Michael and I went to the Sailing and Cruising Association Laying Up Supper last night. There were about 130 people there for the meal, in the atmospheric Royal Horseguards Hotel. The meal was good quality and the staff were good. The red wine was a bit grim—which is what I’m blaming my headache on today!
Salmon and Leek Galette with Roast Tomato Dressing
Braised Rump of Lamb with Mixed Mediterranean Veg and Rissole Potatoes
Chocolate Truffle Tarte with Dark Chocolate Sauce
On our table: the crew of Astrea (Croatia): Kevin and Barry & Adam, Tony and James, David, Chris and Richard. After dinner, we had an entertaining speech from the commode and a prize giving and it was pleasing that Guy was recognised with an award for our little scrape in Southampton! The awards were followed by the Singing Seamen, featuring our very own Adam, top hat bobbing along. They were very entertaining and topical.
I was quite taken with the DJ: Tasty Tim
who then ran the disco till 1am. Great fun dancing in my kilt. Great to meet up with som many of the people we have sailed with over the past 3-4 years.
Before we knew it, it was 1am and time to battle our way across the strand to get back to St Pancras, to spend the night in St Albans with Barry and Adam.
Panto time already—this year at the ADC it’s the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The star of the show was Abi Tedder, with a great character and super comic timing. She played Frau Faberge a sex-obsessed cook, whose daugher was half rat after Faberge had had a fling with the rat king. It’s a tribute to Abi’s vocal range that I thought she was a male dame—until she proved otherwise when she jumped out of a pie dressed in a negligee.
Picture of Abi Tedder form the Facebook Page for the production.
Ben Kavanagh (who played the genie very well in last year’s panto) was good again as the Pied Piper with a wicked twinkle in his eye (and a tight pair of velour trousers). Catherine Harrison (Gretchen) has a lovely voice, and sang a beautiful solo. Tamara Astor was also good as Rudi and good with the audience. The writing was strong this year—great songs. A few bits could (happily) have been cut—the silent movie tribute in particular fell flat and Will Seaward‘s narration was hard to hear and follow (despite his fantastic powerful voice and the narration being recorded!). With a few tweaks here and there, 30 mins could have been cut from the production to make it punchier. The set was ambitious, and Abi and others entertained us through the various scene changes with great humour. I really enjoyed this. Good production cocktail in the bar this time—half price maragaritas.
From the ADC web site:
CUADC/Footlights presents The Pied Piper, by Mark Fiddaman, James Moran and Lucien Young
Imagine literally as many rats as you can imagine. Now imagine they’ve all brought a plus one. You’ve just imagined the situation in old Hamelin town. The bumbling Mayor and his lederhosened lackies are powerless to stop them, until an eccentric and mysterious trouble shooter, known as the Pied Piper, shows up.
The Piper amazes all with his rat removal skills. But when the Mayor refuses to stump up, the Piper takes his revenge by stealing all the town’s children! Hamlin’s only hope lies in a plucky, young hero and his ramshackle alliance, who together must brave the trail to the Pied Menace’s secret lair in Koppelberg Hill…
The ADC & Footlights Pantomime is the biggest, loudest and funnest show of the year, where Cambridge’s finest comedians, actors and musicians team up to blow a frankly ridiculous budget. So bring all the family along for ein über-Fest of REVELRY, ROMANCE and RODENTS.
Busy evening for the 4th Annual Cambridge Wine Show in the Guildhall in Ca,bridge, organised by Cambridge Wine Merchants. There were nine tables of wines—an almost bewildering, lovely selection!
- White Wine —New World
- White Wine—Austria, France & Italy
- Red Wine—France & Italy
- Red Wine—Spain & Portugal
- Red Wine—Argentina & Chile
- Red Wine—New World
- Sweet Wine & Sherry
- Port & Madeira
We probably spent too much time on the white wines: I never really explored the champagnes and didn’t touch the spirits at all.
- Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough: My favourite wine of the evening. Elderflower and grapefruit, spicy black pepper! 8/10 at £15
- Tahbilk Marsanne 2007 Nagambie Lake: I’m not familiar with marsanne and I really liked this, which was rich, buttery and zesty.
- Vina Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Aconcagua: A powerful green leaf nose and gooseberry flavour. Good but I prefered the elegance of the Greywacke.
- Gewürztraminer Classic 2008 Hugel.: A bit of lychee there, but thisfailed to deliver the floral fragrance and punch I was after. Disappointing for £15 in this line up.
- Pouilly Fumé 2009 Le Chant des Vignes, Joseph Mellot: £15. Lovely and refreshing. Elegant.
- Marburg Cuvée Réserve Grand Cru: £27 I liked this (others were less keen). Lovely, elegant champagne, on the lees and next door Krug apparently. The only champagne I tried tonight.
- Volnay 2005 Louis Jadot: Disappointing.
- Santenay 1st Cru Rouge ‘Clos Rousseau VV 2008 Bachey-Legros. The wine we all taled about. Powerful taste and smell of fenugreek! Really unusual and caused by ‘torrefaction’. The herby smell goes with time. I had to ask what torrefaction was and luckily Greg’s dad worked int he coffee business so he knew all about it. Michael really liked this wine.
- Mas Cal Demoura L’infidele 2007: Jammy and a bit too rich. Not for me.
