Lunch at Rochelle Canteen with a rare, brilliant Baga from Luis Pato

So, today. Lunch at Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch. My first time. This is a remarkable restaurant housed in an old bike shed, and it’s only open weekday breakfast and lunchtimes. And it has no licence, so it’s BYO. But the food is amazing. Serious, and delicious.

Tucked away in a courtyard – part of an old [...]

Why Social Wine & Tapas is one of my favourite places to eat

On the spur of the moment stopped in for a late Friday lunch at Social Wine & Tapas. This is such a good place to eat. The food is superb: creative, flavoursome and comforting. And the wine list is exceptional, especially if you are of the brave inclination, prepared to give wines with a bit [...]

The perfect restaurant wine list?

I got two emails today about restaurant wine list competitions. It got me thinking. What does a winning wine list look like? What is the perfect wine list?

It all depends on your perspective. As a punter, a perfect wine list for me would be one populated by the sorts of wines that I love at [...]

Dinner at Grain Store with the Hedges dudes, and 'Score Revolution'

I had dinner last week with Boo Walker and Christophe Hedges, of Hedges in Washington State. I visited Hedges, the custodians of Red Mountain, this summer and it was a great experience. Their slightly quirky approach and lovely, almost European-styled wines, were a breath of fresh air amid quite a lot of sweetly fruited, rather [...]

Lunch at Chez Bruce with some of South Africa's finest, plus some old world stars

Had a special lunch at Chez Bruce last Thursday, with some memorable wines. Keith Prothero was hosting, and also present were Chris and Suzaan Alheit, Peter-Allan Finlayson, Chris Mullineux, John Seccombe, Nigel Platts-Martin, Greg Sherwood and Jancis Robinson. As usual, the food was close to perfection. But what was really interesting was seeing how some [...]

Food and wine pairing at C Restaurant, Tampere, Finland

Had a lovely evening with my Finnish hosts at C Restuarant in Tampere. The restaurant is a collaboration between chef Ilkka Isotalo (below) and ex-sommelier Christina Suominen, and the emphasis is very much of matching food and wine. Most people have the food and wine pairing menu when they eat here. The wine list is short but [...]

Drakes Tabanco: five course Sherry pairing menu

I love sherry. I also love Drakes Tabanco‘s food. The two together? Well, sherry isn’t always my first thought when food is concerned. So it was great to try Drakes’ new five course sherry pairing menu. With the exception of the Fino en Rama (from bottle) all the other sherries were from the casks at [...]

Taberna do Mercado, Old Spitafields, London

Yesterday’s lunch was at the much talked about Taberna do Mercado, in Old Spitafields Market, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. This is Nuno Mendes’ relatively new venture, so I was expecting great things. This is not a grand restaurant: the dining room is simple, plain and modern. But the food is extraordinary.

Runner [...]

A great lunch at Social Wine and Tapas, with Savart and Pignan

Charles Spence, the noted red-trousered Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University wrote one of my favourite books of late, titled The Perfect Meal. I think I had a lunch today that would get pretty close, at Social Wine and Tapas with Dan Keeling of Noble Rot.

Of course, I was primed to like it. Our [...]

The Petainer 'wine on tap' system for restaurants

Is wine on tap the future for the on-trade? At the London wine fair I had a chance to check out the Petainer Keg wine delivery system, which was being demonstrated on the Roberson stand. I quizzed business development manager Adam Green about it, and tried some wines.

Petainer is a wine delivery system for restaurants [...]