Bring on the vermouth


Collector Vermouth - a great gift for a food lover who likes their drink trendy


As is usual at this time of year there’ve been a whole number of articles about trends in food for the year ahead, and I’m intrigued and excited about the return of vermouth.

I don’t suppose it should come as a big surprise, given the recent interest in things like Aperol and Fernet Branca. It seems to be about red vermouth, but sure the whole spectrum will make a reappearance. I’ve been longing for a trip back to the Ethicurean, and whilst it might not be the done thing to have with breakfast, their own vermouth, the Collector, would definitely be worth a try.

Possibly easier to get hold of the Antica Formula from Marks & Spencer, although it’s not yet on their website. TheDrinkShop have a whole range including Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and La Quintinye Vermouth Royal. Apparently we’re supposed to drink it straight up or with a dash of soda, so best make it good stuff if that’s the way.

Anyway, if it’s a choice between drinking vermouth or eating insects, being pushed again as a trend, then I know which I am choosing!


Where was your best eating of 2013?


It’s getting to that time of year, when it begins to feel like time for Blue Peter reviews of the year. It made me think of the places I’ve eaten over this year, some new, some old favourites, some never to be returned to. Skipping this last lot, then these are five that I would definitely think might get a return visit in 2014:


Burger & Lobster


Burger & Lobster – this is probably the trendiest place that I’ve eaten at this year, and I’m not particularly big on trendy. I did have a great evening here though, even after the long wait (to be honest, we went round to Sofra for a mezze plate of starters and a glass of wine first). The lobster roll was one of the best I’ve had, and the cocktails were pretty darn good too. I would expect the queues would drop off at some point and so make a return visit a good prospect.


The Ethicurean


The Ethicurean – this one is most definitely on my return list. I only went for breakfast, but we had a most fabulous time, and lingered a long time over great scrambled eggs and coffee. Being offered warm caramel apple cake straight out the oven to taste was a delight too.


RSC Lunch


The Rooftop Restaurant at the RSC – I had two great lunches here, and a few cocktails, and was impressed on all counts. As I know from my work with Cast, a theatre restaurant needs to turn out great food speedily when people are heading to a show, and full marks to the RSC for that. Great choices, great service, great setting and fabulous views. And no, that wasn’t just David Tennant.


Langar Hall


Langar Hall – this was the perfect place for an English summer’s evening, for a perfect birthday for Strictly Northern. The food was great for a summer’s evening, particularly my lobster ravioli, and there was quite a lot of Pimms drunk on the lawn. Couldn’t get more divine than to be in that environment with friends on one of the most perfect nights of the summer.


Picture Cafe


The Picture Cafe – this is a great place and a great local business to support. I am pleased to see that it is regularly significantly more busy than the Costa that was allowed to open across the road from it. Great for breakfast, for lunch, for just stopping in for great cakes. And it’s in Bingham, voted as Best Place to Live in Britain. Having a place like this might just have swung it for them.

I am looking forward to many new adventures in 2014, particularly as I know I have trips to NYC and Edinburgh to look forward to. But it’s always lovely to have some places to return to, that feel like old friends that you’re always pleased to see again. Where would be on your list?

Langar Hall shot by Rutty,