The sky had begun to bruise but the evening air was still hot. Jazz music drifted from the main hall out onto the balcony where a small group of revellers were loitering, the tips of their cigarettes glowing like new pennies in the half-light…
Author Lucy Shaw
Theo Randall deals in rusticity. His cooking philosophy is simple: source the best ingredients to create authentic Italian dishes that would make mama weep for her homeland.
“What was your favourite childhood toy? This is one of many questions I was sent by the organisers of the Krug Institute of Happiness – a five-day pop-up restaurant at a glass-fronted house in the grounds of Highgate Cemetery.”
“Ladies and gentleman, you’ve entered the spaceship – get ready to shoot into orbit,” announces Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon’s ebullient cellar master, to an audience of bemused wine writers.
Chocolate wine first appeared on the English culinary scene in the 1660s, soon after the arrival of chocolate itself, which was known during the reign of Charles II as “the Indian nectar.”
“Viajante, meaning traveller in Portuguese, is an apt name for Nuno Mendes’ Michelin-starred restaurant at the converted Edwardian Town Hall Hotel, which has brought a much-needed dose of glamour to Bethnal Green.”
“A kilner jar filled with what looks like lime green lettuce leaves has been placed in front of me. Popping it open, to my horror and delight I find an army of ants crawling across cabbage leaves…”
“I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and there’s no telling when, or if, I’ll come out. In front of me is a dish that smells of freshly cut grass. Truffles and toadstools float in a thick pond of green, their tops covered with what looks like dried basil.”
I’m in an empty hallway with soaring ceilings. In front of me, a staircase lined…
“I’m standing in a snaking queue populated by gazelle-like glamazons in six-inch Louboutins and slinky Issa dresses. Peering behind me, I spot former England football coach Sven-Göran Eriksson in a charcoal grey suit.”
In an exploration of terroir, texture and taste, Lucy Shaw and a couple of thirsty tag-alongs tour the villages and landscapes of Champagne, where layers of chalk lend the bubbles a steely mineral core.