Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Historic dining out and wines from Bath

I hate writing short posts. I hardly ever do it, but if I haven't yet visited a restaurant what do I have to write aside from a short list of expectations embellished by anticipations. But as I write this post and commit to posting it, I lock myself into trying these places.

A few days back I discovered a little blog that I liked and am sad to say, seems to be left fallow even more than mine. Still the 3 posts that it has are noteworthy and now I am very excited to try out Kettner's in Soho. I am looking forward to trying their brasserie, love dining in an historic (opened in 1867 by Napoleon III's chef, Kettner) and yet still gorgeously lush (the champagne bar seems to have a lovely speakeasy feel) setting and am tickled that I have a partner in crime who would like to ditch the kids one day and have tea at The Pudding Bar. How could you not adore that name?

And a little more down market, but probably just as thrilling is a place that may very well satisfy my craving for bahn mi, pho and the like. I just read here and there and here about Bahn Mi Bay in Bloomsbury. Sure, I'll have to make it a day trip, rather than the little pop round the corner I had in San Francisco, but for good pho and good bahn mi, I'll manage. Plus I can pop in and carry it all over to Coram's Fields and happily munch while the munchkin plays. I can already tasted the pate, feel the crunch of the crusty bread and pickled whatnots inside. Maggi sauce awaits!

Alright, that's two restaurant visits I have to make good on, onwards into the wine...
Since moving to London in early 2009, I have been very disloyal to every wine shop I encounter. I've dabbled. I brought home bottles jammed in the bottom of the buggy from Kew, sat on the bus for an hour just to bring home a little this and that from The Winery and even nurtured a relationship with our local wine expert at Nicholas (sadly he seems to have moved back to France). The other big names, Jeroboams, Odd Bins, Majestic have seen me pop in from time to time, often making use of their delivery offers. But the latest long arm reach for wine has been so successful I may abandon most of my London wine shops for good (I will go back on this, I know I will, of course I will) as I have been delighted by the February Case selection from Great Western Wine in Bath. I discovered them very much by accident back in January while searching the google maps for the guest house that accommodated us for a mini break while my folks were in town. Bland name recalling long uncomfortable journeys on National Rail, sneaking someone's reserved seat since we were last minute and they never showed, GWW is nothing like their name. The palate of the wine buyers there is distinct. I am far from a wine snob and the longer I live in the EU, the more ignorant I feel, but there you are- an unassuming wine shop that will make every bottle seem a treat to this food pairer. Loads of good tasting notes. New world, old world. Heavy hitters, gulpers and a couple of subtle reds from France in the last batch. Friday I will be enjoying the first of my two cases I just ordered- Bin Ends and the March selection. Let's hope it's a long relationship.

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