1. The Gunton Arms
    Posted On: November 14th, 2011

    The Gunton Arms

    It is not often that I embark on a 500 mile round trip to visit a single hostelry but such was my anticipation at the reopening of this lavishly refurbished and lovingly revived inn that I was prepared to schlep all the way from south-west Wiltshire to northern Norfolk last week. The Gunton Arms ( lies on the edge of...
  2. Le Grand Aïoli  - ‘The Holiday of a Lunchtime’
    Posted On: July 13th, 2011

    Le Grand Aïoli - ‘The Holiday of a Lunchtime’

    A couple of years ago over a long and languorous lunch at Le Café Anglais, with chef-patron (and FT food guru) Rowley Leigh, I was lamenting the fact that while the cuisine of Provence is justifiably celebrated its best wines are regrettably overlooked. Rowley is a man of action who requires little encouragement and before I knew it ‘Le Grand...
  3. Bistro du Vin – Soho
    Posted On: July 6th, 2011

    Bistro du Vin – Soho

    Bistro du Vin, Soho To Dean Street in Soho last Wednesday for the opening of the latest outpost of the Bistro du Vin and Bar. This is a simple but ingenious concept which is basically the same well-tested offering as the Hotel du Vin but without the bedrooms. The emphasis is on simple menus using great quality ingredients coupled...
  4. Classic Cuisine at Le Gavroche
    Posted On: May 13th, 2011

    Classic Cuisine at Le Gavroche

    It was a treat to be back at Le Gavroche for our annual Spring lunch yesterday playing to a full house of 100 diners keen to sample wines matched to a seasonal menu devised by Michel Roux Jr. Le Gavroche We kicked-off with a lively Vouvray Mousseux Brut from Domaine Aubert by way of aperitif, which guests could elect to...
  5. Chabrot – Bistro d’Amis
    Posted On: February 9th, 2011

    Chabrot – Bistro d’Amis

    As I mentioned back in November I’m a sucker for a ‘soft’ restaurant opening because there is a wonderful feeling of dining before the critics descend and pronounce the received view of an establishment, of virgin piste if you like, and, even better, you tend to get a benign bill when it’s time to call in l’addition. I was delighted...
  6. Angelic behaviour
    Posted On: January 31st, 2011

    Angelic behaviour

    It is a testament to how busy we have been over the past twelve months that the night for our staff Christmas Party appeared to come round again so quickly after last year’s great evening at the Museum Inn, Farnham. This time our Yapp car convoy was heading into Frome and the newly-opened Archangel. It was a full team in...
  7. Great Value Lunch at Gauthier Soho
    Posted On: December 9th, 2010

    Great Value Lunch at Gauthier Soho

    A recent reunion of an unofficial lunch club saw me dropping in on old friends at a new venue.  Michelin-starred chef, Alexis Gauthier and sommelier supreme, Roberto Della Pietra (ably assisted by Damian Sanchez) have opened Gauthier Soho in the attractive town house formerly frequented by Richard Corrigan.  The layout over four floors and steep stairs is a challenge that...
  8. cassis
    Posted On: November 24th, 2010


    In the current doom-laden economic climate it is rather uplifting to visit a nascent restaurant where few expenses have been spared and even the Matisse’s on the wall are original. I’m a sucker for a restaurant preview or ‘soft opening’ as they are known in the industry. There’s always a bit of a distraction with carpenters, photographers or PR gurus...
  9. Fine Wine and Fun Dining
    Posted On: October 27th, 2010

    Fine Wine and Fun Dining

    We recently hosted a Trade tasting to launch our release of 'archive' vintage wines. Held at the Zetter Hotel, one of our long-standing on-trade accounts in Clerkenwell, London; this event provided our trade customers the opportunity to get together to sample some terrific older vintages as well as a selection from our current wine portfolio. These tastings are always difficult...
  10. Ambassador - You Are Really Spoiling Us!
    Posted On: August 25th, 2010

    Ambassador - You Are Really Spoiling Us!

    Last week, I co-hosted a Provencal Dinner and wine tasting, ably assisted by Jason Yapp and the genial Chef-Patron of The Ambassador, Clive Greenhalgh. For a nominal £10 fee, guests were free to partake in a 15 wine, tasting tour of Provence. With the bottles spread down The Ambassador’s long bar and Jason and I on dispensing duties, it made...

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