Making the best of it.

It’s been wet and gloomy here the last couple of days. The rain is desperately needed with soil and water butts alike dry and dusty. However the warmth and moisture has lured all the slimey munching beasties above ground and I live in fear of my crops that last week were looking thirsty but intact, and this week may end up quenched and gobbled.

IMG_3774All of which is making me even more smug about having had the forethought to frantically pick our soft fruit and preserve it. From mid-summer often until late November I spend most of my free time ferrying  between the garden and kitchen furiously trying to make the most of the harvests we’ve been patiently tending since January. This time of year is an odd one, with some plants giving up their bounty almost too readily, whilst others seem painfully far away from giving us anything at all.

Whilst I try to keep my eyes from the cucumbers (a watched cucurbit never crops) and pretend I don’t care about tomatoes, the loganberry is at it’s showy best. Having been established now for almost two years and growing at an alarming rate it is producing berries left, right and centre. We’re three harvests into it’s year and have had over 4kg of fruit already with plenty more on the plant. As a result we’ve not only eaten mounds of them slathered in whipped cream and sweetened with chunks of meringue, but also had enough to make my favourite summer preserve, loganberry jam.

IMG_3781Loganberry jam is easy to make and produces the most beautiful, rich, wine-coloured preserve that intensifies the complex flavour of the berry that is a hybrid of a blackberry and raspberry. I make mine with as little sugar as I can get away with, and it keeps us going until well into the winter providing a well needed splash of colour on toast, in yoghurt and even between a sponge cake.

Loganberry jam – makes approx 6 x 240g (1/2 lb) jars

1kg loganberries

500g sugar

Juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 140C (280F) and rinse your jars in hot water and place on a baking tray on a middle shelf whilst you make the jam to sterilise. Place the caps in bowl and pour boiling water over then to do the same. Place a small plate in the freezer for testing set.

Rinse the loganberries well and place in a large wide saucepan. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until soft and they’ve released all their juices. The add the lemon juice and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. The bring up to a roiling boil and watch as over around 7 minutes the bubbles change from small and liquid to large and glassy. Try not to stir if possible as this lower the temperature and means it will take longer to set. Remove the jam from the heat and place a small amount on the plate from the freezer, place into the fridge for a couple of minutes to cool. Push your finger into the pool of jam and if it wrinkles it’s set, if not re-boil for a couple of minutes and repeat.

Pot into hot jars and seal immediately. Jam should keep for around 6 months in a cool dark place, and once opened needs to be placed in the fridge and eaten within a month.

Dark corners and damp wool

It’s the first of July. and the heat has finally arrived. I was beginning to think that a proper summer was going to allude us, I seem to forget year after year that it’s not really summer until after the last weekend in June. Why? Because that last weekend is home to Woolfest, a place of all things sheepy, yarny and almost without exception, rain!

IMG_3711I think this is my fourth year of visiting Woolfest. What started out as a trip to my parents which happened to coincide with the festival has now become a sacred annual tradition, in the diary without negotiation. The thing I love about Woolfest is that it isn’t simply a knitting event. Instead more of the focus is on where the yarn actually comes from, with almost as much space devoted to sheep, aplaca, goats and rabbits as there is to yarn. They have a “fleece creche” where spinners can park their wears until the end of the show, and it’s held at the Livestock Centre rather than a fancy hall. All of which adds to the rustic and somewhat chilly charm of the place (being a Livestock Centre means the entire rear of the space is open to the elements). It almost always rains and with a profusion of both sheep and knitwear the smell of damp wool pervades. An aroma that I find remarkably comforting.

IMG_3702This year, instead of being armed with the usual three page list of “must haves”, I had only one essential, some mustard yarn from EasyKnits to match what I’d bought the previous year. I’d enjoyed knitting with it so much that I got carried away and ran out of yardage before reaching the sleeves. I dashed to their stall armed with my final length of wool wound around my wrist for comparison. Not an exact match, but as they pointed out I could always alternate skeins or lurk in dark corners.

