I’m in sunny Porto, heading off to the Douro today where vintage 2011 is just starting. So, snatching a few minutes on free wifi (all hotels should offer this) in the lobby, a brief account of last night’s dinner.
It was at O Carteiro (55 Rua Senhor da Boa Morte), a traditional Portuguese restaurant. The food [...]
A most unusual dinner on Thursday night, at one of London’s top restaurants, Le Gavroche.
It was a spirits dinner with Mangrove (who are the spirits arm of Coe Vintners) www.mangroveuk.com)? They supplied Michel Roux and his team, and encouraged them to find food and spirit pairings. Some of the dishes were made using spirits; others [...]
A quick note on Wednesday’s lunch at La Trompette in Chiswick, with Robin Davis and Tom Carson. It’s under the same ownership as the excellent Glasshouse in Kew, a joint venture between Nigel Platts-Martin and Bruce Poole, and is similarly excellent.
This is all that a high-end restaurant should be. Excellent food, at very fair prices, [...]
Another day of relaxation under the blue Alentejo sky. We began the day with a cycle ride round the vineyard before breakfast, and since then we’ve spent the best part of the day poolside.
Last night’s dinner at the restuarant here at Malhadinha Nova was really impressive.
Starter of tuna tartare with wasabi ice cream was a [...]
It has taken a few days, but I wanted to report on last week’s great lunch at Hibiscus. Hosted by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, the lunch accompanied a tasting of new wines from the Les Caves portfolio.
Yes, Les Caves are taking on the New World, and they are now developing a very [...]
Yesterday’s lunch at Kew’s Glasshouse restaurant was everything a fine dining experience should be.
One of the problems I have in assessing restaurants is that most of the time I’m not paying, and my primary purpose is to be there in order to taste wines. You can still get a good feel for the restaurant, but [...]
Yesterday’s lunch was special. It was a chance to catch up with Frank Cornelissen (above), a winegrower from Sicily’s Mount Etna, over lunch at Hibiscus.
Frank works as naturally as possible, without using any chemicals in the vineyard – not even the sulfur and copper used by biodynamic and organic growers – and he doesn’t add [...]
Had a tremendous evening last night with Doug Wregg at Brawn, out in the wilds of E2 (near Bethnal Green and Hoxton).
It was my first visit to Brawn, which, like Terroirs, is backed by Les Caves de Pyrene, importers of interesting terroir-driven and natural wines. The setting is informal, and the food is based around [...]
The great thing about visiting Portugal is that there are always more wines to discover. Here are a couple from this week.
First, up, a couple of Dao wines from new producer Julia Kemper. These are organic, and delicious. The red is really fresh, intense and vivid – still youthful and showing a little oak, but [...]
Just finished the final day’s judging of Imbibe Magazine’s Sommelier Wine Awards. It has been an interesting experience, tasting with sommeliers and thinking about wines not only in terms of their intrinsic qualities, but also rather practically in terms of where they’d fit onto a restaurant wine list.
During a break in the tasting, I chatted [...]