Potato and cauliflower soup

This is one of the easiest and most healthful soups you can make, and it’s a firm winter favourite round these parts. If you don’t like your food bursting with nutrition, you can always cover it up with some cream and fat. Here’s how to go about either version: Cut a head of cauliflower (or […]

The Wolseley

I found myself in the vicinity of the Wolseley in London’s Piccadilly. Knowing that they keep a few tables for chance customers, we asked if they had a table, and they did. When the Wolseley opened it soon made its mark on London’s dining scene, not surprisingly, given that Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, previously […]

Cambridge Wine Merchants tasting

Today’s tasting was with the Cambridge Wine Merchants Ltd, at their beautiful and well-stocked King’s Parade branch. There were about 40 wines in total, and, feeling in the mood, I tried the lot. There weren’t any real stunners, although there was plenty of high quality wine, but one that stood out as really good value […]

Just soup and rolls

A quarter of this… …made two delicious bowls of this Just soup, yes, but it was fresh pumpkin soup which I made with my traditional recipe. It was really good – I don’t remember ever making it better. It’s a little bit time intensive, but well worth the effort. The rolls were wholemeal floury baps, […]


The Mekong is the name not only of the great river in Vietnam, but of one of London’s oldest Vietnamese restaurants. It’s in Churton Street, and has a few tables upstairs and more downstairs in what were probably once cellars. Vietnamese food is done with such style and attention to taste and balance that it […]

Gordon Ramsay’s chocolates

I adore Gordon Ramsay; the man can almost do no wrong in my eyes. I say “almost” because his own brand of chocolates are some of the most vile I have ever tasted. I am a complete (if restrained) chocoholic, but I’d rather be chocolate-less than have the ones sold in shops under his name. […]

Earle Wines tasting

Today’s tasting was with Earle Wines Ltd, held at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Wine distributors vary enormously in their style of presentation, and this one is notable for the number of wines it serves. There were about fifty different bottles, from many different regions, most of which were high quality, reflected in the price. As ever, my […]

Well oiled

Last week my vinegars, now my oils. I use four regular ones, but do occasionally buy in others for special recipes. From left to right, first comes my basic cooking oil. I use sunflower oil to fry and sauté foods. Although I’d normally use sunflower spread in pastry shortening (and sometimes goose fat), I have […]

2 Amici in Rochester Row

For many years it was Very Simply Nico in Rochester Row, created by chef Nico Ladenis, and served highly-rated food, but too rich for my tastes. Recently it has changed into a mid-market Italian restaurant called 2 Amici, and serves an extensive and quite imaginative menu. For example, my fellow diner and I both started […]

Dinner at the Oxford and Cambridge

The Oxford and Cambridge Club is in Pall Mall, at the heart of London’s clubland. Members can stay there, dine there, or enjoy facilities which include the libraries, squash courts and billiard rooms, the bar, smoking room, business centre and drawing room. It has a splendid marble staircase leading up to its various floors. Dinner […]

A meal in Taipei

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a trip to Taipei is the wide variety of Asian cuisine on offer. After sampling Japanese, Cantonese and Vietnamese food on previous evenings, we opted for a traditional style Taiwanese restaurant. The décor itself was quite something, with souvenirs adorning each wall along with signed photos of well […]

Oh nuts!

Among the many good things about autumn and winter are nuts. I usually buy a big selection in for Christmas, and I put them in cakes and salads, too. I mostly buy them in shells, but the selection pictured looked tempting, with walnuts, brazils, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans. It’s more fun to crack their shells […]