Wineweek 91: The Winecurious on Flickr

I remember there was a time when I was convinced I would not even try to up to quality of the photos on this site. Getting into food photography is quite annoying. First of all you are always dragging your camera to the restaurant. The light is often a bit poor, and people stare at you when you bring out the arsenal (My big camera I mean). Sometimes I also get these looks from M where he is signaling to put the Nikon away because the food is getting cold. Second, it takes quite a lot of time to select and edit the photos you like. Regardless of these two small obstacles, I have become a an amateur food photographer, and you can view my work in all its glory from now on in Flickr. I have only downloaded my pics from the past few weeks, so there is more to come very soon.

Continue reading “Wineweek 91: The Winecurious on Flickr”

The Hackney Hot-Spot for Nature Wine

When I lived in London (2012-2014) Hackney was still a bit rough. Well not really. It has already started with gentrification, or as I like to call it, brooklynization. However, Hackney was still not an area to take lightly when walking around during the night. I am not sure if it still is, but most definitely it has a more tamed reputation (as does neighboring Dalston and Bethnal Green). We usually head to south London when we want to go casual with dining. However, a tip to try out Legs Wine Bar lured us east. And I am very glad it did. My first trip to Hackney was a positive one. Continue reading “The Hackney Hot-Spot for Nature Wine”

The Best Pub in London

Pubs – almost a trademark of London and Great Britain. There is something about the thought of having a pint in a pub. I used to think: cozy, warm and welcoming. Until I moved to London and saw what local pubs where or had become: dirty, cold, giant brewery owned holes that are only good for sheltering from sudden rain or watching football (the atmosphere is quite fun). As with everything there are exceptions. Some pubs have been able to keep their independence and charm. Harwood Arms is in the far end of the scale, a pub so excellent that it has been honored with a Michelin star.  Continue reading “The Best Pub in London”

Wineweek 89: London at a Glimpse

It has been a hot week here in London. Hot and humid. Thunder has seemed imminent, but the the first raindrops we encountered were not before our taxi ride back to Heathrow airport. One could say we have been lucky. On the agenda this time has been food and wine. Isnt it always food and wine though. It feels like shopping and sightseeing have been activities we have filled the gap with between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. I am feeling a bit of fatique after all that food. However, I am glad I stuffed down every last yummy piece.  Continue reading “Wineweek 89: London at a Glimpse”

The Return to London

In less than two weeks, I am starting my short yet efficient summer holiday. It is quite common here in the Nordic countries to take four or fine weeks, however myself and M save our holidays to the winter. Something that is on the agenda every summer though is a long weekend in London, our former home city. There is nothing like summer in London. It is so vibrant, like always, and unlike the Nordics, July is still buzzing. Its also quite interesting to go and mingle in the city post-Brexit. I am hoping for some really good prices on wine. We have had our eyes on some bottles of Bollinger VVF, that are now much cheaper with the weaker currency. Lets see if we end up taking that road of no return. When you start collecting bottles like the VVF, I doubt that you ever stop.    Continue reading “The Return to London”

Riding the Izakaya Wave with Jason Atherton – Sosharu London

Jason Atherton is opening new restaurants at a rate not seen since Gordon Ramsey had his rapid expansion phase. And note, I have always been impressed with the consistently high quality. But after a recent disappointing re-visit to his Singapore restaurant Esquina I was not sure what to expect from his new upscale izakaya in Londons Farringdon. We visited a few weeks ago during our short spring break in London.

Sosharu has jumped on the izakaya trend, and as most of the places in Europe, it has missed the point and idea of an izakaya.  The common missunderstanding seems to be that an izakaya is fine dinign or at least a nice Japanese”bistro”. It is rather the opposite, a shady and smoky bar with some simple food (like yakitori and ramen), that one crawls to after a drunken evening at a bar before heading home. As most new European izakayas, Sosharu is made much fancier than an izakaya usually is in Japan. My initial annoyance has however started to subside, so I can sort of forgive Sosharu for this sin. And I must say, it does seem that Jason at least has some idea of what kind of food an izakaya should have, as beneath the fancy outer layer, there is a simple and delicious menu. If it werent for the price tag and difficulty to get reservations, I could definitely chow down some of that tempura as bar food.

The ambience aims to be an upper mid-range cool bar and restaurant and in that they succeed really well. The space is cool and inciting, and you can see some into the kitchen. They offer a nice selection of cocktails and wines. I love the house champagne, Les Murgiers, which comes from Francis Boulard. The beer selection could however easily be expanded. I am much more fond of having a fresh malty drink with my asian dishes rather than wine. The beers that were on the list however were nicely selected.

The main attraction here is the food. It is a mix of small dishes and some bigger bowls and I strongly recommend sharing. All the food we had was really good but the standout dishes were in general the tempura and the different grilled meats. I was also really happy about the bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes (I think I love everything with bacon). The rice bowls were also really good but required some waiting time, so I would make sure to top up with some starters.

Service was friendly and a despite some waits for drinks I would still say they got the basics right. Would happily visit again.

xx Soile

Wineweek 71: The Winecurious in London

London baby! It is one of my favorite cities in the world. Just like Barcelona, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York and Paris. I am a sucker for big cities. London, however, is a city I have lived and breathed for almost two years, just before I moved to Stockholm. London is dynamic. It changes constantly without losing its vibrant personality. London will most probably always and never feel like home. Continue reading “Wineweek 71: The Winecurious in London”

A Postcard from London

You would expect a proper postcard to have pictures of the city. Big Ben perhaps. My postcards have pictures of food and wine. We arrived in London late Thursday evening and have been eating our way around the city. Yesterday was perhaps the most exciting day of the trip as we had lunch at the two starred restaurant Hibiscus, dinner at the brand new Jason Atherton restaurant Sosharu, and then we visited a shop specializing in natural wines, the Winemakers Club.  Continue reading “A Postcard from London”

Wine Review: Mr P Knows Pinot Noir

I confess. We bought the bottle because of the label. It was stylish and moderately funny (we giggled about the name. I know, childish). That is what caught our attention in the first place. Then there is of course the aspect that Pinot Noir is not that commonly grown in South Africa. We had something “professional” to place the purchase decision on. But yeah, it was the label. Successful marketing from IONA Vineyards, a family venture in Elgin, close to Cape Town.     Continue reading “Wine Review: Mr P Knows Pinot Noir”

London on my Mind

Every year, we do a few trips back to our former home city of London. To be honest, I did not live there that long that I could credibly call it home. But there is something about that city that is always on my mind. I am going crazy as we speak just thinking about walking down the early spring streets of London in a few weeks time. As it is my lazy week, I am not going to write much new today. However, I though I would lift up some of my old posts on the wine-spots I long for. We have some exciting reservations for new places and restaurants, so I promise some new material soon.  Continue reading “London on my Mind”