Valley of the “Californian Wine” Kings … Food and Restaurants
“4 Days and as Much as I Could Do” being my motto and mantra, the Napa trip was finalised after much deliberation, mapping, planning and of course, travelling across the pond. For a change, Nerdy Geek played the PA and personal chauffeur, ringing wineries and booking restaurants, setting up meetings, organising the tastings, maps and driving, making me feel rather important.
Continue reading “Napa Valley Summer 2012 – The Food”
Valley of the “Californian Wine” Kings … Small Interesting Wineries
Bright and early we arrived at Corison Winery a short 3 minute ride away. Cathy Corison is one indomitable lady. With over 25 years of wine making experience Cathy is certainly of the the Napa ladies to follow. Small winery run by Cathy and her team, this little gem is definitely a diamond found amidst the giants along the 128.
Continue reading “Napa Valley Summer 2012 – The Wines”
Di Brunno Brothers
DBB is a treasure trove of all things Italian and Mediterranean. More Italian than a tipici deli. The produce was just sensationally FRESH. Many made by local artisans, using local ingredients. My eyes and nose were in full dizzy ecstasy. Cheeses, hams, salami, sausages, olives, oils, antipasti, bottles, jars, tins, and the list just goes on. FRESH, so fresh and immaculately stored. This tiny institution joins my Aladdin’s cave list of the foodie world. Zabars, Eataly, Peck, Fortnums, Harrods, Valvona and the likes have serious competition.
Continue reading “The Italian Market, Little Italy, South Philly.”
Skipping all the boring travel bits from LHR to JFK including being searched 3 times between check-in to boarding at LHR. I had NO hand luggage. Just a little handbag. Convinced it was due to my old yellow RL sweatshirt, it’ll be the last time this old favourite sees the inside of a plane.
Continue reading “Philadelphia Freedom, Food-dom and the City of Brotherly Love”
Heathrow, headed for the Bag Drop. Simple task, so I thought, armed with check-in luggage of an old LLBean bag, I put it on the scale. Weighed in at 8.6Kg. To my surprise, Red Riding (without) Hood asked me to weigh my hand luggage. 8.9Kg. OK, more than the checked in bag but the silly thing is that I only had my 11inch MacAir, makeup, chargers for computer, iPhone and camera, and 3 magazines in the rather empty roller. Maybe they should have weighed me as well!
That’s it, the faithful cabin roller is going into retirement. I must remember to pick up a Bric, the lightest cabin bag on the market weighing in at an amazing 2.5kg or the new Tumi.
Virgin is really no longer the airline it used to be. I guess being up for sale does not help it’s credibility. With a zillion air miles I still cannot trade them for Upper Class flights as there are so few on offer these days. Upgrades are also limited, sadly.
Continue reading “New York with a Pao”
30th March 2012
Another fabulously warm, sunny day in London, spoilt only by the ridiculous panic buying of petrol and diesel.
NerdyGeek woke me up at 6am, this time without back up alarms – maybe old dogs can learn new tricks. With paperwork and emails, WhatsApp, texts all done by 7.30am, I began planning my exciting day and preparing lunch. Working from a small kitchen having just returned from a trip is never easy, even with my trusted timeplan/cribsheet of almost 25 years from my Cordon Bleu days. Disposable gloves to debone the chicken, cocktail sticks, proper Riedel tasting glasses were amongst the missing items. The chicken was a little too plump for the largest pot I owned at the flat. The list goes on but one manages.
Continue reading “South Africa Rules”
15ºc, blue sky, sunny and dry. Can’t believe how beautiful it is.
Lubricated or more aptly, buttered bread, the literal translation. Five generations producing humble tummy fillers to perfection.
Ida Davidsen is open Monday to Fridays from 10am to 5pm. Kitchen closes at 4pm. Framed sepia photos of the family from days gone by, decorate the walls together with faded certificates of all shapes and sizes. It’s busy, all tables taken in the dark, candle lit basement, on a sunny afternoon. The famed Queen of Smørrebrød, herself at the counter. Big grin, full of verve explaining repeatedly in both English and Danish what was on offer to the queue of “Jar-Jar Binks” waiting their turn patiently. Ida, in regulation chef’s whites, a motived chef’s hat and a pair of white Crocs, with socks, of course. A true culinary icon, professional to the hilt.
Continue reading “Doyenne of Dansk”
Rudely awakened this morning by iPhone’s foghorn at 5.50am, actually, 4.50am as clocks went forward in tune with the British Summer Time, last night. And in case the digital radio gets it wrong, Nerdy Geek (NG) sets my iPhone to go off five minutes later, just to make sure. I had NO clue how to turn it off. The radio then comes on at 6am.. no, 5am.
He is lucky to be alive.
Taxi waiting outside 15 minutes early. Don’t cab drivers have a life? It’s the sunday morning of time change in UK. Silence in the cab while I iMessaged my world. Kids – telling them Mum was unavailable for emergency duties and not to even try coming home as the house had been set to maximum security. The plumber and the builder to confirm start of work next week and a few more urgent ‘messages de femmes’.
Continue reading “Spring in Wonderful Copenhagen”
Marie and I had an excellent time at Cayo Largo, a small island resort south of the main Cuban land mass. After more than a decade of trying, I finally managed to achieve a tropical saltwater Grand Slam of at least one bonefish, one permit and one tarpon in the same day – in fact, I missed out on a Super Slam having lost a 15 lb snook at the end of the day.
Continue reading “Cuban Grand Slam”
With festive verve, life at 36 continues.
Wednesday 30th November 1.15pm, my mobile rings. Mr “Truckman” tells me he is waiting outside my house. I frantically ring Alex and May, the two appointed santa helpers (with or without the prerequisite green elf suits), to execute Operation Panettoni. Alex is on her way. May is stuck and will take some time. At 1.30pm I skid, Starsky and Hutch style into a parking spot. THREE 7ft pallets the width of my victorian staring back at me on the road.
“Madam, where would you like me to put these?”
Continue reading “Panettoni.. Panettone.. Panaton..”