1.41pm, Thursday 13th October, London Bridge, London, England
Back into London to drop the bags, and I am about to walk out the door on the trek across the London underground system for Paddington Station and out to Reading in Berkshire. Then my wine savvy colleague Emma will deliver us both to tonight’s event with The Wine Man. It’s at Something-on-Thames, and having worked with the boys before, I have no doubt we will be in for a high old time with the group wherever we are!
But without doing the full write up on last night’s dinner with Emsworth’s Michelin-star foodie destination 36 on the Quay, I just want to set that scene and I’ll do it in the morning before heading to Guildford for the week’s last job.
Into Emsworth yesterday afternoon, all was polished and set beautifully at ’36’ so I went up the road to read the papers in the local pub The Bluebell. I knew I was at the right place from the Husband Creche sign outside the door – read it for yourself in the photo – but inside the pub, I was in for a further pleasant surprise.
It’s just the sort of pub you want to find down the side street in a village leading to the pier. Not just sausages and mash on the chalkboard menu, but the actual real thing” local butcher’s name sausages and caramelized onions and proper mushy peas and mash! If I lived within 20 miles, The Bluebell would be my local! And covering the walls, you’ll find a huge number of old and new crests from the Royal Navy ships of the line – Portsmouth isn’t that far away, so this makes a lot of sense. Those boys always find the spots! But there in the middle of it all is one foreign ship’s crest. The HMAS Adelaide – an Australian frigate, named for the city an hour south of where Yalumba is in the Barossa Valley – capital of South Australia. No one at the pub seems to know how it got there, but I reckon it was a sign that we were in for a good night … .and that’s exactly what happened.
Here’s 36 On The Quay, ex sailing club and before that an old pub, and here’s the ‘Millpond ‘ opposite at low tide, which used to be extensive oyster beds. When I get back I’ll take you out to our Yalumba dinner at 36 with our local wine store bloke Alistair and we’ll show you why that Michelin star hasn’t moved for 14 years.
See ya when it’s Friday.