Pimm’s Launch the Summer Party

Launching their Summer Party, the people at Pimm’s took over parts of Lambeth Palace and the Secret Garden within the Palace’s walls, dressing the place with garlands of coloured lights and bunting. I have to say that it was a bit quirky, well quite a lot quirky actually.

Baranis cocktail masterclass, cocktails with anisette

I knew that we were going to a cocktail masterclass, but what I didn’t know was that the evening would be devoted to those archetypal French drinks, pastis and absinthe. The drinks were the stars of the show, and rightly so. It was interesting to see them in a new light, one which demonstrated their versatility, and will hopefully boost their popularity.

Whisky and more at 69 Colebrooke Row

Qin Xie was recently invited to sample some fine Scotch whiskies at 69 Colebrooke Row, where many a delightful cocktail had been consumed in the past. It’s the sort of bijoux venue where there’s just enough light to cast a pleasing glow over everything, and everyone. And, if you know someone who knows someone, you can even take a tour in the lab upstairs where the possibilities are simply endless.

Hooray for the Upper Glasses

Traiteur and chef Franck Pontais won last year’s UK Iron Chef contest, although presumably not with verrines which are not exactly hunky He loves verrines, he even has a book about them, and has popped up with his pop-up Glass Kitchen, as part of Harvey Nicks Taste Lab project.

The Great British Food Revival or Dead Air Time?

The latest episode in a show that attempts to resuscitate the lacklustre British palate started with restaurateur and part-time Frenchman Michel Roux exclaiming: ‘I’m Michel Roux and I’m passionate about bread.” From these unpromising beginnings you wonder how Roux is going to make a 30 min programme on bread interesting, and to give him credit, he tries.

Celebrating 35 years of Nicolas Feuillatte

This was the first time I have drunk Champagne throughout a meal and I have to say, it was a brilliant thing to do. I’m not, by any means suggesting that you might pair each of your courses at a restaurant or around your dining table, with different Champagnes as a regular thing; it’s a little decadent. But it’s a fun thing to do,

The National Cafe brings Flanders to London

The National Cafe has a new menu of food from Flanders to celebrate the Flemish artist Gossaert and his works on show at the National Gallery. There’s not a mussel in sight but, as we found out, there’s plenty of clever, tasty cooking and a range of deliciously dangerous beers.

Vagabond wines – a taster or a glass?

Together with a select group of food and drink writers I was invited recently to Vagabond Wines to sample some of the wines that owner, Stephen Finch, considered particularly special among those he has on sale at this unique, perhaps groundbreaking shop.