Restaurant Review: Pollen Street Social

Our journey to Pollen Street Social started exactly six years ago to the day, with a visit to Gordon Ramsey’s Maze restaurant (our first visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant which has sadly gone downhill since), where Jason Atherton was the Head Chef at the time. Six years later, and what must seem like a million years to Jason, we visited his flagship restaurant, Pollen Street Social (also holding one Michelin star), just off Regent Street in London. Jason has gone from strength to strength since leaving Gordon Ramsey to branch out on his own. According to his website, there are 16 restaurants, located around the world, either opened already or opening soon.

We visited to celebrate my wife, Clara’s, birthday for lunch in January. January is always an interesting time for selecting a restaurant as many close for the first week, and overall it’s not known for being the busiest time for any restaurant. I picked Pollen Street Social as I’ve been waiting to go back and visit a Jason Atherton restaurant, but also in the 2016 Good Food Guide it was ranked 3rd overall best restaurant (and I’ve already been to the top two!).

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Reading List: 3rd January 2016

For my first reading list of 2016 I’m still catching up from the last few weeks of 2015 when I didn’t get to make any posts. This post contains articles on the role of testers in agile teams, the real rules of life, a brief history of Yahoo, #noprojects (read below to find out more!), radical candor, unicorns v donkeys and how project managers can be an agent for agile change.

As usual if you have any thoughts or comments on the articles, please leave one below.

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Reading List: 28th December 2015

It’s been a few weeks since my last reading list. December has been pretty busy in my home and work life, so I’ve got a few weeks reading to catch up on.

This time I look at how to make tough decisions; an ongoing debate about whether programmers can call themselves engineers; what really makes a startup work; the algorithms behind data analytics and the 100 best podcasts according to Inc magazine.  As usual leave me any thoughts or comments below.

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Dream a Little… Intelligent Virtual Assistants

I was recently asked to present a our yearly management conference in a segment called “Dream a Little…”. The segment saw 15, 2-5 minute segments where a number of us had to present a vision of the future and potentially how this would affect our company and the employee benefits sector in general.

I did two segments and for the first one I decided to show the future of Intelligent Virtual Assistants i.e Apple Siri, Google Now, Microsoft Cortana or Facebook ‘M’. I thought I would share it and see what people think. The first section was performed with a Siri ‘voiceover’ followed by a speech to the delegates.

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Reading List: 22nd November 2015

This week’s been a busy week with plenty or reading taking place. We start with quite a technical article from the Harvard Business Review on disruptive innovation; move through articles on large scale retrospectives, losing friends in your 30s and the personalities that make good programmers. I also feature some articles around the open sourcing of the TensorFlow AI engine from Google, remote working, how to speed up delivery of your web pages on mobile devices and take a look at 20 methods for backlog prioritisation.

This week I’ve also signed up for a subscription to Blinkist. This service summarises top non-fiction books as 15-20 minute ‘blinks’. I use the audio service to listen to a book on my commute to work. So far I’m finding it very useful, although it obviously depends on the content of the book your listening to! I’ll share more as I continue to use the service.

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Reading List: 15th November 2015

This week I’m catching up a little after my holiday. I’ve got a wide variety of articles to discuss from looking at the reasons why we work to the history of Xbox Live. I’ve also read a lot about unhappiness including why under 35’s are so unhappy and why too much choice is making us unhappy. Finally, the Spotify labs tells us that the IPv6 change-over might be coming sooner rather than later – but might not be as big a problem as we first thought!

Finally, its the time of year for a new issue of the ThoughtWorks Radar.

If you have any thoughts or comments on the articles, please leave me a comment.

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Reading List: 8th November 2015

There was no reading list last week as I was away on holiday (as you’ll see by my other posts!). This weeks list catches up on a few things I’ve read over the past couple of weeks, but due to not having a commute, it’s a little light!  Articles include:

  • A review of open source PaaS technologies by GDS
  • Product design inspired by the worlds best restaurants
  • The 10 commandments of marketing
  • The John Lewis Christmas advert… sorry to those who hate Christmas, it’s on it’s way!

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