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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

Week 5 - Le Manoir au Quatre Cents Livres

This week we joined Michael in the oppulent, yet breathtakingly tranquil hotel and restaurant, Le Manoir au Quatre Cents Livres. Situated just inside Oxon, Raymond Noir has restored this grade III listed manor house to its former beauty and way beyond. Adding herb and vegetable gardens, an avary, a small farm of goats for chevre and an almost medieval slaughter house for his signature milk-fed lamb and goose liver dishes. The Manoir also boasts a millionaire sommelier and a wine list to rival the Rothchild's - some say his vaulted cellar extends 4 miles into neighbouring Buckinghamshire. As usual Michael is already in full flow…
"....and I'll have a poke at the pan fried foie gras on an onion gallette with sauterne jus as a main. I understand it’s made to a traditional Alsacian recipe? It hasn’t actually been prepared by your peasants has it? I’ve nothing against the working class but you can’t take any chances with hygiene. Apparently, foot and mouth disease only affects animals with cloven hooves - my fourth ex-wife insists that I’m a prime candidate. I just thought I’d check. Oh and a bottle of the '91 Gerwertztramener. And another of the white Chateauneuf. I find innards very much a two-wine dish. One counteracts the taste of the food, the other counteracts the taste of the first wine.

I was invited this week, to the British premiere of ‘Miss Congeniality’. I went because it stars my old mate, Michael Caine. It was only once I got there that I discovered that also it features an appearance by the export that Canada would most like to forget – William Shatner. I’m sorry, but every film I’ve seen that features Mr Shitner has without exception been completely and utterly dreadful. And he has been completely and utterly dreadful in them. For some reason he seems to equate acting with "spacing – all – your – words – until – the end- of- a- sentence- whenyourunthemallintoonelongword" Awful. His wig is about as convincing as his performance.

Garcon! Where’s my bloody lamb What do you have to do? Hunt it down and kill it first? Skin, burn it and serve it man!...What!? Let's not get sentimental now! You've deprived the poor blighter of light its whole life whilst forcing ewe's milk down its gullet, I don't think it'll have any qualms about a hot oven death do you? And no I won't 'refrain from uttering profanities in the restaurant' because I couldn't give a monkey's arse about the philistines you call customers - just get a move on you crusty old twerp, I'm dying a death here!

The other problem with ‘Miss Congeniality’ is that at the start of the film Sandra Bullock is required to play a frumpy, unattractive policewoman who is transformed into a beauty queen by a rather camp image consultant played by Michael Caine. The image of Michael Caine doing camp is one that will haunt me for a long time to come. It was about as convincing as the time I caught my father wearing my mother’s underwear and he claimed that it was "only a comfort thing". Please stick to playing cockney wide boys from now on old boy.

Anyway as I was saying the problem with the film is that at no point does Sandra Bullock look either unattractive or frumpy. It’s ridiculous! She recently played an alcoholic. A condition during which, if the film is to be believed, the worst that will happen to you is that you’ll fall over quite a lot in an ‘amusing’ manner and giggle quite a lot. She falls over quite a lot in an ‘amusing’ manner in this film too. In fact, she’s so good at it that she fell over at the premiere too. Only she had my foot propelling her this time. That’ll teach her to inflict her awful brainless films on us. If anybody is going to make awful brainless films then it’s going to be us British. It’s what we do best.

Never mind the pissing presentation man, just push off let the dog see the rabbit!"

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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