This Champagne trip started gently, with a weekend in Reims that contained just one vineyard visit: JL Vergnon, in Le Mesnil. We were hosted by Christophe Constant (below), who has been running things here for 15 years now. Vergnon have 5.5 hectares in the Côtes des Blancs, with 18 parcels in Grand Crus and 2 [...]
It was great to catch up with Keith Prothero, Ryan Mostert and Sam Suddons on Wednesday for lunch at one of Cape Town’s most celebrated restuarants, La Colombe. It was my first time there, and I was impressed. It’s in a beautiful setting high up in the Constantia valley, located in the grounds of the [...]
State Bird Provisions
I’ve been a couple of times to San Francisco in the past few weeks and eaten out well. Here are four favourites.
State Bird Provisions is just brilliant. If you eat out a lot, it’s hard to find anything very novel or innovative, but State Bird surprised me. We sat at the best [...]
Bhel puri: raw mango, tamarind, yoghurt
Today I lunched with Dan Keeling at Kricket, a small Indian small plates restaurant in Pop Brixton. It’s a tiny restaurant – full every evening – but this was a gastronomic highlight of recent months. This was some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten. It was [...]
On Tuesday evening I was back to Noble Rot, for dinner with the In Pursuit of Balance crowd: Raj Parr, Jamie Kutch, Jasmine Hirsch, Steve Matthiason, Mark Andrew and Totte Steneby. We ate and drank really well, beginning with the excellent Hambledon sparkler (one of England’s finest), and progressing from there.
Steve and [...]
Earlier this week I had dinner at L’Anima, on the Shoreditch edge of the City. It’s modern Italian, and high end. The dining room reflects this, with a sharp, sparse yet luxurious modern sort of look. It’s very designed.
For ordering, we put ourselves entirely in the hands of general manager Adriano Cacchione and sommelier Gianmarco [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]