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Fortnum and Mason Champagne of the Month and Chinatown

Posted on 2011/02/12 12:09:57 (February 2011).

[Monday 7th February]
Chie and I have been making a habit of trying to go out and do something fun on Mondays, which can otherwise be a bit dreary. So tonight we thought we'd head over to Fortnum and Mason and sample their Champagne of the month.

The Champagne of the month for February is Gosset. We hadn't bothered to go last month as, to quote Upstairs Downstairs "It's only Moet". Gosset, however, is not hugely well known - I'd only had it once before (just the rosé) and so I was keen to try some more.

As always it's £30 for a flight of 3 which seems like a particularly good deal this time considering the per-bottle retail prices of the three Champagnes (all around £50).

The regular NV was boozy, grapey (yes I know - it's wine!) and had a big mouth feel. The rosé one of the palest and most delicate rosés I've seen. An elegant nose of yoghurt with (black?) cherries. The Grand Millesime 1999 was like a dessert wine, hints of Sauternes; lots of raisins. Presumably a high dosage in 2nd fermentation to get all that sweetness in there? Or is that just an effect of aging? I don't think I've had a Champagne which is more than a decade old before.

After this we thought we'd go and have some Chinese food for dinner, so headed in the direction of Chinatown. I have to admit I've never really been able to find a reliable favourite in Chinatown. I really like Joy King Lau for dim sum, but the evening menu - from a vegetarian point of view at least - is a bit boring. There are a couple of places I used to go before I lived in London that I've now gone off. So we thought we'd try somewhere new, and after a bit of searching decided to give the New Mayflower a go. Reassuringly it was full of Chinese people - perhaps because of the Chinese New Year. The vegetarian options on the menu didn't look too exciting to begin with, but we made a few special requests which the waiter seemed very accommodating of - I noticed the table of Chinese people next to us seemed to be ordering lots of things that weren't on the menu either. The food was pretty good in the end - although we ordered far too much, having already nibbled at Fortnum and Mason - so ended up taking the rest home in a couple of takeaway boxes.

We'd started fairly early so by the time we finished dinner it seemed a bit early to just go home, so we went for a drink at the Coach and Horses in Soho, wherein I was delighted to discover they had an impressive four ciders on tap. Two of them seemed like more permanent fixtures (Cotswolds and Stowford Press) and looked a bit more like the sort of mass produced ciders you'd normally see as a token offering in a pub (but still, having a choice of two is good nonetheless by London standards). However, most excitingly they had two guest ciders: the Orchard Pig Dry and Medium Sweet. I'd had Orchard Pig with Dad the other day at the Bree Louise, and it has immediately become a firm favourite, with all it's wonderful stiltony flavour.

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