EN-ROUTE TO the 'world's first certified organic pub', Islington's excellent Duke of Cambridge, I smelt fresh tar. This Dickensian cure-all often evokes South Africa's viticultural speciality, Pinotage. Unlike Andre van Rensburg of Vergelegen who described this as: "...as untenable as child rape...", I harbour few gripes about a grape which dares to be different.
My motivation to ramble away from the beaten track to the doors of this offbeat-organic Victorian pile was spurred by the fact it serves an English white. I have wanted to taste Hormondsen Dry from Davenport Vineyards for months. Alas the vineyard - aided by DC's savvy barman - shifted its stock weeks ago, although a bottle of clement, damask, slightly sweet organic Pinot Noir from Meinklang, Austria appeased as snow flurried outside. We were not hurried, however, so Jean-Pierre Fleury's NV Champagne, also organic, had time to ace, a virtuoso brimming with red apples and a boulangerie bounty.
Depending on which season you enter this paired down to the bones Victorian charnel house, you will encounter almost winsome meals or deeply brown banality. Ingredient evangelicaism is a philosophy to which all must be dredged.
The organic ethos here is ingrained and the decor puritanical. Tampons in the Ladies' are certified organic 100% cotton (I am told)...
Further Link: The Pinotage Club