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  1. My favourite cocktail of all time is the Chartreuse Gator Bite. I found it in one of Simon Difford's early Sauce Guides, and indeed a modified version appears on his online guide. The recipe I follow, however, runs thus: 1 shot Green Chartreuse 1.5 shots Cointreau/triple sec 2 shots lime juice 1.25 shots of sugar syrup [i usually cut this down to 0.5] 0.25 shots lemon juice. Shake with ice, serve in coupette with salt rim. It is unbelievably delicious. I haven't visited this forum for about five years, and I'm so pleased to see everyone in flying form.
  2. Lunch at Wild Honey was delicious, and came to £70 for two: three courses, two caraffes of (not inexpensive) wine, coffees and service. I find this incredible for Mayfair, and although portions were small, we were fully satisfied.
  3. To balance these good southside suggestions, I would add the Cobblestone on Smithfield, especially for the trad night on Sundays, a great way to wind down after the weekend. Apparently Mulligan's pints are so good becasue the cellars run under the Liffey, providing an ideal, constant temperature for the Guinness.
  4. La Fromagerie (Marylebone branch) are expanding into what used to be Total Organics next door. They were planning to start a mail order operation when I last heard, which would include a monthly cheese box.
  5. In an article in this weekend's Financial Times, the London chef Rowley Leigh suggested, "Wait until peas are in season, then use frozen."
  6. You could see what it is like replacing ginger wine in a Whisky Mac - suitable now as winter closes in: 3 parts Scotch whisky 2 parts ginger wine/ginger liquor Mix in an old fashioned glass without ice. How about making ginger ice-cream with it?
  7. If we are discussing ease, I declare myself a convert to microwaved porridge. I admit I was a microwave snob. And I still am on many things: I taught myself how to cook after my mother did Christmas lunch in the microwave. But I would prefer to have good microwaved porridge five times a week rather than excellent saucepan porridge once a fortnight: we have to be realistic if we have to get somewhere by nine o'clock every morning. While on the porridge topic, living between Ireland and England I have noticed a difference between British porridge oats like Quaker's and Scott's (a powdery and earthy flavour) and Irish oats such as Flahavan's (cleaner but perhaps less interesting). Has anyone else found the same?
  8. I was interested to learn from an organic farmer in Herefordshire that she sells some of her hoggets every year to a halal butcher, whose customers like their stronger flavours. Does anyone know of a halal butcher with really good meat. I'm always so excited by the animals and cuts they sell (so is Clarissa Dickson-Wright), but slightly distrustful after various unhappy experiences.
  9. I now regularly use wasabi, having first had a wasabi Bloody Mary in a hotel in India. Soy sauce sounds interesting as well - I can't wait to try it. Another interesting way to incorporate that horseradish flavour is to use horseradish vodka. I was given a bottle of this at a party I gave a few weekends ago, but unfortunately it didn't survive the Saturday night so there was no opportunity to test it the next morning. London egulleteers might like to know it had been bought at Notting Hill farmers' market.
  10. The grouse are primarily bred to be shot. The fact that they can be sold to restaurants is a secondary consideration for grouse moor owners. So if there is a scarce year, they will shoot less birds in order to preserve stocks, regardless of the demands of restaurants. Unlike most other game, demand for grouse exceeds supply (hence your £40 bill!), although prices certainly drop as the season progresses. I would echo the "keep on eating" advice. The grouse will always be shot in responsible numbers, so enjoy Britain's most delicious truly wild food while you still can - the season ends on 10th December. I have never been. But someone told me you are meant to tip the man who carves your meat at this restaurant, as well as the waiters. Apparently, those who do get a far better cut than non-tippers!
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