Friday, 28 June 2019

Barefoot Wine (through dark glasses)

This was outside Marks & Spencer in St Albans this afternoon. 

On the trays they were giving passers-by Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec. The savvie was dry, not as crisp and gooseberry sharp as I prefer but better then many insipid savvies I’ve had in pubs. 

The Malbec wasn’t bad, fruit without the jammy sweetness I associate with Barefoot. One could taste any wine they had in the van. 

The only other red was a Shiraz and I was pleasantly surprised in that it was noticeably dry with tannins. Would I rush out now and buy a bottle of Barefoot?    No, but I’m much more pleasantly disposed to them than I was before the tasting, and if there were a glass of Barefoot Shiraz in a pub I’d go for it, if only to taste it properly in a glass. 

Horrible little plastic beakers of course; but I did score a pair of Barefoot branded sunglasses!

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Poppy Field

Walking today near Brocket Hall we saw these poppies on Ayott Estate farm lands.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Viking From Budapest to Bucharest

Viking Lif, sailing down river Danube from Budapest to Bucharest. 11 days starting 3 June with two days in Parisi  Udvar hotel in Budapest, seven nights on the boat and one night in Radisson Blu, Bucharest.

View from cabin in Budapest

The Danube was swollen and the boat we'd been scheduled to board, Embla, had been able to pass under a bridge upstream on Budapest so they'd swapped the passengers onto the Lif.
Parisi Udvar entrance and restaurant
Parisi Udvar ceiling

Parisi  Udvar had opened only two weeks before we got there after a massive renovation. The entrance hall is magnificent, the rooms are spacious and well equipped but the restaurant was luxury priced for inexperienced, slow, inefficient non-luxury service.
Driving 10 horses, standing on last 2

The cruise was, as usual, excellent, though the included trips mostly featured castles and churches. The Bakodpuszta horse farm (Kalocsa, Hungary) was the best with a welcome glass of wine and a snack on arrival, and amazing display of horsemanship,  a drink at the finish and a ride in a horse drawn cart.

Croatia flag on Osijek fortress

Stork and nest, Osijek, Croatia
Serbian flag

Just opened, Golubac Castle at entrance to Iron Gates, Serbia

This sign was at the entrance to and in Golubac Castle and I saw a snake swimming in the river under the castle, but the guide said the snakes wear harmless and the sign were to discourage anyone
from leaving the paths.

Sailing through the Iron Gates
The 'Iron Gates' is the gorge the Danube flows through with cliffs or iron rich stone. The local guides said that they attract lightning leaving nearby habitations safe. A dam has raised the water levl flooding  roman and mediaeval remains

Dacian King Decebalus on Romanian side

These statues were in a waterfront park, near the boat mooring in Vidin, Bulgaria.

Useful sign in Viking lunch restaurant in Bucharest, Romania

BA meal LHR > Budapest

BA meal Bucharest>LHR

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Great Strait Raft Run

Congrats to Dan and Team Clowniau for winning the Entertainment Trophy at the Menai Great Strait Raft Run
Clowniau Raft

They came 18th taking 01:25:21 to complete the course. They are planning on a bigger, better raft next year.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

CWW AGM and Krug

Again to London, this time the offices of Moet Hennessey close to Victoria Station for the Circle of Wine Writers AGM.
CWW Chairman Colin Hampden-White

Afterwards we were generously poured a 2006 Krug Grand Cuvee.

Although non-vintage (or perhaps more correctly multi-vintage) the six-digit code on the rear label entered at the Krug site give all the details. This wine coded 413073 says this bottle aged at least 7 years after receiving its cork in  2013.

This bottle belongs to the 162ème Édition, a blend of 142 wines 11 different years. The youngest dates back to 2006 and the oldest to 1990. it was blended in 2006 from 44% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 21% Meunier.

And it was delicious.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


To Olympia for LIWF, staying Monday night at Simply Rooms & Suites with dinner at Popes Eye

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Dinner with Caroline at Oslo Court

Dinner with Caroline at Oslo Court