Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Legend of Jägermeister

In Food & Drink on 8 November 2010 at 15:12

There has been a recent massive revival in the sales of a seventy-four-year-old German herbal liqueur that has been adopted by young trend setters who have taken to ordering in the drink mixed with Coca-Cola. The trend has become instrumental in specialised bars being opened known as Jägermeister lounges where young people gather to hear the music of their favourite bands. Read the rest of this entry »

Château Lafite Sets New Record in Hong Kong

In Food & Drink, Wine on 7 November 2010 at 13:47

At a recent Sotheby’s auction held at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong several wine buying records were shattered. Three bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1869 were snapped up for HK$1.8m (£143,474) each in a sale that brought in HK$5.4 million (£430,422). Two other bottles of Lafite went for HK$1m (£79,707.55) each including bottles of 1869, 1870 and 1899 vintage.

The Chinese are becoming avid collectors of rare classic wines and they are more than willing to pay record prices to get what they want. This was borne out by this auction, the eight in a series of wine sales this year in the former Crown Colony being a complete sell out and bidding far surpassed the estimates of between HK$40,000-60,000. The three bottles of Lafite set a new world record for the most expensive individual bottles ever sold at auction. The previous record, also for a Château Lafite, was for a 1787 vintage that was sold at Christie’s in London in 1985had been engraved with the initials of President Thomas Jefferson and was bought by publisher Malcolm Forbes for £105,000 (US$168,000).

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 v...

Image via Wikipedia

Asian collectors are forcing prices of wines ever higher. But on this occasion the auspicious number eight (pinyin in Cantonese) that is associated with wealth and fortune by the Chinese probably had a major influence on the sale prices. It is interesting that the 2008 Lafite carries the Chinese character for eight on the label and this had led to a growing interest in this particular vintage and a case rose in price from US$14,458 to $20,884 at the end of October. This has not meant there has been no interest in the 2009 vintage with prices soaring to over US$24,000 a case.

How much will you bid for my undrinkable bottle of Lambrusco?

Broken Britain is Progressing

In Books, Books by Robert Bluffield, Broken Britain, Government, Politics, Social History, State of the Nation on 2 November 2010 at 17:55

Although the nation may not be showing too many signs of progressing, the same cannot be said for my new book.

Following the success of ‘Imperial Airways: The Birth of the British Airline Industry 1914-1940′ published in October 2010 by Ian Allan, this time I have altered track to write about another of my interests; politics in a social history context. The new book currently has a working title ‘BROKEN BRITAIN IN THE 21st CENTURY – The First Decade’ although this may subsequently change. The manuscript is well on the way to completion and I will soon be looking for an agent to assist me with finding a suitable publisher.

I have also launched a brand new blog to solicit comments on subjects readers may feel should be discussed in the book.  I do hope you will join me in discussing the major issues such as the NHS, the running of the railways, criminal justice, education, defence as well as some of the minor irritations that are affecting our lives.

Where to Chill Out in Oxfordshire

In Food & Drink, Hotels, Restaurant Reviews on 2 November 2010 at 17:07

We had the privilege of spending a night at a wonderful boutique hotel owned by Anthony and Peta Lloyd, a delightful couple. Set in 12 acres of well tended grounds in the Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire at Kingston Bagpuize, the Fallowfields Country House Hotel is very close to Oxford and approximately 50 minutes from Heathrow. Fallowfields is the perfect venue for weddings, conferences, parties and is exceptional for short breaks for anyone who enjoys a cosy ambience, home comforts, quality service from hospitable staff and perhaps the most comfortable hotel beds you will find anywhere. The hotel is passionate about providing the best English produce, from the hotel farm or sourced locally whenever possible. Fallowfields own pigs, Dexter cattle, chickens and quail supply much of what is eaten in the quintessential English restaurant is most of the seasonal produce is grown in the magnificent vegetable gardens and rare apple orchards. There is also an active falconry within the beautiful grounds. The cuisine is exceptionally fresh and creatively presented on slate plates; the wine list is particularly imaginative and individual, steering clear of the usual mass production vineyard labels that unfortunately permeate the lists of far too many hotels and restaurants. If you like to enjoy relaxing over a drink or three in front of an open log fire; prefer friendly informal family owned hotels to the impersonal chains, and feel the need to be pampered – then Fallowfields is definitely for you. I thoroughly recommend that you spend a few nights, visit the restaurant or pop in for afternoon tea. You will be pleasantly impressed by the experience.