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Stars of the Layon at RSJ, 2010

The double-decker bus pulled up just south of Blackfriars Bridge, and having hopped and skipped down the stairs from the top deck I alighted, and quickly dived for cover under the perspex roof of the bus-stop shelter. The few scars of slashing rain that I had seen appear on the windows of the top deck had heralded a dramatic downpour, and having travelled unencumbered by anything so useful as an umbrella I decided discretion was the better part of valour. Or to put it another way I was content to hide under a London Transport bus shelter, for the moment at least, rather than lose an unnecessary battle with a mean-spirited storm. And it was a wise decision; within a minute or two the grey clouds overhead flexed their muscles and unleashed a deluge of monsoon proportions.

Stars of the Layon at RSJ, 2010

Not to worry; under the roof of the shelter I was at least dry, and this hopefully temporary interruption of my journey gave me a moment to pause and reflect on my day so far, and the reason for me being in London once again. Yet another early start and a journey down the east coast had delivered me from Edinburgh’s Waverley to London’s King’s Cross station, and thanks to a drivers’ strike on the London Underground it was the aforementioned bus that had carried me to my present position. Why? In order to reach Nigel Wilkinson’s RSJ restaurant on Coin Street, barely five minutes walk from where I now stood, for a tasting and lunch showcasing the wines of three of Anjou’s top vignerons. The tasting certainly promised some vinous excitement, and whatever obstacles the weather and the trade unions might be throwing in my way, I felt this was certainly a trip worth making.

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