Category: Uncategorized

‘My baby don’t care for high-tone prices’

Or, as Nina Simone actually sang, ‘he don’t care for high-tone places’ I’m increasingly less interested in ‘fine dining’ establishments, and attracted by places that offer simpler food in a less formal setting. Well chosen ingredients, prepared with intelligence in the kitchen. Well judged combinations of flavour, and no more than five main components on […]

Continue Reading

Night at the Museum

After an interesting encounter last year with Napoleon the Strategist at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, it seemed rude to miss an opportunity of making closer acquaintance. Talent or ambition – which is more important in the making of a genius? I wrote about it here: https://wp.me/p7AW4i-kE The museum was open free of charge […]

Continue Reading

A tale of two Frenchies. Well, actually five.

Frenchie Restaurant in Paris opened on rue du Nil in 2015, and quickly became a hot ticket. We tried to book a table for dinner in May this year, but they still fill the restaurant months ahead. Frenchie Wine Bar opposite doesn’t take reservations; it opens at 6.30pm, and the advice is to turn up […]

Continue Reading

A croissant worth crossing Paris for

Word was circulating that a new bakery is producing the best croissants in Paris. On a visit to the city in May, naturally I went to investigate rue Oberkampf, looking for No 61. The 11th Arrondissement is roughly equivalent to London’s Shoreditch, with little independent shops, a market, and tattoo parlours.         […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Hockney & Van Gogh, or ‘The Vince and Dave Show’, plus All the Rembrandts

To give the exhibition its official title: “Hockney – Van Gogh, The Joy of Nature”.   It opens with David Hockney on film, talking to camera about his own work, Van Gogh, and the exhibition. “It’s a good title – better than ‘The Vince & Dave Show’,” he says with a mischievous twinkle. Wearing a […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading