone to saw a child in half. That just means that two adults can bring three children to eat for free.
The offer runs all day Saturday at Real man Pizza in the heart of Clerkenwell.
3171 days ago
It tastes even better than it looks and it is today's £9.95 special at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell. You see we do so much more than just 20 thin crust pizzas at our little Celtic Italian restaurant.
3172 days ago
Can’t speak Italian? Aha. Well that would be spaghetti and clams in English. It is a traditional Italian recipe with the fresh clams cooked gently in their shells in a white wine, garlic and parsley sauce until they open and then mixed in with the sauce included in the spaghetti.
It is not on our menu yet but it is available as today’s special at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell and can be ordered every day as of now once you are addicted.
Why add it to the menu? James asked us to. He’s a local resident and a hugely entertaining man. For you James…your wish is our command.
3178 days ago
Summer seems to be here at last and so the tables go outside. Clerkenwell Road may not be the prettiest in London but if you fancy a pint of draught Curious ale or a bottle of chilled Orvieto and a cigarette in the sun the tables are now out.
Or perhaps you fancy eating at an Italian restaurant outside. Dominque has set it all up for you at Real Man as you can see below.
3184 days ago
Shares in AIM listed Quindell Portfolio have slumped to 7.12p following a disastrous results presentation. But that still values this strange stockmarket beastie at more than £400 million. Folks cannot say that they were not warned about this… On my new www.shareprophets.com website, myself, Lucian Miers and Evil Knievil (SBM editors ‘pal’!) all warned folks to get out well before the current debacle. Personally, I still see the shares as a strong sell – there are just too many red flags here.
Supporters will tell you that the stock now trades on a PE of 5 and that the recent slump from 13p is all down to wicked short sellers and scumbags like me spreading disinformation. Er…no. I list below the red flag issues which should tell you that this will end in tears for the bulls and obscenely excessive bacchanalian celebrations round at Real Man Pizza Company for the bears.
3185 days ago
Scallions? Aha you are not Irish as is our manager Dominique - we refer to spring onions chopped into a creamy sauce with smoked salmon gently re-cooked in a garlic base. . It looks great and on this cold day it is a warming lunchtime treat. It is today's special (£9.95) all day at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell.
3190 days ago
I think it was actually strawberry flavour but she loved it anyway. Dad meanwhile tucked into rum and raison, white chocolate and (wise man) salter caramel flavour. Just four of the 16 flavours of locally produced ice cream on offer at our Celtic Italian Real Man Pizza Company restaurant in Clerkenwell. The full list:
Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Rum and Raison, Pistachio, Strawberry, Honeycombe, Mint Chocolate Chip, Root Ginger, Hazelnut, Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Dulce de Leche Granizado, White chocolate, and on the sorbet list: Lemon, Orange, Raspberry, Passion Fruit and Gin & Tonic.
How can you resist? She couldn’t.
Meanwhile Mum opted for Nigel’s homemade North American vanilla cheesecake with a fruit coulis. I tried to get a picture but it had all gone just too fast. So here’s one Nigel made earlier.
Real Man is open all day Saturday with Dominique and pizza supremo K in charge so if you fancy high quality ice cream you know where to come.
3190 days ago
As fate would have it. Every West Ham game I have seen this season seems to have been a defeat. As such I head off from Clerkenwell to Upton Park this afternoon, taking along a Real Man Pizza Company loyal customer, with some trepidation.
Alan Pardew comes back to the Academy with his side still a good outside bet for relegation. Their recent form is poor and my sense is that whatever happens between now and May 19th, come May 20th Pards is set to get his P45. For a team that thinks it is a “big side” Newcastle has had a lousy season.
By contrast the Irons have started to play some pretty decent football of late. We are now almost certainly safe from the drop and one sense that Messrs Nolan and Carroll will have a point or two to prove today. The odds have to be on a home win, 100% certainty of top flight football next year and Pards being one game closer to black bag time. But I warn you, I shall be heading down to the Academy in a couple of hours, the Albatross is on his way.
3191 days ago
Introducing to you our head cook at Real Man Pizza Company, Fabio who is actually Italian - something of a novelty here. Trained as a chef in Italy, Fabio and his girlfriend moved to London for understandable economic reasons and to improve his English. The latter is work in progress. His cooking talents are not in doubt and he and manager Dominique are dreaming up an additional dish to launch on you after the Bank Holiday.
Talking of the Bank Holiday and the long weekend ahead remember, if you are wondering what to do after work tonight, that if you pitch up at Real Man after 5.30 in a group of six our extra strong Curious beer is just £3.95 a pint, we offer a quality bottle of wine at just £14 and there is free garlic bread ( with or without cheese) for your party.
Dominique, Julia and the team hope to see you later at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road.
3193 days ago
It is May Day and so shirkers of the world, sorry workers, are uniting. Here in Clerkenwell a large band of unreconstructed commies, public sector workers who fancy a day off and assorted fruitcakes are holding their annual parade. Much though I would happily stay all day at Real Man Pizza monitoring the progress of the charming new waitress Julia and tucking into a portion of Nigel’s amazing American cheesecake, I think it is time for a swift exit. One more article and I am off to Paddington.
Bugger the marchers are tramping by. No taxis. And so I bring you a selection of pics from the "workers" making their point. Scumbags.
3193 days ago
And so the happy band of brothers and sisters expands at Real Man Pizza Company with the addition of our latest waitress Julia who joined last week. She survived those first few days and will now be working five days a week here in Clerkenwell at our quirky Celtic Italian restaurant run by manager Dominique ( also pictured inset). Today's special: Julia.
Only kidding, once again - by popular demand - it is the garlic prawns and roasted red peppers linguine at just £9.95. And the other good news is that we have just had a fresh delivery of salted caramel ice cream as supplies were almost exhausted. What more could you ask for?
3195 days ago
Real Man manager Dominique has dreamt up an unusual special of the day here at Real Man Pizza and it will be available right through to closing tonight: Garlic prawns and roasted pepper linguine.
The prawns are marinated in a garlic oil and then added to a tomato sauce with grilled red peppers and the linguine is folded in. with a topping of parsley and blacked pepper it tastes as good as it looks – and is just £9.95 all day. How do I know how good it tastes? What do you think I had for lunch?
3205 days ago
The cook is off sick at Real Man Pizza Company, my quirky Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. As luck should have it I am in town and as luck should have it we enjoyed our busiest Friday lunchtime in living memory. At 3 PM I emerged from the kitchen a sweaty wreck, cursing poor Fabio for being ill on this day of all days. And then I saw a long, long line of red buses parked outside.
I wandered out. The road was taped off. I asked what was up. It seems that a cyclist was killed at the junction just up the road. It rather puts my temporary issues into perspective.
3207 days ago
It is 3.38 AM and I am still tapping away producing high quality material for five different websites ahead of a 5.30 AM stroll to bag a place on the Strand. Mrs Thatcher surely you would admire such entrepreneurial spirit. And the phone rings at Real Man Pizza Company? Feck is it a neighbour complaining that the music is on at full blast. Maybe “watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello is not his cup of tea? Or perhaps it was me singing along to Marianne faithful’s Ruby Tuesday?
Or maybe one of our neighbours is a deluded leftie and objects to me singing along loud to the Kinks anthem which explains why the UK was such a basket case before Thatcher came to power: Sunny Afternoon.
The tax mans taken all my dough,
3208 days ago
Due to the ongoing pick up in business at Real Man Pizza Company we are hiring a new waitress. And so from tomorrow afternoon a number of young ladies from across Europe are popping in to see Dominique and myself in Clerkenwell. All appear desperate for work and so will come in at less than 24 hours’ notice.
How many British applicants? One. The most illiterate CV? No prizes for guessing.
3208 days ago
I took the booking on Sunday Morning as I prepared a private lunch for a friend at Real Man Pizza Company. A table for twelve on our quietest evening – Monday. Sure thing. The 12 turned out to be students from New York University studying in London for a year. They loved their pizza and chatted gaily. Can anyone name the capital of South Dakota? Er.. I was happy to assist. It’s Pierre. Bit as they chatted happily I look at my computer and saw what was happening in Boston.
I told them. Immediately they grabbed their i-phones and sat their gaping at the awful pictures, swapping snippets of rumour and mis-information, stunned. The natural reaction: did they know anyone in Boston. Of course they did. Emails and texts were sent. Will there be other attacks elsewhere. New York is in lockdown. Or maybe it is not. Who did it? Does it matter? Naturally we all have suspicions. But no-one aired them.
After offering them some chocolate pizza on me, my mind turned instantly back to Lockerbie. My first great love Abbe (who so cruelly spurned me all those years ago) was a student at Syracuse. So too were a big party on that fateful flight. Some died at once. Others only as they hit the ground after a 30 second freefall. I know Abbe has been haunted by the friends she lost and by a terror of flying ever since. I guess it is more than 25 years ago now.
There will be some folks in Britain who will harp on about America getting its just desserts. The same sort of revolting people who will be celebrating as others mourn on Wednesday. As it happens I regard America as, generally, a force for good in the world and a free and dynamic society I can only but admire. But as these youngsters wander back tonight I feel for them. They will be exposed to the nasty side of Britain as the nasty left spits bile not sympathy. All they will want is to be back home with their families.
My thoughts are with those hurt, killed or mourning in Boston. But my thoughts are also with a stunned and unhappy group of twelve young Americans wandering home tonight.
3209 days ago
I am still completely wiped out. It is incredibly draining doing presentation after presentation and half way through the post event celebrations I fell asleep (ok I had enjoyed a few drinks as well) but I still feel utterly drained. And so once I have ruined a few other weekends by breaking news of a planning oil company merger involving a well-known name I think I am off to sleep again.
Thanks for the many emails from folks who said that they enjoyed the show. On balance so did I. I thought that the talks were more interesting than for many a year. They have been put on video and so will start to go up from Tuesday in a variety of places. But suffice to say you should register now at www.shareprophets.com to catch many of them.
The location was not ideal. Not least that in order to feed my addiction I had to scrounge a spare packet of Marlboro Light from David Lenigas who had thoughtfully come well supplied. But ADVFN and I know enough now and the show was a success and so we are now planning for UKInvestor 2014. Watch this space – we will announce the date soon.
Highlights for me?
The young man who now writes tips appearing disguised in dark glasses to gain entry (not having booked a ticket). When spotted by Steve Moore, he claimed that he was at Excel to go to the International Cake show down the hall and made a swift exit.
Nick Leslau and Nigel Wray – optimistic about the UK economy and as a double act far more powerful than as individuals. A lot of wisdom was shared by the pair.
Losing the debate with Richard Poulden once again. I am now 3-2 down but I really will try to do slides next year and stage a comeback.
Mark Slater. The obligatory dirty joke but the quality of his analysis of the markets and of individual stocks (three of which have been tipped by myself and Steve) was incredible.
Nigel Farage – unscripted, lucid, funny and on most issues bang on the money. I had a good chat with him and Chris Booker after the event and he is a very funny and pleasant chap. C Booker’s Thatcher tribute was bang on the money and nailed a number of leftie canards.
Above all I really enjoyed meeting so many of you who attended (particularly, I should say, David from Oxford). Thanks for all the kind words and I hope that you enjoyed the day. On stage I had more fun than I have had for years. I can say what I like these days and I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I actually enjoyed the day in a way that I have not enjoyed MI days for a long time. With the speakers, stand holders and the audience I felt far more at home than I can remember being for years.
The home team from RMPC & ADVFN staging our first show should be thanked, notably John W, Clem, Fiona and especially Mike Hodges and from our side Darren, Nigel, Sarah, Steve, Robert Sutherland Smith and Martha. It was their first run at this, the second time is always easier.
So thank you to all who attended. ADVFN and RMPC starts work on Monday on UK Investor 2014 which will be bigger and different. I hope to see even more of you there then.
PS I should mention one other highlight. The after show pool games. I defeated Andrew Bell of Red Rock. Zak Mir fluked a victory against me. And then it was the final: The UKIP volunteers against myself & Zak. They had been trying to persuade Zak to sign up to UKIP although he is obviously a bit too right wing for them. And so with the prize being that if Zak and I won they would allow him to become the party’s immigration spokesman (Zak’s views are unprintably stern on this matter, making Evil seem like a total Guardian reader) we played. The bad news for UKIP is that Zak and I won.
3214 days ago
It is always a pleasure to welcome blog readers at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell and so today it was hello to Anthony from Northern Ireland who was over for the day and popped in for a pizza, a pint of Curious beer and a quick chat about Sefton and other matters. I am here one day in three and so if you are lucky you get to chat to Dominique. Anthony got the short straw and me. But you are always welcome. It was good to see you Antony…keep reading and come again.
And this gave myself and Dominique a chance to apologise in person, in advance for a joint musical offering which we have recorded – a new version of Danny Boy in honour of a certain oil company and its lawyers. For those folks from Northern Ireland who we cannot meet in person we apologise in advance over the internet. Watch this space….
3215 days ago
I know that some folks do not believe that we actually have Justice 4 the Sefton 2 T-shirts and a range of Piss Off Argentina produce as well as the It’s Time to Leave range. And of course we still stock the “I’m a real man line.” And just to prove it here is Dominique the new manageress at Real man Pizza displaying the entire range which you can pick up on Saturday at the UK Investor Show at Excel.
Remember that if you turn up at Real Man in Clerkenwell at any time on Friday 12th or Saturday 13th April clutching a ticket for the UKInvestor show you will get 20% off your meal. You can book a table at any time on 0207 242 3246
3215 days ago
It is just five days to the www.UKinvestorshow.com event, three days to the launch of project x and I staill have one article for 24n.biz to re-write which I wrote earlier but lost thanks to Microsoft 8 and must now remember. And so it is another all-nighter at Real Man Pizza sitting at a restaurant table hammering away at my keyboard.
But to keep me company I have the play list from my 40th birthday. That seems an eon ago. Right now it is the Ramones, next up it will be Sheffield's finest, Def Leppard followed by Ruby Tuesday (the Marianne Faithful version) and then onto Sleeper ( where is Louise Wener now?) but I started with Transmission Vamp with the delightful Wendy James who I am horrified to discover is 2 years older than me. I wonder what she is doing now? In case you had forgotten Wendy in her heyday (1989)...
3222 days ago
I am in trouble. I am now six columns in arrears with 24n.biz the online magazine for SMEs. And so for the next 24 hours I shall be writing little else than articles with tips for small businesses. Enough is enough, it is SME time and so here is my second offering.
I can tell you that my restaurant in Clerkenwell is brilliant until I am blue in the face. As it happens the Real Man Pizza Company is brilliant but to quote Christine Keeler (or was it Mandy Rice-Davies) “he would say that wouldn’t he?” Yes of course I would. But if my customers start to say how much they like dining with us, which of course they do, then maybe you might just perk up and pay attention. Your existing customers should be your number one advertising resource. If they do keep coming back that is proof that they like you.
3229 days ago
If you happen to work near Clerkenwell we have a new offer for you and it all came out of a late night chinwag with some of our customers over a glass or two of Manx Spirit...
Chatting to a delightful group from our neighbours at Metapack (The UK’s leading supplier of delivery management platforms for e-commerce) Aldo and I have come up with a new idea for those working at Metapack or indeed any of the other offices around us.
Fancy a drink or seven after work? Well why not pop into Real Man, your local Italian restaurant?. Come along any day of the week after five in a group of six or more and we will serve you our wine of the month at just £14 a bottle and a pint of the awarding winning Curious beer we stock either as a light or dark ale for just £3.95 a pint.
And we will send two helpings of garlic bread (with or without cheese) direct to your table as a welcome gift.
Every day of the working week, the offer stands. In winter Real Man is warm. In summer we open the windows and it is light and breezy. So if you fancy a few after works drinks with colleagues just pop in. We look forward to seeing you at Real Man.
Can’t say fairer than that. Especially as Aldo does make very good garlic bread with cheese.
3234 days ago
My apologies, Real Man Pizza Company was one staff member down and we were flat out all day yesterday - I guess that is good news in one way but I am afraid there was no time for the Midweek Tomograph. Today is a writing catch up day and next week I am away from London. I start the great writing catch up today and will be back on schedule by the weekend. Apologies.
3236 days ago
Turn down the volume, this chappie makes my language in the kitchen on a busy Friday at Real Man Pizza Company look like the output of a Swiss finishing school. I think he is mad and a little confused. But enjoy..
3240 days ago
Okay, I am a little bit obsessive about this but I have always had a soft spot for ice cream. I am a sort of ice cream nerd. A geek. Have I mentioned that I have a small collection of ice cream scoops, old new, neo-antiques, British, American. I like ice cream.
And I have never really been satisfied with our ice cream menu at Real Man Pizza Company until today. 16 flavours. Hand made. And delicious. Check out the menu here [PDF]
3241 days ago
I mentioned a while ago a wonderful breakfast we all enjoyed at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell sampling 20 different ice creams. We selected 16 and they have all now arrived – a new special ice cream menu goes live tomorrow.
But it is already clear which flavour is the winner. Salted caramel is to die for. In the interests of bringing you a photo of this culinary treasure I have just been forced to eat three scoops – waste not want not!. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
3243 days ago
A Sicilian has posted in Italian on the Real Man Pizza Facebook page asking for a job. That is because he thinks that we are a Sicilian restaurant. That is in fact not as daft as it sounds – we do serve one Sicilian wine but the confusion comes from the Isle of Man flag which flies outside out restaurant and is on our web-page.
Ilse of Man Sicily
You see the similarity – the presence of the triskelion – the three legs. The Sicilian flag comes from 1282, the Isle of Man flag is from 1931 although it is based on the Manx coat of arms which is from the 13th century. Some folks suggest that the Manx flag is derived from that of Sicily, others that it came via Olaf Cuaran, a 10th century Norse Gaelic warlord who briefly ruled the Isle of Man.
It could just be a coincidence – the triskelion is an ancient symbol going back as far as Mycenae.
So our Sicilian friend can easily be forgiven his mistake.
3244 days ago
Shot the other day, this is the new video for Real Man Pizza Company - it took about 25 minutes to shoot. K the pizza maestro was a natural. I needed a few more takes. If you like what you see pop in for a meal in Clerkenwell at Real Man any time Monday to Saturday - more details on the Real Man website
3251 days ago
It is a hard life working at Real Man Pizza for we are switching ice cream suppliers so that we can a) sell only hand made freshly produced product with proven sourcing and b) sell a wider range. And so poor Nigel, Jose (pictured below), Aldo and myself had to sample a range of new flavours for breakfast. Salted caramel was a universally acclaimed winner as was passion fruit in the sorbet class. Peanut butter ice cream won three votes from four while hazelnut ice cream got a gold star from Aldo and so it is in. As of the end of this week we will be offering a choice of 16 ice creams (Cinnamon, Honeycomb, Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Root Ginger, Peanut Butter, Rum and Raison, Hazelnut, White Chocolate, Pistachio, Dulce de Leche Granizado, Strawberry, chocolate chip mint and Irish cream), and 5 sorbets ( Passion Fruit, Lemon, Raspberry, Orange and Gin n’Tonic). Yum. Yum. Just what the doctor ordered.
3255 days ago
16 Month old Joshua came in mid afternoon with his parents for a late lunch at Real Man Pizza Company. Spaghetti Bolognese was followed by a couple of slices of chocolate pizza on the house ( we had it left over from filming earlier). Do not all say “aaaaagh” now as Joshua shows how a chocolate pizza is eaten with style….
3256 days ago
You thought that this was my only blog? Noooooooh. I have started another one. Usually it is just one post a day but I hope to do more – it is my Real Man Blog! Today’s article is below – I tend to use photos for this blog and and am working on trying to get some video content in. The subject is normally food or drink – there are no wild political rants on this blog – that stays here.
What appears below is today’s entry – you can find the whole blog here.
What is Linguine Manx?
It is a recipe pretty much unique to Real Man Pizza Company – it was created by head waiter Aldo (who is actually a trained chef and a great cook) and by owner Tom Winnifrith and it tastes amazing. If you are in Clerkenwell you have to pop in and try it at our quirky Celtic Italian Restaurant..
Linguine – it is a bit like spaghetti but just a tad thicker. The Manx side? The dish contains Queenies, scallops from the Isle of Man. The Queenies are accompanies by crab meat, and also chilli, garlic, lashings of freshly chopped parsley and a backing of our tomato sauce. There is also a dash of Manx vodka just before the tomato goes in.. And then there is a bit more parsley added on top once the linguine is folded into its dressing. Salivating yet? You should be.
And hey presto a Manx Linguine as you can see below.
One of our lunch guests very wisely went for the Linguine Manx yesterday. His co-diner opted for Penne Carbonara ( penne folded into cream based sauce with bacon and freshly chopped mushrooms – once again freshly chopped parsley on top). The two dishes stand side by side below.
Suggested Italian wine for this combination: Tosca Bianco Villa Lucia, described as a fresh and vibrant white wine, medium bodied with aromas of orchard fruit and peaches and zesty lemon on the palate. Or perhaps if you want something a bit special a Riva Leone Gavi ( a delicate white with intense fruity and lemony notes)?
We do not just do pizza at Real Man but as with our pizzas, our pasta dishes use all fresh ingredients and combine the traditional with our own specially created and unique dishes.
3259 days ago
I have relayed to you in detail the scandal of how Heather Frost who has never worked in her life is to be given a £400,000 eco mansion for her and her eleven kids but says that if it is not good enough she will demand a bigger home ( see here ) – that was nauseating. Then came the news HERE that this welfare parasite could afford to buy a horse and stable it for £200 a month.
But brace yourself… it now emerges that she has also paid for flying lessons for her 57 year old (current) partner and to top it all that she spent hundreds of pounds last year hiring a fairground carousel to entertain her kids for a birthday party.
And we are paying for this with our taxes!
I offer a prize of a free meal at Real Man Pizza worth 30% of the monthly stabling costs of Heather’s horse for any deluded lefty who can explain in the comments section below why Heather Frost shows that the benefits system is fair, is working and makes society a better place.
3261 days ago
I feel it is almost poetic. It is less than 24 hours since the king of the Global Warming Nutters ‘fessed up and admitted that the world had not got any colder for 17 years ( see here ). I am still celebrating that capitulation from the old crook Rajenda Pachauri and as I gaze out of the window at Real Man Pizza Company, the snow is falling gently on Clerkenwell. It is almost poetic. I am so glad thatI did not throw away all my winter woolies when Al Gore.Chris Huhne/Call Me Dave and the other nutters told me that winters were a thing of the past.
