Aug 04


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 325 views


As I may have mentioned before, I’m less than pleased at Morrison’s takeover of Safeway. This is not to praise the latter chain, it was a mediocre supermarket at best, and horrifically overpriced; and this is also not to say that I’m a big fan of supermarkets either. But leaving aside all the anti-supermarket arguments for a second it’s a sad fact that in some places (such as here in Ormskirk) they’re all you’ve got when it comes to buying wine.

The problem is that, with the honourable exception of waitrose (not a chain in great evidence round these parts) safeway was the only supermarket with an interesting list. Their buyers did a pretty good job, certainly taking far more risks than any of the other major players. It’s the only supermarket I’ve ever seen a Gruner Veltliner on sale in, for example. The aisle at Morrison’s conversely is a depressing affair, stocked almost entirely with heavily discounted brands or worrying 2.99 “Italian Red”‘s. I walked up and down it for a good ten minutes, and didn’t see anything I remotely wanted to buy. The high street just dumbed down a little more, and if I see one more bottle of Wolf Blass whatever, I think I may cry.

Aug 04

Thank you, Wales

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 184 views

Thank you, Wales

One of the only, in fact, now I come to think of it, the ONLY good thing about our local Safeways transition to a Morrisons is that they have started stocking laver bread. So that’s what I had yesterday. On toast. With cockles and cheese. Thank you, Wales. Thank you very much.

Jul 04

If you should find yourself in Liverpool, and in posession of a thirst, can I please recommend  

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 264 views

If you should find yourself in Liverpool, and in posession of a thirst, can I please recommend  this pub. My head hurts, btw.

Jul 04

Small joy

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 302 views

Small joy
one of the upsides of this job is that, late at night, when the last customers have left grumbling about taxis, and all the staff have gone home, I have a catering standard kitchen to play with, so tomight I fried off some duck with chilli and ginger, whilst using the combi to hard-bake some noodles with stock and chorizo, to be eaten at the bar whilst reading a book of John Ashbery’s poems, drinking a damn fine medoc and reflecting that , you know, it’s not such a bad old life.

Jul 04

I care immensely about my job

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 248 views

I care immensely about my job, I put a lot of thought and effort into it, particularly the wine list. It’s taken a lot of trial and error but I think I have a list which strikes a good balance between decent value, choice and one or two absolute blockbusters if you feel like splashing out. Therefore it pains me when customers insist on things like having their wine chilled to such a degree that you can’t taste a bloody thing. There’s one regular in particular who will ALWAYS say “It will be chilled won’t it? You know I like my wine chilled” with such bleating insistence that one longs to scream look, I don’t keep it in the oven for God’s sake.

Oh my but revenge was sweet tonight. Her table ordered two bottles, and I carried them over. She looked up “It is chilled isn’t it?”

“Absolutely” I replied. She reached out a hand and felt a bottle.

“Oh no” she said, “that’s not chilled at all.” I looked at the bottle she’d felt and my heart soared with joy.

“That’s because it’s red, madam.”

Jul 04

How best to say hello?

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 241 views

best to say hello?

I work in a restaurant. It’s an okay sort of place, not much in the way of bells and whistles; there will be no Michelin star forthcoming, but we do knock out a jolly nice leg of lamb. To put it another way, whilst I am not well versed in the arts of shielding celebrities from paparazzi, I am a dab hand at maintaining a smiling demeanour in the face of an insistent complainer who is, when it comes right down to it really only holding out for free chips.

I’m also somewhat fond of cooking. And perhaps overly fond of drinking. I do both with a moderate degree of ability, I’ve even been known to write about it from time to time.

All of which is a very long winded way of saying hello. I was surprised to receive an invitation to write on here, and not a little pleased; and also not a little unsure as to what to actually write, but I thought it’d be polite to say hello first. So, anyway, hi. I’m Matt.

Matt Fallaize.