I love great cooking, I regard it as an art-form. Fortunately I live in very C. London where there are endless eating possibilities to hand. I try to avoid any restaurant food that my wife can cook better. My cholesterol level is a little high as are my triglycerides, but heck, you can't have everything!
I do not eat out that often, partially because my wife is such a great cook and also because having eaten in so many varied restaurants over the last fifty years it has to be something exceptional to tempt me out. The latest find is the Chinese roast duck at the Four Seasons in Queensway, here it is all about the sauce.
Fat Duck, particularly the French menu which is much overlooked.
Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road- only.
Le Gavroche, London – this despite my recent experience.
Chez Bruce, London – cooking at genius level.
Zuma, London – beyond belief good.
La Poule au Pot London – neighbourhood comfort food.
Lunch ONLY at La Colombe D'Or in St Paul de Vence, must be outside in the garden, please do not forget to ask for wild strawberries in season, they are off menu but they always have them. The food is upmarket brasserie and not that memorable – other than the wild strawberries – yet for unknown reasons it is one of the greatest lunch venues in the world. Please don't forget to look at their multi- million dollar art collection before leaving.
Scotts/J Sheekey – good fish, sometimes great.
Claridge's – for breakfast only.
Four Seasons, Chinese on Queensway London – for roast duck only, not smart but awesome duck!.
Amaya in London – in the section of the room containing the open-plan kitchen.
Manoir au Q.S, Oxfordshire, UK. – Raymond Blanc has matured into being the finest chef in Britain yet the food may not always reflect this though.
Tinello on the Pimlico Road, London. The best Italian food for non celebrities into really delicious thoroughly modern Italian comfort food, pure magic.
Last but certainly not least, lunch at Harry's Dolce in Venice on an early Spring day. It should be just before the trendy tourists hit town and thus remind the Venetians that their business is skinning every tourist they can get their hands on.
Then lots of other places abroad, such as Istanbul, Brussels and so on.
In Paris the regional restaurants have it, on the whole the Michelin *** seem not as good as they were, also they suffer as the very best wines are mostly exported.
Lunch for twelve people:
Raymond Blanc's fish terrine. Eat it then you will know!
A twelve inch cube of hot pastry, with a diagonal pastry divider inside, the top chamber being filled with very fresh chilled beluga from Azerbaijan, the underneath section with piping hot sturgeon.
A Bosphorus fish called Lufer, simply cooked over charcoal. this with a typical Anatolian salad.
A French duck cooked in the sweetest orange possible, this sitting on one inch thick pieces of bread that is so blackened by charcoal that it is possible to see other colours in the blackness of it.
My wife's roast grouse.
My wife's sherry trifle, it has to have pieces of angelica on top.
A bombe glace(e?)
Coffee and a pre-revolution Cubam cigar with 1887 brandy.
Pre-supper. 1990 Bollinger VVF
Dry sherry with the terrine.
Turkish aromatic vodka with the beluga/sturgeon.
Raki with the Lufer.
Italian sparkling water with the duck.
Cheval Blanc 1959 with the grouse.
Ratafia with the trifle,
1887 brandy with the cigar
Home made ederflower cordial for everyone before saying farewell and lying down to die.
Learning as much as it possible to comprehend.
Fusus al Hikam by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi.
Das Boot, German version in black and white with English sub-titles.
Helen of Troy.
Richemond in Geneva, Chedi in Muscat & Oman, Claridges in London and Cipriani in Venice, if only for breakfast which is beyond description good.
Venice, Turkey, Barbados. Very Southern Morocco.
Don't – thank goodness!