Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

northern rhone pinot noir restaurants semillon south africa syrah

Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône


Had a lovely long lunch yesterday. It was at Bread Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The dining room is huge. Really huge. Impressively huge. It’s beautifully finished in a faux vintage, semi-industrial style, but it’s really noisy. We could hardly hear the waitstaff as they talked to us.

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The food? It’s kind of a half way house between a good chain restaurant and a proper gastronomic destination. Some things worked (my seared tuna starter, and pheasant main), others were a bit contrived. You get the impression that this place is all about GPs and making money. It was full, and full of suits. Bread Street Kitchen knows its market, and serves them well.


This isn’t meant to be as negative as it might sound, because we had a really nice experience. This was largely because of the wine list, which is creative and reasonably priced, and the excellent sommelier Gergely Barsi Szabó looked after us very well.

We drank three bottles, two from South Africa and one from the northern Rhône. They were all excellent.


Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2011 Franschhoek, South Africa
Lovely rich wine with pear, spice, white peach and vanilla notes. Lovely rich texture with some grapefruit and fennel characters. A powerful yet balanced white with real intensity and finesse. 94/100


Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013 Upper Hemel en Aarde, South Africa
This is a fabulous Pinot. Sweet, juicy and bright with pure, fresh red cherry fruit with plums and raspberry, as well as subtle herbal characters adding interest. Fresh and elegant with a fine texture. 95/100


Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30 2012 Northern Rhone, France
Lovely fresh raspberry and black cherry fruit. Juicy and bright with plums, berries and a bit of pepper. Fresh and tight with lovely precision, it’s so easy to drink now but may well put some weight on down the line. 93/100

5 Comments on Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern RhôneTagged , , , , , ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

5 thoughts on “Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

  1. yes two of the very best Cape wines. Would love to try older vintages of the semillon and must visit he cellar door to see if any chance of sourcing some

  2. Reckon if you’re paying rents next to St Paul’s Cathedral it’d be wise to be “all about GPs and making money” to stay afloat

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