A bright start in Crest

Bright start in CrestLast month we visited a couple of particular wine regions well to the south of Savoie, regions that are part of the southern French Alps. The first of these was Clairette de Die, where we made a bright start in Crest

Bright start in CrestClairette de Die is one of France’s more geographically isolated wine districts, lying 48km east of (and a few hundred metres higher than) the main Rhône valley vineyard area. The landscape here is characterized by craggy outcrops of glacial rock formations, and high, steep Alpine cliffs. The river Drôme, a tributary of the Rhône is the spine of the region.

Bright start in CrestWe started our few days’ visit in Crest, a town just the west of the region but in spirit very much part of Clairette de Die, in time for a look around before lunch. Unlike the toothpaste this town is pronounced cray.

Here a few memories of our visit to this little town. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Bright start in CrestThe tourist office building has the style of the south of France…

… as does the colourful produce in the market.

 Bright start in CrestThis foxy lady was outside one of the old shops.

Some shops still welcome customers, others just a glimpse of their former glory.

Bright start in CrestRelaxing in the sun.

Bright start in CrestTime to amble through the narrow streets…

…enjoying the views of old houses and through alleyways.

Bright start in CrestBright start in CrestEnjoying an apero.

 Bright start in CrestWhen we saw this bowler-hatted city gent arriving at the local bistro we realised it was time for lunch.

160607.193 Crest, Die_blog

 Lunch at La Part des Anges, owner-run with just 20 seats and a small but delicious menu. All the food is fait maison, cooked on the premises.

Bright start in CrestWe couldn’t linger longer in Crest, time was pressing so we continued our journey into the Diois vineyards after our bright start in Crest.

Randall’s Seasonal Delights

Randall's Seasonal DelightsThe entrance to Theo Randall’s restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel, bang in the centre of London, may be discreet but within we discovered good food matched with lovely wine, which celebrates Randall’s seasonal delights.

Theo Randall was head chef at the River Cafe before opening Theo Randall at the InterContinental ten years ago. He had also spent a year working with the legendary Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. His aim is to produce ‘simple’ Italian food, but with style and panache.

Randall's Seasonal DelightsEvery so often the charming and gracious head sommelier Vittorio Gentile hosts a small dinner at the sommelier table. Tucked in one side of the restaurant amid the wine fridges, the high table accomodates just six people making for an intimate event. The raised table also means that the sommelier is not talking down to you…

Randall's Seasonal DelightsEntitled Sommelier Table Experience the menu and the wines were matched to celebrate the unique style of the predominantly Italian wine list, which is arranged not by region nor type but by season. Continue reading

Albion Wine

albion wineFortunately my flight from Geneva was on time and I could use my Oyster card for the speedy train journey to the dramatic new Blackfriars station spanning the River Thames, arriving in good time for an evening of good cheer and Albion wine. Continue reading

A December Day

This particular December day was busier than most with endings as well as beginnings.       .

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Hal Borland

December day Continue reading

Statues and Spanish Grapes film in London

Spanish Grapes Film in LondonThe day was appropriately hot and sunny to attend a special screening of Zev Robinson’s Spanish Grapes film as well as see some sights in the heart of London on my walk to the venue.

Spanish Grapes Film in LondonSt Paul’s was thronged with tourists with city workers and tourists enjoying the sunshine and the public statues which appear all over London.

Spanish Grapes Film in London

The Lovers by Georg Ehrlich

In the shadow of St Paul’s I found the young loversContinue reading