Category: Drinks

The Seafood Bar

The Seafood Bar, Amsterdam   We passed the restaurant in the morning near Vondelpark, while walking along Van Baerlestraat towards the Van Gogh Museum. What we could see of the pristine, white tiled interior looked promising, and the empty plastic crates stacked outside boded well, even on a Monday. Returning at lunchtime, we had to […]

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Just a quiet Monday night in Amsterdam

Caffè Toscanini, Amsterdam   Arriving early for our reservation, we asked if we could have an aperitif at the bar. I could see we were in safe hands, they stocked all the right brands. I ordered an Americano from the drinks list; equal parts Bèrto Bitter and white vermouth, with a (mere) splash of Fevertree […]

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First lobster of the year, and the Norfolk pub crawl resumes

Rocky Bottoms reopens for 2019….   Rocky Bottoms reopened after their winter break, on a gloriously sunny Monday. Yes, it was windswept on the clifftops at West Runton, but this is Norfolk after all.     The heap of lobster pots outside boded well for lunch. The owner catches crab and lobster off nearby Weybourne […]

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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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