Just back from a fabulous birthday treat week in Sicily ( Palermo and Taormina) so, inspired, the girls ( Jude and Lily) prepared a magnificent 7 course Italian/Sicilian meal in my honour. Wow..what can I say! Amazing: we started with antipasti of caponata, berlotti beans with dried tomatoes, spiced pumpkin; then a superb saffron risotto […]
For a man who has been around in the Rhone for 20+ years Xavier Vignon isn’t a name that trips off the tongue of that many Rhone lovers. Surprising perhaps as to those in the know Xavier has been consultant oenologue to possibly more estates than the very well-known consultant Philippe Cambie – he reputedly […]
So we just heard we were shortlisted for the 2016 Luxury Travel Awards – quite an honour! – thanks so much to whoever out there nominated us. Fingers crossed here!
Just finished our 2016 truffle & Rhone wine Tour…lovely guests and a great week. Only wee negative being the paucity of local truffles in the region, the extremely dry summer last year less than ideal for the cultivation of our “black diamonds”. Having said, there were sufficient to indulge my lucky group in some stupendous […]
Many of my Rhone Wine Tour guests will remember me acclaiming what I call “over the motorway” wines made by Chateauneuf du Pape producers, the wines given humble Cotes du Rhone designation as they are from grapes grown on the land just “over the motorway ( the A7 to be precise) from the illustrious Chateauneuf […]
Our very generous neighbouring farmers the Belle family have just delivered a (thankfully beautifully butchered) couple of Sanglier (Wild Boar) joints. I am thrilled as it’s a meat that I just love. The Belles hunt for boar and other game up on the slopes of Mt. Ventoux and this year their Christmas week haul was no […]
Wonderful family Chrismas this year at la Madelene. Weather mild and sunny. Young Beatrix ( 5 years old) having a great time but her exuberance terrified the cats. Christmas lunch oyster opening expertly executed by Josh and Jon, Helen’s Pintade cooked to perfection with a Salsa Verde sauce. The usual ton of presents on Christmas […]
Kicked off the Christmas specials with these beauties on Christmas Eve: the house Larmandier-Bernier “Vertus” 2009 Champagne, steely mineral gorgeousness to get going, one of my fave Condrieus from Christophe Pichon; a Santa Duc Gigondas “Prestige des Hauts Garrigues”2007 – still very young, dark and brooding; two great CNPs – Mont Redon ’98 and Jaufrette […]