The run up to Xmas is well and truly underway. I could have blogged every day over the last couple of weeks (maybe a sign I am working, eating and drinking too much). Highlights have included the opening of Chisou in Knightsbridge (pictured left). We had sake and sushi of the highest quality thanks to owner proprietor Honami Matsumoto. I also met Paul Masters and Shirley Booth of the British Sake Association, nice people with a great mission; to advance all things sake. I have joined, and if you want to the website is here.
A reunion dinner at Hawksmoor was notable for us taking advantage of the £5 corkage charge on Mondays. The sense of this approach was evidenced by the packed restaurant on a cold night. I bought along a 2006 Vieux Telegraphe as I wanted to compare it to the 2005 which I don’t think is very approachable at the moment. The 06 is also intense (incense!) but much more enjoyable in its youth and worked well with the ‘bone in sirloin’ I ordered (it came text book medium rare as requested). I was glad I decided to take it rather than my last 98 VT. Hawksmoor have the 95 on their list for £130 and one of the wine waiters told us that they are adding the 06. So if you want to enjoy good wine and avoid enough mark up to pay for a three course meal you know how to do it.
I was too busy catching up with people to take notes on the bottles (or photos as I dropped my phone in a puddle and it is off being mended) but contributions included a good fizz, wonderful Condrieu and young but steak friendly Pomerol. There was something to drink with whatever anyone ordered from the menu. A Pedro Ximenez with sticky toffee pudding finished me off and made me vow to fit in an extra work out during the week. Huw Gott from Hawksmoor has confirmed that the new branch in Covent Garden will also be offering the same corkage deal on Mondays. It has been getting rave reviews so book up now.
I somehow managed to win the University tennis club competition at the weekend (maybe making up for the midweek indulgence). Despite the frozen conditions at West Ham Park a few hardy souls turned out and much fun was had. I am far right in the ‘winners photo’ and am standing next to Nuradeen, UEL’s Tennis Development Officer, who used to coach the Nigerian tennis team. I am very proud of my prize; a full UEL sports strip. Thanks to Michael who organised it.