After visiting them and my other favourite, Ripples Crafts (who’s new yarn base has a hint of yak blended with wool and silk, making it squishy with a beautiful sheen that shows off dye perfectly), we hot-footed it to the main ring to watch a sheep shearing demonstration. I’ve long wanted to see a shearer (or in this case shearess) in action and was awed by the the skill and speed of the work. One person, shearing a sheep in a mere two minutes, talking the crowd through it and moving the hogget around with ease. Not only fascinating, but the perfect pause in our yarn buying extravaganza to see the product in it’s raw state. IMG_3721

Four hours later we staggered back to the car laden with all things woolly, already talking about the trip next year and dreaming of what we will be making with our new stash. 

For the night is dark and full of bitters

Whilst in New York last month I had one absolute deal breaker. We had to go to Death & Co. and have a cocktail. I didn’t care how far we had to walk, how long we had to wait, how much a drink cost, I was going to make the pilgrimage.

Then I made the discovery that the apartment we were staying in was only four blocks away, and on our first night in the city, having been off the plane for less than three hours I somehow managed to persuade my ever-suffering husband to “just swing past to check it out.” This inevitably lead to us enquiring about the wait, lingering in the area for the required time, then being ushered through the thick black curtains behind the hefty wooden door. From that moment, as our eyes adjusted to the almost ridiculously dark room and I took in the vast array of bottles, bitters and bar tools, I knew that a dangerous precedent had been set. Before even the slightest sip of spirit had passed my lips I knew I was head over heels in love and would have to spend as much time as possible in this small dark cocktail haven.IMG_3223

As it happened we managed to frequent Death & Co three times during our five night stay, and it meant we were able to experience not only some of their ingenious concoctions, (Their current menu demonstrates just how varied their talents are) but also sample how they approach our favourite classics.  We had Manhattans made by two different bartenders, both delicious, both subtly different. It really demonstrated how nuanced cocktails can be, and how the same drink made by different people can taste so distinct.IMG_3232

Whilst there my husband learned of his love for the Old Fashioned, and I finally grasped why such a simple drink works so well. I’d always been fairly dismissive of the Old Fashioned. I didn’t really understand why anyone would choose it as a cocktail rather than just having a straight glass of Bourbon or Rye. Then I had a sip of one made properly and an epiphany occurred. It was so much more than the sum of it’s parts, far more complex than I imagined a drink with such basic construction could be. As a result I returned home with the resolve to learn how to make one that would meet Mr L’s exacting standards. Below is the result, and despite the warm weather it has continued to be our late-night favourite. I hope you enjoy it too.IMG_3042

Old Fashioned – Makes 1 drink.

To make a rich syrup, heat two parts brown sugar with one part water in a small pan until the sugar dissolves, then cool before using. It will keep well so I always have a small jar in the fridge.

I serve my Old Fashioned on the rocks, using one large piece of ice, but you can use whatever you have or serve it up if that’s your preference.

2oz Bourbon

1 tsp rich syrup

2 dashes orange bitters

1 dash Fee Brothers whiskey barrel aged bitters

Strip of orange peel for garnish.

Place the ingredients (except the peel) in a shaker or mixing glass over ice and stir for a minute to achieve dilution, strain into a large rocks glass and add the orange peel.

I have two variations on this recipe that we also drink, one using maple syrup in place of the rich syrup, the other using Rye instead (which is actually my version of choice).

Refresh, refresh, refresh.

I’ve spent the last week frantically refreshing my emails every time I pick up my phone or walk past my computer, hoping for that magic reply offering an interview or opportunity.

On Friday I realised this was an unsustainable situation as it was driving me (and the cats) mad, and so decided to find something to distract me. Having come to the conclusion that a cocktail at 8.23 am, whilst tasty, would probably not be a wise choice, I opted for my second favourite past time; baking. I’d scored some fabulous flat peaches at the market the previous day, which although still slightly firm were proving fragrant and juicy. A rifle through my cupboards produced a packet of pistachios and a brainwave. Peach and pistachio cake.

IMG_3487Within moments I had the oven pre-heating, a pan greased and the scales out. I whiled away the next hour happily chopping, weighing and mixing and then the following hour and ten minutes wallowing in the scent of butter, sugar and nuts whilst casting on my new knitting project and ignoring the washing up. IMG_3492

As a result I spent more than two blissful hours taken out of myself no longer preoccupied with my inbox. I can completely understand why people are suggesting baking as therapy for those with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  The act of concentrating on measuring and stirring and then the pride when you take the result from the oven definitely soothes my mind and soul.

