|She’s laughing, not sneezing. I hope.|
Er, not me. I know! It was the Fortnum & Mason Awards last night and my book made it to the shortlist of three for best Drinks Book. But I was beaten by a (very good, apparently) cider book (this one here and see all the results here). The party, like ohmigod the party, was amazing. It was on the fifth floor of the shop on London’s Piccadilly. The champagne was delicious, the canapes were incredible and the towers of macaroons were….well, mostly stolen, actually. By my friend. Let’s call her Liz. Look, here she is with her haul. SHE EVEN BROUGHT A TUPPERWARE BOX. No, she didn’t really bring her own tupperware box but still, she managed to persuade one of the lovely Fortnum’s people to bring her one so she could
steal take home a few more. The awards were presented by Claudia Winkleman (love!) and the room was wall to wall with sparkly food people like Mary Berry, Claudia Roden, Rose Prince, Thomasina Miers, Diana Henry, Jay Rayner, Michel Roux, Monica Galetti and Sheila Dillon. Amazing, really. And I loved having a quick natter with a couple of much-admired bloggers, Esther Walker from Recipe Rifle (her writing is so funny) and the gorgeous and seemingly bionic Sasha Wilkins from Liberty London Girl. No trophy but a really fun evening. And enough macaroons to open our own shop.
Current white in the fridge: Waitrose Brut NV Champagne, £19.99, Waitrose
The cork was popped on this one to celebrate mine and The Husband’s anniversary. Now, we have so many anniversaries – when we met, got engaged, got married – that even the kids said what? Another anniversary! But 26 years ago today, he asked me out. We didn’t go anywhere, obviously. We were both 15 years old. Unless you count going for a walk in the fields behind the house as ‘going out’. Anyway, point is, to mark the occasion we picked up a Chinese and had this to go with it. All I can say is, duck pancakes + a good, solid champagne = complete luxury. This particular one from Waitrose is great value, with lots of bubbly, hazelnutty, biscuity flavours. Made by Duval Leroy, it’s a banker.
Current red in the rack: Taste The Difference Douro 2012, £8.50, Sainsbury’s
This stuff is made from really good grapes (a cocktail of them, including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) from top grade vineyards, by a producer called Quinta do Crasto. Tell that to any self-proclaimed wine lover around the table and watch them melt. Quinta do Crasto make some of the best (and best value) red wines in Portugal’s Douro Valley. It’s big but soft, structured but not scary. And amazing value, really.
Peace out, winos x