Buy better, buy less. That appears to be the current commercial mantra. Enjoy less of what you like, as long as you are prepared to pay more than you normally would – is another way of approaching it. After the meat fiasco of the supermarkets earlier in the year, I noticed a number of emails and tweets from local farms positioning themselves as the reliable alternative. They realise they can’t compete on price, so pitch it as quality over quantity. You can trust us; you just can’t necessarily afford us – so buy less. It is, after all, what environmentalists have been lobbying us to do for some time now. Have non-meat meals every now and again. You never know you might enjoy it –
How many people like coffee art? If you don’t know what I am talking about, it’s when a barista takes their time to pour an image in to the top of your milky coffee – a fan, a heart, a leaf etc. How many of you think the experience adds to the, well, experience of drinking the coffee? Does a good barista, who can perform wonders with their wrists, actually make the coffee taste better? Or do you sometimes wish they would just hurry up and pour so you can get out of there? What difference does it make if they’re putting a lid on it? Coffee art is one of those things that if you go to a good coffee bar, you now expect
I’m sat in a pub. It’s the brew pub of Birrifico Lambrate. The place is packed. The music loud. Conversation is bouncing off the walls, the people – as though they are tuning forks – hitting a perfect note. It’s a great pub to sit in, selling a range of beers that have, thus far (four different styles) hit the spot; every time. The thing with these beers is that they are all five euros. That’s right. Five euros. Yet there are drinkers spilling out on to the street, firing beer, after beer, after beer down their necks – here in Italy – a country supposedly squeezing their economy tighter than the one back home. But then, does anyone baulk at the idea of paying
You meet them. You fall for them. You think you’ll never be able to live without them. And then, just like that, you let them go. They let you go! Holiday romances are strange, intoxicating relationships that can last a week; yet still live in the memories for a lifetime. I technically fell for Amy over two “holidays”. Firstly on a long weekend in Glastonbury; then in a hotel in Shirley, West Midlands. She on a training course, me hiding from the world. Thankfully our romance lasted in to the real world, but tonight, memories of another holiday romance came flooding back. I first fell in love with Tipopils in Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa, Rome. It was one of two bars I drank
I can hear you ask, what will you take away from this holiday? Is it wrong to say a love of a beer, of a bar – of the people who work in a beer shop and bar? Tipopils is great. Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa’ (MCSVAF) is absolutely fantastic. Yes you pay €4s a half but you do so knowing that every beer you buy is truly, out of this world – but of this world. Of the earth they grow the hops in, the malt in, that the yeast develops in – of the water (see, sometimes this blog is aligned) that flows right though it. This earth – our earth! Most of my real life friends don’t care much for beer.
The difficulty of comparing bar beer prices is that it is like comparing blood oranges and lemons. One is sweet, juicy and refreshing – whilst the other leaves a sharp, sour taste in your mouth. I love the North Bar Group in Leeds. If you ever find yourself in the city I call home, then do make your way to the flag ship, North Bar on New Briggate. The range and choice of beers makes it a regular favourite of beer drinkers and writers alike. Thing is – I’d love it more if the prices were a little more pocket friendly. And that’s where the comparison issue rears its ugly head. This week I have been drinking beer in both Bir e Fud and Ma
My mate Rob and I have one of those relationships. You know the sort. Where he is polite, informative and friendly – and I just take the piss. When I said I was going to Rome, Rob was the first to offer an itinerary of places to go – or at least, places to drink. There was no doubt part of him that assumed I would go to his preferred bars and snub nose him, electronically, via the medium of a tweet. But isn’t it great when a view and hype is totally justified? When a recommendation totally justifies the apprehension it might have been presented with? Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa’ is one of the best pubs/bars I have ever been to. Birrifico
I have an idea. I’ll call it an idea as I think I’ve overused the word dream on this site – especially when composing yet another whimsical post for you all to read. The idea is to park a Fiat 500 in the ever-so-unglamorous location of the underground car park in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Turin. We open a bottle of Prosecco and Aperol. I’ll pour two “smallish” glasses of Spritz, drink them with Amy, and once finished – pull out of the car park and head through the city towards the A4 Autostrade. From Turin, we will then zigzag our way from the top of Italy – down to a final destination of either Lecce, or the Isle of Sicily – depending on how adventurous
I can’t drink anymore. Not in the physical sense, where swallowing has had to have been replaced by a tube. No. My inability to drink stems largely from the fact that I seem to spend most of the day after a good night out, rushing in to bathrooms or bemoaning yet another – thumping headache. I first noticed that I’d lost the fine art of drinking shortly after Lauren was born. For some reason or other, I didn’t go through with the tradition of wetting the baby’s head; leaving it for a month or so before I ventured out to satisfy my thirst for a night on the beer. It’d been a couple of months since I had last been out, as I vowed to
I love a debate. The kind of debate I love the most is one born out of a campaign. Where a movement looks to change the way something is perceived and tries to generate interest through an impassioned stance. The latest movement to spark my interest (antagonistic nature?) came in the form of a twitter campaign to get the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen programme to showcase more beer matches with their food; rather than relying solely on wine as the “perfect” partner. The campaign appears to have started with a conversation, produced a complaint to Ofcom, and gathered a pace on twitter with general back slapping and encouragement – before finally taking over a hashtag for people to join in with the movement. And they did.