There’s something rather addictive about blogging, from the high of hitting “Publish” on a post I simply can’t wait to share to the multitude of benefits that I’m still discovering – whether in the form of new friendships made with kindred e-spirits or thrilling new encounters and experiences that I might not otherwise have had!
While there’s been no flip side per-se, I’m also discovering that the #BloggerLife does come with its own nuanced set of complications (an expanding waistline notwithstanding!)…
I think for me, the biggest issue I’ve had to contend with is that of consistency.
There has been more than one instance where I’ve learned (albeit from others) that the standards/ service/ quality of a restaurant have seemingly slipped long after I’ve given it a glowing review based on my previous (and more stellar) experience.
On a related note, it’s inevitable that people are likely to have different experiences at a restaurant even within the same time-frame. There are so many contextual factors at play from personal preferences or the mood you (or indeed, your servers!) were in, to the specifics of the dishes tried and tasted. Eneko, the new Basque restaurant in London (an off-shoot of a three Michelin-starred establishment in Bilbao) is a prime example of this.
Its reviews have been fairly mixed, with many of my fellow foodies (whose opinions I hold quite high) having been underwhelmed by their meal here. Having read their point of view, I found myself second-guessing my own… until I mentally shook myself with the reminder that each person is entitled to their own perspective, however different. It also reminded me that that in general, reviews (whether by a critic or blogger) should be taken with a subjective pinch of salt – especially by those reading it.
Third, there’s the question of how scathing should a review be following a less-than-favourable impression of a restaurant. Each reviewer’s style is different, so again this varies across the board.
As for me, I try and paint a balanced picture, not least for some of the reasons so eloquently articulated in Tom Sellers’ recent review of a reviewer.
We thrive in negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than “our” criticism designating it so – Tom Sellers
Life’s not perfect, and there’s no such thing as a perfect meal – each is likely to involve a mix of hits and misses. While I do call out the things which didn’t work for me, I also try and highlight some of the positives, as it’s not all bound to be fallible.
I could go on (I’m known for over-thinking things from time to time!) but to get to the crux of it, I always remind myself why I started keeping this online journal in the first place… As a way of sharing my thoughts, travels, out-of-the-ordinary or other memorable experiences, culinary quest and latest discoveries, which in the past have included the likes of macaron ice cream sandwiches, matcha ice cream cones wrapped in candy floss and even FreakShakes in Bombay.
The FreakShakes make another good point actually.
Yes, they’re outrageously over-the-top and no one’s expecting them to win any great gastronomic awards any time soon. They’re probably not to everyone’s taste (shockingly proving too sweet even for me!), but they were rather fun to order, taste and write about – hopefully making for an entertaining read for you too. I know that I often live (and eat) vicariously through the adventures of my fellow foodies…
So as I continue on my various exploits, I do so in hope that you find these chronicles interesting, informative and useful!
What do you find to be the trickiest part about blogging? Equally, what do you look for when reading other blogs?