Food & drink

Marilyn Merlot – glamour in a glass

by Shane Dunning, Woodwinters  Each year on 1 June sees the release of the new vintage of the fabulously titled Marilyn Merlot from California's Napa Valley.  For those of you who have seen the film Sideways where the main character has a merlot related melt-down, you might be aware that it has become quite trendy to be disparaging of merlot  dominant wines. So with that in mind I thought it would

San Francisco: eat le truc

le truc, proudly shows off their new patio for outdoor dining.  The choice of places to eat in San Francisco is outstanding and there will be reviews of a couple of stationary restaurants at the end of the week but le truc looked fun particularly if you are able to hire it for private parties.  Here's how the owners describe what they are trying to do; "There is no law

Hippie Chic That's Still Happening

Trends in lifestyle and interiors come and go; each season heralds the next big thing whether its neon, folk or  yet another outing for tartan.   But some brands have transcended (or ignored) fashion to stand the test of time without Madonna-style reinventions. The three establishments featured here, all, coincidentally with a hippy vibe in common, are doing something they believe in without taking themselves too seriously.  They offer cosy, relaxed interiors and all

Wedding week: Wine, weddings and Winston Churchill

by Shane Dunning,  Woodwinters     Although clearly my invite got lost in the post I have it on good authority that William and Kate's guests enjoyed Pol Roger Champagne at their wedding reception on Friday.   Pol Roger has a long association with the gentry of Britain, it was Winston Churchill's favourite Champagne and he enjoyed so much of their fizz that Pol Roger added a black border to the

Germany: time to forgive and forget Blue Nun

  By Shane Dunning, of WoodWinters wine merchant and wholesaler based in Bridge of Allan and Edinburgh.   I think it is fair to say that in the UK a large percentage of the wine buying public have issues with German wine. Most people, when quizzed, would admit to having preconceptions about German wine mainly based on bad experiences with semi-sweet supermarket whites like Liebfraumilch, Black Tower and Blue Nun.

Let’s all go to the dogs tonight…

What’s especially likeable about mid price Edinburgh eaterie The Dogs is that it hits the mark between considered style and a forced, concept driven look. It’s unpretentious and simple with just the right nod to the dog concept. There’s a blow up of a crazy looking hound behind the bar and a few quirky canine motifs scattered around but the interior is a long way from being themed. Mismatched wooden chairs and china, scrubbed tables and worn floorboards

Slain by George and Dragon

How much do you feel like throwing your wellies, nightie and a couple of magazines into a bag and heading for the George and Dragon, a lovingly restored 18th Century coaching inn in rugged Cumbria? Toasty fires, home made food sourced from the local estate and a super tasteful interior makeover – take me there now!