Wineweek 145: Best Pics From London

Finally back home. For the past three week’s it has been a marathon of travel in Finland, Estonia and most recently Great Britain. Tomorrow autumn will start with a return to the office and daycare; cold winds will blow and sooner than we know it, winter is here. For us that is actually not that bad, as we always have our long holiday starting in December, but until then days will just get shorter and we would rather be somewhere else. I am one of those people who was born to the wrong side of the globe. During our years in London we always exclaimed that we moved there for the weather. This year, however, the beginning of August was a bit chilly even there. But we had some awesome food and wine to keep us warm. I even found a possible new obsession.. The best pics from our trip to London var så god!

Harwood Arms

I don’t know if I can call it a tradition, since this was just the second time I visited Harwood Arms, however, the place just makes me feel like its holiday. Harwood Arms is the first pub in London to get a Michelin star. You can say it’s the cream of gastro pubs with an impressive list of local beers, spirits and wines; and it is the restaurant you should go to for a truly British meal. The menu features seasonal produce; which in the summer means juicy carrots, beets, duck and lamb. I had some awesome pork belly and black pudding. For drinks, you can try sparkling wine from Kent (Gusbourne), British Gin with tonic, grapefruit and basil, and local beers from Camden brewery. Harwood Arms is not the cheapest pub in town for a meal, but it is probably the absolute best; and I can recommend going there any day. Not without a reservation though, it is a hugely popular place.

The Other Naughty Piglet

The Other Naughty Piglet is a restaurant in Victoria, on the second floor of a theatre. I don’t know how M found this place, but I would not be surprised if he first noticed it because of the awesome name. The name isn’t even the best thing; food and drinks are great too. The cuisine is so-called modern European, whatever that means. We dined on croquets with ham, sesame pork belly, Burrata with confied onions, black pudding with nectarine and beans and Linguini with cured egg yolk. The wine list is nature wine heavy. I had this awesome Jurancon Sec from the foothills of the Pyrenees, and M found an old acquaintance, the Ar Pe Pe “Rosso de Valtelina” on the list. The best was, however, surprise surprise, the dessert wine from Chateau-Chalon. This was the first step into my new obsession – sweet wines.


Last but not least, we found a new favorite for London, Portland. The restaurant is located in Fitzrovia, just a few blocks from Oxford Circus. It is a Modern European bistro with ambition. Food was seasonal British mixed with some Italian influences. We had a very good lamb ragu (favorite dish of the week), and ricotta ravioli with peas, as well as pork belly again. The food was very well prepared and presented. The wine list was very interesting, with a long list of rare wines that were served with the Coravin (the best things that has happened to winekind). Yet again, the best memory from that night was the dessert wines. Portland has a list of thirty something Vins Doux Naturales up to 80 something years old by the glass. These fortified wines last ages and taste great even though the bottle has been open for a while. That is the benefit of going into the fortified stuff: the wine has already been produced in touch with oxygen, so an open bottle can last for months. We tried two wines from the appellation of Rivesaltes: one from the 60’s and one from the 30’s. The Chateau Mosse from 1933 is now the oldest wine I have ever tasted.

There was my top three wine and food experiences from our week in London. We also tried some barbeque restaurants: Temper and Kiln; fine dining at the Icelandic restaurant Texture, more British cuisine at 42 Jermyn St. and Jason Athertons Social Eating House, and some glorified street food at David Munoz StreetXO. Nothing was bad, however the ones I would go back to are the ones I wrote about, plus Kiln; I will write some more about that during the coming week.

xx Soile

Harwood Arms is Fulham. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Basil and grapefruit gin and tonic. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Onion tartlet at Harwood Arms. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Bitter & Twisted and Camden Brewery IPA. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Dessert at Harwood Arms. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Burrata with confied onions. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Blackcurrant ice cream and hibiscus. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Chateau-Chalon sweet wine. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Blood sausage with beets. ©Soile Vauhkonen
Strawberries and nuts at restaurant Portland. ©Soile Vauhkonen

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