In Barcelona

Quick post from the road. Staying in Barcelona at the gorgeous Dubai-style five star W hotel. View from the room, on the 22nd floor, is amazing. Alas, only here for one night.

Also pictured: the strange cocoons here in the dockyard area, protecting the over-wintering superyachts.

Today I do my first Cava visit. Hope it’s going to [...]

Spring – best season of the year

Although we’ve had some hints of spring over the last weeks, today really feels like the first day of spring, with warm temperatures (just a hint of chill early on), pale, watery sunlight and loud birdsong. The blossom has started to come out. It’s such a hopeful time of year, full of promise.

The birdsong was [...]

Lunch at the Harwood Arms, followed by City v Fulham

Awesome day yesterday. Will Willis and Stuart Bowman-Hood of Freixenet UK treated Joe Wadsack and I to some fine hospitality: lunch at the wonderful Harwood Arms in Fulham, followed by a visit to Craven Cottage to see Man City take on Fulham.

Joe was late, so while we were waiting for him, we started with [...]

Upcoming London Gastronomy Seminar: Cheddar Cheese

Just in case you’ve missed the various announcements, I wanted to draw the attention of readers to the next of the London Gastronomy Seminars. It’s this Friday, at the usual venue (Senate House, University of London), and the speakers are Randolph Hodgson and Bronwen Percival.

In many ways, the modern cheesemaker has a less sophisticated understanding [...]

Some old family pics, and some thoughts on premox

Popped over to see my parents yesterday, who were staying with my younger sister, Hester. B-in-law William showed me the wines he had lined up for dinner – Ducru Beaucaillou 1996 St Julien, and Bruno Clair Corton Charlemagne 2004. These were both from cases that he’d just had delivered from Justerinis, and there’s an interesting [...]

Man O’War – sensational Syrah from New Zealand

I’m so glad Tim Atkin selected the Man O’War Dreadnought Syrah for a blind tasting at the Syrah symposium in Hawkes Bay last month. It’s a sensational wine, and this was actually my first exposure to Syrah from New Zealand’s Waiheke Island, just off the coast from Auckland. Since then, I retried this alongside the [...]

Lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon (pictured above, on the right, with his sommelier Ivo Stoyanov) now has a dozen restaurants in nine cities across the world. Together they boast a total of 25 Michelin stars, which is pretty impressive. I guess this makes Robuchon, who wears his 64 years very well, the world’s top chef, if that title [...]

On the road, finishing in the Douro

Quick update from Lisbon airport, at the end of a really good trip. Yesterday was busy: we started off in Toro, drove to Bierzo (some lovely wines from Victor Arroyo – Mencia and Godello), then up to Rias Baixas (visiting Adegas D’Altamira, who make three different kinds of Albariño).

Then we drove down to the Douro [...]

On the road - Portugal and Spain

Started this morning at Almeida Garrett in the Beira Interior of Portugal – it’s the second time I have visited this region, which makes reds with lovely definition, and at good prices, too (above).

Then it was off to Spain, and the Arribes region, which is on the banks of the Douro/Duero as it enters Spain [...]

On the road in Portugal

Just time for a lightning fast post from the road, hitching onto a winery wireless network. [I'm staying in producers' homes, rather than hotels, which is great, but does limit internet access - no bad thing in a way.]

So some pictures. I spent yesterday working my way up from Lisbon – first at Quinta Sant’Ana [...]