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Everything posted by AdamLawrence

  1. The most atmospheric way to do the West Highland Line is to take the Fort William sleeper from Euston, so I think you're probably right to drive if you're going from Glasgow. Skye is perhaps my favourite place on earth so I am biased. But for a day or two, it is a hell of a drive. At the top end, the Three Chimneys is very much worth it. I suspect staying there would be wonderful, but they were full when we last went, and the rooms are very expensive. The Talisker distillery tour is fun; it's not essentially different to any other distillery tour, but the setting is better than any other I've visited. Coruisk House in Elgol is good for local seafood (esp. squat lobsters) in a communal-table kinda way. Best to stay the night if you can; if you are not going to walk in the Cuillin then the boat trip from Elgol across the bay to Loch Coruisk is a must. Elgol itself is a beautiful, magical setting - it's only about ten houses, mind: if you haven't spent much time in the Highlands, and especially the Islands, you have to realise that things are different up there. How are you planning to get to Skye? From Glasgow, better to drive to Mallaig and get the Armadale ferry than trying to hack all the way to Kyle and the bridge. They have improved the Fort William-Mallaig road in the last few years, but it is still single track in places. You won't be going that fast. Mallaig is unattractive but has a couple of good cafes that look like your typical seaside chippy but serve great langoustines. Next time I go to Skye it will be via the small, summer only, Glenelg to Kylerhea ferry. But again, it's a bit out of the way. Fort William is pretty grim but the Crannog seafood restaurant on the lochfront is good. Shame there's a dual carriageway outside. I've never been to Old Pines but quite fancy it for some future visit. If you abandon Skye (and it is a long, long way for a day or two), I'd recommend Mull. Easier to get to, not so big, Tobermory is nice. Good wildlife to see - there's a guy called Richard Atkinson runs an operation called Island Encounter: he takes you around in a minibus, and you can expect to see white-tailed and golden eagles, maybe otters and dolphins and loads of other stuff. Google would find his details. There is a little caff on top of the ferry terminal in Tobermory that serves scallops straight out of the water, depp fried of course (this is Scotland after all). If you stick with Skye and want to see an otter under your own steam, go to the Kylerhea Otter Haven: this is a hide about a mile from the road-end, and there are several resident otters. Take binoculars and allow a couple of hours: you have a good chance of seeing something. Oh, and take midge repellent. August is the height of the season, and they are the most evil beasties in existence. Glencoe is somewhere you pass through rather than stop for long, unless you are a climber (I am). There's no great eating there, but the beer in the Clachaig is terrific. Food alright in a pubby kind of way - I had a decent venison burger in there one time, but it's nothing you'd go out of your way for. I'd probably avoid Loch Fyne myself. I have a preference for stuff further north and Argyll doesn't really do it for me. YMMV.
  2. AdamLawrence

