Vinothec Compass – golfing and wine -ing on the Greenwich Peninsula

Aug 19, 15 Vinothec Compass – golfing and wine -ing on the Greenwich Peninsula

Posted by in All

I’ve just discovered a place that combines 2 of my passions, wine and golf! I don’t get out on the course as much as I’d like to but I do enjoy the game even if my handicap is like, a 1000 (just kidding but not by much). Vinothec Compass is a new venture that’s just opened in North Greenwich. A parnership between Arnaud Compass and Keith Lyons, the driving range/restaurant/bar is bound to be a big hit! I wish they would open one up closer to Clapham (hint, hint). We started off the evening by sipping on Pol Roger 2004 paired with chorizo and shrimp skewers whilst we swung away on the driving range. We were hosted by one of their golf pros, Gary. I have to say, in just the few swings I took, Gary helped me to correct my slice to the left, can’t wait to try it again. There are 60 bays on two tiers and you get to swing your club into the twitlight of Canary Wharf as a backdrop. The standard is 120 balls which will you back £12 (£10 off-peak) or 60 for £6. For more info. including opening times click here  n1golf.com/london Afterwards, we were invited indoors to partake of small plates paired with a selection of wines on offer at Vinothec Compass. The bar also doubles as a shop so you can take the wines home with you if so desired. We had a host of wines from not the usual suspects. Starting off with a Bulgarian Chardonnay, the Château Burgozone 2012, was quite good and had a nice citrus spritz to it. It was lovely with the tapas of baby squid, tomato and coriander. The head chef of Vinothec is Catalan, Jordi Rovira Segovia and you can see his roots reflected in the dishes. As well as Bulgaria, we had a Morrocan rose,  the Volubilia 2013 Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Vin Gris – very pale in colour but bursting with strawberry flavours and refreshingly dry. I love the fact that Vinotech has taken the...

read more

Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

Jun 24, 15 Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

Posted by in Champagne

I do like to indulge in a glass or three of champagne now and then and it’s even better when it’s paired with something good to eat. Did you know that one of the best foods to pair with sparkling wine is none other than that quintessential British dish, fish & chips. So, I happily accepted an invitation by the Wine Trust to their recent Fish & Fizz dinner at Hook in Camden. The Wine Trust is an online only retailer who have a hand picked selection of wines from exceptional producers. They have a team of Masters of Wine winebuyers headed up by Nick Adams MW. Every week Nick and his team choose their wines from a selection of 100’s for their customers. The range is constantly being refreshed, if they find a better example of a particular variety, they’re not afraid to replace it; and if the latest vintage isn’t the best, they’re not afraid to take it off the site. The dinner took place at Hook in Camden. Hook is an Irish owned company although they first started in Belgium. They are all about sustainability and new style fish and chips. That evening we had a selection of their trademark dishes including,  panko crusted Seabass, champagne tempura Mackeral and ink and tarragon tempura of Plaice. Each dish was paired with a champagne and an English sparkling wine. We started with the Ayala Brut Majeur and then moved onto Charles Heidseick Brut and Brut Rose and the 2010 Nyetimber Brut and 2009 Nyetimber rose. We had one of my favourite cremant de Loire’s made by Langlois-Chateau to start. All of these sparkling wines are available from Wine Trust. I quite enjoyed the matches. The bubbles working so well with the fish and the twice cooked chips. One of the funnest utensils they had was the spray bottle of malt vinegar. I would have taken that bottle home with me if I could have! I think that both teams at The Wine Trust...

