Author: David Pearce

Bruno Paillard Interview and Tasting

I walked through the entrance of the Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch to be met by a the manager, an engaging young lady sporting a sharp blonde bob and some facial piercings. I liked her and the venue immediately. It was cool, unpretentious yet serious. A large central bar, an open kitchen at the back with a dining counter. This was a place that offered no where to hide and you could feel the passion running surrounding you. I was not here to eat from the regular menu though, instead a specially created one to accompany the Champagnes of Bruno...

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Rathfinny Estate

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs is the UK’s most ambitious new vineyard and state of the art winery – Rathfinny Estate. Set within 600 acres of East Sussex countryside it aims to produce (and sell) an astonishing 1m bottles of sparkling wine each year. Rathfinny Estate was was founded by Mark and Sarah Driver in 2010 just outside the picturesque village of Alfriston. Situated just 3 miles from the sea this historic community boasts 3 pubs for its roughly 830 residents and was the inspiration behind Eleanor Farjeon’s popular hymn “Morning Has Broken”. As you ascend...

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Woodchurch Wines

I had the opportunity to visit Woodchurch Wines in Kent a couple of weeks ago and jumped at the opportunity. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by vineyards and then tasting the wines from that very vineyard. Add in some spectacular views of Romney Marsh and the English Channel it is just about perfect. Having strolled through the vineyards and chatted with Graham Barbour, the owner (along with his wife) I recorded this interview. Afterwards I had the opportunity to taste the Classic Cuvee and found it to be very good. Quite mineral with good structure and the...

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Simpsons Estate near Canterbury

Located near the small village of Barham, just a few miles from the cathedral city of Canterbury lies one of the Englands newest vineyards. Founded by Charles and Ruth Simpson, Simpsons Wine Estate is the second of their properties, the first being the successful Domaine Sainte Rose ( in Languedoc with it’s 320 days of sunshine a year. You you may have tasted the wines already being available in Waitress, Majestic or via Naked Wines. Choosing to expand their portfolio to the UK with its marginal climate might seem a strange move but one founded on logic and hopefully...

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Its all Tarts and Choux’s at the School of Artisan Food..

Baking, I have to admit, is something I shy away from. I am an amateur athlete and spend up to 20 hours a week in spring/summer training to race triathlons. The sugar within virtually all baked goods is the resolute enemy and provides no nutrition to my body. I need to be thin as being lighter means less body mass to carry around the 140 miles that I race in just over 12 and a 1/2 hours. However, I’m a foodie and I love to eat. It is a real battle for me. I have come to accept that...

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