All posts tagged: wine

Twenty Slices of Bread topped with Liverwurst (oh, and some sardines). Eating out in Dusseldorf.

I don’t speak a word of German. I can muster up a bit of French, and have probably still got some passable Finnish, but German – not a word. So as the daughter planned a week staying with a friend in Dusseldorf, we decided we’d grab the chance of a city break somewhere we’d neither of us been before. Dusseldorf is not the most obvious choice for a short break, I grant you, but if you like museums, art, food, old towns, modern architecture, designer shopping and large rivers, this may be the city for you. Thankfully most Germans have passable to excellent English, and as Dusseldorf is not your typical tourist town, this is really rather useful. We stayed at the Orangery, a modern “boutique” hotel in an old house in a quiet cobbled courtyard, metres from the Rhine and minutes from the heart of the old town, with its alleys of restaurants and bars, and a few minutes more from the fabulous designer shopping streets and malls. A pretty perfect location in fact. …

Channeling Rumpole on Fleet Street

Well, you couldn’t really stay just off Fleet Street and not step back in time to a world of gossip, intrigue, scoops and plotting that was (still is?) the culture of the English Press. Although most of the papers are long gone and the presses moved out, their ghosts still haunt Fleet Street, the shadows of signage on the grand buildings, faded painted titles on the walls, the pubs and bars that hosted the press barons and hacks, and of course the eponymous Street remains short-hand for our newspaper industry even though most of it is long gone and much of it is dying on its feet. Ever read Rumpole of the Bailey? or Private Eye?  You’ll recognise this place. The “Pomeroys” of the books –  El Vino. It reeks (only figuratively of course) of a culture of portly, red-faced men, polishing off a bottle of decent red from about 11 in the morning bemoaning the world and putting it to rights, or those leaving the (truly astonishing) St Bride’s Church, the “journalist’s” Church to …

A little bit of La Dolce Vita

So we were doing a bit of a pub crawl last Saturday…well, I exaggerate a little,…well quite a lot really. We had a couple of cocktails at the lovely Loom in the city’s Creative Quarter and then schlepped over the road to Veeno for a glass or two before dinner. Veeno’s is a pretty simple idea. Think holidays in Tuscany. There you go. Italian wine and nibbles. That’s it really. Veeno is a small “group” of restaurants, supplied by the founders’ own vineyard in Sicily and celebrates the Italian “aperitive” culture with a selecton of wines and typical Italian small dishes to accompany them. We got to Veeno at about 5 ish on a grey, damp Saturday afternoon in the English Midlands. It didn’t feel like Tuscany, still less Portofino, so this place had its work cut out to deliver a Mediterranean vibe. We were greeted by a fab and enthusiastic lady Front of House, who warned us this was not a place for dinner – explained the “offer” and showed us to the rear of …

Manhattan”corner shop”, but I still need a liquor store, honey.

“Let’s pop to a local supermarket,  see if we can pick up a few things for the room – wine, snacks etc to nibble and sip while we unpack”. My inspired idea on arrival in Mid-Town Manhattan last week. We walked out of the hotel and spotted this:- I tried to find the door (there were a few, I wasn’t drunk) and my first encounter with a native New Yorker who laughed and pointed me in the right direction. Why do I keep singing that Sting song about an Englishman in New York….? Anyway, this was our local “corner” shop. Open 24 hours and, well, is there anything more one can want to consume that you can’t find here?  (as it transpires, yes, but more of that later).      Now, I love Morrissons and Sainsbury’s, even Waitrose, as much as the next man, but I want one of these shops in my village. These photos don’t do the range justice, but I thought I might be deemed slightly mentally deranged if I took photos …