Food & Drink

Dine Online

Dine Online has hit the right balance of expert opinion and reader input - it's one of the few sites where you feel you can trust the visitors' opinions as much as the professionals'. It might not look as funky as some of the other sites but it's bang up-to-date with restaurant news and a pleasure to browse. More please.

Edited by Clifford Mould (ex-colleague of Tony le Ray Cook), Dine Online is a news and reviews site for keen restaurant-goers. It incorporates wine and travel information but does so primarily from the perspective of restaurants.

Dine Online is tops for keeping up to date with the restaurant scene. Sure, the restaurant news section on chef moves and new openings is mainly generated by press releases, but they make that very clear and at least we're getting the information. Other sites don't always bother to update reviews, even when chefs move on.

Speed is good, but the site design could do with updating, and some of the coloured text is difficult to read. Monthly highlights are put in a panel at the top of the page. Scroll down for the search facility and department listings.

Special Features

Restaurant News Several small articles concentrate mostly on London venues but also cover the rest of the UK. Items may include seasonal dining recommendations, chef moves, guest appearances by international names, planned openings and so on. This section was a little disappointing on our last visit for the purposes of this edition - previously we had found it very good.

Recent Reviews UK Unlike other sites, Dine Online takes the time to give in-depth coverage of good rural restaurants. Here you will find excellent destinations in Devon, Norfolk, and Shropshire, amongst others.

Recent Reviews Abroad This section is both practical and exotic. There are articles on things you may actually do in the next few months, like take a short break in Paris or make a booze run to Calais, as well as what you will need to know when you finally book those tickets to Hanoi.

Readers' Grouses Were you made livid by the food or service at a critically acclaimed restaurant? Here's you're chance to kick 'em where it hurts by telling other enthusiastic diners.

Inside Pages This is the archived material, kept impressively relevant with further comments, amendments and updates. There are pieces on pubs, recommended Asian restaurants, kid-friendly eateries, dining out in Greater London, plus ideas on where to stay. Old Favourites is not a listing of long-established venues but a series of articles frequently requested by readers and is worth a look for cookbook reviews and articles on subjects such as dining out in Japan.

Other Features

Notice is given of current wining and dining events, such as wine tastings and special guest appearances. There are links to other restaurant review sites, some to restaurants, and plenty of international wine links.