3261 days ago
Another one of my occassional articles for 24n.biz on tips for SMEs or small businesses.
The restaurant I took control of six months ago hit that magical point last week. Hooray! It is no secret that the Real Man Pizza Company, which I bought in September, was historically a consistent and heavy loss maker. But we have done the basic things that others neglected to do: cut overheads, squeezed suppliers, adjusted prices that hadn’t changed since Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, upgraded, tweaked and improved the product offering. It was not rocket science. And it has worked. For a couple of months it has been making an operating profit. Last week it made a small profit including the central cost (me). So what next? It is the point any start up or turnaround business purchase dreams of hitting, but what next?
3261 days ago
And so we are told the great bull run in gold may be at an end. As I write, the one true currency is trading at $1570 oz. I am told by chartists, not that I listen to a word they say, that as long as a $1550 gold price holds then the story is intact. The problem with chartists is that they are such short termists. They regard a three day trade as a long term investment. Okay, before Zak Mir wades over to Real Man Pizzain Clerkenwell to drink me under the table again as punishment, that may be harsh. But the way to look at gold is on a forty one and a half year view and I am not sure that many technical analysts have bothered to go back that far..?
3264 days ago
This article is from 24n.biz where I write occassional pieces on small business (SME) tips. Out today…
It was promised long ago but like all IT projects there were delays but finally at my small business our new website is live. Check it out HERE – heck I have done one of the “to dos” already. More on that later. So have we achieved our goals?
Well I think so. There is some debate still about our introductory image – the Celtic Sea God Manannan Mac Lir. I think it arouses interest and will draw more folks in to discover more about our Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. My business partner Nigel reckons that it will scare the kids away. We shall see. But my 6 point check list of primary objectives have all been achieved. Look at your website and ask:
3265 days ago
The latest article on Small business tips from me in SME online website 24n.biz is live:
It was a rather humbling experience. Our restaurant has an enormous flag above it. It is painted a bright red. Even Stevie Wonder could not help but notice it. Or so we thought. And so we strolled into the local printers shop 300 yards away from Clerkenwell’s Real Man Pizza Company. restaurant and asked if they could drop off the posters back at our place later. Where are you? Really? I had never noticed you?
Jeepers the restaurant has been there for 45 years. Under its current name and design it has been there for two years. And there is a potential customer – an admitted lover of Italian food – working three hundred yards away who does not know that we exist. We joked about it but it is a very serious point.
It is all very well for you to plan to grow your business by tapping into new markets or reaching out to potential new customers but those should be steps three and four. Step one is ensuring that your existing customers are happy and trying to tap them for a bit more business. In the restaurant game that means persuading the odd extra one to have a coffee after the meal or perhaps to have a pudding – surely our new spaghetti all chocolate must tempt you? But it is the same in every business: you easiest sell is to an existing customer.
3266 days ago
Caitt Reilly is the job snob geology graduate who said that being forced to work at Poundland rather than just sit on the dole until she found a job that suited her was illegal. Needless to say some crackpot judge found in her favour. Incidentally that work experience did her some good as she now has a job at Morrison’s with one suspecting that the supermarket thought the stint at Poundland was a more impressive part of her CV than a degree in geology.
Caitt seems like a sour faced deluded lefty with a point to prove but she is utterly typical of British youth today in believing that she can sit on her fat arse collecting benefits paid for with taxes paid by those of us who do work (often in jobs we don’t relish) until something she likes comes along. That process can take years. And the more we churn graduates out with 2:1 degrees from useless Universities in pointless subjects the more you will get young people saying that a menial job is “beneath them.” The only way to address this is by root and branch reform of the welfare system.
I contrast this with the attitude of young Europeans mainly from Spain and Italy who are flocking to London. Back home there are simply no jobs – youth unemployment is 50% plus and rising thanks to the joys of being in the Euro. And so the more enterprising ones
3268 days ago
Big excitement – the new website is live. Rather belatedly it can now be accessed from a mobile device and features Manannan mac Lir staring out at you. Okay, you do not give two hoots but we have been working at this for a good while and we are excited. The new website also features the new wine menu ( goes live in our Clerkenwell restaurant on Monday) and the upgraded take-away and in-house food menus.
In case you did not know, Manannan is the sea God who protects the Isle of Man with his cloak, that is to say the fog.
You can view the new site at www.therealmanpizzacompany.com
3269 days ago
I had just finished a hectic shift in the kitchen at Real Man Pizza. It was one of those days when folks seemed not to want pizza but pasta or a lamb dish or chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce. And who can blame them? But that mean that for me and our new cook it was a hectic session downstairs (Thursday is always a busy day) with a lot of swearing and running around. The other cook seems to think that I am the master chef and can give him handy hints about how we do things differently in London as opposed to in Italy. I have tried to explain but we are at least cooking well together.
And so I just wandered among the tables being a genial “Mein host” or whatever the Italian version of that is and some chap says “are you Tom?” Oh heck. Does he want to ask me what I think the right share price is for JKX Oil & Gas (I do not know before you ask) or something complex. But no. The chap said he loved reading the Tomograph and had brought a friend along to see what this place was like given how much I rabbit on about this place in the Newsletter. I hope that he was not disappointed. That is the first time this has happened and it has been the highlight of the day.
A bright point worth sharing.
3271 days ago
Apparently the old recipe was not sweet enough. And so we have a new creation at Real Man – the improved chocolate pizza. In the service of our customers I have temporarily ignored my diabetes to sample one and it was amazing. It is an improvement. I am feeling my blood sugar race to new all time highs as I write. But it was worth it.
For chocolate pizza, chocolate spaghetti or a range or rather more conventional recipes why not pop along to Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell
Mention this article today and there is a free glass of our new Gascon house wine with your meal tonight.
3273 days ago
Old photo – I am thinner now…
A charming group of three young people were the last customers at Real Man Pizza Company. on Friday. I managed my best ever Linguine Manx for the young patent lawyer who was paying and that seemed to go down well which pleased me greatly – not the money just the achievement. If you are not au fait with Manx-Italian cuisine, linguine is a bit like spaghetti and the (home created) dressing is based on crab with parsley chopped into the sauce which has a tomato backing but also a bit of chilli, garlic and a dash of Manx vodka (a drink unique to RMPC). And the main ingredient is a dozen or so Manx Queenies (scallops) gently pre-fried in garlic. I served with more parsley chopped finely on top and it looked as great as it tastes. I really am getting the hang of this…
It was the last dish of my day (our busiest day in the year to date) and so I chatted with the customers one of whom stared at me and said “You are Harry Potter’s Dad aren’t you?” I was bespectacled that night but I promised that I have not been moonlighting in recent years as James Potter. I insisted vehemently that I was not Adrian Rawlins, the actor who played James Potter. To which I got a Christine Keeler (or was it Mandy Rice Davies) “well you would say that.” I promised that I was not and turned the conversation round to how on that very table (Number 12) that very afternoon, the actor Ken Stott was lunching. We chatted amicably as we both used to hang out in the Rivington Street Grill a few years ago.
Going back home afterwards I stared at myself several times in the mirror. Other than thinking how the white flecks in three days of stubble made me look rather old, I concluded only that I look nothing whatsoever like the actor who plays James Potter. A very pleasant girl but what was she thinking?
