Category Archives: Wine

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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Barcelona Brief: High on Generator

For my first of only two nights in Barcelona, I stayed at Generator … in the 8th floor penthouse … and absolutely loved it! If you hanker for a bit of luxury and a chance to spread out when in Barcelona (while still holding on to more than a few spare euros in your pocket), this suite is hard to beat. But whatever you might hope to achieve when booking a budget conscious visit to this bodacious city, you’d be smart to keep in mind Generator’s rather broad spectrum of possible overnight arrangements. Continue reading

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Artistan Wine Fair – RAW – Returns to Truman Brewery

My favourite wine event of the year, Raw, returns to London this Sunday and Monday (note: Monday is trade only) featuring “one of the most exciting collections of fine, natural, organic and biodynamic wine artisans” sharing some of the best … Continue reading

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Win Dinner for Four + Two Bottles of Wine at Vapiano

Vapiano is a great value restaurant with pasta starting from just £6.95 and all pasta, sauces, pizzas and salads made completely fresh in-house everyday. It’s quite a feat, especially when you consider that 27,000 customers are served each week across its trio of London outlets alone. Want to add to the impress count of Vapiano’s happy pasta and pizza fans … and have your meal for even better value than usual (as in for free)? Keep reading for a chance to win dinner for four with wine at one of the Italian restaurant group’s London outlets. Continue reading

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Le Vie della Zagara: Ceramic Dynamic Caltagirone

Caltagirone was one of those places where soon into my time there I started wondered about the price of local property. Could I afford to chuck it all in and relocate? How could I make such a transition work – and what kind of work would I even be able to do if I actually did settle there? Such a feeling of immediate attraction to a place often used to overwhelm me when travelling in my 20s and early 30s. It’s a less frequent – but much deeper and more exacting – experience when it hits me these days. No, I don’t think I’ll actually up and move to Caltagirone (and I very much love my life here in London), but that possibility lingers still in my thoughts as I remember it. And I sorely hope I’m don’t have to wait too long to return there for further exploration. Continue reading

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Review of Moët Academy

Last week Maddie Salters embarked upon an adventure in London’s Southbank that would take her into the heart of France’s Champagne region. Celebrated brand Moët & Chandon re-created the vineyards and wine cellars of its lush estate at OXO along the … Continue reading

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Moët & Chandon: The Champagne Region Comes to Londontown

Moët & Chandon is perhaps the most recognisable name in Champagne. Its impressive estate, nestled into the heart of the Champagne Region of France, produces full-bodied sips, often with bold fruity notes and a gentle finish. As of 13 April, Moët & Chandon will bring the magic of its Épernay vineyards to Southbank in London, to delight the palates and imaginations of visitors. Continue reading

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El Pirata of Mayfair Celebrates 20 Years Serving Authentic Tapas

Anchored for two decades in Mayfair with an admirable reputation, El Pirata has long been regarded as a regular favourite among the locals and a safe bet for out-of-towner’s seeking a more than decent meal. Slow sailing me, I’ve intended to visit this popular tapas bar for ages but only recently set a course in its direction, where I discovered a menu full of treasured Spanish dishes. Is El Pirata worth considering for your next port of call? Aye, Cap’n. Continue reading

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The Real Greek Soho? It’s Real Good!

Maybe it’s just been a long time since I last visited one of the eight or so Real Greek restaurants around town, or perhaps this group of all rounder Eastern Mediterranean-style taverns has recently upped its game. Whatever the case … Continue reading

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Win a Box of Wine from The Grape Club

I have recently tried and would love to recommend to you The Grape Club,– an online London-based subscription service that sends an assortment of four bottles of wine in a sturdy and easily transportable box to its members every month. There’s no membership fee, just a month payment of £45, which covers all the costs of having the club deliver a quartet of smartly selected quality quaffs directly to your door. Keep reading for more grape news about this new service as well as details about the chance to win a selection of four wines from The Grape Club. Continue reading

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Fine Dining with a View to Match at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Park Lane

Twenty-eight storeys up, the Michelin star shines brightly (and rightly) from Galvin at Windows restaurant atop the London Hilton Park Lane where diners are just as likely to ooh and ah over the food and drink as they are about the panoramic views of the city. Continue reading

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On Safari with Chef Chavot (Great British Chefs)

Do you know what’s better than going on safari at one of South Africa’s most luxurious private game reserves? Going on safari at one of South Africa’s most luxurious private game reserves. Then heading back to the reserve’s award winning … Continue reading

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Soho Stalwart Carom Gets a Refurb

One of Soho’s best destinations for a quality Indian meal, Carom, recently underwent refurbishment. Taking the popular pan-Indian restaurant up on an invitation to view its new “rough-luxe” interiors provided a good opportunity to have another taste of this Soho … Continue reading

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Wine for Your Event

Planning a special event such as a wedding, family reunion, or birthday party, or even something business related for clients or colleagues? Running out of money, time and energy? Not sure how to make all the loose ends come together … Continue reading

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“Women Fashion Power” Menu at Blueprint Café, Design Museum

