Archive for November, 2007

A Euro 2008 predicament…

Below is a photograph, taken at Bern station yesterday (Bern is the capital city of Switzerland).  The  first train departing at 15:42 is going to the town which will host some of the Euro 2008 football matches.  How are the commentators going to get over this massive hurdle? 



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I’m writing this from a crazy German keyboard, so I’ll keep it short.  I’m in Switzerland and it’s great!

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Bloomers, Wallingford

After 18 months of working in the tiny Oxfordshire village of South Stoke, where the only option for lunch is the local pub (which I certainly don’t rate), I, and others at Goode International, consider ourselves to be connoisseurs of local lunchtime food outlets.

With this in mind, we have usually shunned Bloomers sandwich shop in Wallingford, not least because they never have any of the fillings advertised (and even when they do, you can get something much better at The Baker’s Oven down the road for half the price). However, the temporary closure of The Baker’s Oven (due to a much-needed refurb) has forced us to re-visit this local eatery and I must say I am very pleased.

While the sandwich part still seems as average as ever, the ‘All day brunch’ menu is great. Chorizo and eggs, French omelettes and (my luncheon of choice today) eggs benedict. It was lovely. And not even that expensive (£5 something). Yes, the chef murmured something grumpy when Laura ordered it without sauce (which I admit is a bit weird) and, yes, it is a bit naff in there, but overall my opinion has changed (I’d still go to The Baker’s Oven or The Pizza Cafe for my sandwiches though).

If, for some bizarre reason, you actually found this review of local food vendors useful, fellow Goode-ite James Farquharson has written a less-than-complimentary review of La Vina in Wallingford (which I actually quite liked, but hey, that’s the beauty of life!)

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Local dessert wine

So, after excitedly telling my colleagues that I was going to write wine reviews on my blog, I was kindly given a bottle of local dessert wine to try by someone who’d received it as a gift, but was not a fan of the dessert wine genre.  I must confess, I used to feel the same way but I think the trick is to see dessert wine as an entirely different drink altogether, then suddenly its merits come out.

Anyway, this one is from a local vineyard in Cane End, Berkshire and is called Autumn Glory. I haven’t really tried many English wines so this was going to be interesting, especially as I had no idea what grape variety it was (I still don’t) or what method they used to make it sweet (eg. late harvesting, stopping fermentation, drying the grapes etc.)   However, I can tell you that it is delicious.  It smells like apple pie or stewed fruit – it has the characteristic honey aroma but there’s a tangy, pear-droppy undertone that is very tempting. This is also reflected in the taste.  Whereas many dessert wines are like drinking nectar (I imagine!), this one has a juicy tang, which my friend described as a ‘ping’.   I think this is spot on.  It’s still a sweet, delicious desert wine but it’s just a little more interesting.  In fact, just remembering it makes my mouth water in the same way rhubarb crumble does.  ‘Autumn Glory’ is the perfect name – it sums up the whole experience in one go.  Definitely worth a try.

Cane End Estates: Autumn Glory, 1991. 0118 972 2114. Shop open all year, 12pm -5pm.  More info

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