3282 days ago
My old friend Zak Mir wandered into Real Man Pizza at 6 PM last night with THAT look in his eye. I should have made my excuses and fled. A wide ranging discussion followed and the wine flowed freely until I finally kicked him out at 3 AM. Heck, Zak actually paid so it would have been rude of me not to accept his hospitality
Mrs Mir seems to let Zak off the leash about once a quarter at which point he descends on me with THAT look in his eye. Readers of this blog must just accept that on the day that follows I will be somewhat less productive than normal. My alarm is pre-set and so I am up and at my desk but I cannot say that I really have the appetite for much in the way of work.
There are five writing assignments that I must complete today and Clerkenwell’s finest Celtic Italian restaurant has already taken 40 bookings for lunchtime ( about two thirds of capacity) and thus with the staff fully stretched I am on call as super chef. Once that is all done I am going back to bed. It will be relatively light blogging today. Blame Zak Mir.
3287 days ago
It was late Saturday morning and two fresh faced young men were standing outside the door of Real Man Pizza Company looking a bit confused. I like to be helpful (and perhaps they were looking for an early lunch) and so I stuck my head out of the door and asked if I could help? Does anyone inside speak Italian came the reply. Of course, meet the senior waiter Aldo. Poor Aldo.
I should have guessed by the intense but virtuous expressions on their faces. Within a minute or so they were in full swing explaining to Also that Jesus loved him and offering him some reading. Aldo is a cheery fellow and engaged them in conversation and they left seeming happy. He explained to me later that they had eaten with us earlier in the week and that he was trying to keep their trade. He has the patience of a saint that man.
Clerkenwell, where Real man is based, was an Italian district 80 years ago. We still have a Church and a few Italian restaurants. But…overall I would have thought that Italian speaking Jehovah’s witnesses seeking to spread the good word will fund relatively think pickings in EC1. I would suggest they would have a far better hit rate somewhere like….er Italy.
3287 days ago
You may remember that I suggested to you as a new year resolution/ small business tip that you review your contracts with key suppliers as a way to boost profitability. I drink my own medicine and so at Clerkenwell’s finest Celtic Italian restaurant, The Real Man Pizza Company , I have started to practice what I preach.
In case you have not taken my advice, I offer this as a tale of encouragement.
The cost base at Real Man can be split roughly speaking property 4, staff 6 all other costs 5. We will address the property issue in time – I believe our rates are too high and an appeal should be made in due course. Staff – there is nothing that can be done and so that leaves suppliers, all of whom have been in place for an absolute eternity. In such a scenario there is a danger of complacency with suppliers sticking in annual increases on the assumption that nothing will every change.
Suppliers all claim to be your friends. Long standing relationship, blah, blh, blah. The reality is they are out to maximise margins just like you are.
3288 days ago
I am sitting in Real Man Pizza Company trying to catch up on my writing backlog before heading to Paddington and yet again the bastards at Camden Council have sent little men to dig upo the road outside our door. The drill is incredibly load. You would think there was gold buried on Clerkenwell Road as this is about the tenth time in two years that a small patch of tarmac has been dug up and resurfaced. I am assured that the racket will end soon but what is the point? Perhaps it is a cunning job creation scheme where Camden pays men overtime rates at weekends to dig up the same few square metres, resurface and then dig up again every few months.
I have no idea. I just feel that Camden Council hates me. Why can’t they go and plague some of the other restaurants around here and drive away their customers for a change? I am promised the pain will within an hour or so. Meanwhile I have turned the music up full blast so poor Aldo is suffering a CD Punk Compilation 2 prepared by my friend Paul in the IOM and which we play on Monday evenings as well as the drilling.
3297 days ago
Super chef Aldo served this up as a trial tonight as an alternative to my own creation of chocolate pizza and it is just awesome. The adult version comes with a dash of chilli in the thick chocolate sauce. The kids version is just thick brown dark chocolate sauce. A quick management meeting was convened ( myself and Aldo) and it is now on the menu as of tonight.
Roll up, roll up and head off to Real Man Pizza Company for an out of this world experience.
3298 days ago
Sitting at Real Man Pizza Company enjoying a great lunch, clearly there is only story of the day to discuss.
No comment needed from me, the starter’s gun has been fired and we are off…
Perhaps #Tesco is an abbreviation for Total Equine Sourcing Coldcuts and Offal?
At least there were no traces of Jockey found
@frankieboyle: A lot of people longing for the good old days when
#tesco burgers were made from cows’ arseholes, cocks and eyelids
Had a burger last night, still got a bit between my teeth #horsemeat
Stop trotting out these horse puns. I’ve seen the mane ones hundreds
of times, didn’t think they’d last furlong. N equestrians?
Less far, more Shergar
A cow walks into a bar. Barman says ‘why the long face?’ Cow says
‘Illegal ingredients, coming over here stealing our jobs!’
Unexpected item in bagging area
#Tesco clearly taking “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse” a little
bit too seriously.
“Can’t believe that woman was sent to hospital after eating a horse
meat burger… Her condition is said to be stable”
We’re going 500/1 that a burger wins The Grand National this year……
I was a bit worried so I went to the freezer to check my Tesco
burgers, and….THEY’RE OFF.
#horsemeat in burgers? That’s cruel. Horses should be where they
belong: On a racecourse, being whipped by midgets.
Horse meat in burgers? All part of a stable diet.. #tesco
I tried a #tesco ‘beef’burger and thought the going was a bit soft – been nagging me ever since.
Hang on…… Twitter is awash with “missing dog” tweets, and Tesco burgers. Coincidence?
@TomSorbie: Forget the horse burgers, you want to try the
meatballs….. They’re the dog bollocks!!!
They found dog DNA in those #tesco burgers as well, didn’t they…
Every Little Yelps.
3298 days ago
An enjoyable evening at Real Man Pizza Company finally drew to an end. Zak picked up the tab. I hope he submits it as an RSH expense claim.
I suppose after my last 5 AM bender with Zak I should feel lucky to escape at 10.30 PM. We were joined by Richard Jennings of SpreadBet Magazine – he is the one on the right.
The two Northerners (some GNSH & Glasgow respectively) engaged in an act of macho bravado with an order of the Snaefell Diabola, the hottest pizza in the UK. Jennings was demanding water within seconds and wimped out after less than half a pizza. Zak claimed that as an Asian he was used to hot food. He managed one slice.
Perhaps you are more of a macho man than Zak Mir. Feel free to pop along and out it to the test.
3298 days ago
My weekly (SME) small business tips column from 24n.biz focusses on a matter close to my heart… As you may know I am primarily a writer but my real love is my restaurant, the excellent Real Man Pizza Company in London’s Clerkenwell. And so while some of my colleagues are writers others are cooks and waiters. I have always taken the view that one can only lead in one way, by example. This if a writer is rather slow in his or her output you show how much can be produced and whether by inspiring or by shaming you write away and hope that your lead is followed. Since I have been writing for 25 years that is not hard for me to do. But a waiter or a cook?
3303 days ago
It seems that the whole of Britain has the Norovirus. Well not quite everyone. I do not have it. Robert Sutherland Smith says he has it but being an old trooper he is still filing articles anyway – another one is imminent. My two senior staff at Real Man Pizza do not have it but being over 45 they are the sort of fellows who would come into work if their right leg fell off.
Thankfully none of our regular customers at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell have it, business is where it should be. But, bugger me the two younger members of staff are both stricken. That is the sort of thing that happens to you if you do not drink or smoke and go to the gym. You get sick. It is God’s judgement on you for being such a health bore. The net result, cometh the day, cometh the man and I have done two shifts in the kitchen today. It has not stopped me writing or chatting to folk in between creating a fettuccine ragu with an extra chilli twist or a cracking penne with a creamy mushroom and bacon sauce. There is some technical Italian term for that dish too but I am so cream crackered that I cannot remember what it is.
