Match of the week | Venison cottage pie and a ‘lunchtime claret’

Match of the week

Venison cottage pie and a ‘lunchtime claret’

This week’s match is a blast from the past - a visit to the historic Rules restaurant in London’s Covent Garden where we tucked into the kind of food you’d have eaten 50 years ago - if not 100.

I hadn’t been for a long while but was inspired to book by a review in the Guardian by my colleague Marina O’Loughlin.

I was going to have steak and kidney pudding but saw this venison cottage pie being borne to another table adorned with an extravagant Elizabethan-style ruff and couldn’t resist it. It was richer than the usual beef version with shredded rather than minced meat and a wonderful golden topping that must have owed a good deal to butter and egg yolk.

The prices on the wine list are somewhat eye-watering (£15.95 for a glass of Joseph Perrier champagne!) so we made the wise decision to go with a carafe of Château le Pey cru bourgeois Médoc which they served in a rather splendid jug.

Coming from the excellent 2010 Bordeaux vintage it was deliciously ripe but still light and fragrant enough to be the perfect foil for the very rich pie - exactly the sort of wine that used to be referred to in the trade as a ‘lunchtime claret’.

The buffers at our next door table looked on approvingly (though were even more impressed by the Gin & It and White Lady we ordered to kick off our meal). Cocktails and claret are the way to go at Rules.

Oh, and Barsac which I can strongly recommend with a steamed syrup sponge. Yes, it was THAT kind of lunch . . .

If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website which is free to use please subscribe to my crowdfunder newsletter Eat This Drink That at

You may also enjoy …

Comments: 0 (Add)

Recent posts …

Never miss a post!

About FionaAbout FionaEvents and appearancesEvents and appearancesWork with meWork with me