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  • Barcelona - always a pleasure!

    Casa BatlloIt's always a pleasure to go to Barcelona!

    Having spent three weeks there with Helen, our daughter, last year and not spoken a word since, my Spanish was more than a little rusty, but the Catalonians mainly speak their own dialect anyway, so it doesn't really make much difference. Continue reading

  • London

    Scotch EggWe started our buying trip in London for a few days, which turned out to be a beneficial stop as Phil, who had broken his wrist badly and cracked a vertebrae just after New Year on a fishing trip (no fish caught that day!) had also developed a frozen shoulder, which had made some question the wisdom of our trip. But the call of London, a chance to see our daughter Helen, who is now working there, and an invitation to go and see the back workings of Neal's Yard - a famous cheese mecca, and dine at a place or two was too tempting not to try and we figured we could always come back early.

    Continue reading
  • Eating During the General Strike

    protestorsThursday in Barcelona and the last day of Alimentaria. However with a general strike throughout Spain planned and definitely no Metro or trains operating, getting there and back would be more than problematic, so we don't even try.

    We are awakened by the sound of protesters heading to La Rambla to show their solidarity. Small bunches of the discontented passing underneath our hotel windows. Shopkeepers determined to keep open, lower the bars protecting their shops from the street as the protesters pass by Continue reading

  • Chef Interview: Geoff Scott / Vinnies


    Geoff scottWhat are your favourite Sabato ingredients? Moretti traditional polenta,  for polenta lovers this is the real deal, it's exactly the same variety as I tasted at Lake Como in Northern Italy, delicious. And Lafitte bloc duck foie gras, the closest indulgent foie experience you'll get in New Zealand, perfect for chunks on toast or made into mousses or butters... on the Vinnies menu at the moment I whisk foie gras in with butter and parmesan to my polenta, then I quickly sear off some prawns to go on top. Continue reading

  • Letter from Spain


    Pons Extra long travel times, lost luggage and colds punctuated our recent journey to Spain, but we travelled widely, saw a lot, and ate and drank, on the whole, extremely well.

    Would you like to know more?


    Go there! It is one of the most civilized cities in the world - but it has a special magical touch all of its own. Continue reading

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