Category: Drinks

Indonesia comes to London Book Fair

17,000 Islands of Imagination at London Book Fair Indonesia will be London Book Fair’s Market Focus for 2019, introducing the country’s “17,000 Islands of Imagination” to the international public, “symbolising the intellectual and artistic richness of this incredibly diverse and multi-religious nation”. London Book Fair, 12 – 14 March 2019, at Olympia. https://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Whats-On/Market-Focus—main-page/Indonesia/   General de Gaulle […]

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Swedish Food, Part Two: my quest for a meatball

First, a waterborne Smörgåsbord on the Steamship Stockholm. Invited to the city of Stockholm for a birthday celebration, we were instructed by our generous hosts to be ready to board ship at 11.30 on Sunday for a prompt departure at midday. The captain, they told us, would not wait for latecomers.       The […]

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My round-up of 2018

2018 has been a year that required urgent distractions from the shambles that passed for political debate in Westminster. Fortunately it’s been a good year for adventures: exhibitions, travel, theatre, food & drink. Here are just a few of my personal highlights:   Theatre – behind the scenes at The Bridge In February I wrote […]

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Ten favourite Bacari in Venice for chewing the lardo

Cichètti, or Chewing the Lardo   There’s something democratic about this city without cars. No-one can hide behind the anonymity of a windscreen, so the chances are you will know your fellow passengers on the vaporetto by sight, at the very least. Lawyers and professors share the same transport system as plumbers and market traders. […]

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Four favourite Venetian restaurants revisited

  A four night stay in November was prompted by the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Jacopo Tintoretto’s birth. This in turn triggered the question “where to have dinner?” Instead of seeking out new restaurants, we decided to revisit four that we have tried before. For the first evening we wanted somewhere lively and […]

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“We don’t make coffee here, we are very serious…. We have grappa!”

Walking to dinner at Alle Testiere, a sign in an archway caught my eye – “I Rusteghi”. I recognised the name from Russell Norman’s directory of bars, in his book Venice, Four Seasons of Home Cooking.         Through the arch in a tiny courtyard was a well, covered with empty champagne bottles. […]

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There’s more to Argentinian wine than Malbec

    If you’re looking for a white wine to start your meal at Chimichurris, there are Sauvignons and Chardonnays on the list, but I would go for Torrontés, which is indigenous to Argentina. It’s a juicy, aromatic wine that always makes me think of a white grapefruit. This one from Finca Las Nubes is […]

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Argala: in praise of bitterness

Childhood friends Enrico and Piero started making pastis in 2005, in Piero’s grandmother’s kitchen. Pastis is a drink associated with the south of France, so when they entered it in a competition, it was a bit of a joke; they live in Piemonte, on the wrong side of the Maritime Alps.  It wasn’t their intention to create […]

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A drinking game in Sardinia

“Find the oldest vintage rosé”   Noticing the poor stock rotation in the local supermarket led to my invention of this little game (and the winner was. . . . 2007! from the highly regarded Cantina Mesa).   I also noticed this example of sophisticated Italian label design:       I stocked up with […]

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Asian Soul Food from a Japanese Chef’s Table

SAKAGURA Steak Kitchen & Sake Bar An interpretation of the social tradition of Izakaya bars, Sakagura is tucked away behind the west side of Regent Street. Opened in 2016, it’s owned by the Japan Centre. The Chef’s Table at Sakagura takes you on a culinary journey to Japan, with 11 small courses tasted with 4 […]

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