Category Archives: Wine

New Menu at The Drift and All Drake & Morgan Restaurants

London bar and restaurant group, Drake & Morgan, has launched a new spring/summer menu focused on “Mediterranean flavours and sun-kissed ingredients.” An invitation to have a taste of the new menu led to a lovely Sunday lunch for Kemey and me at D&M’s airy, expansive and pleasant The Drift at the base of Heron Tower. Continue reading

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Wiener Demeanour: Cafes, Restaurants, and Bars

I had a delicious time in Vienna – a city that perhaps more than any other best exemplifies European café culture and presents visitors with a delectable array of food and drink options ranging from down-to-earth comforts to upscale innovations. … Continue reading

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Shepherd Market Wine House

Bravo to Ben Van de Meutter – manager, buyer, and Head Sommelier at Shepherd Market Wine House – for knowing his stuff and backing it up with enthusiasm and presenting his wares in an approachable manner and in an easy-going and comfortable setting. Continue reading

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Greek Cheese and Wine Tasting at Isle of Olive

Isle of Olive – Hackney’s home of Hellenic hospitality and great Greek food and drink – continues with its delicious charm offensive by offering wine tastings and related events. Continue reading

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Cork Report | Obrigado

From ancient oak forests south of Lisbon to state-of-the-art processing facilities near Porto in the north, tracing cork’s route from the tree to the finished product turned out to be a fascinating journey across Portugal. Continue reading

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Uncannily Great Dining at The Balcon, Sofitel St James Hotel

All the right points were hit seemingly with prescience during my recent dinner at the Sofitel St James Hotel’s Balcon resulting in one of the better restaurant experiences of my year thus far. Continue reading

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Theo Randall at the InterContinental Reopens – Still a Great Place for Italian Cuisine

Taking stock of a decade doing delicious justice to classic Italian dishes, Theo Randall has reopened his restaurant at the InterContinental after an interiors refurb and the addition of a few new menu items. Great news! And the best news about the reopening is that Chef Randall has managed to maintain all the qualities that already had made his eatery one of my favourite places for Italian food. Continue reading

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Cork Report | So Much More to Bark About

Obviously, cork stoppers are by and far the most likely application for cork. But – as a sustainably harvested crop that’s naturally fire retardant and insulating (thermal and acoustic), flexible, hypoallergenic, and impermeable to liquid and gas – there’s plenty more being done with it. Shall we have a quick look? Continue reading

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Good Stuff #53

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Cork Report | From the Forest

Just across the Tagus River about 30k south of Lisbon is Herdade de Rio Frio, a centuries old 4,000 hectare “homestead” with strong traditions in horse breeding, equestrianism, and polo as well as viniculture and winemaking. Within the Herdade is what was once the world’s longest vineyard – with rather delectable quaffs still being bottled from the grapes of remaining vines today. This vast expanse of land is also home to a cork forest. Continue reading

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Cork Report | Popping Down to Portugal

Back in June of last year, Kemey and I popped down to Portugal for an immersive two-day crash course in one of the country’s most enduring, sustainable and biggest industries: cork. Continue reading

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Fleurs des Rêves: Bompas & Parr X Perrier-Jouët at The London Edition

Dudes. Listen up. Dark forces are at work. No longer is it going to be a safe bet to selecting some nice flowers to offer to your beloved. Now – compliments of a luxury trio consisting of Bompas & Parr, The London Edition, and Perrier-Jouët – you might have to make sure your chosen blooms aren’t of the ordinary hum-drum one constant colour variety but newfangled and fascinating colour changing Fleurs des Rêves. Continue reading

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Two Champagnes, One Chef | GH Mumm | Perrier-Jouët