Blueprint Café at the Design Museum is worth consideration for its lofty views of the Thames alone (ask for a seat by the windows when you book and then duke it out with your date over who gets the view of Tower Bridge and the City and who gets the view of Canary Wharf). However, Head Chef Martyn Moody’s not-so-fussy but still very fine food is the real draw. To celebrate London Fashion Week, Moody has come up with a Women Fashion Power set menu for February. Yet another stylish reason to pay this restaurant a visit? It sure looked and tasted that way to me when I gave the menu a try last night. Continue reading

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Good Stuff

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. Bread Street Sessions with Dub … Continue reading

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Koshu of Japan 2015

Last week saw the return of the annual 2015 UK Trade and Press Tasting of Koshu wines from the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan to The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair. Lucky to have scored a place at the event’s food and wine matching seminar, I’m pleased to share with you some of my faves from the tasting. Continue reading

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Clementine Communications Showcase: Good Stuff!

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on a few of the many fine things to sip or savour which I’ve recently come across during the Clementine Communications showcase of clients at the end of last month and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Good Stuff

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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M Restaurants on Threadneedle Street, EC2

It was the last restaurant I visited in 2014 and the first one I’m reviewing in 2015 – appropriate enough for a finish or start to a great year of dining as any I reckon. My late night dinner at M – a newly opened and rather slick two-in-one restaurant plus wine bar combo just a stroll from Bank Station – pleased my palate with a menu full of tartare, tiradito and sashimi selections that didn’t leave me feeling raw. Continue reading

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Restaurant Review: The Cavendish, Marylebone

Newly opened The Cavendish sets a dual tone for a night out. The downstairs bar (which was absolutely jam packed the Tuesday evening I was there) offers casual drinks with upscale air while a more subdued if rather swish upstairs dining room promises a more formal experience (though still quite far from stuffy). Whether it be a quick drink, bar snacks with cocktails, or a full-on feast – The Cavendish is a worthwhile venue to keep in mind next time you’re seeking a suitable place to enjoy food and drink in Marylebone. Continue reading

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Best Restaurants (Everywhere Else) – 2014

Have I ever eaten so well in so many different destinations? Nope. If 2014 was one thing for me, it was a fantastic time of great foodie adventures. When coming up with this list of noteworthy restaurants visited the past year (see my list of London’s best here), I realize I did the bulk of the job of making a list of the best restaurants I’ve ever visited in my life. Continue reading

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Best Restaurants in London – 2014

Most of these ‘best of lists’ I’m doing have been compiled with some degree of difficulty often leaving me feeling guilty for excluding somewhere excellent that for whatever reason was nudged out by another place. However, making a concise and definite list of my favourite few London restaurants visited over this past year was an absolute breeze as five fantastic eateries clearly did stand out from the rest with respect to quality of food and overall dining experience. Continue reading

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Best Bars in London – 2014

The options for getting one’s drink on in London continued to broaden and improve in 2014. I truly was impressed with the libations on offer at so many bars around town this year. Continue reading

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Washington DC: Where to Eat in the Political Capital of the Western World (City AM)

Over the past few years, ravenous London scenesters have been snarfing down a vast array of steaks, burgers, hot dogs, shakes, pizzas, burritos and all sorts of other full-flavoured Americana from a diverse range of restaurants, pop-ups and food trucks. US food, as our Stateside cousins would say, is hot right now. Meanwhile, denizens of US capital Washington DC have been reinvigorating the very concept of what it means to eat American, as I discovered during my recent city break there. Continue reading

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Go Greek Naturally and Independently at Isle of Olive, Broadway Market

Isle of Olive is a lovely little shop just off Broadway Market. Specialising in sourcing natural products from independent producers in Greece, its shelves represent a smartly curated selection of the best in Greek food, drink, health and beauty. Continue reading

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Theo Randall’s Pasta and Wine Menu (Great British Chefs)

Theo Randall at the Intercontinental is THE place to head to for an upscale dinner focused on basic quality ingredients with a no-fuss approach to bringing out the best in Italian cuisine. Continue reading

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Jerusalem City Break: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry (Ecclesiastes 8:15). So said Solomon – one of Jerusalem’s more notable personalities from the past two millennia – and so was the case during my visit to his hometown a couple of weeks back. I believe I only began to scratch the surface of the good food scene in this ancient city. Whatever the case, here’s the scoop on some of the yummier findings from my time in Jerusalem. Continue reading

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A Night Out at The Hippodrome

I’ve walked by The Hippodrome Casino at Leicester Square a zillion times. Not a gambling man, I never thought there was much inside the large scale and lavish venue for me. However, taking up an invitation to give Hippodrome’s food, booze and entertainment a try, I discovered there’s more to this Central London landmark than gambling. Continue reading

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Copas Turkeys and the Art of Christmas

I’ve been a fan of Copas Turkeys for a few years. So when an invitation from the family run farm landed in my inbox to attend “The Art of Christmas” masterclass on preparing and presenting their delicious free range, plucked by hand and game hung turkeys, I RSVPed ASAP. Continue reading

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