Glasto Fomo, New Drinking Game And Artisan Reviewed

Emma Chadwick | 3rd July 2017

There’s a new drinking game at VIVA HQ where everyone glugs whenever VIVA Ems mentions she DJ’d at Glastonbury. In fact, the art of dropping ‘I JUST DJ’d at GLASTO’ is now called Glastoclanging and VIVA Ems is the outright winner. I just thought I’d better explain why many VIVA girls and boys have been sozzled for the past week and will probably be sozzled for the many weeks to come until she jets to Ibiza for closing parties and there’ll be a whole new game.

It was lucky Artisan who won VIVA Ems’ first day back to reality, a hint of mud still in the crevices of her ears and sleepy eyes blinking as though she wasn’t quite sure where she was.

We had gone to review a new menu at the sprawling restaurant with it’s rustic, I’m not quite sure that sofa’s gonna hold, lofty charm. It’s a little cacophonous but also homely with herbs growing at one side, the best ladies’ in town and comfy booths where you can feign interest while people tell you that ‘Craig David was really good actually, much better than you would think’.

Our waiter, Bogdan (meaning given by God – like Jesus, VIVA Ems astutely told him before adding she’d just DJ’d at Glasto) was also charming and didn’t bat an eyelid. Flatbread was ordered as a pre starter and was gorgeously carborific, gobbled down by the Glasto-starving masses. Artisan is renowned for its pizzas and this was our only venture into this side of their cooking, damn fine it was too.

VIVA Ems, because she’d presumably been too busy DJing or something to eat, taking a leaf from Sam’s book went for two starters. The Glasto DJ (oo we went down the rabbit hole and danced in Bez’s flying bus) had prawns, which were good looking morsels in a pinkie peppery sauce. Nice. While asparagus in hollandaise was healthy and naughty, an eggy veggie treat.

By this time everyone was eating everyone’s starters. My chicken liver parfait with foie gras was a little tasteless, overwhelmed by nuts and seeds sprinkled on top, while Sam’s two starters (even though as far as we know he wasn’t DJing at Glasto) of prosciutto and watermelon was the success of the table and avocado and poached egg was the brunch you love but a starter (starters from £5.50).

Onto mains (from £9.50) and the Glastoclanger’s mussels were juicy and perfect in a mariniere sauce with a bread pie top which sparked ‘breadgate’ on whether this was a good or bad thing. My money was on good, because it keeps the mussels lovely and moist, looks pretty and you can scoop the yummy sauce up with the bread. What’s not to like?

Rambo thought her salmon en papillote was cooked well and fresh but not having DJ’d at Glasto was perturbed by the number of potatoes that came with it. Potatoes are not vegetables, well obviously they are, but not what you think of when it says it comes with veg because they’re potatoes. Quite.

Sam and I both had steak which was lovely and juicy, just what you want when you want a steak and priced well, starting from £18.50.

Onto puds (and we were washing this down with some fab fizz from £29, but house wines are from £17.50) from £5.50, and the highlights of these were a fantastic sticky toffee pudding and lemon tart. While a salted caramel ice cream was the stuff of dreams.

VIVA verdict: Artisan is a great place to eat with mates. You can go big or stay within a budget for good, proper nosh and drinkies. The ideal surroundings to banish any Glasto FOMO and shut up DJs with carbs.

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