In Toronto, one night only

I was staying overnight in Toronto before flying home early morning. So I hooked up with Nicholas Pearce (above), a wine agent and negociant, for an evening.

We started off in Archive, a seriously nice wine bar with an epic, well-priced wine list that takes Ontario seriously. It’s a lovely space, and we sat for quite a [...]

Lunch with Dirk Niepoort, including the Poeirinho Baga and a Madeira from 1795

Dirk Niepoort is in town, so yesterday we arranged to have lunch at Kitchen W8. It’s been a while since I caught up with Mr Niepoort, who is one of my top wine heroes. He brought along his new Bairrada wine, Poeirinho, and also a small bottle containing a mystery wine: it turned out to [...]

Lunch at Grain Store

Lovely lunch at my current favourite restaurant, Grain Store, today. The redevelopment at Kings Cross along the Regent’s Canal – where Grain Store is located – is looking good, and it was stunning in the May sunshine. Between two, we had three small plates and one large one, and came away well fed. On the [...]

Lunch at St John with Dujac, Niero, Barthod and Bereche

Lunch at St John today. A special time with Francis Percival, Dan Keeling and Jeremy Seysses. The company, the wines, the food: all were on sparkling form. I haven’t been to St John in a while. I will be back soon, for sure. Highlights included a wonderful crispy pig skin salad, and decadently rich devilled [...]

Franschhoek, the final day

The last day in the valley. It began with another run with Kevin and Gary. The same 6.5 km route taking us out to the monument, then round past Mr Branson’s new purchase (Mont Rochelle), and the new developments on the extensive properties owned by Analjit Singh (who purchased the three adjoining estates of Dassenberg, Von [...]

In Franschhoek day 4, Petite Ferme, the AGP guys, and Foliage

Day four in Franschhoek started a little sluggishly. It was raining hard at Glenwood, where I’d been staying, so a 3 am bedtime plus the precipitation put paid to rather ambitious plans to run a 10 k in beautiful settings.

I had an interesting day ahead. I started off with breakfast in town, followed by a [...]

Champagne Bruno Paillard at Sushisamba

Tuesday evening and it’s time for dinner at Sushisamba. My first visit to this much talked about restaurant, perched on the top of London’s second tallest building, Heron Tower in Bishopsgate, in the City.

I’ve come from the International Wine Challenge, where I’ve been tasting lots of wine all day, followed by a quick beer with [...]

An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

This was one of the most remarkable lunches I’ve experienced – and I’ve been to quite a few special lunches. The food, company and wines were all just perfect. The pace was ideal, too: there was no need to rush these special bottles: we started at 1215 and finished at 1730.

Keith and Greg

 

Jim and Neil

Neleen [...]

Burgundy Lunch at the Clove Club with Noble Rot

Sunday lunch doesn’t come much better than this. It was a chance to drink some lovely Burgundies with epic food from one of London’s most talked about restaurants, the Clove Club  in Shoreditch, at an event organized by hipster wine magazine Noble Rot.

It was an interesting crowd, too – a mix of Noble Rot readers [...]

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

The London wine bar scene is thriving. On Wednesday evening I paid my first visit to a relative newcomer (almost a year old now), Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Seven Dials. It’s owned by the team (a group of young-ish French guys) behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, who also have places in Paris, New York [...]