Best Wine – Quinta de Pancas – cabernet sauvignon 1997. A new release of old stock from a now bankrupt estate just outside Lisbon. This tasted to Simon like a EUR100 bottle of old Bordeaux but cost only EUR 5. It probably won’t last a lot longer but right now seems perfect for claret lovers.
Best restaurant – Time out have purchased the old market in Lisbon and converted it into a range of specialist pop-up restaurants around the outsides and a common eating area in the middle. Try the stall which serves only steak tartare. It is a blinder – especially the Asian version. And eat it with a bottle of Quinta de Pancas from the Garrafeira in the same location.
Best film – The Visitors by Ragnar Knartsson. Not a general cinematic release but an amazing piece of video art currently showing at the Barbican. Truly awe inspiring.
Best Music – Michael Kiwanuka – a new soulster.
Best Book – I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. Simon is actually only half way through but it is a great thriller and explains how terrorists operate. Some parts are a bit ridiculous but who cares.