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Bonds bar

As a drinks blogger I rarely get invited to visit restaurants, so when Bonds asked me along to a bloggers dinner last month, I accepted with alacrity. As if the promise of fine dining wasn’t enough, the invite also offered inventive cocktails…sold.

I mentioned in my acceptance that I’m interested in food and cocktail pairing and that’s when things got even more exciting. Inspired by this casual comment, Bonds new bar manager, Brian Calleja (formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Rebouchon), constructed a cocktail menu just for little ol’ me.  That’s quite a challenge when you think about it, as the drinks needed to work with each course regardless of what I ordered but Brian definitely rose to the occasion. Continue reading

(Un)Happy Valentine’s Day

Cupid in his true guise

Cupid in his true guise

I’d like to make it clear that my dislike of Valentine’s Day does not stem  from my  single status. Absolutely not. No way….Well ok, maybe just a tiny bit. However, I do find the massive volume of  roseate-hued trash in the shops  genuinely offensive. I’ve only just recovered from Christmas and here  I am, plunged into another vortex of consumerism.

To make matters worse, my inbox is stuffed to bursting with bar and restaurant press releases of V-Day themed drinks and menus. I warn you, if I see one more elderflower, passion fruit or rose based champagne cocktail suggestion,  I’ll hurl something. Possibly the contents of my stomach. Continue reading

All in good thyme

English Lavender

A few years ago I went walking in the Pyrenees with a friend who is about seven years younger than me. After a few days we found that at a certain point on a walk conversation would tire, energy flag and a cheery song would seem in order.

Interestingly, it was only at this point we realised our age gap – from our musical differences. Early 80s indie for me and 80s/90s pop for her. And as we grew up in Wales and Tyneside respectively, even our childhood songs seemed divergent. But there was one song we had in common, an old-fashioned nursery favourite of mine called Lavender’s Blue. Continue reading