Anyhow, no customer complaints about my cooking and the new Curious Brew beer offering is going down a storm. Only two more articles to polish off and then a pre bedtime prayer that our younger more health conscious staff get well soon. I appreciate that the boards of Sefton Resources, Range Resources, Vialogy etc and a handful of Bulletin Board morons would love me to stick to the kitchen full time but it is not going to happen.
3307 days ago
The pumps were installed on Friday and tested at the weekend and today Real Man Pizza Company abandons the sale of fizzy Euro-pop lager and goes 100% Curious. That is to say the only beers we now sell are Curious Brew (lager) and Curious IPA ( dark beer) brewed by our friends at Chapel Down in Tenterden. Using Sussex barley but with the yeast from the Chapel Down “champagne” recycled into the vat, these beers are award winning.
I am always happy to support a small entrepreneurial business rather than a faces corporate monolith and the fact that these beers actually taste better is a bonus. As if the menu and wine list was not enough, this is yet another reason to pop on down to Real Man Pizza Company today…
3311 days ago
The Argentine economy is going down the toilet. Inflation is 25%, growth is slowing fast and workers are protesting on the streets. In large part this is down to the misguided policies of the Botox-loving President Fernandez. In order to deflect attention from her own incompetence the silly cow is once again stoking up a row over the ownership of the Falkland Islands where a plebiscite this year will show that 99% of the sheep shaggers wish to stay British.
Her latest ruse is to waste Argie Government cash by taking out an advert in a British paper which makes huge operating losses from spouting piffle for its dwindling readership of ageing deluded lefties and whose (profitable) parent company is one of the smartest tax dodgers going. I refer, of course, to the Guardian. Both Argentina and the Guardian can piss right off.
Britons settled in the Falklands when they were deserted since the European political elite who rule the artificially created country that is Argentina were, at that time, too busy exterminating native Indians
3313 days ago
Just a quick note for the folk who expressed concern that New Year’s Eve might prove a culinary disaster after my article of yesterday. Fear not. The one let down is that the Afterburner cheese was not actually included in my bag by the butcher. I shall have words later this week. However on the upside the colcannon worked a treat. And the white beans and 3 pig meats soaked up the chillies so that the Iberian stew had a good kick but was more than edible. Overall: a triumph. Perhaps dishes to put on the menu at Real Man Pizza Company at some stage?
3314 days ago
How many of my 2012 Resolutions did I keep? Not as many as I would have wished. Naturally I shall try to resolve to quit smoking, shed the Christmas pounds, be a better father & son, etc. All the sort of stuff that a Miss World contestant would understand. That is the personal stuff. The business stuff? Well naturally I shall try to ensure that invoices are issued on time and chased correctly, that we look at getting our suppliers to requote, etc,etc. All the sort of things any SME should be doing anyway but which we sort of never quite keep up on top of.
There are a few specific business plans I have: At Real Man Pizza there is a children’s menu to introduce, an expanded special student scheme, the website revamp etc. I am hopeful all will be in place by January 8th. But these are not really resolutions. And so I offer up three:
3318 days ago
As you may remember, my Christmas rituals start in November with the cooking of a Christmas pudding. The day I eat a Jamie/Delia/Hugh. Heston Christmas pudding is the day I have given up on life. This year’s recipe was somewhat experimental. And yesterday it was steamed and served up and …if I say so myself it was a triumph.
The pudding slipped from the bowl in perfect shape. The texture was spot on, smooth with a firm layer on the outside and soft, moist and alcohol charged on the inside. The decision to drop candied peel and replace with a range of dried fruits including apricots worked well and swapping breadcrumbs for oats was a winner. It meant that the pudding was a slightly lighter shade of dark brown than normal but it actually have it just a bit more texture.
Combined with homemade brandy butter ( the simplest thing to make and anyone who buys that in a store deserves to be shot), chilled in the fridge for twenty four hours, it was – if I say so myself – a triumph. This year’s experiment becomes next year’s recipe. 10 out of 10.
The main course: goose, excellent, honey glazed carrots, worked a treat as did the sprouts ( are sprouts getting bigger or am I imagining that?). Roast potatoes and parsnips could have been a tad crispier. With a sweet chilli side sauce: 8.5 out of 10. Let down by the neeps and spuds.
Overall, not bad. Think I might need to do a few shifts in Real Man Pizza’s kitchen to get those spuds right for next year.
3324 days ago
As we prepare for the busiest lunchtime of the year at Real Man Pizza Company the real thrill is listening to the new music playlists that have just arrived on disc from our resident offshore music geek. I am a music geek to and so having had the pleasure of compiling our first list (80s theme) myself, I am now wading through the two new lists.
One is a second 80s list. I am just listening to I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves.
The second is our punk list. As of January 8th, Monday night here is punk and pizza. Poor marks for our finance guy Nigel for not knowing who sang “I want to be free.” Hit: she is now a well padded middle aged respectable TV presenter but I suspect she was always a bit of a nice middle class girl at heart. It is not Debbie Harry ( the bird in the picture) that is just a red herring.
What is your favourite punk track? I have just discussed that with the head of marketing at Cantor Index who, it turns out is a mega music geek. My favourite single is from his favourite album – Alternative Ulster, by SLF. A close second is – from the same part of the world – My Perfect Cousin by The Undertones. I drone on… if you are into music you will understand my excitement. If not this will all be terribly boring and you will not be able to identify the chanteuse described above.
3325 days ago
Like all businessmen I am sitting down reviewing the year just ended and working out how 2013 will be different. Under my direct control my restaurant (the excellent Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell) has moved from loss into profit. It has missed its budget but still that is a starter. Not quite as good as our Manx kipper pate starter but still good enough. But next year will have to be better. And so I will work with my colleagues to ensure that it is. We plan. We think of changes. But if I am reading the thousands of business articles that are published every week, we are missing something in not looking to engage in dramatic innovation. This is deliberate.
Yes there will be some innovation. We introduced a couple of new soups onto the menu just before Christmas and also a new egg vegetarian pizza – the Woodlarks pizza. I will be introducing two new pizza dishes with the next menu in the summer and a new pudding dish as well. And as of Januaary we move to stocking just one range of beers, the award winning Curious Range made on a vineyard in Kent. But this is evolution not innovation. A company always needs to refresh and broaden its product offering – that should be a constant process. Innovation is taken to mean wholesale changes to the way one operates.
Innovation is by its nature disruptive and you need to ask yourself can your business cope with wholesale disruption in what will be a tough year for us all. In most cases I suspect that the answer is no.
3325 days ago
And so it is suggested by some in the Tories that those on welfare should not get cash but a card which would allow them to buy anything they wanted except booze, cigarettes and Sky TV. Deluded lefties are bleating that this is demeaning for hardworking folks who are just temporarily out of work and that the Tories thus hate the working class. Bollocks.
If you are temporarily out of work you will get another job. You then get off welfare and then start paying taxes. At which point you will resent that cash going to folk on welfare who spend it on luxuries. Welfare is meant to be a safety net not a way of life. It is not a job.
If you plan on being unemployed for a long time or forever that is fine. Well it is not actually. But I cannot see why
3334 days ago
I admit that one reason for light blogging is that I was led astray by Lucian, the Goddess and a few others at the Real Man Christmas drinks. I feel a bit fragile today. I am too old for all of this. But there is another reason for light blogging – Oakley (my cat) is back on the Vet’s operating table as we speak.
Greedy vet one clearly feels a bit guilty about the fact that he has stiffed me with an £846 bill and the operation has failed. Oakley’s leg was so weakened by the tumour that the skin cannot heal. And as such Oakley is off to a charity vet today. I shall leave without £140. Oakley will leave without one of his legs.
