For those that follow my facebook page you will know that I have been banging on about minimising, getting rid of ‘stuff’ and having experiences instead. Read that as you will but in my case I have been asking for meals out as birthday and Christmas presents. I love food as you know and if I had to pay for every meal I reviewed on here, well it would be a tiny list. I am fortunate that I am often comped but my view is that if I am doing a review I should always be prepared to pay, blogging not blagging (so there Jay Rayner). Every time I am comped or given a decent discount it enables me to do another review sooner but it will not influence my blog.

I am incredibly fortunate that there are many times that I am asked to do a review and am comped which is very generous but if I just want to do a review without being asked then I am always prepared to pay. On top of that my radio interviews with chefs/patrons/owners of good pubs and restaurants cost nothing as I don’t need to eat and it enables a wide audience to find out what is happening with menu or staff changes or future ideas locally. Of course eating helps but is not necessary so feel free to contact me if you know of a great place that could make a great interview.

This is all because of my growing belief that the things that matter are the times we share not the things that we accumulate that fill up our life and homes and detract from spending important times with family and friends. To my mind that is always best enjoyed with good food and where better than the Vineyard. Welcoming, beautiful, delicious and luxurious. When you think about the fund times when you were a child wasn’t it more about times together, holidays, days out, picnics with family, friends and great food.

I was very fortunate that, it being a special occasion for me I begged for some canapes, indeed I could have an entire meal consisting entirely of canapés, particularly from The Vineyard, and was lucky enough to have some. When we arrived we ordered drinks and were brought delicious olives and nuts which made me happyish. Then ……….


 This is what was presented to us, guess where the wine comes from? We are very lucky to have Sir Peter Michael in West Berkshire for a lot of reasons but today it was for employing Daniel Galmiche and his team for creating the best canapés ever. I could have done cartwheels in the bar except it may have been considered unseemly. Totally warranted though.


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Ok here is a rough idea of what I ate, they very kindly provided two of everything otherwise Tony would be terribly sad and hungry.

We had veloute, celeriac if I remember rightly, delicious and completely showing the sign of a great veloute, where you wish you had a huge trough of it to snuffle in. Then there was a prawn ceviche, tangy, herby with the freshest prawns. Next was the most amazing minced beef on a parmesan crisp, completely new combination of tastes for me and irresistible. Finally a skewer of heirloom tomatoes which was nice although overpowered by the deliciousness of the other items on offer.

IMG_3017Arty view of canapes


Tony, donator of this wonderful experience


IMG_3024Sweet onion veloute, fois gras, pickled red onion. Delicious

IMG_3025Brixham Lemon Sole, shellfish emulsion, pak choi salad, cockles

IMG_3030Saddle of Cornish marsh lamb



Corn fed chicken, endive, toasted cauliflower, collonata


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 White chocolate and passion fruit terrine, stunning



IMG_3036Petit fours beautifully presented


 My garden oven so far, I am living in hope that it will be completed before the end of summer, does anyone have a spare?

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