In The Drink with Paul Antrobus

Any time is cider time

Boutique breweries get crafty. . .

It’s even a real alternative for a gourmet dinner or a sunny on board buffet – especially now the sun has finally arrived Given its farm-based heritage, it’s easy to believe cider was born to go with food, worthy of far more than just the ploughman’s lunch. Earlier this year, a cider-versus-wine-for-dinner challenge was held at the Thatchers Arms near ...

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Bénédictine and Calvados

in the drink

Two good reasons for Normandy landings The Normandy Baie de la Seine is a popular cruising ground for UK sailors. At its eastern end is Fécamp, an achievable start point after a passage from the Solent for a summer cruise – thence on to Honfleur, Deauville and beyond. Fécamp has a visitor-friendly marina, a fishing museum and a beach but, ...

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Ginger beers

in the drink

“Yaroo!” Billy Bunter would have cried. “Here’s the ginger beer.” And the Famous Five never went on an adventure without some. To get a flavour of what those original brews might have tasted like, try a bottle of Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer. Fentimans makes a range of mixers – and non-alcoholic ginger beer ‘botanically brewed’ in Northumberland to a traditional ...

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The rewards of island hopping

Something for the ladies

A guide to British brews worth leaving the mainland for There is an irrational extra attraction to things produced on small islands, seemingly conferring an inherent status for quality and taste. Scotland has the Western Isles, famous for single malts exported worldwide. England has the beer-brewing isles, usually not even exported off the islands and thus bestowed even greater ‘local ...

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Still All About Fizz!


June 2001, in the first edition of All At Sea, I wrote: “For our launch, we just have to follow nautical tradition and have some Champagne.” Despite today’s economic woes, Champagne, or at least a good fi zz, is still essential for a launch party, birthday, weddings or race-winning celebration. Prices have, of course, risen since 2001. Then we recommended ...

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Good green reason to sail for Portugal


Vinho Verde is a delicious, some say unique, wine with a lovely aroma and slight pétillance that makes it distinctive and highly regarded, especially for summer drinking. Medium in alcohol, it’s excellent with food. This delightful wine from Portugal is not often on the radar away from its home base in the Minho region to the north of Porto, even ...

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Don’t be fooled… it really is English

English Whiskey

I KNOW it’s January, not April 1, but English whisky exists. It has been maturing in oak barrels since 2006 and since 2010 the first sales of legitimate English three-year-old whisky are happening. And why not? There is Welsh, French, Irish, Scottish, so no reason not to have ‘English’. Well done the English Whisky Co of St George’s Distillery, Roudham, ...

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Sweet taste for pudding

In The Drink - Wines

SPECIAL feasts feature multi-course menus when the wines change to match each one, including the dessert. ‘Pudding’ wines are sweet and generally fortified with added brandy to raise the alcoholic level above 14 per cent abv. The rule of thumb is the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with. It is costly to make and pricey ...

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Time to get a Proper Job

In The Drink - All At Sea

If you are sailing back from Brittany, where I hope you will have tasted Ar-Men bottle-conditioned ale (All at Sea June) you may perhaps make landfall at Falmouth or Fowey for Falmouth Week 7-14 August. If you do, many local Cornish ales, which are also bottle-conditioned specialities, await you, seemingly indicating a revival of the genre over here. Plus real ...

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