The Porch House, Stow – Fabulous Food at England’s Oldest Inn

During our recent visit to the Cotswolds, The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold very kindly invited us to try their food. We had visited before, even though only for a couple of drinks, and remembered the beautiful, rustic atmosphere of England’s oldest inn (built in 947 AD, with a few oak beams and bricks remaining; most of today’s building is from the 16th Century). After a morning of driving around the countryside in a convertible 1988 Jaguar XJS we were hungry and quick to make our choices on the food: smoked mackerel pate with paprika mayonnaise & grapefruit gel (£7), pan-roasted scallops with pea puree, roasted sweetcorn, and blood pudding (£11) for starters, chicken mushroom leek pie with crushed potatoes, glazed mixed beets, Cheltenham carrots & tender stem broccoli (£16), and an 8oz Dexter Beef Burger with chips for mains (£15), as well as chocolate delice with pistachio crumb, candied orange […]

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24 hours in the Cotswolds with a 1980s Jaguar convertible

We had been planning a day of driving a 1973 Jensen Interceptor III (my favourite car) through the Cotswolds for years. Twice something had gone wrong (accidental double-booking, motor malfunction), so, surely, we thought: third time lucky. But apparently not so. We received an email from the car rental firm, Great Escape Cars, a couple of days before the big day to tell us that a client had totalled the Jensen (luckily no harm to humans, unless you count the emotional pain this was causing me). We were offered a number of replacement cars and a 1988 convertible Jaguar XJS 4 litre V12 turned out to be the best option. We tucked the 1970s outfits, that we had been planning to wear, away and went back to the vintage clothes store for something a tad more 1980s. After all it is a well-known fact that no one is allowed to […]

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Ametsa with Arzak Instruction – Best of Basque

We have been lovers of Basque cuisine ever since we visited San Sebastian, the culinary capital of Planet Earth, five years ago. That weekend in the northwest of Spain was a real eye-opener to us and made us realise what a great ingredient good food is to our lives. Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction opened in our adopted home town London in 2013, four generations since the family tavern opened in San Sebastian in 1897. ‘Arzak’ (three-starred since the 1970s) is generally considered to be one of the world’s ten best restaurants. Since we started our travel and food blog three years ago and since we started researching Michelin-starred restaurants, we were surprised to read so many bad and mediocre reviews about Ametsa. We don’t spend big on restaurants, so it was only when we found a £59 deal on Buy-a-Gift for a three-course meal for two and a glass […]

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Finally Made it to London’s Most Famous Chinese – A. Wong

We had heard good things about Michelin-starred A. Wong for years, but somehow never managed to visit, even though it’s just half an hour’s walk from where we live. Earlier this month, we finally made it, and what a feast it was! The restaurant was founded in 2013 by Andrew Wong, then a young graduate with an anthropology degree from LSE, when he took over a non-descript Chinese local next to Victoria station from his father. For several months before that point in time, he had travelled mainland China and explored the many different cuisines and cooking styles. In late 2018 he’ll open another, much bigger and more casual restaurant at the Bloomberg Arcade in the City. It will not be serving dim sum, because Wong feels, as he said in an interview earlier this year, that serving three dumplings for £2.80 would devalue the art of the dumpling (each […]

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Thames Rockets – Great Fun on a Rubber Boat

I had been thinking for some time about booking myself into London’s number one outdoor activity (according to Tripadvisor): a trip on a rubber boat with Thames Rockets. Today I finally made it, and boy was it fun! I opted for their gold standard package, the so-called Thames Barrier Explorers Voyage (80 mins for £54.50), departing from the London Eye. As a Londoner, the touristy sightseeing part didn’t do much for me, even though the guide was amusing enough and got a few laughs out of us. I was in it for the thrill of speed.         Shortly after we had passed by Tower Bridge, our captain increased the speed and went full throttle. It is surprisingly smooth a ride. Last year Ms B and I were going on a zodiac in the open Arctic sea off Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen at similar speeds of just over 55km/h (back […]

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