Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mothers' Ruin

Originally uploaded by
After two days of beer quaffing, what more natural than to take a day trip to Plymouth Gin*. We went on the train in anticipation of free samples (and the liklihood of an alcoholic lunch). Coffee and sausage sandwiches** on the train and a taxi to the factory started the day in style and set us up for the tour.

It's £6 for about a half-hour tour, and well worth it - the guide was brilliant and very funny. You get a bit on the history of the distillary, a bit on the ingredients - pots of the spices etc that go into it to scratch and sniff - and a glass of gin to sniff and savour. Also tasters of the Damson Gin*** and Sloe Gin they make. You then get a £1 voucher to use on gin in the shop, and a free gin & tonic (or miniature to take away) voucher to use in the cocktail bar. When can I go again please?

The bar is a fantastic room, the building was originally a Blackfriars Monastery and it's in the refectory hall - amazing roof (no I wasn't on my back at this point).

We then had lunch in the Barbican Kitchen, a brasserie in the same building run by the Tanner Brothers (who also have a restaurant down the road - we weren't entirely sure which one we were booked into, so glad we checked befgore staggering out into daylight).

To start with I had pumpkin and honey soup, which was a beautiful yellow colour, and I liked the drizzle of pesto in it, but otherwise it didn't really taste of much, and I prefer mine. Others had the chicken liver parfait which was pronounced excellent, the fish cake, and scallops.

For main, I had venison with juniper jus, garlic mash with olives, and green beans. I'd never had venison before and was keen to try it - hedged my bets by ordering it medium, but when it came it was rare, so it's just as well that's how I'd have ordered it if I knew I liked it (if that sentence makes any kind of sense?). Anyway, it was all fantastic.

Dessert was a lovely coffee/chocolate tart (with mint creme fraiche which was 'orrible, but I managed to swap it for someone eles's rum n raisin ice cream. Result.)

Add to all that coffee and two bottles of Richmond Ridge Chardonnay Colombard Semillon and we were ready to go shopping. Or fall asleep, I forget which.

We went to the new Drake Circus shopping mall, which is huge, and very very busy. Came away with books, 23 quid's worth of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat and a Pirates of the Carribean Calendar.

Gin, books, chocolate and Johhny Depp. What more could you ask out a day?

* Great website, but a bugger to load on dial-up.
** Separately, obviously.
*** Mix with champagne to make a "Damn Shame".


At 9:30 am , Blogger searleyeditor said...

... Long Island Tea...

At 9:36 am , Blogger Matt said...

and a stolly and tonic for me!

At 9:42 am , Blogger searleyeditor said...

Oh very good.


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