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 [...]
Had a very enjoyable lunch today. It was the launch of Salon 1999 – the latest vintage from this remarkable Blanc de Blancs Champagne which comes from a single cru (Le Mesnil) and spends 10 years ageing on lees before disgorgement.
But rather than match this aristocratic fizz with a Michelin-starred menu, Corney & Barrow had [...]
Superb lunch today, at Yashin Sushi and Bar (‘without soy sauce’) in Kensington (see the Square Meal review). The occasion was the 2011 installment of the Koshu producers tour. [I wrote up last year's lunch at Umu here.] As many will already know, Koshu is a grape variety that’s unique to Japan, and which makes [...]
Had a brilliant day yesterday. It began with lunch at the Harwood Arms, together with Joe Wadsack, Will Willis and Stuart Bowman-Hood. Proceedings began with a pint of Sambrook’s junction: rich, a bit hoppy, and with a distinct note of eggy sulfide (Burton stink is the correct term for this?). This went very well with [...]
Dinner for the judges of the sparkling wine review was held at Hakkasan, the famed Chinese/fusiony restaurant. This was my first time here, so I was quite looking forward to it.
By any standards, Hakkasan is an incredible restaurant. It is staffed by beautiful people, who run the place with astonishing efficiency. They have to, because [...]
Very interesting dinner last night with one of Portugal’s finest, Dirk Niepoort (above). The focus was on special projects that he’s been involved with, and – rather appropriately – the venue was The Loft Project in east London (read more about this here).
There’s too much to write about in a blog post – the combination [...]