En passant . . .

150 150 Rob McGibbon

Two very quick little tips.

Dinner last night at Cafe du Marche in Smithfields was, well, merveilleux. It was my first visit to its downstairs restaurant, Le Grenier. Four us. A bottle of Montagny 1er Cru helped us through some fine starters. Mine was faultless fish soup. Then my mate and I chomped like ravenous game reserve beasts through a spectacular, bloody cote de boeuf – it is made for two – with a bottle of Chateau Sarget St Julien 2000. The girls had skate wings and venison. Pear tart to finish for me. A duo on piano and double bass tinkled and plucked away sweetly in the background. A cosy venue on a freezing night. Immaculate service, no attitude and no needless frills. Allez!

Something I forgot to mention: the small but perfectly formed collection of Gwen John’s work is worth a squint at Browse and Darby in Mayfair. I went to the private view last week. Her light, pencil portraits and drawings – torn from pages of sketch pads she probably meant never to be exhibited – are like whispers from her mind. Her work is in short supply. It’s not exactly expensive, so why not drop in and buy something, if there’s anything left, that is.

In case you have been wondering, my first canvas is nearly finished and will be exhibited here soon. Thrilling, non?