- Cune Rioja Reserva 2006. Elegant, balanced.
- Vallejo Vina Pilar Tempranillo Roble 2008, Ribera del Duero: Dissapointing. A bit young perhaps. Lorna is a big fan of wines from gere and she didn’t like this.
- Errazuriz wild ferment pinot: £11. I love pinot noir and this gae me what I was after—a dirty nose. This is a lovely drinking wine and quite accessible.
- Bodega Renacer Enamore 2008 Lujan de Cuyo: £20 rich, herby. Tastes of port without the fortification.
- Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2009 Canberra: Rich and plumy. Heavy.
- Gonzalez Byass Apostoles Palo Cortado: £17 a half bottle. Wow! This was a wonderful dry sherry. I want more. Everyone who tried this thought it was good.
- Blandy’s 5 yr old Sercial Madeira: £14. Lovely interesting dry Madeira. Hint of sweetness on the lips. Genuinely interesting and an eye-opener for Madeira.
- Williams and Humbert Pedri Ximenex 12yo sherry: A nice sherry but a bit one-dimensional.
- Quinto do Noval Unfiltered LBV 2004: Rich and lovely. £19
So a great range of wines sampled over the course of the evening. There were several hundred people there and also a lovely cheese stall (cave-aged emmental, mmm!) Proceeds of the evening went to the Red Cross.
After the wine show it was on for a quick meal with Greg at Wagamamas—melamine crockery and an uninspiring menu left me disappointed. Then on for a pint at the Free Press (I have no idea why we did this, but it was fun!)
Passing By by Martin Sherman was produced as a late night play by at the ADC. Beautifully acted by Jacob Shephard (Toby) and Luka Krsljanin (Simon) . The characters in the play were interesting and individual and there were many, unconventional and convincing tender moments. Really enjoyable production and well worth waiting till 11pm for. The review by the TAB captures my feeling well.
From the ADC web site:
“You can’t count on anything. Last time I made love I whiplashed my neck.”
Passing By is a charming romantic comedy of an unlikely love between two men whose hearts pull them together as their lives pull them apart. The ADC presents an intimate and unmissable production of this rarely-performed, heart-warming gem from the pen of the award-winning Martin Sherman – writer of the inspirational Holocaust drama Bent and the mischievous motion picture Mrs Henderson Presents.
“One of the most radical plays ever written. Beautifully written. Quirky, funny, touching, romantic and revolutionary. It was as if a secret that had been kept for too long were finally being told. It overturned my life.
Perhaps it will do the same for others.” (Simon Callow)
Love isn’t forever. Love is just passing by.
Visited my sister and family in Rugby and stayed the night on Saturday. On Sunday morning Jessica went to play football on a bitterly cold day (she’s wearing shirt number 2). After we left her (gloves-less it turned out) on the pitch, we all went around the corner to The Old Royal Oak (a Hungry Horse) for a hearty meal in the warmth. We were back in time to shiver through the last 20 minutes of her match (she’s wearing shirt number 2) and were impressed by the stamina of the team, who all looked frozen through.
Michael and I drove over to stay the night in Rugby with Christine & Adam. The kids weren’t there when we arrived, which was a bit of a surprise: Jessica was on a sleepover and Lewis was at Xperience at Milton Keynes, on the snow slides in a rubber ring. I’m so used to them always being there with mum and dad.
It’s the first time we’ve stayed over for years—Rugby’s not very far from Cambridge really. It’s lovely to enjoy the night without having to think about the drive home (and to be able to polish off some wine!)
Today we’ll be heading over to Bicester after lunch for a birthday tea party for Tony.
Michael and I went to see an entertaining play produced by the Pembroke Players, held at the New Cellars in the lovely Pembroke College. The Scientifically Minded didn’t get off to a great start—from the very wet ink stamped on our hands (which ended up on Michael’s jumper) to the 15 minute delayed start of the performance. The production was entertaining, with good performances from Juliet Griffin and Nikki Moss. The play didn’t really seem, to go anywhere—the students rambled, and there was a bit of drama, some of the threads followed up, others not.
There were a few awkward discussions about suicide, pregnancy and then some fun comedy, carried off rather well by Simon Norman. The play ended and it felt a random moment to stop. Possibly the most impressive part of the production was the copy-editing of the promotion, which promised more than play delivered. The programme could have helped a little here by explaining the background of the playwright and some introduction to the form of the play. The boundaries were successfully blurred between stage and actuality—the college setting and us being about 20 years older than everyone else in the room 🙁 helped!
From the Pembroke Players web site:
A table, some chairs, and some lockers Watch as you are drawn into the hyper-realistic setting of The Scientifically Minded. In this student’s hangout, a group of under- and post-graduates discuss their lives, their loves and their futures as we are afforded a tantalising glimpse into their complex lives. Through their everyday, nonsensical conversations, we see moral and scientific issues taking root in the hearts of the students undertaking this research, as topics such as genetic manipulation and animal testing arise. This translation of Oriza Hirata‘s acclaimed play is a modern theatre experience that brings the audience into its starkly realistic world, blurring the boundaries between the stage and actuality. And as these students discuss their everyday situations and the problems of their work, they tackle fundamental ideas of what it means to live, from both a scientific and an immensely personal perspective.