Posts Tagged ‘London’
You may have noticed the increased fan base of cycling these days. Whether it’s for recreation on a weekend, a cycling holiday like a tour of England’s vineyards with Love Velo at Tunbridge Wells or Henley-on-Thames, or commuting to and from work, there has been a visible climb in the use of two wheels rather than four. I must admit, the only bike I’ve ever owned was a little lilac girls number with stabilisers that i had when I was small. But even then I seemed to avoid passing my cycling proficiency test at school – does this mean I’m not road worthy?
On my daily work journey, a steady stream of cycles whizz past me in most weathers. Secure bike racks at train stations are now a regular fixture and fitting for cycling convenience. Tax free cycles for purchase and ‘cycle to work schemes’ are all the rage to encourage budding bikers to change their mode of transport to work in a cost effective manner. Benefits for the environment and health are both brilliant reasons to swap the bus for the bike. The recent flagship scheme sponsored by Barclays in London has already encouraged one million journeys and counting. Even the legendary Brompton folding bike is now up for hire in some stations.
For those who have a more keen interest in cycling as a sport, and this is where Britain is most successful in Olympic victory, we have one of our most heavily supported and sponsored teams taking part in Tour de France – Team Sky. This year beginning Saturday 2nd July until Sunday 24th July, the 98th Tour de France is made up of 21 stages with the official start taking place at Passage du Gois.
We’re also in the midst of Bike Week - a national celebration of cycling with events throughout the country all this week for any level of cyclist from novice to pro. If the thought of hitting the roads on two wheels is a little daunting, have no fear. There is a heavy social side with groups such as Breeze: British Cycling’s network of social bike rides, just for women on this one, but this is just one of the groups who make it seem ‘like a breeze’ – a fun and friendly social way to cycle on local, accessible routes in small groups. A great way to feel more comfortable on residential roads or in parks and even stop off for coffee and cake.
For any tips and advice check out the British Cycling website for some fantastic notes on coping with rain, where to ride, storing your bike and even avoiding getting ‘helmet hair’ (very important for arriving into work looking acceptably smart).
Bringing back the bike has sparked an interest for me. I’ll never be a Mark Cavendish, but I’m thinking of looking into the two wheeler as an alternative transport – sans stabilisers. Now when will Chanel do a cycle helmet?
All seems calm. St John Street, Clerkenwell. But there’s something bubbling away behind the scenes. Car chases, mystery, action… and ‘Gotham city police station’. All directed by Christopher Nolan (of the massively successful Inception). So bat fans, it’s time to check out Gotham’s finest. You might not catch a glimpse of the Dark Knight himself, but as I sink a spoon into one of the temptingly gorgeous cheese soufflés with a glass of Merlot at hand, I wistfully smile to myself. Forget Batman, I prefer our local food heroes. Sitting right amongst the buzz of the action, behind our trademark green canopy and wine barrels, keeping an eye out for Mr Bale et al on one of their breaks, I look forward to the movie release and will always remember, in the wise words of his super onscreen lady friend Rachel Dawes, “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you”.
What are you going to do tonight? (eccentric billionaires welcome)
What an evening. London turned out in force to support the bistro opening night. Bloggers, celebrities, media londonistas, top chefs. The roll call on the culinary side is as follows – Michel Roux Jr, Stuart Gillies, Pierre Kauffman – all seemed impressed and stayed a while to witness the artistry and graft of Keith Shearer and his boys working the live kitchen.
On entering guests were treated to an exclusive Marmalade vodka infused martini or a cool iced tea infused with Millers gin. The food stations and our prized pewter top were brimming with shellfish and cuts of steak. The Josper Grill well and truly fired up filled the kitchen space with an amazing smokey aroma. Meanwhile in the live butchery, Eric from La Cave de Fromage hosted a majestic display of his finest cheeses, which proved to be immensely popular to say the least. Music was provided by Mario and his jazz quartet. The drink flowed. The food flowed. All there were more than served with the simple taste of “du Vin”.
The “by the glass” dispenser proved to be a complete smash. Busy all night. The music continued with Universal signed artist Jonathan Jeremiah, who provided a rousing uplifting set of songs from his album. And a thoroughly nice guy too. Downstairs in the the “Whisky Snuggle” the Scotch Malt Whisky Society held a night long tasting. I think I caught him at one point describing a whisky as the Angelina Jolie of whiskys – our kind of guy.
The whisky, the wine, the food continued to flow. At one point the outside became an alfresco cigar venue. Good times. Eventually the coats were taken from the vintage lockers and some of us headed off to our London beds (although some are still believed to be still there.
A massive thank you to all who attended. Keep the faith and see you in Soho in June for the second.
Thanks to Eat Out for such a swift review too.
It’s with great pleasure I find myself heading to London today for the Bistro opening. There’s trepidation, for sure. But the early signs during the soft opening is that the du Vin brand and way of thinking will fit in just fine.Much excitement about the opening night. Apart from the usual amazing collection of food stations and the never endiing glass of Champagne we seem to serve, we have a few exclusive surprises.
First off we’ll be featuring an exclusive collection of teas from famed London perfumer Miller Harris.
Secondly, we’ll be showcasing our “wine by the glass” dispenser – first of its kind in a restaurant setting. (see previous post)
Thirdly Vodka wunderkind from deepest darkest Herefordshire – Miller Harris have produced a special run of Marmalade infused vodka from their award-winning stills.
and…fourthly Universal signed singer songwriter Jonathan Jeremiah will be playing an acoustic set on the night featuring songs from his new album “Solitary Man”
Sure there’ll be a drizzle of celebs. But the real heroes tonight will be our sommeliers and the chefs who’ll be running round up close and personal for the great and good of London’s dining scene.
Our advertising says I think London is ready. Well, London we are too.
Wow what a busy day. The bistro looks amazing and primed ready for opening. The pictures fill the walls, the chairs and tables are laid out ready. There’s even a strange set of school lockers for coats. I’d expect it eventually to be lined with great wine labels, like some schoolboy shrine to his latest crush.
Elsewhere the whisky snuggle private dining room looks fab and there’s a palpable buzz from the kitchen.
On Tuesday all the menus were fine-tuned and the operational niggles were ironed out. We opened today with more practice for Keith and his team. The pace is frenetic and you get a real sense of a busy kitchen while you gaze across from your table. There’s an amazing smokey smell everytime the Josper grill opens too.
Anticipation is building with only two days to go ’til the opening night.
This is the countdown. The floors are down, the bar top is in place and the kitchen looks amazing. Our very first bistro in London. And we couldn’t be prouder parents. Heading there today to finalise menu layouts and take the first shot for press releases. I hasten add the final imagery for marketing will be taken the following week, so bear with me when viewing my humble compositional skills. Once agreed I’ll also post the menus in PDF form. Expect more posts throughout the day.