Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Na Zdrowie

Well, we bowled up for Vodka University in Harvey Nicks on Monday and it was absolutely great.

I've been surprised to find that - with the exception of Zubrowka which you can pick up in Sainsburys and the post office in Colliers Wood - other Polish vodkas are elusive. (Which is odd as Zubrowka - as an anti coagulant and mild hallucinogenic - is not at first glance the most respectable of Polish offerings.)

It was among the sixteen vodkas that we tasted, but we also got a chance to sample three other Polish brands; Belvedere (sic), Wyborowa, and Luksusowa.

Until fairly recently, vodka was confined to the Poles, the Russians and the Scandinavians. From my brief experience I would say that Russian vodka is all about alcohol, Scandinavian vodka is about pretending not to be alcohol, but Polish Vodka is far richer, stressing texture and weight. I intend to continue my pursuit of it.

The Fifth Floor Restaurant put on a meal for the graduates of the Vodka University that we took up at £39.50 for three courses and unlimited Harvey Nichols own label wine. Memories after that as you can imagine are hazy.

There is one peripheral incident that may be worth remembering. On a trip to the loo I noticed a bloke in an eccentric hat at the bar. On closer inspection this turned out to be Chris Evans in the centre of a sycophantic entourage. He really struck me as an arse ; drawing attention to himself as the only person in the building with a covered head which I bet if challenged he'd claim was camouflage.

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