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I went for a drink tonight with my friend Lucy who I haven’t seen for a ridiculously long time. Along with catching up on about a year of work and life and wedding, we talked blogs. Lucy has started her own superb blog about all things psychology at http://psychologymagpie.wordpress.com/ which is fantastically interesting and informative about lots of different topics. I was excusing my own lack of blogging due to absurd (self-imposed) wedding stuff and, albeit in a much kinder, more encouraging way, I was told to just get on with it. So I have.

Two pictures from New Years Eve. After last year worked out so very well (ending up engaged as we did) I’ve vowed to stay in every year with fish pie and champagne. I’m planning to extend the invitation in future years, but doing this for the second year running with just the two of us was completely heavenly. Even more heavenly due to the EXTRAORDINARY bottle of Charles Heidsieck NV champagne that I’d got on staff sale that we opened first. It was a bit of a bargain as this was old-label stock and it turned out to be a super-bargain as, even with non-vintage champagne, a bit of ageing is sometimes a really good thing. It was a rich, warm, honeyed, fruity elixir of a drink that reminded me to try and buy champagne then NOT DRINK IT for quite a while. Which is some kind of super-human endurance test.

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Cocktails at Rules. The cocktail bar at Rules is some kind of fantasy. Perhaps the fantasy of a wealthy, cultured American tourist who wants a bit of Olde Worlde London along with serious drinking pedigree, but also the fantasy of me, who wants a quiet, comfortable, un-hipstered place to drink proper cocktails in the middle of Covent Garden. Oh, and somewhere where I was ushered up to the upstairs bar with ‘I’m sure you know where you’re going, Madam.’. I had never been there before in my life, but surely the only thing better than being recognised as a regular is being MISTAKEN for a regular. Result.

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Wine (an Argentinian Malbec recommended superbly by the Sommelier) at Dean Street Townhouse. I don’t know what to say about Dean Street Townhouse as it was just so perfect I don’t know where to start. In fact, weirdly, the only thing which wasn’t brilliant was that was I didn’t want to eat every single thing on the menu, but equally that meant that decisions were pretty easy. So, again, a kind of perfection. To summarise: the lighting – perfect; the service – perfect; the bar/restaurant set-up – perfect; the table settings – perfect; the haddock souffle – perfect; the steak – perfect; the wine recommendations – perfect; seeing two A-list hollywood stars walk in as we were leaving – actually pretty cool. In my head it’s a really wintery cosy place, so I’m hoping that will cap the amount of time and money I spend there.

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Not strictly drinking, but the PBJ dessert at Spuntino that I shared with my sister that was so damn yummy I can’t hold back from a picture. There is a small carafe of a nice Northern Italian white somewhere in the picture to make it acceptable. Also, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that anyone under the age of 40 in a Russell Norman restaurant must be in want of a Hipstagrammed picture for their blog.
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A half-bottle I opened the other night. Yes, a half-bottle. I wanted something good, Andy wasn’t drinking wine, it was the perfect excuse and I loved it. I can’t remember how I ended up with this, but due to being a half it had already aged and mellowed quite a bit and was a real treat with its own built-in limiting factor.

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And here we are, tonight’s drink with Lucy. Tried to get her lovely burgundy cardigan in the shot, which was a very good choice for a lovely cosy local drink on a freezing winter night. And this is the sole reason behind tonight’s catch-up post, so a massive thumbs up to Lucy – and make sure you check out her blog

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