Category Archives: Restaurants

Would you spend £119 on a bottle of ‘Pommerol’?

One of my favourite articles from last year came from LA  Weekly entitled Hatchet Hall’s Wine List Is A Cruel And Maddening Joke. The author, Besha Rodell, has great fun with a list that is designed to baffle and exclude rather … Continue reading

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Bloomsbury old and new – Noble Rot and Ciao Bella

I’ve just written something for the Financial Times Hidden Cities supplement on London wine bars. The hook was that the Vats, a great stalwart of Lambs Conduit Street, has been taken over by the team behind Noble Rot magazine. I’m a … Continue reading

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Passive aggressive BYO policy

Whilst in the impressive wine section of M&S Lewisham on Sunday, I marvelled that such riches were available on Lewisham High Street when all around were pound shops and stalls were you can unlock your or indeed someone else’s mobile phone. … Continue reading

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Why it’s better to drink wine with those you love

It’s been a long time since I last posted. I’ve been busy working on my still-nascent-but-perhaps-actually-about-to happen-book which is very exciting (potentially.) Less excitingly but more lucratively I have been writing travel guides to cities that I’ve never visited. Normally … Continue reading

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Is the Wine Society evil?

Of course it isn’t! For a start they don’t have a Dr Strangelove-style war room in Stevenage with a world map covering in blinking lights. But if I was an independent wine merchant I wouldn’t be too happy with this … Continue reading

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Yapping on

Craig Brown wrote recently in the Mail on Sunday how the the biggest influence on contemporary British writers was in fact Ronnie Corbett: “A surprising number of recent books seem to have fallen under the influence of Corbett’s capacity for the … Continue reading

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Good pub guides

Due to the capricious workings of the UK Border Agency, we went on holiday to Norfolk last year rather than France as originally planned. One of the highlights of the trip was the pub next door to our cottage. The … Continue reading

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Giaconda Dining Room

I wrote this for Jancisrobinson.com last year. Since then the Giaconda has been refurbished and extended. There is now a bright airy garden room out the back. The food is as good before and the wine list has some interesting … Continue reading

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Wine and food matching nonsense

Like most people who think themselves humorous, I have a very low tolerance for other people making jokes. I commented in an earlier post about the silly suggestions about wine matching on the Oddbins website. I said they sounded like … Continue reading

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Viajante: the essence of Portugal

My grandparents used to have a flat in the Algarve which my parents would borrow every summer. We would fly armed with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label to give to the manager of the Penina Hotel so that … Continue reading

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