It's been an action packed easter break so far. We're making a final drive to finish the house we purchased three years ago - like many projects, we made a lot of progress, then things stopped, and we're only now finishing off. I'm also trying to put the finishing touches to my closures book, and we have realtives visiting - Fiona's brother and his family, who've come over from Geneva.
On Friday morning we headed over for a Champagnge brunch with my brother in law, Beavington, and his family, together with my twin sister and her's. We drank a substantial quantity of Drappier Grande Sendree 1996 and 1998. Both were impressive wines: quite full flavoured with lots of Pinot Noir character. The 1996 just had the edge, and is currently drinking very nicely. Fizz is wonderful.
In the afternoon we headed into town to meet up with Fiona's brother and the family who'd just landed at City airport. We took a ducktour together, which was good fun, and then wandered along the southbank to London Bridge where we had dinner at Fish! at Borough Market. It's a beautifully situated restaurant in view of Southwark cathedral, with an interesting construction - little more than a big greenhouse, with an open kitchen, but the space works really well. The food was good enough - I had a very fresh piece of sea bass, simply grilled - but the wine list was rubbish and overpriced, which is a shame.
Then yesterday, we took all the kids to Chessington. If you've not had kids, you won't understand that it's verging on child abuse not to take your kids to theme parks, but at the same time theme parks represent some parallel reality with the occasional bit of good fun mixed in with large dollops of hell. I actually enjoyed my two rides on Vampire, which is great fun. It made the rest of the eight hours just about bearable.
We gathered once more as an extended family last night for casual supper. Accompanying our excellent wild mushroom rissotto we sampled several wines I had laying around. Two 2003 Chianti Classicos impressed: Badia a Coltibuono (£8.99 Tesco) was supple and fruity, and the Villa Caffagio (£9.49 M&S) was tighter and more structured, but again with good fruit. Billaud Simon Chablis 2004 was textbook, from one of my favourite Chablis producers. Abbe Rous Collioure Cuvee des Peintres 2003 really worked for me: primarily Grenache, this was sweet, elegant and perfumed. The surprise was the Floressac Cassiopeia 2003 Vin de Payes Cotes de Thau: it's a rich dry white wine that tastes like a mix of Condrieu and Sauternes. Very striking.
Amid all this fun, let it be noted that City suffered their sixth straight defeat on the trot. Thank goodness they've already banked 40 points.