Category Archives: Wine

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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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 #38

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 #37

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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