Archive for June, 2009

La Réserve de Quasimodo, Ile de la Cité, Paris

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

La Réserve de Quasimodo is self subtitled: Le plus vieux bistrot en l’ile de la cité.  Seven centuries of history.  Did Asterix the Gaul possibly eat here?

Got a hunch this might be a good place


Rowan Gormley’s Naked bollocks

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Well at first sight, you have to admire a man with cojones the size of decanters.  Rowan Gormley, not content with taking on the mighty Direct Wines (owners of the Laithwaites and Virgin Wines brands) at selling wine, is now considering a legal defence in the light of a provocative press release that Rowan put out on behalf of Naked Wines to which DW took offence.  Offence that was duly passed to their lawyers who promptly threatened to sue his ass.

Rowan’s blog offers the viewpoint of a man on one side of an argument that is undeniably exacerbated by the fact that the Virgin Wines founder left the employ of Direct Wines last summer under a compromise agreement (another word for a cloud).  The word “bollocks” is used to dismiss Direct Wines’ allegations.  Maybe storm in a teacup is better phraseology.

But before you dismiss this as a spat between two former lovers and tell them to grow up and get a life, be aware that this is a business tactic straight from the Virgin playbook (remember Virgin Atlantic/Richard Branson’s long term, bitter and very public fight with BA for example?).  Rowan certainly learned something from his years at Virgin.

Naked Wines needs publicity and hasn’t got a big advertising budget.  If I were Direct Wines, I would shut up and get on with running a successful business and starve Naked of PR oxygen.  Every time they react to one of Gormley’s prods they are adding fuel to his fire.

On the other hand, if I were Rowan Gormley, I would probably continue to aggravate my former employer and provoke whatever reaction I could.  The general public loves an underdog, especially one that looks like it is being grievously mistreated by the older school bully.