So let’s STOP the PRESS.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (The World’s Greatest footballer) has spoken, he will stay at Paris St Germain if; if they replace the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him, the arrogance of the man. I admit I had to climb down from the top of my column in Trafalgar Square just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Surely, the answer is in his name, it’s all about ‘him’.
It seems like and age.
Where have I been?
Have I been preparing for hibernation like a snake, fattened up for Chinese New Year, and Snake Soup?
Gong Hey Fat Choy.
Have I adopted the Northern European model of taking a mid-season break? Have I adopted a Northern European model?
Have I been travelling?
Is Donald Trump a catholic?
So since the last newsletter, it’s been Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Hong Kong again, Rome, Florence,Bologna and The Wolseley!
I’d like to thank all of you I have shared a meal with, in each of those locations, hence the reference to snake soup, although they were eclipsed by Luk Yu Teahouse in Hong Kong and their house speciality Pig Lung and Almond Milk Soup.
I was discussing this with young Jason at The Wolseley this morning, as I tucked into my Marmite on toast; Jason prefers Bovril on his, because, and I quote, “I prefer something a little beefier!” Ooh, you are awful!
In Venice my favourite restaurant was shut for a month, as were so many others for a holiday. So pickings were scarce and the tide was high.
So I bought these interesting over-boots which had a half-life of 2 hours and sprung a leak in the middle of Piazza San Marco, leaving me to hop glamorously to the nearest duck board and dry land!
I love Venice in January. The streets are quiet, at night the mist comes down, the waters rise, an eerie silence pervades the canals and I can put on a little red cape and scare people all I want!
It’s assumed that Venice shuts down at about 9.30 in the evening, but there are little, late night bars tucked away all over Venice. So, just when you think everyone has snuck off back to Mestre, you can turn a corner and there it is, a bar glowing neon in a darkened alley way and a final cocktail to take the edge off the chilly night air, and cut through the mist.
I wonder is ‘Venice Mist’ the same as ‘Scotch Mist’, or can you get mist anywhere?
I prefer to arrive in Venice by train, but it was not to be this trip. I love the fact that you walk down the platform after ‘alighting’ from the train and step outside to be greeted by the Grand Canal, rather than Alan Clark (he of the dairies) in red trousers, hurtling past on a Boris Bike!
The next day I hopped aboard a train and headed for Bologna, Emanuele’s cooking and Florence for the Pitti Uomo Trade Fair.
Emanuele never ceases, never rests, he continues to produce consistently excellent food and an atmosphere and conviviality only matched by Issy at About Thyme, and Vash at the Cork and Bottle. It’s not only about the food, but about the people, the camaraderie, the conversations, not forgetting the food, time stands still, and the glass remains full.
I was working on next Winter’s collection, and what goodies I have in store for you will have to wait until next winter we have to get through summer first.
The summer stock is starting to arrive, and some interesting new developments are afoot. These I will outline in a following emails.
I followed this up with a day trip to Rome, for nefarious reasons, a long way to go for lunch, but I had my reasons.
I must admit, it was a struggle.
It followed a Champagne tasting with Vash, where Ayala and Bollinger flowed as if it were a mountain spring, and a 1.30 am finish was followed by a dash in a taxi to the airport at 4.30 am!
But breakfast Pietrolucci style and lunch at Edy, had me functioning on all twelve cylinders again. I’m now chanelling my inner Alan Clark, who as we all know should have been Foreign Secretary, if only he could have got Maggie to listen to him, sadly he was too busy fantasising about her driving a tank!
He’d have told those damn Europeans where to go, put a portcullis, a draw bridge and a moat (all on expenses) at the end of the Channel Tunnel and had this country back on it’s feet whilst doing donuts in his XK120 outside Fortnum and Mason.
Is that Mrs T in the passenger seat looking a trifle green?
On the Saturday night I headed for Hong Kong to look after my growing group of friends and clients there.
Once again home was The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and they do there very best to make it feel like home. So much like home, that the room had a dessert fridge, doesn’t everyone have one?
Now back on Terra Firma, I shall be adding further cities to my list, so if anyone requires my services in another location, I will entertain the thought!
More emails to follow, with lots of new stock.
Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.