I know that he is just a cat. And I am all too aware that there are humans in much worse shape. But it is still not a day that I expected to come. It has all happened rather quickly.
I was trying to think of some convoluted and clever sentence involving the flag of where Oakley was born (the Isle of Man) – the triskelion , three legs. But I am a bit too hungover and worried to string words together. I am told that the Old Boy can have a good quality of life with three legs but somehow that seems a little hard to believe. To misquote animal farm “three legs good, four legs better.” It will all be over soon and then back home for a restful Christmas. Extra duck for Oakley.
3339 days ago
As it happens Christmas is a good cashflow month for my business in that away from the media side we own a restaurant – the awesome Clerkenwell eaterie that is the Real Man Pizza Company. Driven by our cracking Christmas menu (which you can read HERE ) bookings are strong. We still have some vacancies so if you need a meal or a party venue you can still contact us HERE but we know that there is enough cash coming in to pay the bills. But for many other businesses that is just not the case. Christmas can be a nightmare. Not only do you have ten days when more or less everything is shut so revenue is nil but in the ten days leading up to Christmas everyone else seems to drunk ( or out of cash) to pay their bills. Yet your staff and other supplies insist on getting paid for a full month. Sods. This can cause a cashflow issue. So how to cope?
3343 days ago
I wonder how many blog readers have eaten at my restaurant in Clerkenwell London, the Real Man Pizza Company. Clearly I wish it were more! If you have yet to come along to sample our unique dishes such as the UK’s hottest pizza (The Snaefell Diabola), the Manx Queenie Pizza, our chocolate pizza and banana & butterscotch pizza or (my favourite creation) the Manx Spirited Treacle Tart, there is now a good reason to come along a brand new menu and the formal launch of the Woodlarks pizza.
You can view the menu and a recently upgraded wine list HERE – as you can see as well as our quirkier dishes we also serve a range of more tradition Italian pizza and non pizza dishes.
As it is Christmas there is now a special Christmas menu (well two of them actually) live and you can view that HERE
The Woodlarks Pizza is another one of my own creations.
3357 days ago
I know that a good number of students read this blog and so if you are studying in London, here is an offer just for you and your student mates. As of tomorrow you can eat Pizza at The Real Man Pizza Company on Clerkenwell Road for just £3. Any pizza from the UK’s hottest pizza, through to chocolate pizza or banana and butterscotch pizza or any one of twenty more conventional dishes.
Just bring along your student ID and on any Monday, Tuesday or Saturday your pizza will cost you just £3. Who says that I am not a nice guy?
For directions to Real Man or to check out the menu go HERE.
3375 days ago
If you are in the Clerkenwell area and fancy something different this Halloween – how about a special pizza – 7 inch or 11 inch.
Based on our world famous chocolate pizza but with additional orange, banana, strawberry and pineapple this dish was created an hour ago by myself and Aldo. If you do pop in and mention that you are a reader of TomWinnifrith.com there is, just for today, a 10% discount.
We are open until 11 PM and can be found at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5BX
Happy Halloween to you all.
3376 days ago
Starting a business and running it in your early years is bloody hard. We all know that. We now that 70% of start ups will go bust within seven years. We would all rather be in the 30%. And in your early years there is a temptation to do almost anything, to take on almost any contract in order to ensure that your business is in that 30%. But that can be a mistake.
As it happens, twelve years after starting my first company I find myself more or less starting up all over again trying to grow my revenues as a writer through various enterprises and agreements. Naturally I have a business plan. Naturally I will not hit the targets set out for years one and two (if ever). Given the uncertainties that exist in any business I may beat them. I may miss them. All I know, from past experience, is that I shall not hit them exactly.
There is a temptation
3397 days ago
There was a long debate a few years ago about whether the Evil Empire had banned bananas that were too bendy. The Guardian and its broadcasting arm (the BBC) said this was just a scare story put about by loony Eurosceptics. Until one such loon (my uncle, Christopher Booker) just pointed out the exact EU directive which did indeed seek to ban bendy bananas. Having swept away the curse of bendy bananas from the shores on Europe the EU is now intent on saving us from another dire threat – home made jam. No doubt Polly Toynbee is at this very moment penning a piece from her Tuscan retreat about how this is all another myth from the xenophobes. But oh no. It is true.
EC Regulations 1935/2004 and 2023/2006
3398 days ago
I seem to have got the sound tight and captured all my head but, this week, not the light. I shall get there. As you can hear I am feeling pretty ropey with a streaming head cold and so this is a short video as I save my strength for Downton Abbey.
3398 days ago
IM listed oil producing penny share dreadful Sefton Resources (LSE: SER) has today issued an RNS which is (by its standards) half way to being accurate. Even so, it is pretty grim. The shares have plunged by 14.5% to a new all time low of 1.325p but I remain of the view that they are worth no more than a fraction of that. They are now 99% down from the IPO price a decade ago, during which time chairman Jim Ellerton has made millions of pounds from excessive boardroom fees. But the stock will fall again and again over the coming years as Sefton’s true predicament emerges. I shall explain below why this is a conviction sell.
3401 days ago
As you may be aware I am not a great fan of AIM listed penny share dreadful oil and gas outfit Sefton Resources (LSE: SER). Its RNS statements are a disgraceful exercise in smoke and mirrors. While investors have lost 98.5% since its IPO as the shares now languish at 1.575p, Chairman Jim Ellerton has trousered millions of pounds over the years. After ten fund raisings in the past three years Sefton is still not generating cash (after bloated PLC costs). I doubt it ever will and frankly I still think the shares are still at least 80% overvalued but Jim reckons that all he needs to do is get the message across to investors. So I am here to help.There is no need for Jim to thank me I am just an all round nice guy. What are you doing on Tuesday 9th October and how would you like a half price pizza as a bonus?
3411 days ago
Fat Lady Clarissa Dickson Wright is in the soup for suggesting that badgers which are despatched in the forthcoming cull should be eaten. I am with her all the way. Indeed I would go further and reintroduce fox to the menu as well.
We are terribly squeamish about what we eat and indeed our relationship with death and animals is utterly out of kilter. I have eaten guinea pig (it was crispy and delicious) and horse and would have no problem with a bit of roast dog if it was offered to me.
Obviously I could not eat a cat. But why do we accept that it is okay to eat rabbit but not guinea pigs?
3412 days ago
The weekly Tomograph Newsletter has just been sent out to those on our mailing list. If you are not on the mailing list you can register here.
The newsletter contains a new article on Downton, Dallas and Ewing oil vs Sefton Resources. Two oil companies. One is based on fiction and the other is (you complete the joke).
There is also a special money saving offer to celebrate the new extended wine list at Real Man Pizza Company where I am having lunch tomorrow with Ortac Resources. Then off to the stocks to write hard for a week.
You can download this edition of the Tomograph here.
You can download all previous editions here.
3414 days ago
No more writing for me today. Something more important…my first home game of the season at Upton Park. In 150 minutes time my daughter and I shall be belting out “i’m forever blowing bubbles” as the teams walk on the pitch. If you are not a soccer fan you will not understand but that moment always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end.
No doubt we will be whingeing about Fat Sam before half time “Same old West Ham, always taking the piss”. Yup I know it. But we have not been to a game for ages. We always chat about the score after every match. But this is it…off to the Boleyn we go. Then back to Real Man Pizza. Chocolate pizza for her. A drown my sorrows, glass of red for me.
Blogging (plus video + Tomograph) resumes tomorrow.
3418 days ago
It was announced today that I had sold 4.35 million shares in Rivington Street Holdings. There will be another 400,000 sold within 24 hours.
