Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for What the Critics SayAA Gill finds the ideal nostalgic pub in the Lord Nelson in Brightwell Baldwin, Oxfordshire.

The Sunday Times food critic says his meal was a really good home lunch, “of the sort you’d be lucky to get if your mother was as good a cook as she thinks she is”.

“A menu that was both local in ingredients and comfortingly national in intent, without being English Heritage or gastro-restoration. That’s a very difficult thing to pull off as catering: it’s not starred food, or photographed food, it’s precisely what you want in a pub, but never seem to get,” Gill enthuses.

Tracey Macleod finds the seemingly idyllic foodie paradise of farmshop café Bill’s Produce’s first outpost in the capital is all a bit ersatz.

“It’s undeniably picturesque, this rus-in-urbe idyll, apparently created in some old light-industrial building. Until you realise that the whitewashed brick walls, reclaimed furnishings and exposed ducting all appear to have been imported on to an empty site and painstakingly reconstructed from a designer’s look book,” she says.

Writing in The Times, Giles Coren says Brawn, the new British restaurant from the team behind French restaurant and wine bar Terroirs, is terrific, while The Observer’s Jay Rayner finds a mixed menu at kebab house Lahore but can’t complain because of the incredible value for money.

The Archangel in Somerset is an absolute winner, according to Zoe Williams of the Sunday Telegraph, who says there’s something wrong with you if you disagree.

The Guardian’s John Lanchester says Nando’s grilled chicken – albeit super hot – is proof that a multinational fast-food chain’s offerings don’t have to be awful.

Lisa Markwell’s cover as the Independent on Sunday’s food critic is blown at Peter Gordon’s new restaurant Kopapa but it’s not only the consequent special treatment that makes her want to come back to try more of the menu.

Finally Matthew Norman of the Daily Telegraph finds madding crowds, muzak and flashes of brilliance at the Michelin-starred Sienna in Dorchester.