Category: U.K.

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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Thudding in the Norfolk woods

If you’re ever in Norfolk and fancy having a go at archery, there’s a patch of woodland opposite Voewood House in High Kelling, east of Holt. On most days there’s a sign at the roadside advertising archery; it’s a tight turn, but you can drive in through the gate.   The woods are owned by […]

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Best gig of the year, and it was only February!

I’m often asked when to open a bottle of wine that’s been gathering dust in somebody’s rack – “will it still be any good?” My advice?   “Open it without expectations, and hope to be pleasantly surprised”. Sometimes I take a similar approach when the programme from Ronnie Scott’s appears in my inbox. Pick a […]

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“You either see it or you don’t”. The Dennis Severs House

Where do you go as a treat for a nephew whose 11th birthday is a week before Christmas? We took him to the 18th century.   On Sunday 23rd December we travelled by London Overground to Shoreditch High Street. As we walked towards our destination, we passed the strangely rather wonderful shop window of Gardner’s, […]

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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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Of Pigeons, Pies, and Flakey Flossy’s Pastry

  Clay Pigeon Practice Arriving in the countryside the day before the pheasant shoot, I was invited to try my hand at shooting clay pigeons; terracotta discs which are released from machines to mimic the speed and trajectory of birds in flight. It started well. The barrels on a modern shotgun are “over and under”, […]

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The Shooting Party

  On a chilly November morning, somewhere in the English countryside, we assembled in a farmyard for an early briefing before the day’s action. The captain who was to be our commander stressed that our safety was his primary concern. Later that morning I was sitting in a cramped trailer with twenty armed men and […]

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What has your food been eating?

The Ethical Butcher has been a wholesale supplier of ethically raised meat since 2014. This month they are launching a crowdfunding campaign to expand the business into e-commerce, working with farmers to supply their meat direct to household consumers and to restaurants. Speaking at a presentation to potential investors, founder and CEO Farshad Kazemian said […]

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Chimichurris – a quick visit to Buenos Aires

One of the pleasures of living in London is that you can experience the food of other countries without the expense of the airfare. I haven’t visited Buenos Aires (yet) but I have acquired a taste for its food, by going no further than ten minutes’ walk from The Old Vic at Waterloo.     […]

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Portena: an Argentinian member of the Borough Market family

Federico Fugazza arrived in London from Argentina in 2002. His brother Franco was studying for a Master’s at the LSE; he quickly introduced Federico to Borough Market, his favourite place in London, for its food, its multicultural mix of people, and its socialising.       It was unique in London at that time, and Federico […]

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