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The week in pictures

db popped in to Selfridges this week for a perusal of its new wine shop in the basement, where we were delighted to find the latest in a long line of playful packaging innovations from Veuve Clicquot. The Champagne house’s latest trick is housing bottles of its Brut NV in sardine tins.

db was lucky enough to scale Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, this week, and be given a tour of new restaurant Oblix on the 32nd floor – the brainchild of Zuma founder Rainer Becker. Sommelier for the Zuma restaurant group Alessandro Marchesan (left) and head bartender for the group James Shearer were on hand to talk us through the wine and cocktails respectively, one of which is served with a feather.

One of Oblix’s biggest draws is the view it affords across London, taking in St Paul’s cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Gherkin and the London Eye – breathtaking.

Sliders were the order of the day yesterday, when db was asked to judge in the Ultimate Burger for Napa Cabernet tasting at American steakhouse The Palm in Sloane Square. With five sliders, from the Truffle Shuffle to the SW1 Burger vying for the title, in the end it was the Bozzi Burger, made with 100% ground prime beef, crispy onions, gouda and BBQ sauce that proved the best match for the likes of Staglin 2008, Darioush 2007 and Robert Mondavi 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Among the judges at the Ultimate Burger competition were food and wine writers Fiona Beckett and Fiona Sims, and MW student Richard Hemming.

Jimmy Smith, owner and director of the West London Wine School, appears taken by surprise – possibly by the quality of cava on offer at the launch of new bar Copa de Cava in Blackfriars, the brainchild of Richard Bigg of the Camino restaurant group, who is keen to do for the unsung Spanish sparkler what he did for Sherry at Bar Pepito.

Möet & Chandon features heavily in the latest Hollywood blockbuster “The Great Gatsby” and was a big draw at the film’s party in Cannes this week.

The winner of the London heat of the Lillet Twisted Vesper Cocktail Competition, which was held at Bar Américain, Brasserie Zédel, was Calum Anderson from The Kenilworth Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwickshire with his cocktail Rhuby Summers. 

Jake Burger of The Portobello Star in Notting Hill won £1,000 and a 21-year-old bottle of El Dorado Rum after being named the overall winner in this year’s Coco Lopez Cocktail Challenge.

The Scotch Whisky Experience marked 25 years in Scotland’s capital.  To mark the occasion, the whisky visitor attraction was presented with a specially designed commemorative Quaich, from Edinburgh jeweller and silver-smith, Hamilton & Inches. The venue’s 25 year old commemorative blend also went on sale for the first time on Friday.

Villa Maria’s UK Brand Manager, Fiona Mottershaw, demonstrates the dangerous side of being the Wine Partner to BAFTA as she nearly gets exterminated on the red carpet at the TV Awards which took place on Sunday 12th May.

Imelda Staunton, OBE, signs the Taittinger Methuselah backstage at Royal Festival Hall during the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards.

Former NBA basketball star Speedy Claxton celebrates his birthday in style with a bottle of Armand de Brignac Champagne, D’Usse Cognac and a very big cigar.

Axel Heinz, winemaker at Super Tuscan Ornellaia, presented a vertical tasting back to 1990 as part of the Bolgheri estate’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

In keeping with Ornellaia’s history of artistic collaborations, the tasting took place against the backdrop of Sotheby’s impressive art collection.

Prince Harry concluded his tour of the US by playing in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Prince scored the winning goal for his Sentebale team in the match.

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