When I was invited to attend the Ben Spalding dinner @CriticalCouple HQ in London, it seemed almost rude to not extend my stay and sample a little of what London had to offer. Although my memories of the weekend will always be overshadowed by the intense, passionate cooking and mad genius of Ben Spalding at both his restaurant and at chez CC, I have nonetheless eaten a lot of great, non-Ben food and met some really, really nice people in the process.
It’s shame that I left London to the backdrop of so much violence and pointless, self-defeating behavior. But I will try to record here the details of what was one of the finest culinary weekends I’ve ever experienced.
It was almost a race to get to Roganic, Ben Spalding’s restaurant in Blandford Street, London. My plane was landing at 9.25 which gave me two and a half hours to check into my hotel (actually . . . →A Weekend in London
“Burps slightly oaky, possibly unrelated”.
Advertising events via Twitter always piques my interest and the Tweet from @WijnvanBilsen mentioning an afternoon tasting of 66 wines from around the world certainly got my attention. As well as their own wines, growers from Italy and France were to be attending and bringing some of their wines along. The whole event was to be catered for by local restaurant Bij Wijze van Klijsen; famed (in my eyes at least) for their slightly misguided camembert crème brûlée but otherwise excellent sweetbreads.
I’ve been to wine tastings before but nothing that promised such a great number of wines and so I was a little sceptical that they could pull it off. However, shortly after arriving with my colleague we were presented with a glass of Casabianca Frizzante Prosecco and a six page document with a full list of all wines available for tasting; the first of which was I . . . →Van Bilsen autumn wine tasting – 07/10/2010