Just a brief note to explain. The 400,000 is the final consideration on the purchase of the Real Man Pizza Company outlet and so they will be cancelled by Rivington. I now own that restaurant entirely and can make a few tweaks. The new improved wine menu goes live this week. And a new Monday play list is on the way. I have at least one new pizza recipe for a new Autumn menu.
The rest I sold to John Wisbey of AIM listed Lombard Risk Management. He now owns just under 10% of Rivington. He is a software man so I imagine knows the Blue Curve operation well and he also knows what else Rivington does. I have not got the faintest idea why he wishes to buy. Ask him.
3422 days ago
I have banked with Barclays all my life as has my dad and as did his dad. I worked there for a while. And so it is pretty hard for me to contemplate moving – I am not a hard customer to retain, there is a lot of inertia. So when the new CEO of Barclays, Alan Jenkins, writes to his staff saying that they should think about their customer’s feelings, I dismiss it as PR blather. Of course it is nothing more than that from the man who replaces bankster Bob Diamond. Barclays treats its customers like shit, just like all the other banks – as I am finding to my cost right now. I am thinking I may move not because the staff do not think about my feelings but because they are useless.
3428 days ago
The weekly newsletter sent out to those who have registered their addresses with this website is now out. After a three week absence The Tomograph is back.
As ever, it contains an article unique to the Tomograph. In fact this week there are two. A general piece on life and the events of the last week and what is planned for next week and a few thoughts on civil liberties in the peadophile infested old folks home that is Belgium. There is also a run down on the most popular pieces on the blog over the past three weeks in case you missed them.
You can access this issue of the Tomograph here.
You can access an archive of past issues here.
And you can register to get the Tomograph emailed direct to your inbox by filling in your email address in the box in the top Right Hand corner of this website. I am sure you can find it.
3437 days ago
The building behind my restaurant in London ( the excellent Real Man Pizza Company ) where I am sitting right now is a rather grim Peabody housing block called Scrope Buildings. Who or what was Scrope? It sounds like a cross between Grope and Scrotum and as we are not that far from Islington I suppose that is possible. George Julius Poulett Scrope (1797 – 1876) who was one of those folks who made the Victorian age so fascinating.
Born George Poulett Thompson, he was educated at Harrow ( he overcome that hurdle which has made men like Zak Mir and Dru Edmonstone barely literate and numerate) and then went to Oxford but quickly left to go to an inferior seat of learning in the Fenland swamps. At “the other place” he became fascinated by geology and particularly volcanoes.
3466 days ago
The ferry was late arriving and so I have only been here a few hours but already I have been surprised. The little port town of Sarande cannot be described as picturesque. As you approach on the boat a skyline of 6 storey buildings suggest that you could be sailing up the river Sherbourne into Coventry. Perhaps that is unfair, I have not really explored in daytime. More tomorrow. Leaving the port I walked up Enver Hoxha street. They seem to have a bit of a soft spot for their former dictator. I have already bought an Enver Hoxha mug to take home.
Having no Lekke I found a cashpoint machine and approached it nervously given that I had been lectured by Spiros and every other Greek I met about how Albanians are congenital thieves. But the ATM spoke English and offered me a choice of how many Lekke to withdraw. At which point it struck me that I had absolutely no idea what a Lekke is worth. I opted for the second highest amount on offer. I am now sitting on about 6 weeks wages for the Average Albanian. I may stay here a bit longer as I work my way through them but that will be tough as this place is very cheap indeed.
As I wandered towards the town centre a man asked me where I came from?
3481 days ago
The delightful Miss White is the editor of the City Diary at the Daily Telegraph and has promised to join me for a cosy meal at Real Man Pizza Company on my return to England. I am looking forward to meeting her greatly as she seems a pleasant enough bird and I am not the sort to harbour a grudge over the spate of not very flattering or accurate things she has written about me during the past year. I have yet to hear from my pal Lucy Sharp, the PR girl from Playboy about how to network but maybe taking hot Fleet Street hackettes out for chocolate pizza counts? I am a novice in this field and do feel the need for personal guidance from Lucy, whenever she is ready.
But I do think that Ms White needs her bottom spanking over one issue. I see that in her column today here she has lifted my story about G4S hiring a new PR girl. How do I know she got it from me? Well we discussed it on email and she is a loyal follower of me on twitter (sign up to @tomwinnifrith – in case you, like Anna, want to read all about it before Fleet Street picks up on it two days later). I gather that the “form” here is to offer attribution or a “hat tip” as a professional courtesy. But no such hat tip is offered. Naughty, naughty Anna White. I look forward to our tete a tete in September.
3482 days ago
Some folks seem to think that I am swanning around Greece in luxury, just relaxing. That is not my style. For me it is a back pack and buses and trains, boats only if needed. I have generally been a mainland sort of person and have in fact visited only three islands, Corfu, Crete and Euboea in my 44 and a half years on this planet. I hope that in a week or so I shall start adding to that list. I have never island hopped and now seems as good a time as any. I await advice from Despy as to where to head to… all is on hold until then. Despy, please note.
I am now in Corfu. The 8 hour bus journey from Athens was not comfortable. At least buses have air conditioning these days but I seemed to be surrounded by very tall men and there was nowhere to rest my legs without unintentionally playing footsie. The roads switch from new EU funded superhighways to windy 2 track roads from a long time ago. As such there were bumps pretty much all the way making reading or sleeping impossible.
3497 days ago
I am asked by one reader to explain my nasty comments about the IRA yesterday given that one of my blog heroes is Michael Collins. Another reader suggests that I run a caption competition with the picture below. Okay. Here we go.
Lets start with the caption competition which is open ONLY to those who follow me on Twitter. Send your entries by Twitter with a deadline of 4 PM Monday. The prize is a meal for two including a bottle of (Chapel Down English) wine at Real Man Pizza Company. It will be the funniest entry that wins and complete lack of taste is no bar to winning the prize. To set a benchmark the butcher says to Her Maj “If you follow me I have for you a pair of your late Uncle’s deckshoes I kept as a souvenir.” Bad taste is no bar to winning. Tweet your attempts to @TomWinnifrith
3498 days ago
Life as a visitor to a hot bankrupt country might sound idyllic. But when BOTH your computers play up suddenly my attempts to enjoy a stress free existence go up in smoke. And so it was, yesterday 29th June 2012. It was a day that was meant to be the end of one chapter for me and the start of another. For some reason both PCs now seem to be working again. Perhaps they just needed a day off. I feel rather exasperated by a day when my output was minimal but when a lot was happening.
I should start with AIM listed Athol Gold
3503 days ago
At the start of the game I was supporting England. After 120 minutes I felt that it would have been a monstrous injustice had Italy not gone through. Over 90 minutes and 120 minutes they were by far the better side and deserved to win. They showed flair and were a pleasure to watch. Italian playmaker Andre Pirto was just a delight – his ultra-cool penalty kick completed a game which he dominated with a cool brilliance which was just inspiring. The commentators reaction was that England are only “average” – hmmm.
Italy are not a great side, not even a great Italian side. But they are very good. As are the other 3 semi-finalists. My heart wants Italy to defeat Germany and then Spain in the final. My head expects a Spain v Germany final and in that game I think Spain should win and I pray it does win as a) they are the best side in the tournament and b) they are not Germany.
3505 days ago
I find myself reflecting on how odd it is, the way that we use paper money at all in 2012. Most of my transactions are, these days, done by card or online. Once every two weeks I draw out £200 from a cash machine and then steadily spend it. Once I quit smoking (again) that should be once every three weeks that I visit an ATM. Cash as a means of transaction is becoming less and less relevant to my life.