jamie goode's wine blog

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back to London after what seems a very long time away. Itís been a great trip. The family holiday worked better than I thought it might: you never quite know how good a destination is going to be until you get there, I guess. Margaret River was fantastic: good wine, good food (in places) and all in proximity to some stunning beaches. If it were a couple of hours nearer Perth, it would be perfect Ė and probably totally overrun with tourists.

The third segment, Exmouth, was quite different, but utterly magical. Yes, the town itself is Öhow can I put this dimplomaticallyÖa bit frontier-like. But itís OK. What thrills is the natural setting, and the stunning Ningaloo Reef, in its unspoilt glory. Turquoise Bay is perhaps the best beach Iíve experienced.

And Singapore, segments one and four, is a place I enjoy. Iíve been here quite a bit over the last few years, and although itís not somewhere Iíd travel to without an ulterior motive Ė itís not really a holiday destination in its own right Ė it has got a lot going for it. Yesterday I had a free afternoon and spent it swimming and then wandering through the botanic gardens (pictured). By this time there was a humid, broody presence in the air, with distant thunderstorms that later became much less distant, soaking us on our way out to dinner. We ate at Ah Hoi's in the Traders Hotel, near Orchard Road, which impressed for its nicely presented food and rather causal setting.

Now feeling fresher than I should, approaching lunchtime after getting in at six this morning.

Aside: what is it with the French and lunchtime? Just phoned Yvon Mau (a big, commercial producer in Bordeaux) for a quote, only to be greeted with some canned music and an announcement that they are closed for two hours, from 12-2 pm each day, so call back later, punk! [Well, I added the last bit]. How do these guys do business?

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At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Ian W said...

Yon Mau are typically French, they obviously work to live and not the other way around, and let's face it a good lunch is important!

Having worked for a small French wine producer for the last nine months, I can also asure you that they do work hard, they do have a very good life style, and they do have two hours for lunch! They work just as hard as I did when I was a full-time engineer in the UK (50+ hours a week and often no lunch break), but their quality of life is much higher.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Ian, I guess there's something to be said for working to live. Perhaps it's possible to get it right without closing the switchboard for 2 hours in the middle of each day, though. There wasn't even an option to leave a message. In Yvon Mau's favour, an email elicited a call back at 8 am the following day.


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