When I do my annual jaunt to Europe I always find myself at Claridges Bar. It has to be my favourite spot in London. I think it’s because it balances a bit of class, casualness, fine cuisine, an electric bar menu and service that’s second to none. The bar is a little quiet today, which is the way I like it.
The waiter is particularly charming and smooth and he takes my order to start and I choose the Bobal ‘La Malkerida’ Utiel -Requena, Spain (2012). What I love about this place (and I know it’s the little things) but they do the same rustic nibbles for what seems like forever. There are little flakey pastry sticks and some rustic roasted nuts. I love just sipping wine, nibbling on the pastries and just wasting the afternoon here. It’s my little spot.
I had the Bobal last time I was here (you can read the review here). The tasting observations are similar to last year, so here is the note I did:
It is such a fragrant, soft and silky wine with mild floral aromas. It is medium bodied with full red fruit flavours and light hints of pepper on the first taste on the palate. A very drinkable wine to round out the evening.”
Although this year, there was notably some blueberry jam like feel and flavour upfront on the palate and a little more tannins noticable in the finish.
To pair with my main course I have a glass of the Laurent-Perrier Brut
The aromas are delicate with fresh citrus notes, sweet spice and beautiful elegant floral notes. On the palate, the champagne has a real freshness owing to the chardonnay’s dominance. It is well-balanced with the eventual flow of citrus flavours combing with white stone fruit flavours to perform a little symphony on the tongue with some yeastiness in the finish working to balance some of the champagne’s fruit intensity.
I was in two minds on whether I stick with my old favourite the Square Meal (or Bento Box) or opt for one of the main courses. I just couldn’t resist the seafood tagolini and it lived up to expectations.
The seafood tagolini has beautiful al-dente fresh pasta with a rich tomato, chilli and basil sauce and some wonderful fresh seafood (grilled prawns, scallops and lobster). The seafood in this dish is particularly excellent, I don’t think I have tasted a better scallop than in this dish. The seafood balances its role of being part of a broader dish but retains its fresh distinctive natural flavours and stands alone. The tagolini has a fresh wheaty flavour as plays its role in gathering the rich sauce. The sauce integrates the chilli, the basil and the tomato to form a blissful concoction with tantalisingly fresh and aromatic flavours. It is an amazing and shows you how a simple dish can dominate a taste experience with just a little extra culinary skill and effort. I truly loved it.
I finish the afternoon with yet another glass of the Bobal to cleanse the palate and enjoy my final day in London. I love London and I probably love Claridges just as much!
Bobal ‘La Malkerida’ Utiel -Requena, Spain (2012)