Salty Dog, St Aubin, Jersey

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Jersey is the most beautiful of islands but, let’s be honest, it’s a bit Wicker Man.  I feel like I am in a 1970’s time-warp.  Even my beloved and essential iPhone is rendered useless by a lack of suitable networks.  No voice, no data, no life.


Mi Casa, San Juan, Alicante

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Finding it is a bit like going to a rave.  First, you need to know a local hombre to get the number.  On tinkling, you are directed to another telephone box to wait for a call.  Then, like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn, a taxi appears to pick you up from Alicante town centre and you are driven 20 minutes up the coast, blindfolded.

This sort of experience excites the hell out of me and has my salivary glands pissing like a Dutch dyke.


La Salamandre, Pauillac

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

On a frenzied wine tour through Bordeaux it’s nice to take a relaxing break for a long lunch, and you could do much worse than stop in Pauillac during your Medoc leg.

La Salamandre, looking out directly over the river is charming, top quality, well presented, and has a great wine list.


Le Puy-Paulin, Bordeaux

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Tucked away in a place so secret that only the French Foreign Legion knows of its existence, this place is more charming than Dartagnan and better for juicing up a hot date than a pair of George Clooney’s underpants.

You can expect French service, though, which is the exact opposite of New York service.  That is to say, friendly but slow.


La Taberna del Gourmet, Alicante

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The hyper-observant of you will notice that there is a sex shop a couple of doors up from this back street tapas joint.  When I sat down to eat at La Taberna del Gourmet recently, I started to wonder whether “Pikante” might offer better value, and possibly have more edible items for sale.


Château Rauzan-Ségla, 1996

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Where better to try a Bordeaux Grand Cru than in its home town?  Problem is pecuniary.  Although restaurants around Bordeaux ask reasonable mark-ups, this still involves voluntary surgery.  To keep my arms and legs intact, my cunning plan was to buy the wine from a local shop and take it to the restaurant which, for convenience, was Le Savoie, bang in the centre of Margaux.


Xe Que Bó, Alicante Marina

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Sometimes the seedy looking places turn out to be greatest.  When walking along a Spanish seafront a good tip is to choose the place that has the most punters irrespective of decor or appearance.  Xe Que Bó, Alicante Marina is just one of those places.  It looks tackier than a Leeds nightclub carpet, but the food is fab.


Galvin at Windows, London

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I think I am addicted to capital haute cuisine. First I tried the 40th floor of the Gherkin.  Then the revolving 34th floor of the BT Tower. Recently I have stooped, metaphorically, to the 28th floor of one of the ugliest buildings in London:  The Hilton, Park Lane, but probably the one with the finest, or at least poshest, view.


Lunch up the BT Tower

Monday, April 5th, 2010

My day job takes me to some very ugly places.  1960’s office buildings in Longbridge, Liverpool and Lewisham.  Soulless serviced office space in Southend, Slough and St Helens purporting to be “modern” but with more of a sense of Alcatraz than alacrity.

So it was an extremely pleasant surprise to be involved with an event at the BT Tower in London.

I have been taking the words haute cuisine a little too literally of late following a towering meal at 40:30 on the 39th floor of the gherkin last year, and this year (review yet to be published) Galvin @ Windows on the 28th floor of the Park Lane Hilton.

But there are few monuments, iconic buildings, national treasures, beautiful landmarks, and yet vital pieces of communication infrastructure that match this one.

National monument and important comms hub


Lickfold Inn, Surrey

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Forgive the personal indulgence but this weblog is, in many ways, a record of my life, albeit told in the hazy after-mists of empty wine bottles.  For a small portion of it, as a toddler in the 1960’s, I lived in a Surrey pub run by my grand-parents, Marjorie and Douglas.  In those dim and distant days that I barely remember, it was called The Three Horseshoes – a fine pub name.

In more recent years it has passed through the hands of various do-wells including rock band managers and most latterly the self-proclaimed national alarm clock for the UK – fellow Mancunian* and Radio 2 DJ, Chris Evans.

Since my mum’s grave is just down the road in trendy (well in 1460 it was trendy) Lodsworth, where she is one of the most lively residents, I like to visit the Lickfold Inn occasionally, to keep an eye on the ghosts…and the food….and the wines….and the spirits.