I feel compelled to write about the culinary delights I’ve experienced over the last month or so. This is clearly a brag of sorts, so as usual I serve up my humble apologies in advance.
First off was the leatherne bottel. It’s a lovely restaurant by the thames in Goring. I’ve been there before a few years ago when it was owned and run by my wife’s uncle who has since sadly passed away. The food is as good I as remember it being back then, having recently picked up the Johansens Most Excellent Restaurant award for this year. I had a terrine confit of rabbit for starters, which was delicate and fantastic. In fact it inspired me to make a terrine of my own, but I’m not sure mine lived up to my expectations. At one point I was mashing up pigs liver and I remember wondering how on earth this could ever be appetising. It’s in my fridge at the moment and my wife is politely pretending it’s not there.
The main course was a honey glazed pork belly – something I’ve also made at home with dubious results. The pork was lovely, not fatty but very tender. Mmmm. We then delved into cheese and I had some chocolatey thing for desert.
Of course though, there was some wine. A lot of it. We eased into the afternoon by having a chablis premier cru 2003, which was very elegant and lovely. I have to concede I’m becoming a bit of a chablis fan of late, I love the place and wine. Simultaineously the ladies had pink champagne which I was assured was it’s usual lovely self.
Moving forward we tackled a mersault, which was lovely – a bit jammy, typically full of flavour for a bungundian white. After this we upped our game to the delights of two premier cru Cortons. I love Corton, as I’ve blogged about a couple of times. It’s a real treat whenever I get to have it.
We stayed with the red until the cheese course, where we reverted back to white and tackled a puligny montrachet premier cru which was very sesame-seedy. It was very intense, very much a contrast to the chablis. Rounding off an extremely pleasant occasion we had a armagnac.
The table where we sat
The next big feast of the month was to be my wife’s birthday, at Foliage in Knightsbridge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. I’ve heard good things about this place from a colleague who proclaimed that the food is simply unbeatable in London. It certainly was that. We opted for a gastronomic tasting surpise menu, leaving it up to the chef to decide what we should eat. There’s about 6 courses and I also had a cheese board (a little miffed I had to pay 17 quid for it). The food was unlike anything I’d had before. The main item on the plate, whether it be salmon, duck or veg, often came out with different types foam on it. Foam! I remember some fantastic scallops with a pea puree and little chunks of pear. The food was just incredible, I would recommend anyone to go there.
For the wine we had a cheeky bottle of Chablis premier cru vallions, which was outstanding. I really loved that wine and I was rather sad that Kath liked it too. After that we had some pinot noir, a glass of champagne and a Tokjai. I could definately have used an additional brandy as I got the bill though. The mandarin oriental has a funky cocktail bar, which I would also recommend for special occasion.
The final meal that completes the triad was a ThoughtWorks event. At TW we have sponsors who guide you through life at the company, dishing out advice when needed and helping out with the review process. I have the splendid fortune of having a sponsor who likes to take her sponsees out for dinner occasionally as a group, and this time it was at Vinopolis the wine museum. We had a fantastic, if not slightly boozy night. We managed to sneek in a couple of burgundies, namely a Nuit St George which was lovely and a Saint Aubin. It was fun night, although I am suffering a little today because of it.
Plan for the rest of the summer – diet!!