Invited by two Champagne houses – GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouët – for an overnight visit to the Champagne region for a meet with their Chefs de Caves (Didier Mariotti of Mumm and Hervé Deschamps of Perrier-Jouët), I enjoyed a behind the peek of what goes into blending two of the world’s most celebrated quaffs and how distinctive each is. A bubbly affair to be sure, the occasion served as an excellent opportunity to discover how these wines differ, while enjoying two showcase dining experiences (one for each wine) crafted by in-house chef for both Mumm and Perrier-Jouët – Josephine Jonot. Continue reading

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Dish of the Month at 108 Brasserie

Roasted whole turbot for two with trumpet mushrooms, baby onions, spinach gratin, and potato mousseline (£65): that’s February’s Dish of the Month at 108 Brasserie Continue reading

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Best Bars of 2015 (Excluding London)

Hey globetrotters, who’s up for a drink? If you ever happen to find yourself thirsty in Barcelona, Rome, Atlanta, Bath or even tiny Hillsborough, North Carolina here’s where to go for the best flow of drinks mixed with camaraderie. Continue reading

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Good Stuff #47

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Tacopedia: The Taco Encyclopedia Published … Continue reading

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Win a Case of Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry Vallate from WineTrust

Online wine retailer, WineTrust, offers discerning customers a “ruthlessly edited selection” of wines from small independent wine makers whose products have “character and deliciousness that over-perform for their price.” Sounds good to me! So when the opportunity to pop the cork and collaborate with WineTrust presented itself, I raised my glass high to such delectable ambition and suggested we find a way to pass the bottle on to you lovely readers. Continue reading

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Good Stuff #46

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Lazy Arm With its 700mm … Continue reading

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My Mini Grand Tour: Abbaye de Montheron

Set beside the Talent River within the wooded Jorat Valley (and only about a 15 minute drive outside central Lausanne), the Abbaye de Montheron is an ideal venue for special occasions, dynamic dinners paired with long forest walks, and quick rural retreats without having to put too much of a pause on all that urban luxury just up the road in Lausanne. Continue reading

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TONIGHT: Milano Exposed at Old Spitalfields Market

This afternoon and tonight are your last opportunities to sample the range of Italian delicacies at the Milan Exposed event celebrating the best of aperitivo Milanese. Continue reading

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Classic Old School Italian Night Out at Getti, Jermyn Street

Hey, I’m all for innovation and for people attempting to wow my palate in new and different ways. Indeed, that’s what’s made writing about the London dining scene such a killer gig over these past several years. But – and it’s a big ole booty butt – if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And in the case of Jermyn Street’s mainstay trattoria, Getti, everything seemed A-Okay and in delicious working order during my recent visit. Continue reading

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Vinothec Compass: A Stroke of Food and Wine Genius in North Greenwich

Realising that one of the better meals served to me this year and the best wine list I’ve come across in London in quite a long while both happened to be on offer at a new golf range in North Greenwich really threw me for a loop. But hey, I’m apt to take a swing at virtually any possibility if there’s the promise of great food and drink. Accepting an invitation to what seemed like a long shot – an evening of “Terroir and Turf” at Vinotech Compass at Peninsular Golf Range – turned out to be an ace culinary experience that’s easy to recommend and one that I hope to repeat soon. Continue reading

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Wine and Spice at The Cinnamon Club

Led by affable and knowledgeable Laurant Chaniac, wine consultant to The Cinnamon Club and Kitchen, the intimate event was held in the restaurant’s intimate library, where guests were invited to sample a range of greek wines paired with exceptional dishes such as pistachio and spice crusted saddle of lamb and tandoori cod with fenugreek seeds. I loved all the wines and pairings of the night, but without doubt my favourite was the one at the end served with dessert: an especially deep flavoured Assyetiko Vin Santo 2004 (of which only 1,000 bottles had been produced). Continue reading

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My Food Assembled! Falling in Love with Food Assembly

Have you heard about Food Assembly? It’s a convenient new way to shop locally and seasonally that I’ve just come across – and have fallen in love with. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share my personal Food Assembly experience across a series of My Food Assembled! posts to whet your appetite (and maybe even run a fun competition to give one lucky reader the chance to shop Food Assembly for free). Continue reading

