Dorset snails

I quite like escargots, which are mainly an excuse to have garlic butter, but the Savoy offers something new. It is baked Dorset snails with sweet garlic, red wine and brioche crumbs. I didn’t like it nearly as much as escargots, finding the brioche crumbs a distraction from the actual snail itself.

Savoy in style

It was quite a meal at the Savoy. First came lobster bisque, though I tasted one of the Dorset snails a companion ordered. Then came beef Wellington, medium rare with Vichy carrots. The piece de résistance was the crepe suzette. First butter and squeezed oranges, then Grand Marnier and cognac, then the crepes, and finally […]

Very old Madeira

I am very partial to very old Madeiras. Because the wine is already oxidised, it improves rather than deteriorates over time. I have enjoyed a pre-French Revolution 1789, an 1815 ‘Waterloo,’ and an 1824 Malmsey, laid down while Thomas Jefferson was still alive. I have just acquired an 1885 Bual, the year when the Marquis […]

Pickled herring in Stockholm

I was in Stockholm for a conference, and enjoyed Swedish cuisine. I especially liked the pickled herring they served at a smorgasbord banquet. It’s not remotely vinegary. On the contrary, some of it is very sweet. It goes superbly with Aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit served very chilled.

Savile starter

London’s Savile Club featured a rather nicely done starter when I went for lunch recntly. It consisted of fresh figs served on a bed of crumbled sheep’s milk cheese on a lightly toasted base. It was very good indeed. I followed it up with a main course of confit of duck, accompanied by a white […]

Oh dear, d’Arry’s

I went to d’Arry’s in Cambridge to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my Cambridge MPhil. It was a mistake. I ordered rack of lamb, expecting the usual array of small ribs cooked pink, soft and sweet. Instead I received three mutton chops as tough as old boots and cooked through. I had to ask for […]

First season pumpkin pie

I lined a pie dish with my usual shortcrust pastry. The filling used about 400 gm of the pumpkin purée I made, plus a cup of milk, a spoon of brown sugar and one of golden syrup. I used two large eggs and whisked it all up. Then I added the spices: half a teaspoon […]

Mango with tamarind

Mango is one of my favourite fruits, and I love tamarind with its somewhat sour taste. So when I dined at Thaikhun in Cambridge and my companion ordered sea bass and mango salad with tamarind, I was intrigued. I sampled some and was most impressed…

Pumpkin time

I cut a pumpkin into segments after scooping out the seeds. After peeling them with a potato peeler and chopping them into roughly 1″ pieces, I simmered them for about 15 minutes until tender. Then I zapped them in a blender with just enough liquid to for a purée. That made a delicious soup and […]

Salmon at the National Liberal Club

I ordered the salmon as my main course for lunch. It was adequate, nice and moist, not over-cooked. I would call it competent rather than special. The potatoes were good, but the salad garnish as bland. Fortunately the club white wine did not disappoint. My verdict is that this is not among the top rank […]

Lamb at Browns

Browns is a standby, a place you go to when no other choice appeals. It is reliable and not very expensive, and the range of dishes means almost everyone can be satisfied. This time I chose roasted lamb rump with potato gratin, crushed minted peas, and red wine jus. The lamb was nicely done, served […]

Bramble and apple pie

Still on my pie theme, this time I made bramble and apple pie. The bulges in the pastry are the brambles (aka blackberries). I added only a sprinkle of brown sugar, but it needed a liquid to allow the apples to cook, so I added a mix of creme de cassis, lemon juice and orange […]