Something I recently enjoyed

“Big, soft and bursting with blackcurrant flavours,” was the description of this wine on the menu. Frankly, I can’t disagree with them. My notes were: blackcurrant on the nose, the same but spicier on the body and a finish of pepper. What more can be said? Well, it was 14.5%, which is strong, and that […]

Ridiculous queues

The new Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge has a “no bookings” policy, so you turn up and take your chances.  I was out with a friend for dinner, and we looked there on the off-chance, hoping that on a rainy Saturday we might just be lucky enough to have only a 30 minute wait at the […]

The wine and the cheeses

When I went to that formal dinner at Christ’s, I took my own wine as a courtesy to my hosts.  I did not know the menu in advance, but I chanced it by taking a 2008 Beyerskloof from South Africa.  It’s a pinotage, which that country has made its own, and is medium to full […]

Formal in Christ’s College

I felt very privileged when I was invited to formal hall in Christ’s College.  Our little group had notes that read “High table menu” against them, so while everyone around us had the regular dinner, we had the same food as the top table.  Apparently you pay a little extra for this, and my hosts […]

Wolf Blass yellow label cabernet sauvignon

Wolf Blass is named after Wolfgang Blass who went to Australia from Germany in 1961.  The wines are from South Australia’s Barossa Valley, and are now part of Foster’s Brewing.  The wines come in for some stick because they are extensively advertised, and because they go for name recognition.  I actually find them very reliable, […]

A tale of two cocktails

After a formal dinner in hall, it seemed perfect to finish with cocktails in the college bar.  I decided to introduce a friend to the Lord Madsen, my cocktail made my mixing Grand Marnier and cognac, one for one, straight up in a balloon glass, with no ice.  There were no balloon glasses in the […]

New Zealand Makutu Bay

A New Zealand Marlborough sauvignon blanc at less than five pounds is worth noticing.  This one was on sale in Sainsbury’s at £4.99, which is half the usual price.  Wow!  That’s almost too good to be true.  I bought a bottle to try with some fish.  Alas, it was too good to be true.  I […]

Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge

Paul went there for dinner on its first day, whereas I had lunch there on its second.  It is enormous, and will make a huge difference to the restaurant scene in Cambridge.  Prices are reasonable, and it reflects very good value.  I began with the rose veal Parmigiana, “a pan fried tender veal chop stuffed […]

The Old Parr’s Head

The Old Parr’s Head serves Thai cuisine 7 days a week. This traditionally styled corner pub, however, is in fact TWO businesses. The bar will serve you drinks and a Thai lady will take your food order. You must pay independently for the two, which causes a bit of a problem for a lone diner with no […]

Restaurant on the river

It is too cold to eat outside in winter, but in the summer the Galleria at the foot of Magdalene Bridge can be a perfect location.  We dined inside, and I began with Thai-spiced crab and prawn fritters with a sweet chili and lime dipping sauce and a sesame and soy dressed salad.  It was […]

Jamie Oliver comes to Cambridge

Recently opened, I thought it’d be a good idea to try out Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in Cambridge. The immediate impact is the astonishing beauty of the place itself. It’s in part of one of the council buildings (tidy profit for the government, no doubt) and it must have previously been a very grand hall […]