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Fizz & Fish! WineTrust at Hook Camden Town

Online wine retailer WineTrust recently teamed up with sustainable fish restaurant Hook Camden Town for a “Fizz & Fish” pairing of Champagnes and sparkling wines with a variety of fish and chip dishes. Coolest thing about this match made in foodie heaven (or at least from my greedy perspective) was that they kindly invited me along to enjoy the savoury slurp fest! Continue reading

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Yelp London’s Big Night In: Free Treats and Services Delivered to Your Doorstep

Have you heard about Yelp’s Big Night In? With mega-loads of free treats and services being offered to 30 lucky Yelpers, a quiet Friday night at home never looked so good! Continue reading

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Living Lech: A Taste of Austria’s Gourmand Side

Austria, like any culture-rich nation, has a consummate tradition of food: timeless recipes, fresh ingredients, and local preferences. That’s given. What I didn’t expect from my four-day trip to Lech, a traditional valley town nestled into the sprightly Alps, was for my farm-fresh experience to cross-over with world-renown couture gastronomy. And here’s the thing about couture: it always fits. (Not sure if I could say the same for my jeans afterwards.) Continue reading

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Camino Tapas Bar Carves a Path to a New Bankside Location

Furthering restaurateur Richard Bigg’s vision of casual Spanish dining in Britain, Camino Bankside offers Londoners more opportunity to enjoy Executive Chef Nacho Del Campo’s smart menu of tapas, sharing platters and more in a stylish setting with plenty of outdoor seating. Continue reading

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Nothing Jarring about a Relaxing Dinner at Drury Lane’s Jar Kitchen

A member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Jar Kitchen’s menu features plenty of British fare (all meat sourced from Walter Rose & Son butchers in Wiltshire) with a contemporary European twist along with tasty items presumably picked up just round the restaurant’s Seven Dials corner (chiefly Monmouth Coffee and Neal’s Yard Dairy). And – from what I could ascertain at a recent tasting event – I it’s all in good hands with Chef Dominik Moldenhauer (ex-Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner). Continue reading

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Dining at the Renewed Aqua Nueva

It had been some while (like a couple of years) since I had last dined at Aqua Nueva, but I still held strong memories of how much I enjoyed my meal when I recently accepted an invitation to return for a visit after the soft launch of this Spanish restaurant that’s just reopened after a long hiatus for refurbishment. Continue reading

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A Taste of Puglia: Drinking

The last post in my Taste of Puglia series was about the best bites from the region. But what drinks pair well with all that excellent southern Italian food … wine … coffee? Sure! Puglia can be proud of its contributions to these two most significant liquid elements of Italian culture. Continue reading

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Five Years of Bar Boulud London

Now considered a mainstay of the Knightsbridge dining scene, Bar Boulud London at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park celebrated five years at the hotel last week by closing the restaurant to the public and putting on an anniversary dinner hosted by Chef Daniel Boulud for “special customers and guests, and a few select media.” What a pleasure it was to be included among the select few invited to attend. Continue reading

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Maze Grill, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Another week, another chance to visit another Maze Grill in Chelsea. Or so that’s how things have shaped up here on this blog with Leila Duke’s review last week of Maze Grill Park Walk and now my own write up of another recently opened MG in Chelsea – this one on Royal Hospital Road. Continue reading

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Bird of Smithfield Soars into a Second Year

Happy birthday to Bird of Smithfield and cheers for the brilliant self-hosted bday par-tay! I had a blast and loved exploring your multiple floors of foodie fun – especially hanging out at your Veuve Clicquot roof terrace taking in the views of Smithfield Market and Clerkenwell. Continue reading

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Find Sicily’s Tastiest Spots with the Free Agromobile App (OneTravel)

A recent and delicious visit to Sicily was made all the more juicy, fruitful and scenic with the Agromobile app. Agromobile is a website and a free to download app sharing food and wine related itineraries in Sicily. Interested “land … Continue reading

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