I SET FOOT (or burnished-brogue) in my first 'Gentlemen's Club' for lunch this afternoon - the East India Club off St. James Square.
A basket-cradled Nuits-Saint-Georges '01 from Dom. Alain Michelot was an impeccable and unique edition: lightly spiced with discreet game aromas, firm tannins (like chiselled cheek-bones) and a gentle undertow of acidity. This harmoniously hopped into bed with moist Orkney beef (served rare), carved at table.
Coffee was taken upstairs with cigars, adjacent to the table where last week an elderly gentleman dozed into death, brandy in cooling hand... What a pleasurable way to depart this mortal coil!
I gave the new wine bar at Fortnum and Mason a whirl. Named '1707' (the year F&M was founded), this basement-tucked bar is couth with a striking stracciatella counter. The wooden walls resemble a sauna however.
A glass of Château Dassault '96 from St. Emilion was a bit tired - about as much fun as a ride on a rollercoaster run by work experience recruits!
Cloudy Bay '04 Chardonnay was sampled during tonight's wine course. A competent great filled with fruit, bevelled by oak, and ending with butterscotch.