Crab pic

Absolutely Crabulous: A crawsome party.

Fancy Crab | 92 Wigmore St | W1U 3RD
Wednesday, September 12th

You’ve got to be quite daring to open a restaurant serving one thing on the menu.  Rendezvous being a daresome crew were intrigued enough about swanky Marylebone eatery Fancy Crab that we decided to create an event for our fun-loving guests centred around the supreme ruler of this crustacean space; the noble Red King Crab.

Fancy Crab on Wigmore Street is just minutes away from Bond Street station and a fantastic spot to drop into for lunch, dinner or a snifter and a snack.  We were side-shuffled away to a private room tucked away under the main restaurant, with its own private bar and plenty of booths to dive (see what I did there) into for a sit down.

If guests, like me, were unfamiliar with the giant Red King Crab, fear not as we were treated to an awesome crab experience. Apparently, these fancy crabs are caught off the north coast of Russia, boiled and immediately frozen for maximum freshness.  Fancy Crab’s head chef presented us with an enormous crab – I suspect with a leg length of 30 cm – however I was informed that this was merely a youngster as they can grow to five feet across – yikes!  The leg meat is the whole point and the sweetest of them all, the Hermes of the shellfish world.

The monster crab was cut up in front of us (with a few legs that had been prepared earlier) aided and embellished by beautiful young assistant Lou Lou who keenly deciphered the chef’s Russian to bonkers English – well not really but never let a good story get in the way of a very good story.

Lou Lou being ringside to the crab show handed me a wafer of crab meat and yowser did I get an unexpected taste bud jolt.  I’ve been to gin tastings and still not liked gin, whisky tastings and still not liked whisky.  Red King Crab tasting …..and yabba dabba ding dong – I’m hook, line and sinkered.  A taste bomb like no other. Date nights do you hear me, I want to go back to Crabulous!

Thank you Evgenia and Luis for looking after us so well and for all your delicious canapes.  We really appreciated the wonderful goodie bags including crab bibs – what fun!

Louse with Cows & Co Nanny McBrie

The football, the art, the cheese and the wine lovers.

3rd July 2018

Wine and cheese. So far, not so different.  Wine and cheese on a stonkingly warm summer evening in the middle of the football world cup and on the night that England was set to play Columbia – now you’ve got our attention.  What on earth happened you say – did any men turn up?

As it happens our chaps are rather partial to a spot of wine and cheese.  And our ladies by perfect contrast are rather partial to a spot of football.  Who was leading the charge to watch up football at a nearby pub you ask…the ladies of course.

And what a fully-charged evening we all had.  It was another sell-out event and a few people cancelling in favour of the footie didn’t faze us, we had a couple on the bench ready to take available ticket positions.  Our partygoers were on even kookier form that ever.  Balmy nights tend to do that to us and who am I to complain – you’ll never see me happier than in a room full of characters.

Character Numero Uno was quietly charming wine buff host Stuart George, who opened the proceedings wowing us with stories of his fine and rare wine business Vins Extraordinaires’ home – the gorgeous 19th Century Townhouse at 50 Brook Street, dead opposite Claridge’s.  He circled back later in the evening with another vintage for a blind tasting of what we all assumed would be table wine but was in fact a rare, and no longer in production, port – Gould Campbell 1994. You didn’t fool us Stuart – we guessed it was port all along, even if we didn’t get that it was 24 years old.  Didn’t we, our budding Oz Clarkes!

Extraordinary vineyard owners Tim and Vaughan Pearson turned up to show us what a dream of creating a vineyard in South Africa looks like.  A labour of love for them was love in a glass for us.  A Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay that tasted more like a Chablis, an oaked Chardonnay, a gorgeous Pinot Noir, and a perfect cheese pairing Syrah.  Vaughan was the conveyor of imbibing knowledge and imbibe on that knowledge we did. So full of tips and stories was Vaughan that she held our attention for an inordinately long time, though with well-received pauses for football score up dates.  She had us eating, or should we say drinking, out of her hand.   Tim was busy pouring wines and imparting his wine knowledge and cheeky tales and their daughter Kim – a Harley Street nutritionist – kept us all chuckling at the entrance to 50 Brook Street as the procession of football lovers hopped back and forth from pub to venue like naughty school kids.

Now we mustn’t forget the Grand Fromage. Stuart Maclennan from Cows & Co talked us through his wonderful project of Scottish cheeses with a twist, each one more delicious than the last.  Louise and I fell in love with Nanny McBrie – a gorgeous goats cheese that tastes more like a triple cream sheep’s cheese.  I suspect if there was left over cheese on the night Nanny McBrie was not one of them!

The backdrop was Shtager Gallery’s stunning exhibition.  Already running the previous week when we stopped into Brook Street to fine-tune details, we asked gallerist Marina Shtager if it could be extended just so all of you cheese, wine and art lovers could experience the whole shebang!

So thank you Vins Extraordinaires, Seven Springs and Cows & Co.   There were special packs of discounted wine and cheese on the night – so if you would like to taste for yourselves what we’ve all been enthusing about  Follow this link.