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 [...]

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 [...]