Wedding breakfast

I couldn’t work out quite why it was breakfast, but that’s what it was called, despite it being in the evening! I can only presume that weddings are traditionally held early in the morning. We started with a tomato soup, which was superbly seasoned, with coriander, basil and Worcestershire sauce, giving it a spicy edge. […]

Light post-graduation meal

Most colleges have a big formal meal for graduands on the eve of the ceremony. After you’ve been duly inducted as a member of the university, many people are busy packing and preparing to head off, and want only a casual meal. So Aki-Teri was a good choice. I’ve seen three previous bar-restaurants flounder on […]

Filled croissants

I enjoy croissants most mornings in France and many in England. The French ones are far better – somehow they make them fluffier. I’ve never seen French ones with anything in them but chocolate; however I have seen savoury-filled croissants in the US. I had a couple of croissants left over, and since they don’t […]

The view from the pizza

There’s a place on the harbour at Dives-sur-Mer that does pizzas, paninis, sandwiches and salads to eat at tables outside (and a few inside) or to take home. I ordered a pizza, and watched it rapidly prepared and cooked in the wood-fired oven. It was ordinary enough, with mozzarella, chorizo and oregano, but with a […]

Marcel Proust and the degustation menu

I stopped by the Grand Hotel for a beer overlooking the sea. It’s on the Promenade Marcel Proust, appropriately named because he used to stay there (and made it fashionable). They have a ‘degustation menu’ of multiple courses which looks rather amazing. In the event of a third anniversary next April for the writers of […]

Good value menu

La Belle Epoche in Cabourg’s Avenue de la Mer is not just stylish, with décor from the eponymous period, it’s very good value for very good food. Their 3-course dinner menu shows the choices which 15.50 euros gets you – that’s not a lot of money. As you savour their food and wine, you can […]

Spiced crab and mussel soup, then salmon

We were at Loch Fyne again after a long gap. We decided the wine to go with seafood might be an interesting pinotage rosé. It was a Laibach ’08 at 13 percent and was a good choice. Like most rosé made from strong-tasting grapes, the wine itself had body and character. I chose the spiced […]

Traders Arms

A good funeral service, and absolutely excellent food at a suburban pub nearby. The Traders served us a wide selection of buffet foods, including one of my all-time favourites: king-sized prawns, cooked in their shells. There was also an enormous salmon, done in its entirety, and later decorated with slices of cucumber to look like […]

Sweet change

Bürgerspital zum Hl. Geist is the proud label on this dessert wine, the bottle shaped like a scent bottle, although a lot bigger. It’s from 2001 and is Auslese, the least sweet version, and this was surprising, at 9.5%! I’m guessing by ‘Rieslaner’ that it was made from Riesling. The nose was unsurprisingly a bit […]

Forest reception at Boisdale

No, it wasn’t a reception in a forest, but a reception by Forest, the smokers’ rights association. It was held at Boisdale, split between the ground floor and the cigar lounge on the top deck, carefully compliant with the law, now one year old. The canapés were first class, and there were lots of them. […]

A relevance of rosés

The first of the two rosés for the evening was called Sunset Bay, and was 11.5%. Despite it being rather reminiscent of something somewhat more antipodean, it is in fact from Italy, in the year 2007. The Mitre in Cambridge has it on sale for £8.50 per bottle, which is an excellent price. We enjoyed […]

Saigon beer and the burly bully

I went for an outdoor lunch again at the Mekong. The Halida beer has been replaced by Saigon, another Vietnamese beer. It’s nice enough, but not quite as interesting. This time I ate the sweet and sour crispy fish. To my surprise it was a whole fish, probably a plaice with the main bone removed, […]