Resolutions for 2017

Looking back to this time last year I see that I have managed to keep some of my new year resolutions. As they were quite broad and not overly optimistic, it made the task easier. Although 2016 turned out to be a year of unpleasant surprises, upsets and many disappointments it wasn’t all bad. So with a backward glance here are my resolutions for 2017, in no particular order of importance.

Resolutions for 2017Be happy

Resolutions for 2017Aspire to great heights

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy great heights

Resolutions for 2017Relax at great heights

Resolutions for 2017Chill at great heights Resolutions for 2017Keep taking the tablets

Resolutions for 2017Relish the caresses

Resolutions for 2017Love without measure

Resolutions for 2017Grow a beard?

Resolutions for 2017Love wine

Resolutions for 2017Embrace wine

Enjoy wine with friends

Resolutions for 2017Respect wine

Resolutions for 2017Discover rare grape varieties

Resolutions for 2017Be natural

Resolutions for 2017Never stop learning about wine

Resolutions for 2017Choose wine carefully

Resolutions for 2017Grow a beard?

Resolutions for 2017Dress correctly to ski

Resolutions for 2017Ski carefully

Resolutions for 2017Ski with friends

Travel in style Keep car in good working order

Resolutions for 2017Walk in the vineyards

Discover and explore different wine regions

Resolutions for 2017Keep an eye open for a goddess amidst the vines

Resolutions for 2017Discover lovely vignerons

Resolutions for 2017Relish achievement

Resolutions for 2017Be resourceful

Resolutions for 2017Be ready to be in the spotlight

Resolutions for 2017Be ready to be in the news

Resolutions for 2017Don’t wait till it’s too late…

Resolutions for 2017Keep an eye on convenience

Resolutions for 2017Keep in touch with friends all over the world

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy live music

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy live sport

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy live theatre

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy art galleries

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy dance

Resolutions for 2017Honour our forefathers

Resolutions for 2017Honour the fallen

Resolutions for 2017Celebrate great, brave men

Resolutions for 2017Love the EU

Resolutions for 2017Keep up the charity work

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy English with pleasure

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy fooding

Resolutions for 2017Be saucy

Resolutions for 2017Eat healthy

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy food alfresco

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy formal meals

Resolutions for 2017Fall in love with great chefs

Resolutions for 2017Discover different restaurants

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy lunch on a shady terrace

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy lunch by the sea

Resolutions for 2017Don’t overdo it

Resolutions for 2017Say yes to pizza

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy dessert, occasionally

Resolutions for 2017But beware false blandishments

Resolutions for 2017Never forget the nap after lunch. And grow a beard?

Resolutions for 2017Read more

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy gardening

Resolutions for 2017Look for bluebells

Resolutions for 2017Love to be beside the sea

Resolutions for 2017Love to be in London

Resolutions for 2017Keep an eye on the Fourth Plinth

Resolutions for 2017Travel  North

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy sunrise

Resolutions for 2017Be mooved at sunset

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy a glass of wine at dusk

Resolutions for 2017Embrace the full moon

Resolutions for 2017Maintain good habits

Resolutions for 2017Be colourful

Resolutions for 2017Be cheerful

Resolutions for 2017Make new friends

Resolutions for 2017Enjoy old friends from faraway places

Resolutions for 2017Be courageous

Resolutions for 2017Do more

Resolutions for 2017Onwards and upwards

Resolutions for 2017I wish you a Happy, Healthy New Year!

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

RAW Wine Fair 2016

Enjoyed the RAW Wine Fair at the Old Truman Brewery Spitalfields, London with all sorts of natural wines to taste and discover as well as lots of people to see.

Here a few photos from the two days – producers and tasters. Click on photos to enlarge.

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A walk in the vineyards of Chignin

walk in the vineyards

Mont Granier seen from the Chignin vineyards

The weather was bright and warm, the vines were budding, the views were magnificent and, of course, the wines were delicious! We had been invited to Savoie to learn more about the walk in the vineyards of Chignin, La Balade Gourmande de Chignin, which will be held over the weekend of 23rd and 24th July 2016.

Three years ago, on a glorious sunny day, we enjoyed the Balade Gourmande in Abymes on the other side of the valley in the lee of Mont Granier.

walk in the vineyardsSt-Anselme tower, one of several ruined towers which are a dramatic feature in the Chignin vineyards

Walk in the vineyardsAnother tower and a handsome house in the vineyards with a backdrop of the  Belledonne mountain range in the south west. In July the vineyards will be verdant green but there may just be some snow on the mountain tops in the distance.

Now in its eighth year this event has always been popular and this year will be held over two days. Each day there will be an eight kilometre walk in the vineyards, punctuated by stops where the hikers can enjoy the local wine as well as Savoie food. It is a lovely way to explore wine country and get the feel of a particular region. Continue reading