Ten tasty places

December 29, 2014

For the Twixtmas edition of my Leicester Mercury column I did them a piece on ten food and drink places readers might like to try. Regular followers of this blog may recognise a certain amount of adapted material here and it was a nice opportunity to highlight some places I admire but which may not be feasible to fit in for a restaurant review column. Here’s the link:  ten tasty places

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The latest of my reviews to go up on the Leicester Mercury website is the Queen of Bradgate. I enjoyed it and its tasty, slightly off-kilter food. It’s a good complement to the neighbouring Orange Tree, which has got decent food and drink too but, which I can find a bit too boisterous  – no criticism of a well-run bar, simply a sign I’m really starting to feel my age.

So here’s the link to the review   – Queen of Bradgate –  with the usually warning/apology for the aggressive ads on the Mercury site.

WP_20141211_15_48_58_ProOn another note, I’m sorted for Christmas wines after a super tasting at the weekend at Evington’s on Evington Road. Simon March always seems to find interesting wines and this year the standouts for me were a superb Sauterne from Chateau Villefranche (£11.89 half bottle) and, much to my surprise,  a wine from FYR Macedonia called made by Stobi called Vranec Veritas Reserve (£14.79) and made from local Vranec grapes. The latter is a booming 14.5 per cent red which would sit in for Clarets priced much higher, and while – sadly – I can’t say I drink Sauterne regularly, this one was the best I’ve encountered – incredibly complex and multi-layered for wine that sweet.

If you are looking for something special for the festive period I do recommend a visit – Simon is always happy to advise.

A strange day out

November 3, 2011

I’m claiming a world first tonight. The first person ever to visit a two Michelin star restaurant and sit outside finishing off a Gregg’s Steak Bake.

It was probably the most surreal moment of a pretty strange day that had seen me visit dozens of the region’s finest restaurant, delis and cafes – and leave without eating in any of them. I was helping deliver the new edition – indeed Christmas edition –  of Great Food magazine to sales points and some prestige restaurants  who are keen to have a few copies for diners to browse. It was a day done at breakneck speed around Melton, Grantham and Nottingham. It was a great chance to visit venues such as the  the newly-Michelin listed Berkeley Arms in Wymondham  but very frustrating to  just drop and go (I know what I’m having when I do get back there – pork and black pudding terrine with crab apple jelly and toast, followed by roasted guinea fowl with wild mushroom and pearl barley risotto and carmelised poached pear with blackcurrant sorbet.)

A steak bake recently

Eventually then I was parked up in Nottingham dropping off at venues such as World  Service and Harts and time was getting short. It was 6.15pm and I had to be back in Leicester in a hour. I’d not eaten all day, I had  a £20 note and I needed  change for the car park. Well what would you have done? Gregg’s it was. But I had one last drop to make – under the flyover on Lenton Lane at Restaurant Sat Bains.  I felt somehow that I  was sullying the car park by bring in the salty, rather gristly pasty thing, but there you go – we all have to get by as we can.

It was worth rushing back to Leicester  – a tasting of rieslings at the splendid Evington’s.

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