IMG_3540

Even if you don’t need a few hours of stress relief, it’s worth setting some time aside to make this cake while the peaches are so perfumed. I know it’s supposedly “bathing suit season” but quite frankly I’d rather eat cake than wear any form of swimwear, and with that many peaches I’m sure a slice counts as one of your “five a day”. I’d originally envisaged this cake topped with a fluffy cloud of swiss meringue buttercream, but opted not to as I don’t think it needs any more than a dusting of icing sugar.

IMG_3500

Peach and Pistachio Cake – Serves 8 – 10.

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

250g peaches (chopped weight, but no need to peel)

2 large eggs

175g self raising flour

100g ground pistachios

2 tablespoons milk

2 drops almond essence

Icing sugar for dusting.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line the base of a 20cm loose based cake tin.

Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, then add two drops of almond essence. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside three tablespoons. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time mixing thoroughly between each one. If it looks as though the mixture is curdling add a small amount of flour. Add the milk to thin the batter slightly. Toss the chopped peaches with the set-aside flour and then gently mix into the batter.

Place the batter into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1hr and 10 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out with small crumbs on it rather than batter. Leave to cool slightly before turning out of the pan. Dust with icing sugar and serve every so slightly warm.

The cake will keep (wrapped well) for three days.

I’m fed up with all this citrus.

Where do we get the phrase “when life gives you lemons…”? It seems a little unfair to the yellow citrus if you ask me. Sure, they’re sharp and sour, but that makes them perfect for all sorts of delicious things, like lemon drizzle cake, spritzing up a dull sauce or salad that needs a lift and of course the ideal garnish for a martini.

Why am I thinking of all this? Because yet again life has hefted me a whole load of citrus. For the second time in two years I’ve been made redundant from the day job and am back to re-vamping the CV and casting my eyes about for something new. Not the news I was hoping to kick start the month with. However, it has inspired me to get out the cake pans and martini glasses and to make something positive from the news, if only in booze and food form!

It’s fine to have cake and a martini for lunch, right?IMG_3113

Gin Martini – Makes one.

2.5 oz gin

.5 oz dry vermouth

2 dashes orange bitters

one olive.

Curl of lemon peel, preferable organic, always unwaxed.

In a shaker or large glass add several large ice cubes. Then add the gin, vermouth and bitters. Still for at least 30seconds. Pour into a coupe glass, and garnish with an olive and strip of lemon peel Drink and repeat.

Hi, my name’s Dave, I’m with the band…

Last week my husband and I saw Dave Holland play at the Blue Note. I’m still having a hard time getting to grips with that sentence, it’s not one I ever thought I’d be able to say, but it turns out that getting a reservation at the Blue Note is as easy as giving them your details online (no need to pay in advance), choosing “bar” or “table” and turning up at your allotted time. As for the Dave Holland part? A pure stroke of luck. On the plane to New York my husband happened to be reading the newest issue of The New Yorker and there, tucked away on the “what’s showing” pages was mention of Dave Holland’s band Prism and their brief residency while we were visiting. We just assumed that we’d no hope of seeing them, and so didn’t even try for tickets straight away. Then on a whim we checked the website and suddenly we were going.IMG_3254

It was a wonderful evening, and a privilege to see a jazz legend in such a renowned venue. It wasn’t without it’s hilarity however, partly thanks to “Jeff” of the table next to us, who arrived late, insisted on talking to everyone around his table, including the German couple who clearly wanted neither their dinner or jazz interrupted by a crazed American salesman, and refused to pull his chair into the table therefore almost crippling my poor husband who was suffering in the little space behind him.

And yet, the most striking moment of the evening was one I actually missed by a poorly timed trip to the bathroom. After the set we dashed upstairs to the shop to buy the CD, having been blown away by what we’d heard. I thought this would be ideal time to dash to the loo before the walk home. I returned from my sojourn to see a smug and slightly dazed Mr L awaiting me. When I questioned his state he told me that while I’d been away Dave Holland had popped upstairs to the kitchen (opposite the shop) and poked his head through the pass and said; “hi, my name’s Dave, I’m with the band, I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. I just wondered if you got that order? We’re between sets and I just wanted to get something to eat quickly if that would be okay?” The stunned chef couldn’t believe his eyes and muttered “Yes, Mr Holland we’ll have that for you right away.” IMG_3270

Can you believe that? No name drop, no demanding, just politely asking for his sandwich. He’s not just in the band, he is the band! We spent the rest of the trip, whilst waiting for food or drinks grinning at each other and muttering “hi, my name’s Dave, I’m with the band.” I shall forever remember, when being a bit too big for my boots, that if even Mr Dave Holland, doesn’t feel like he needs to drop names, then neither do I.

