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The Restaurant
The Restaurant: A History of Eating Out | William Sitwell
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Tracing its earliest incarnations in the city of Pompeii, where Sitwell is stunned by the sophistication of the dining scene, this is a romp through history as we meet the characters and discover the events that shape the way we eat today. Sitwell, restaurant critic for The Telegraph and famous for his acerbic criticisms on the hit BBC show MasterChef, tackles this enormous subject with his typical wit and precision. He spies influences from an ancient traveller of the Muslim world, revels in the unintended consequences for nascent fine dining of the French Revolution, reveals in full hideous glory the post-Second World War dining scene in the UK and fathoms the birth of sensitive gastronomy in the US counterculture of the 1960s. This is a story of the ingenuity of the human race as individuals endeavour to do that most fundamental of things: to feed people. It is a story of art, politics, revolution, desperate need and decadent pleasure. Sitwell, a familiar face in the UK and a figure known for the controversy he attracts, provides anyone who loves to dine out, or who loves history, or who simply loves a good read with an accessible and humorous history. The Restaurant is jam-packed with extraordinary facts; a book to read eagerly from start to finish or to spend glorious moments dipping in to. It may be William Sitwells History of Eating Out, but its also the definitive story of one of the cornerstones of our culture.
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It's worth noting that this is pretty UK-centric... though it does cover cuisine in other parts of the world, it seems to pop back to the UK pretty regularly, or cover things as they relate to the British dining scene. Not sure we're really a hub for this... heh.

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I must admit, I partly got this because the idea of using it as a guide to write Good Omens fanfic was too good to miss. (And I'm giving it a try.)

Really, so far the idea of a restaurant hasn't really surfaced. In Rome, yes, okay, but the other chapters describe hospitality and things which aren't quite like a modern restaurant, nor really connected to them. Interesting so far, though!

Clare-Dragonfly That‘s a brilliant idea and I want to read that fanfic 😆 11mo
shanaqui @Clare-Dragonfly Even better: turns out the first coffeehouse in Britain was called The Angel. No word of a lie. 11mo
Clare-Dragonfly …that NEEDS to be a Good Omens fic. 11mo
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Didn‘t know we had been eating out for so long. 7/10