    Summer beer

    Not entirely true. I haven't read the whole thread, but Summer Lightning at least is bottle-conditioned. Adam
  3. Notwithstanding Cappers' pizza place, which may be excellent, I'd be inclined to hit and run if you feel you must go to Glastonbury, unless you're into New Age tat. What could be a nice town is, for me, completely spoiled by the hordes of crusties. The Abbey is lovely, and it's worth climbing the Tor, but I wouldn't want to stay there. We have friends in Wells, and it is, for me, a much, much nicer place. The street market is good - bought excellent olives there on a number of occasions. Our friends have two small children so we tend to eat in while in Wells, so I'm afraid I can't speak to restaurants. There's a place in the Good Food Guide that sounded alluring, though. Adam
  4. Non. Both are available here; those who choose to drink Czech will make sure they differentiate between the two (most of us have had a bottle of A-B's finest presented when requesting 'Budvar'). cheers Adam
  5. 'The leather was like steak' It has been closed for a few months now I was pondering on how quickly a place can go from fashionable to out of business, then realised that it had been there for nearly 10 years. Not a bad run, I guess. I have not been for years but used to rather like it. I imagine there were lots of people who said that. hence the closure If it is becoming a sausage & Mash cafe it will be ironic as the guys who ran Alfreds opened that RK Stanley's which ( I don't know if it is still around ) was a sausage cafe. S Oh, sausage and mash, ah...... Moderator! Can I delete my last post, please?
  6. I like Kalpna, a vegetarian Indian place, just off Nicholson Street. Been there several times, always eaten really well, dead cheap. I admit to being pissed the last time I was there, but I've been equally pleased with the food when sober Long-time GFG entry. The dosas are terrific. Edit: that would be Stac Polly I believe - anglicisation of Stac Pollaidh, a mountain in Sutherland. The mountain is terrific, but I've never been to the restaurant - it looked a bit like a Scottish theme park from the outside. Adam
  7. Did you like the wine? I have written with enthusiasm about this stuff before, and received a certain amount of scorn . But I genuinely think it's pretty good stuff, though a bit pricey for what it is. cheers Adam
  8. My parents have been going to Lakka on Paxos at least once a year for the past 15 years; in fact, they're there at the moment. They'll be back next week, so I'll push them for information when they return. I went once, years ago - most of the stuff we ate was fairly typical Greek islands taverna fare, but the setting makes the meal. Did have good seafood in Loggos though. But the place is tiny; it doesn't take long to figure your way round. cheers Adam
  9. Let's be honest; if burgundy is in decline, outside the dedicated collectors, it's because such a large proportion of the wine-drinking public follows gurus whose taste runs to big oak, big extraction, low acid monsters. And I'm not just talking about Parker - if you look at the UK, that's exactly the taste profile of wine writers such as Malcolm Gluck, who, to make matters worse, makes a reverse snobbery point of dissing most wines from established regions (do a search of Gluck's reccos and see how many Chilean cabs 'knock Latour into a cocked hat' or chardonnays 'are quite the match for Montrachet'). Burgundy, which is about sublety and finesse, doesn't respond well to this treatment - try Tardieu-Laurent if you don't believe me. With luck it will soon be as unfashionable as red Chinon or German riesling. Sorry, burgundy producers. Adam
  10. Tony, when I worked in a bookshop, a guy came in and asked for Dante in french. when I gave him the volumes he said " that's great, one of the reaosns I took french classes was to read this in the original" I bet any money that was at Foyle's Adam
  11. Adrian Ferra? The mind boggles Adam
  12. Do you suppose any of the dishes will have a Pugwash theme? Adam
  13. There's a terrific recipe in Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail Eating for roast leg of kid. I can't remember exactly what's in it, but I'll dig it out later. What sticks in the memory, though, is that he suggests you use lots of herbs "of the kind you could imagine the young kid gambolling through". Not a book to show to a veggie, Mr Henderson's Adam
  14. We have family just across the river from Cookham, and I was looking for somewhere to go for lunch a couple of months ago. Thought about the Inn on the Green - have you seen the prices? (see website). It looks great, but it's bloody expensive. Adam
  15. You could always go back to Bray and try the Waterside. The Charles Napier at Chinnor always gets good reports from people I know but I haven't been. Adam
  16. It is indeed. And a very fine place it is too. cheers Adam
  17. Ah, I see - I read a comma where there wasn't one. You're dead right about still champagne - have you tried Bouzy rouge? - it's not great IMHO. I haven't tasted those wines against each other, though I've had a lot of Pelorus and several bottles of Pirie (best New World fizz I've had). Maybe a bit less upfront, slightly more restrained? But not outclassed in any way, I'd guess. Adam
  18. Nyetimber's prestige product is a blanc de blancs - 100 per cent chardonnay. Camel Valley is chardonnay and pinot noir, and I think has pinot meunier too. I agree that _most_ English wine has been Germanic up to now, but I suspect that you'll see a shift towards champagne grapes in those who are making fizz. There is a realisation in the industry that we don't have the climate for table wines - not enough heat. But sparkling wine is rather different. As to champagne not being so exciting? Ordinary champagne I agree with you. Good champagne is not exciting? The market begs to differ, so do I. Honestly, if you get chance to taste Nyetimber, do. It's not cheap - about seventeen quid a bottle I think - but it is really worth trying. Adam
  19. I'm not kidding. Try the stuff. Ten years from now there will be several English sparkling wines with big reputations - our climate and our soils are very similar to those you find in Champagne. Camel Valley Brut from Cornwall is really good too. Adam
  20. Jay, go get yourself a bottle of Nyetimber, which is a sparkling wine from Sussex. It's the one true world class English wine I've come across. Adam
  21. Nicola As I'm also in the UK, I can't advise on online wine ordering services in NZ, but in terms of kiwi fizz, I like Cloudy Bay Pelorus (vintage 1996 very good if that's still around), Daniel LeBrun Brut and Huia. But the best southern hemisphere fizz I've had is Australian, from Tasmania - Piper's Brook Pirie - I'm sure a good NZ source would have it. If you're not tied to fizz, I know that the Felton Road winery in Central Otago (which makes, to my taste, fabulous pinot noirs), has online ordering on its website (www.feltonroad.com). There may be a minimum one case order though. I've ordered from them for UK delivery and they're very helpful. cheers Adam
  22. Oh hell, that means I have to think of one now...... OK Seared scallops & crispy smoked ham with chicory, orange & landcress, honey & hazelnut dressing Citrus-baked halibut with croustade of seafood & shellfish velouté, baby leeks & fine beans Hot marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard I've excised a couple of words from the recipes, because they were locations that would have made it too easy. Adam
  23. I was going to mention Tristan, it's the name that kept coming up while I was looking at places to eat. Not exactly midrange though; it's 2* Michelin, isn't it? cheers Adam
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