On Its Own Merrett

If there was ever a week that screamed "gym membership" this is the week. To be swiftly followed by the week after next.

And that's probably as good a time as any to mention the forthcoming Scottish trip. On March 6th, I'm taking delivery of a BMW 730d for review purposes. That sadly means I have to give it back some 10 days later but also means that I get to travel in style to Wick, on the North Coast of Scotland... via several luxury hotels and a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants. It's not, it must be said, the toughest assignment I've ever been given. Assuming that the several luxury hotels have wifi, I'll be blogging about it as I go so stand by for a blow-by-blow commentary. Until, that is, I'm too fat to sit at a desk...

Sadly tonight's gathering got canned but that's probably just as well. Tomorrow is pizza night with some soon-to-be-hitched friends, Thursday is the eagerly-anticipated Dine With Dos Hermanos event and then Friday sees the Family Lambshank hit The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu... and then driving to Cotswold House for dinner on the Saturday. Dear David Lloyd Centre: I'll be ready to sign up by Monday. If I can waddle out of the house.

Just to add to the belt-threatening week, last night I was part of a little posse that hit Paul Merrett's new venture, The Victoria, down in Sheen. The overall impression? It's nice. Given Paul's reputation I was perhaps expecting a little more although given the thinking behind this pub venture, perhaps I was also expecting a little less. Or, more accurately, something less fancy and more "pub grubby". While everything we sampled was well executed - and the starting taster of sashimi in a shallot & chilli crunch was several notches above that - what could have been a very fine pub-eating experience came across as a perfectly decent restaurant. Just like many hundreds of other perfectly decent restaurants out there. Still, it's relatively early days and the history suggests Paul will find his feet. The chips, while a little inconsistent, were pretty good though, particularly when dipped in Putney Sauce.


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