everleaf aperitif verona

As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force our societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. This muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

Amber in colour, evidence of spritz and a slice of orange I half wonder if it some kind of white port cocktail, however, after a pleasing sip, I realised that it was no such thing. Savouring the bittersweet flavour, my mind wandered back over a decade or so to January in 2006 in Verona. 

Snapshot Verona

Trattoria Giovanni Rana verona opt

It was a blisteringly cold clear blue sky day in January. We walked about the city, in and out of the walls, paying our homage at the tomb of Juliette and admiring the splinters of light that shot through the buildings around the Piazza della Erbe, illuminating small clusters of ladies huddling pack-like beneath many kilograms of animal furs.

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The Martini Rosso cocktail on the Piazza Brá tasted apt, delicious and timeless. The funny daylight, bright and yet bled out of the colosseum before us as if we were before a worn-out giant postcard from the 1970’s.

Trattoria Giovanni Rana

It was tempting have another cocktail but we refrained and instead popped next door to the Trattoria di Giovanni Rana. What a fabulous lunch! It is documented here.

Back to the present. Oh how times of changed… I am enjoying this drink I know nothing about as the wind howls around the building. natalia informs me it is the non-alcoholic Everleaf Bittersweet Aperitif that has been in the fridge for months. I have been navigating my way around it diligently and now that I have discovered it and had a pleasing experience, I am full of admiration. Who knows, I think there may be time for second round.

 Retails for ~£18 from Sainsbury's and other retailers.

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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