What a summer that was! The sun shone her hardest, and we basked in it, but now it gives way to a cooler, softer light and to Autumn, a season in which vines are loaded and blessed with fruit and the sun conspires to ‘bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees, and fill all fruit with ripeness to the core’ as one John Keats wrote before his own seasons were cut untimely short.
It is the time of harvests and the promise of new wine and that is something we should always celebrate. Old favourite Gordon’s Wine Bar will furnish you with a tantalising collection of bottles and in these last days of warmth you might still sit out and catch the fine gold rays. You can’t touch Gordon’s for history, for a solidly reliable wine list, for dates (ah yes, here I have wooed diplomats and cads because, let me tell you, no one looks bad in the candlelight here). In Autumn you can eat more too, and the food at Gordon’s remains part of its legend – great platters of cheese, hunks of bread, sliced hams, pork pies. Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy every moment.
On Maiden Lane, newcomer The Lady of the Grapes champions female wine makers in particular and has a very fine collection of organic, biodynamic and natural wines. The enticing food menu, overseen by Victor Garvey, harks to a French and Spanish heritage and includes Pissaladière and heavenly Artichoke à la barigoule.
If you need a bit of sparkle in your life, head to another new kid on the block, Grays and Feather on Wellington Street, where you can try small batch Prosecco or rare fizz from Patagonia in elegant surroundings. Autumn is here, we carry on through the cycle of the year and I for one say: let’s raise a glass to things old and new, to the quiet beauty of the changing seasons.