Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Around the World in 40 dinners

Loch Fyne at Ye Olde Cock Inn

To celebrate the half way point in my culinary quest, a jet-setting Lucia joined me at the newish Loch Fyne fish restaurant at the Olde Cock Inn at Didsbury before flying off to Rome.

While Lucia toyed with the remains of her first course, we toyed with the funny side of eating at the Olde Cock Inn and I thought of what Sid James or Kenneth Williams would have done with the smutty innuendos so neatly served up just waiting for the arrival of the punchline. My train of thought was broken by the arrival, not of a suitable punchline, but a succulent plaice. A tender and tasty fish if ever I saw one.

Now, Loch Fyne is in Scotland and allows me to put a red dot on that fine nation. I have been to the original Loch Fyne cafe on my way to Inveraray. On the shores of Loch Fyne, Inveraray is the ancestoral home of the Dukes of Argyll. The most infamous Duke was the 11th, who divorced his wife, Margaret, in 1963, citing her infidelity with 88 men. The most shocking piece of evidence was an early polaroid of a naked Margaret fellating a man, later identified as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. And there's the punchline, the most famous daughter of Loch Fyne photographed with ye olde cock inn.

Monday, 4 August 2008

St. Petersburg

It all started innocently enough, a chat to Lawrence over a late night drink. Lawrence is the editor of the South Manchester Reporter and ever the news hound, showed interest in the blog. So an interview was arranged with Susannah, who agreed to experience the full deal and accompany me to the new Russian eatery on Sackville St, St. Petersburg. My initial nerves were assuaged on meeting Susannah, who proved to be an engaging, intelligent and entertaining dining companion.

We gorged our way through Borsch, Derevensky, Gorodskiye and Miasnie Kotlety as well as the odd vodka. The food, I have to say, was excellent and I will return.

We swopped histories, stories and enough jokes to fill an entertaining evening at the Leningrad Empire. And I hope Susannah got enough copy to win a Pulitzer.