James Lawrence braves building noise in one of London’s busiest areas in order to down cocktails and eat oysters. The man’s devotion to his readers knows no bounds… If location really is everything, then Vivi is possibly London’s most divisive restaurant; situated at the Tottenham Court Road/Charing Cross Road intersectionContinue Reading

James Lawrence visits Kahani and experiences subtlety with power, and confidence with restraint. So far, I really like it. Admittedly, I have only just put my foot through the door but I have already received a warm welcome from the manager – and the smell is enticing. I’m sitting inContinue Reading

James Lawrence takes a look at the changing face of the English cocktail scene – and comes away impressed. The United Kingdom has long been associated with a prominent, and indeed infamous, drinking culture. Other countries, especially those where binge drinking is a rarity rather than the norm, are aghastContinue Reading

In his second column, Matt Pym, CALIBRE’s resident wine expert, takes a look at what constitutes good taste and nominates his Magnificent Seven Champagnes. Some things happen when one works in the drinks trade.  At restaurants, wine lists automatically get handed to me (not a problem), dinner party guests rarelyContinue Reading

The front of the Jack Russell Inn, Faccombe

You would be forgiven for doubting your sat-nav on the approach to the Jack Russell Inn in Faccombe. Driving through the trees, the green canopy pierced here and there by shafts of sunlight, it feels as though you’re driving into the depths of a forest, and should be leaving breadcrumbsContinue Reading

Bourbon is often seen as the poor man’s alternative to Scottish whiskey, but Phil Huff explains why this shouldn’t be the case. There’s been whisky coming out of Scotland since the late 15th century. The name is even a anglicised version of the Gaelic word uisce, which roughly translates toContinue Reading

I’m quite sure there is an unwritten law that states: when spending any amount of time in Canada you must, at some point, stay – if even for just one night – in a log cabin by a lake, preferably with a log burning stove and a plentiful supply ofContinue Reading

James Lawrence explores some of the best Chinese restaurants in London, and takes a look at the move towards regionalism. The last decade has seen our appreciation of Chinese cuisine move far beyond the staples of sweet and sour pork, spring rolls and special fried rice. Regionality has become allContinue Reading

There are many contestants for the title of Cardiff’s best Indian restaurant, but in my opinion the Purple Poppadom has few peers. There is something about its sophisticated, refined take on Indian cuisine that always lures me back whenever I’m visiting the Welsh capital. The cooking, the service, the wineContinue Reading