Bloomsbury Club Bar hosts BlackTail Residency

We checked out the BlackTail Residency at the Bloomsbury Club Bar (BCB, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London) today and were very impressed. New York’s BlackTail has been created by the team behind the Dead Rabbit, which regularly gets ranked as the best or one of the best cocktail bars in the world. BlackTail itself is generally considered to have been the most anticipated and successful bar opening in the U.S. during the past year (it opened a few months ago). It emulates the American bars that sprang up in Havana during the 1920s Prohibition (not sure why some reviewers call the bar a speakeasy, which would be the improvised U.S. underground bootlegging version of the time, and quite the opposite in some ways, ultimate luxury versus greasy, badly-lit basements). The Irish duo behind the BlackTail, Dead Rabit’s co-founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, were inspired by the distinctive black tail […]

Continue Reading

A Murder at the Church, a Car Crash on a Tapestry, and a Dead Pig, what’s not to like in Canterbury?

We had been to Canterbury many times before. As a matter of fact, I proposed to my wife there, three months after we had first met, in 2008 with the help of an airplane pulling a banner. Back then, it had all been very hectic (for me, not so much for my then future wife, who was unaware of the preparations). The pilot initially cancelled the whole thing because of strong winds at his airport, eighty miles north of our location, then texted again to say he’d be ready to go, then texted that the start had been delayed, and it went back and forth at least five or six more times. Then, two hours later, while we were in the middle of lunch, said he’d arrive within ten minutes and needed us to be on an open space, ideally close to the cathedral.           I gently (as gently […]

Continue Reading

Two of our Favourite Paris Markets

What better way to start the day than by eating yourself through two of the best markets of Paris: Marché d’Aligre and Marché Bastille, both within a fifteen minute radius by foot. We started out with Marché d’Aligre, which has a large outdoor section that mainly offers fruit and vegetables, flowers, and the like, along a single street, and a slightly smaller covered market, where you find most of the fish, meat, cheese, ready-to-eat meals, and the likes, including a couple of little eateries. Whatever you’ll try, it tastes perfect. Our favourite was probably the daily prawn cocktail special at the main fish stall, which (besides the main ingredient) contained finely diced chanterelle mushrooms, tomatoes, capers, mustard, lemon juice, and a very sizeable amount of chillies besides various undetermined herbs and other ingredients. Right next to the covered market, literally in an adjacent block in the corner building on the […]

Continue Reading

The two best tapas places in Barcelona and other fun stuff to do in town

Our two favourite tapas places during our weekend trip to Barcelona two weeks ago were Bar Celta Pulperia in the Gothic Quarter’s Carrer de la Mercè, where octopus is the meal of the day every day, and Quimet y Quimet, just off Carrer de Blai in Poble Sec. We were surprised that, being a Pulperia, Bar Celta only had three variations of octopus that day, two of which we ordered: the usual Pulpo a la Gallega, octopus Galician style, cut into thin slices with lots of paprika and oil on top, and baby octopus in broth with vast amounts of garlic and parsley. The price of €14 for the Pulpo a la Gallega was unexpectedly high, but the quality of the ingredients, the expertise of the cook who prepared it, and the sheer size of the meal completely justified the price tag. We also liked the fact that the bar […]

Continue Reading