AN EPIC TASTING of the wines of Domaine Huet ensued yesterday evening. The venue was the rather swanky Bentley Hotel, Kensington - a mini Dorchester crossed with The Ritz with a hint of Claridges. The theory that fine wine + beautiful setting = double the pleasure certainly held true in this instance. Nor did the company fall short.
I (think) I can still taste one of the wines, an Oloroso coloured, actual oil-oily '90 'Le Haut Lieu' Moelleux 1er Trie, this morning.
After the tasting, my companions and I ventured along Gloucester Road, dining at 'Il Borgo', allegedly home to 'Real Italian Cuisine'. May I heartily recommend readers don't go there? It's a frescoed, horticulturally-hellish grotto. The owner is obviously more fascinated with his green fingers than the chef's ability. At least thirty hanging baskets were carried past us over the course of a 45minute meal (I know not why), each time brushing me with their leafy tendrils. And that was just the staff.
They were precariously strung-up indoors, given the best seats in the otherwise vacously empty back restaurant. Weeding was going on out the front. And then to crown this mossed, aphid profusion, this absolute monstrosity landed on our table, which a colleague afar when faced with this as an e-mail attachment, was motivated to describe as "every colour in a bruise. Simultaneously". An overpriced Nero d'Avola with Syrah would have been wasted even on the plants.
By contrast to the Huet, bad wine + grotesque setting = something attrocious (although a near surreal, amusing experience).
I do not wish to be the financial fertiliser to some barely edible greenhouse.