read more

Dining at Mamounia

Jun 23, 15 Dining at Mamounia

Posted by in All

The first time I ever had hummus was here in London, of all places, and I have to say I was not overwhelmed. As a matter of fact, it took me a few tries before I came round to the delights of Middle Eastern food. However, I’ve come to love Middle Eastern cuisine and am always looking for good restaurants. There are loads of them in London but it’s often hard to find really good ones. I’ve found a good, reasonably priced one though, in of all places, Knightsbridge.  Mamounia specializes in Lebanese and Morrocan cuisine as well as featuring wines from both countries. They’re also known for their mezze and shisha terrace. Don’t let the shisha terrace in front put you off or the rather exotic Middle Eastern decor. The food is seriously good. The menu is not extensively long but features many of the traditional dishes of the region, including shish kebabs, tagines, couscous and grilled and charcoal cooked meats. I ordered the grilled chicken and it was one of the juiciest and flavourful grilled chickens I’ve had in a long time. My dining companion ordered the lamb shish which was expertly seasoned and so good. It was a bit of a pity that we ordered the mezze beforehand, even though it was delicious, as we barely had room to finish our mains. I also had the kibbeh which is one of my favourite starters and this one was a winner. I almost ordered another plate but luckily decided against it. The wine list is features wines from Lebanon and Morrocco. We had Chateau Ksara with dinner, two of the better red wines from the region. You know what they say, wine is made to go with the food of the region and this wine from Lebanon certainly did the job. I would not normally think that Knightsbridge would have good authentic Middle Eastern cuisine but Mamounia is good and the next time I’m feeling peckish in that part of town, I...

read more

Cuisson’s Pop-Down supper club

Jun 22, 15 Cuisson’s Pop-Down supper club

Posted by in All

Pop-up’s are everywhere nowadays but how about a pop-down? The concept is really a play on words as the events take place in the basement of Borough Barista, an independent coffee shop in St.James.  The dinners were created by luxury gastronomy experts, Cuisson and the POP-Down will be open Thursday-Saturday evening throughout the summer. Moving away from the usual supper club concept, POP-Down promises to deliver inventive, high-end dining at affordable prices. Despite being downstairs, the venue has a welcoming vibe and the kitchen is open for everyone to watch the chefs at work. We were also invited to help with the plating up of the food but it seems most of us were more interested in taking pictures for Instagram then in plating up food. But, what do you expect from a supperclub? As an added bonus, the chefs would come round and have a chat about what we were eating and any feedback or questions that we might have had about the food. The food was delicious and plated up innovatively. I really enjoyed the potatoes rolled in burnt hay with garlic sauce to start. The sous vide salmon was melt in your mouth good. I was a bit apprehensive of the sous vide salmon but I could have easily had another plate. The chicken parfait was a tower of pate and we all loved the platter of desserts, especially the pop rock garnish for one of the desserts. There was also a separate dessert bar which we didn’t try but all of the desserts featured in the bar were on our platter. The dinners will be held every Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 7.30pm onwards. Tickets are priced at £39 for 4 courses and are available to purchase in advance through Grubclub.Three courses at POP-Down Dessert Bar are priced at £25 For more information visit their website, http://www.cuisson.co.uk/     Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

Pairing Food with Wine in Spring

Apr 13, 15 Pairing Food with Wine in Spring

Posted by in Featured Post, Food and Wine

I am currently in the middle of organising a spring party for friends. It’s not a party for any particular occasion. It is simply an opportunity for me to catch up and to experiment with some of the many wonderful ingredients that this season has to offer.   I have just completed the “food and wine pairing” item on my party planning checklist. And, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of my notes on what wines work best with some of the classic spring ingredients. I hope you find this post helpful for your own springtime merrymaking!   If you are pulling out all the stops for your soiree and treating your guests to some sparkling wine, I think the best time to serve this is at the start of your party. Dry Champagne and Cava make an excellent match with salty foods. So, serving them with some nibbles, like homemade roasted and salted almonds or little anchovy toasts, will really go down a treat. Salmon is at its best in spring. This fish makes a wonderful main ingredient in a number of seasonal starter recipes. For example, asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon with vinaigrette, salmon mousse or pâté. If you are serving salmon with a citrusy sauce or dressing, a Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice as it won’t be overpowered by the tartness of the sauce. For a creamier and richer salmon starter, a smooth Chardonnay will make an excellent match. As everyone knows, lamb is the king of spring meats. It is a very strong flavoured meat and so  requires an equally robust tasting wine to accompany it. If you are splashing out on a really good bottle, make sure your meat matches the quality. Donald Russell is an online butcher with a sound reputation and is an example of a good business to source your lamb from. One of my favourite bottles to open when eating roast lamb is a Cabernet Sauvignon. The...

read more
%d bloggers like this: