You may have worked out by now that I live in the charming little county of Rutland, far far away from bustling city life. However, just a 15 minute drive away is Peterborough Train Station and these days you can get to London in just over 40 minutes, which is almost easier than trying to get parked in Stamford on a Saturday.
As it’s January and not many people are enjoying themselves, I’m making it a priority of mine to make sure I’m having a bloody good time. So, prior to the wine tasting on Monday evening, I went on a little tour de boozing in London on Sunday night. I met Will at Gordon’s Wine Bar, thought to be the oldest wine bar in London and then we very aptly made our way to Rules for supper which is thought to be the oldest restaurant in London.
Gordon’s Wine Bar
It was bustling inside, which is the norm for this exquisite wine bar, so Will and I made our way outside to bravely sit under a heat lamp on a very chilly January evening. Alongside fellow coat clad wine sippers, we managed to get by fairly well with plenty of laughter and a lovely bottle of Fat Bastard Pinot Noir, Will’s fine choice. It was a little too easy drinking, very fruity and I’m fairly certain I drank most of it and, I absolutely love the label. I’ve had a little look at the producers website and the name hails from a description of a particularly rich wine;
“Now zat iz what you call eh phet bast-ard” Guy laughed with a belly laugh you could clearly hear in the neighboring town. He had used the expression Fat bastard often to describe things that were great but hearing it in a French accent made it so much funnier. After several more glasses of this great nectar they agreed that they could not withhold it from the public.”
And so together Guy Anderson and Thierry produced The Fat Bastard franchise, in a nut shell.
We power walked from the Embankment to Covent Garden in the frosty London air, leaving wine tainted steam in our wake. It was a relief to see the place so busy on arrival, windows foggy from the delicious warmth within. We started in the Cocktail Bar upstairs with a 50cl jug (definitely not a carafe) of the spicy and very well-balanced Côtes du Rhône “Est-Ouest” Domaine André Brunel. This wine is 75% Grenache, 15% Cinsault and 10% Syrah and 100% enjoyable, so much so that we ordered another bottle with our meal.
Rules specialises in game and has a very exciting menu. You may have seen my blog post on the importance of game so you can imagine my enthusiasm at their support of country pursuits. I went for Venison Carpaccio and the Roast Crown of Wild Duck, both were divine but the venison in-particular was just amazing, such a treat. After a bottle, a jug and we’re now into another bottle, it’s safe to say I was starting to get a little squinty. However, through my slightly impeded sight I did catch glimpse of the famous Margaret Thatcher painting, a sight to behold.
It was a lovely evening, the train journey back home is a little bit of a blur but what a fabulous start to the week, I must do more Londoning.