Amazing meal at the Chiltern Firehouse

So, last night, I had a Great Gastronomic Experience.

It was at the newly opened restaurant of the Chiltern Firehouse, the new project by star hotelier André Balazs. Nuno Mendes, previously of Viajante, is the chef, and this combination of Balazs and Mendes has made the Firehouse the hottest restaurant in town. Located in a [...]

In Madrid for the ML Wines competition

So I find myself in Madrid. It’s a little chillier than London, which caught me out a bit. But it is a nice place to spend a few days. I am here to act as one of the judges for the ML Wines competition. It’s the third time I’ve judged this: we assess red [...]

Vagabond, Drakes Tabanco and the Draft House, a great night out

London is an interesting place for food and drink these days. Last night I went out with buddy Daniel Primack of Around Wine to have some fun in Charlotte Street, taking in three establishments that represent the best of London’s new gastro/booze scene.

We started of at Vagabond (pictured above), which I reckon represents the future [...]

Two meals, five stars, worth them?

In the last week I have been lucky to dine twice in high-end London restaurants, boasting five Michelin stars between them. How did they rate?

The first was lunch at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. (This was with Champagne Bruno Paillard – I have written up the wine part here.) Boasting three Michelin stars, this is [...]

Raiding the incredible wine list at Rekondo, San Sebastian

Txomin Rekondo’s restaurant is a wine lover’s dream. He’s allowed his cellar to get completely out of control. With 150 000 wines, and a wine list that consists of a large book, you really need to arrive an hour early just to browse it and make your selection. You can get wines from around the [...]

In San Sebastian

How come I have not been here before? San Sebastian is a beautiful city.

I am here for www.sansebastiangastronomika.com/en/, which is a remarkable three day gastronomic festival with an amazing line-up of chefs. The theme this year is London, and so many of the top names from London are here this week that you may as [...]

Hirsch at the Grain Store

Had a lovely evening on Thursday. It was a last-minute invitation from Roberson’s Mark Andrew, who was holding a small dinner for new agency Hirsch: Jasmine Hirsch, daughter of founder David Hirsch was in town with wines in tow.

I have written up the wines – some of California’s most exciting Pinot Noirs – separately here. They are impressively [...]

An incredible wine lunch at Chez Bruce

Mareli Botha and Bertus Basson

Had a remarkable lunch yesterday. It was hosted by Keith Prothero with guest of honour Bertus Basson, star South African restaurateur (Overture at Hidden Valley). It was held at Chez Bruce, and the combination of food, wine and company was just about perfect.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1996 France
Intense yet [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

In Logrono, Rioja, and an egg-themed restaurant

I’m in Logrono, Rioja, where I’m giving a talk about the role of the internet in wine communication for wineries, as part of a conference organized by closure manufacturer DIAM. Penin, the well known Spanish wine critic, is also taking part.

Last night the speakers and organizers had an informal dinner at an egg-themed restaurant, Manda [...]