ISO Tasting Glasses

Wine tastings are often populated by irritating glasses which don’t have the necessary properties for the full appreciation of the wine. There is, however, an international standard for wine glasses, and it is very well thought-out. The glass is colourless, so you can see accurately the shade of the wine. The tapered tulip-like shape makes […]

A hot summer night’s feast

The food Originally uploaded by dynamist. When young entrepreneur Ben Casnocha told me that he was coming to London during his gap year travels, I knew that I had to throw him a party. When the week of the party rolled round and the heat was blistering, I knew that I had to come up […]

Seafood barbecue

The theme was seafood on skewers, with interesting combinations of tastes and textures. Skewer One featured monkfish wrapped in bacon, and separated by small new potatoes. You ask very nicely if the fishmonger or the assistant at the supermarket fish counter can remove the backbone and the gelatinous membrane from the monkfish tail (they can, […]

The Box Tree

I tried out the newly renovated and renamed Box Tree bar and brasserie next to Cambridge’s Grafton shopping mall. It has a long bar down one side, a few tables outside, and an attractively simple décor. The menu offers a mix of tapas style dishes and more substantial platefuls. I sampled the salt and pepper […]

A new Japanese restaurant

Just around the corner in Monck Street has opened Atami, a new Japanese restaurant. Stylish and up-market, it offers a menu slighly reminiscent of Nobu, but without the fusion cuinine which the latter has made famous. I tried the blackened cod, which was completely delicious. I’ll report back when it has settled in. Meanwhile, I […]

Lindauer Special Reserve

This is a fantastic sparkler. It comes out of the bottle slightly pink, has wonderfully fine bubbles and costs around £8 per bottle. The aroma is strawberries and pastry, the flavour is even slightly strawberried and the finish is smooth and satisfying. I drank it in a beautifully decorated set of fellow’s rooms in Jesus […]

Someone else cooks

I was invited to dinner at the home of Belgian friends living in London’s Covent Garden district. Their top floor apartment had a tiny secluded balcony, just big enough for breakfast, and shielded from the busy road on the other side. On a warm evening the door to it was left open to allow the […]

A fizzing performance

So who produces the world’s best sparkling wine outside the Champagne region? Australia, maybe? New Zealand? California? No, the answer is England. The International Wine and Spirit Competition awarded the crown to Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 1998, produced in Sussex by winemaker Dermot Surgrue. Jonathan Ray, The Daily Telegraph’s wine writer, said that England was finally […]

Journey Wine

Last weekend, a trip to visit the family in The North (beyond Manchester, in fact) gave me an opportunity to sample a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from 2005. It was from the Errazuriz Estate, was mostly lemony and crisp, had a really good tang to it and finished pretty quickly without extra character. The other motorists […]

Pink with jealousy

Having written about the Cork & Bottle and its introduction of Listel gris de gris, I popped in there last night for a really crunchy Greek salad of peppers, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. It was simply (and therefore correctly) done. The wine was amazing. I chose from their ‘specialty list’ and tried a Morialta […]

The daily shop

At University I have gotten into the habit of doing a weekly or even monthly shop, with a monthly shop you get fresh vegetables the first few days and fresh meat the first week before swapping over to the remainder of the “BOGOF” food that was frozen upon purchase.  Nearing the end of the month […]

Listel gris de gris

Coming back from a brief visit to France I bought a case of Listel gris de gris rosé. It brought happy memories with it. I was introduced to this wine by Don Hewitson of London’s Cork & Bottle, the dean of wine bar proprietors, who has done as much as anyone to educate and improve […]