South-East London pub of the year

The Dog and Bell in Deptford is CAMRA’s South-East London pub of the year. Deptford, the New York Times tells us, is the place to go to experience London’s multicultural life. The police are predicting an increase in stabbings. Indeed, as we got on the train from Woolwich the London newspaper headline was “Teenager stabbed […]


Cafe East is still London’s best noodle bar

Cafe East has moved since we first . It is now in a rather soulless shopping centre, and the cafe itself is more like a school dining room than the previous slightly squalid but charm-filled establishment. However, if you want quality noodles and Vietnamese food in London this is the destination of choice. We started […]

I want to change my vote

Yesterday we were at Lord’s having a whale of a time watching England thrash the West Indies by ten wickets. Ha! We drank some good wine. We started off with a bottle of Gosset Grande Reserve which was totally lovely: weighty, dense and stylish. It had deposited more tartarate crystals than any bottle of fizz […]

Aspalls 'Premier Cru' Cyder

In what way is this ‘premier cru’?

Delicious, bubbly, tasty cider of the type despised by real cider twats, but why premier cru? The label makes no mention of it coming from a specific orchard, let alone a special location in an orchard. Do they do a grand cru, I wonder? I’ve just looked at their website and no they don’t. Dry […]

The best and worst value French wine regions

Further it has been suggested that we try and establish what are the best and worst value wines from France. This seems like time for a couple of polls. Free Survey Free Website Survey For the Languedoc-Roussillon I am specifically thinking of Banyuls and brilliant Collioure, for Provence the key wine is wonderful, wonderful Bandol. […]


I’m just engaged in a little exchange of text messages with a chum. He asks if he should buy 2005 Jamet Cote-Rotie for £20 a bottle. Brilliant wine at an extremely keen price; I told him to snap them up. He then asked about 2004 and I said that was a bit less interesting but […]


What a rum old drink

This is the rum we scored from marvellous, marvellous in Edinburgh. It is frighteningly alcoholic for something that has been distilled in a pot still then aged in cask for 14 years. The key with these super-fiery spirits is to either dilute them a bit (if you are a bit girly, that is) or just […]

Rainha Santa Portuguese bitter orange marmalade

When my mother last visited she raved about some marmalade she had scored, we said it would be interesting to try some so were very pleased when she posted us a jar. The ingredients list for it are impressively brief: Seville oranges, sugar and lemon. The oranges come from the Upper Alentejo in Portugal, and […]

I feel I need to explain

My the neighbours and us necked last night may not have been entirely transparent. Like wine, cider is a partially spoiled product, this allows it to keep without getting anymore off and stops any nasty bugs from living in it. However, people I shall loosely refer to as ‘real cider twats’ take this idea a […]


As I often tell the partner, sometimes good things do come in large sizes

A three litre bag in the box of cider? Fuel for alcoholics, you might think. Well, possibly, but this is no Diamond Ice, it is really good. It costs a mere two quid per litre; good cider is such a bargain. Weston’s organic vintage still cider 2008, 7.3% This has just enough of the rancid […]