In the greenhouse

Yup, in the greenhouse. At 3pm yesterday a flatbed pick-up truck and two burly northern blokes arrived at the house to install our wedding present. An eight month wait since the wedding, six weeks since ordering, but years in the planning and it’s finally here, installed and I’m still pinching myself. We celebrated by drinking a bottle of Prosecco whilst standing inside exclaiming at the warmth.

IMG_3088I can’t believe I woke up and it wasn’t a dream and as a result I’ve spent the whole day out there potting things up, putting things in place and sowing new things. I also got online and ordered a new vine that will run along the roof inside and add shade.

The plan is to eventually add some power in there so that we can heat it just enough to keep the frost at bay, run a radio and perhaps my laptop, as I have serious plans to make the combi-shed that’s at the end into a mini-“shoffice”. Just because I can!

IMG_3087While the staging is already crammed with plants that have been hanging around on our windowsills, I haven’t done much else. I’m reluctant to do too much “organising” before we’ve had a chance to settle in and use the space so that we can figure out where best to situate things.

IMG_3098Do you have any hints and tips for a pair of greenhouse novices? It would be great to hear about things you’ve done that work, or things you wish you’d done. Let me know in the comments or tweet me @no98limited. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be jumping up and down in glee amongst the tomatoes!IMG_3097   

Bringing home the bacon

A couple of weeks ago I dragged myself out of bed on a Saturday morning and headed off to Borough Market and the Cannon and Cannon Meat School. I’d been waiting four months to get my hands dirty on their “butchery for curing” course that Mr L had arranged for my birthday. I’ve long been interested in the process of curing and have wanted to try it at home, but been too nervous to just jump in without guidance, so this half-day course seemed like the perfect place to start.

IMG_2904I was so keen to get my butchery on that I arrived early and was ushered off into the depths of the market for lunch while the tutor and course co-ordinator anxiously awaited the arrival of the pigs heads we’d be working with. After a very satisfying falafel wrap from Arabica (always my go-to lunch whilst in the area) I dashed back, donned an apron and got stuck in.

Andrew Sharp aka Farmer Sharp, or “Sharpy” is a long standing character from Borough. I had the pleasure of trading next to him when he still operated his wholesale business from the market and it was lovely to have him teaching us. His passion for butchery oozes from every pour, and his no-nonsense approach and gruff northern voice seemed so perfectly fitting to tackling the removal of a pigs tongue and the break of a jaw to get the very best cheek meat!

IMG_2913After breaking down both a pigs head (and in one case a wild boar) and a side of pork into the requisite pieces we then discussed the ratios of salt and sugar needed to produce cured meat such as bacon, the potential to add spices and the difficulties in making salumi and large hams. All the way through Farmer Sharp kept reinforcing the knife skills needed to keep us safe and the meat in the best shape.

The session ended the day with a cold beer for us all and a tasting of some of the charcuterie that is currently on offer from the Cannon and Cannon stall at Borough.

IMG_3021Throughout the day we were fuelled with a constant supply of hot strong tea and butchery jokes, and I came away inspired, energised and itching to sharpen my knives and get in touch with my local farmer for more meat to experiment with at home. I was also armed with several packages of vac-packed meat already in a curing solution.I could barely wait to crack them open and have a taste. After a little over a week in the cure, I unpacked the pork belly, washed off the liquid and set the meat to dry. With no safe place to hang it (pesky cats!) I opted to dry it out on a baking tray over three days and then slice it into bacon with the off-cuts from my poor slicing skills going towards pancetta.

I couldn’t believe that it would be so easy to produce my own bacon, the feeling of pride I had whilst slicing it was just wonderful, and I cannot wait to start playing around with spices and flavours in my next batch. Oh dear, yet another hobby to find time for. But a tasty one!

IMG_3025
I would highly recommend trying your hand a curing and starting with a course like I did. It made me feel confident about what I was doing, taught me all about the true differences between commercial and rare breed pork and I know now that I could make a more informed decision about the cuts of meat I choose whilst at the butcher and the potential they have when I get them home. Give it a go, you’d be surprised at how fun, easy and tasty the results are!

Resources:

Meat School 

Farmer Andrew Sharp

Sausagemaking.org

weschenfelder.co.uk

[This is not a sponsored post, I was given the course as a birthday present and enjoyed it so much I simply wanted to share it here and recommend it based on my own experience]

The Great Paris Yarn Crawl of 2015

Everybody talks about the food in Paris, the wine, the cafe culture, the stunning museums and architecture, the lazy picnics by the Seine and the fashion. I talk about the yarn stores.

IMG_2696I adore the yarn stores of Paris, they are all so different, full of character, yarn and in some cases wine. I have two favourite stores that over the past five years I’ve been visiting every November. One convinently has a cafe within it which serves excellent food, especially brunch, and the other is a five minute walk from one of our favourite bars. Both of these things are factors in my ability to return as they offer a respite for the bored husband during my inevitable yarn fondling and indecision. At the first he can hide in the corner with a coffee and a book while I dash about, at the second he holes up in the bar with a Negroni whilst awaiting my yarn-loaded and newly cash-strapped return.

However our recent trip was a little different. We were visiting the city with the family in tow and this presented an ideal situation, the lure of a fellow knitting-addict, enabler and partner-in-crime who would happily spend hours if not days in the pursuit of yarn stores. Thus the Great Paris Yarn Crawl of 2015 was born. An entire day exploring not only the stores I know and love, but new-to-me boutiques all over the city. Whilst my Mum and I hot-footed (or rather damp-footed, it was quite the rainy day unfortunately) around the city in search of skeins Mr L was able to browse the cities comic stores at his leisure. A win-win situation for us both.

IMG_2693I thought you might be interested in our itinerary for the day. I’m afraid I don’t have many images as I was too busy fondling yarn or dodging raindrops. Below I’ve edited our exploration to include only the stores where we actually purchased yarn and found them to be worth the visit. I’m sure the others would have things of interest to other knitters, but these three were our favourites not only as a result of yarn selection, but also the reception we received whilst there and their general approach to all things knitting and notions.

L’Oisive Thé: This quirky teashop also doubles as a yarn store. The shelves on one side are crammed with tins of unusual teas, and on the other two sides hang skeins of yarn from lots of independent dyers. I find it impossible to walk out without buying at least something (and this time we came away with more than 12 skeins between us, oops!) They are also well known for their food and baked goods, so this is the perfect stop for either lunch or a little something, We had lunch and a lovely glass of rosé and spent almost two hours there chatting about knitting and yarn. I’m super excited that they are opening a bigger store this year and can’t wait to return to see it. vscocam-photo-3

Metro: Corvisart or Place d’Italie, 10 rue de la Butte aux Cailles &
1 rue Jean-Marie Jégo

Les Tricoteurs Volants: A new-to-me store that I found because they have a good Instagram account. They not only have a good range of yarn but also a nice selection of buttons and interesting notions. The owner was sitting happily knitting and chatted to us and helped us make decisions. Here I found a wonderful combed yak yarn I’d never seen before as well as gorgeous matte black darning needles. 

Metro: Gare l’est, 22 rue de la Fidélitévscocam-photo-1

Lil Weasel:  It’s rare that I actually buy yarn here, and yet I have such a soft spot for this store. Their collection tends to be quite “standard” French yarns with only one or two more interesting dyers that are mostly things I can get in England. However they have recently started stocking The Plucky Knitter, a dyer that I’m really fond of, which when they have new stock is very dangerous for me indeed! The other bonus of this shop? They’ve expanded across the passage and how have a dedicated fabric store, and I always end up buying from their extensive collection of beautiful fabric and patterns. 

 Metro: Etienne-Marcel, 1 passage du Grand Cerf

vscocam-photo-2

I hope this guide is useful, and if you have any tips about crafting in Paris let me know in the comments so I can include them in future trips!

Drinking my way around Paris.

There are two things that are absolutely certain when we visit Paris. Firstly that despite all my protestations, denial and good intentions I will buy yarn. I don’t need more, my stash is overflowing with pillows of colourful skeins, and yet I will be powerless to resist when faced with bundles of new potential in the stunning yarn stores of Paris (more on this later).

The second absolute is that there will be wine. I mean, it would be rude not to partake in what the city of light has to offer on that score. Now, although we didn’t actually make it to any of the new wine bars that are on my ever-growing list of “must visits” in the city, we did frequent some old favourites and branch out with the wine we enjoyed whilst dining and as a result I came home not only armed with a list of tasting notes, but also with four bottles of wine to enjoy in the upcoming weeks. IMG_1535

I won’t bore you with ever sip I took (at an average of three wines a day over six days I did a lot of sipping and a far too much glugging!), but I did want to share three highlights from the trip, including a complete wildcard that blew me away.

First up is a spicy little number we had at what is fast becoming one of my favourite restaurants not only in Paris, but possibly the world, Les Papilles. Tucked away on an otherwise unremarkable main street in the south of the Luxumbourg area of Paris, this is a wine bar restaurant that never fails to impress. They do a set menu that changes daily. Four courses, usually a soup, main, cheese and dessert, and for the wine you can either take the recommendation of the burly rugby-obsessed owner, or pick your own choice off the shelves that surround you. They are arranged by region, priced to buy and take away with a €9 corkage fee if you’re enjoying it with your meal. On previous visits we’ve bowed to suggestion as it was lunchtime and we really wanted to get it right. This time, with four of us dining in the evening we knew we’d get through more than one, so picked our own to start and took a suggestion to finish.

IMG_2733My pick was Les Laquets 2010, Domaine Cosse Maisonneuve. A Cahors wine, and therefore a Malbec, with a bit of ageing under it’s belt which I was hoping would have rounded out the tannins just a touch. I wasn’t disappointed, this was a stonkingly good wine, especially with the rich and creamy cauliflower soup starter, and the braised beef cheek that followed. It is a rich deep wine as you’d expect from a Malbec, with high tannins that had indeed been softened ever-so-slightly thanks to the vintage. It was spicy with dark fruit,  a slight tobacco note and a long finish. It was cold that night and this wine couldn’t have been more suited to a hearty meal with good company. Definitely my favourite of the reds enjoyed on the trip.

IMG_1574Next up is a sparkling wine that we picked up from our favourite wine merchant. We’ve become regulars at his little spot on Ile St Louis. L’Etiquette is a tiny cave a vin that specialises in natural biodynamic wines from independent producers. It’s proprietor Hervé is generous with his tastings, dismissive of any wine not on his shelves and has the wonderful catch phrase of labelling wines as “top of the pops!” Each time we visit we leave laden with just one more bottle and this trip was no exception. With a birthday celebration that evening we slipped a bottle of sparkling into our selection.

Le Naturel Vouvray, non-vintage from Sebastien Brunet. A delightful natural Chenin Blanc from the Loire, this really surprised us. It has a gentle sparkle and a soft mouthfeel, a little heavier than Prosecco, almost creamy, yet without the yeasty biscuit notes you get from Champagne. There was a hint of sweetness, but only a touch which made this slightly pear-droppy wine a real winner. Into the bag it went, then the fridge and then it was gone before it really touched the sides and I’m wishing we’d stashed a second bottle in our case.

IMG_2763Finally I want to talk about my wildcard entry to this trips degustation. A sweet white Bordeaux. Whilst finishing off dinner at Josephine Chez Dumonet we asked the waiter to recommend a dessert wine for the table and he brought over one that none of us had heard of. Chateau Le Guyonnets, Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont white Bordeaux blend. I was blown away. I’ve never been much of a fan of sweet wine, but I think that’s because I’d never really indulged properly or taken the time to get to know them. My parents-in-law like a good Sauternes, but I’ve never been fussed and am more likely to move straight to the Calvados. Not anymore! This was a fabulous wine, rich mouthfeel yet somehow light, full of complexity, and not cloyingly sweet. It had the perfect balance and everyone at the table agreed that it was the ideal end to the meal. If you can get your hands on some (I haven’t managed to yet), firstly let me know, then snatch it up before I beat you to it! IMG_2766

So there you go, my three stand-out wines from the trip. We also had some nice Cotes Du Rhone, and some lovely Crozes-Hermitage, but these three were my top picks and if you get the chance to try them I heartily recommend it.