Lunch at Caravan, Exmouth Market, with Seresin Pinot, Palacios Priorat and Camden Pale Ale

Had a lunch worth commenting on at Caravan in Exmouth Market yesterday. It’s an airy, informal dining room with a menu that focuses on creative small plates, and a cracking, perfectly formed wine list.

Four of us ate well with a selection of the small plates, which were pretty imaginative and quite delicious – probably best described as modern and fusiony, borrowing lots of influences. The wine list isn’t a long one, but it is really creatively chosen, and not hideously expensive. Lots of fun in the £30-50 range, albeit with a relatively limited by the glass selection.

To drink? We began with a Pale Ale from the Camden Town brewery. It’s a beautiful drop: hoppy, savoury and lying somewhere between the exotic US style and the more restrained, less showy hoppiness found in UK beers. A bargain at just £2 for a half-pint.

Then it was time to head back to New Zealand, if only for an hour or so:

Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2009 Marlborough, New Zealand
Sweet cherry and plum fruit aromatics with a pleasant hint of sourness and some alluring spiciness. Fine, expressive and elegant on the palate with some non-fruit complexity as well as the sweet cherry fruit. Fine, with a supple, grainy structure. Complex, vital and alive, and tastes a bit natural, in a very good way. 94/100 (£48 on the list)

This was followed up with a trip to Spain:

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2009 Spain
Sweet blackcurrant fruit nose is rich, spicy and warm. There are hints of tar and violet, a well as some grippy tannins under the warm fruit. A rich, satisying expression of Priorat. 92/100 (£45 on the list)

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