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The week in pictures

Jamie Oliver’s Australian restaurant group has gone into administration, as the celebrity chef continues to battle debts in relation to his operation in the UK.

It follows ongoing difficulties for the chef’s UK operation, which saw its Barbecoa restaurants fall into administration earlier this year, having already closed 18 branches of Jamie’s Italian in the past year.

Three students at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have been asked to stop brewing beer after their home brew enjoyed a whirlwind success among students on the campus.

According to a report by the Straits Times, the students sold more than 400 bottles, but their operation came to a halt after the university warned them that they were violating Singapore laws by brewing on NTU grounds and selling the beer.

Last weekend the drinks business hosted the annual City Wine Show in the heart of London’s financial district, presenting some 500 wines from all over the world to consumers and members of the trade. We were joined by the great and good from the oenophile industry, from Piper Heidsieck to Wines of Great Britain.

Editor in Chief Patrick Schmitt MW delighted the crowd with an expert masterclass on the world’s finest rosé wines, but one quirky bottle stole the show on the trade floor.

The Rubis chocolate wine — a fortified Tempranillo infused with cocoa, divided members of the trade who rocked up on Friday afternoon, but it was the runaway winner with consumers on Saturday who couldn’t get enough of those heady chocolate notes. Try it drizzled over a good quality vanilla ice-cream, and thank us later.

We may enjoy a glass of vino or two unperturbed, but it seems the same can’t be said for French president Emmanuel Macron. This week his habit of drinking a glass of wine with lunch and dinner came under fire from a leading epidemiologist who claims the politician needs to cut back.

Macron’s 14 glasses of wine a week, one with lunch and dinner each day, is unhealthy, claims French epidemiologist Catherine Hill. She has previously served on the Agence du Médicament’s scientific advisory board.

Macron opened up about his alcohol consumption at an agricultural fair last month. Hill said in an interview with France Info: “The president is ill-informed [about the health risks associated with drinking] and drinks too much.”

He’s also previously been criticised for his laissez faire attitudes towards alcohol regulation.

This week in cocktail porn: we were cordially invited to Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel on Tuesday to check out the new celebrity-themed cocktail menu, devised by head bartender Greg Almeida.

It’s a tongue-in-cheek take on the key players in the past 16 years of British history, with Ricky Gervais, David Attenborough, J.K. Rowling and Boris Johnson all getting a send-up through the medium of drink.

You would be amazed at quite how much fruit goes to waste in upscale hotels like the Rosewood. To combat this, the staff collect leftover bananas from all over the premises and use it to make banana wine, which forms one of the key components of the Branson-inspired Neck-it, along with a base of Guatemalan rum, Irish whiskey ages in sherry casks, and finished with a perfume-like spray of lemon.

Tuesday night was a big one for team db. Following a trip to check out the new serves at Scarfes Bar, we stumbled down to the Bloomsbury Hotel for the official opening of the The Coral Room, its opulent, country house-style bar with one of London’s largest collections of English Sparkling wine.

Team db are known trend-setters, so it came as no surprise that GBBO star Candice Brown and restauranteur Michel Roux Jr tagged along.

Speaking of opulent interiors, infamous members club Annabel’s has just completed an interior makeover which cost the owners an eye-watering £55 million.

The highlight of the Annabel’s redesign, which is set to become an Instagram sensation, is the ladies power room, a heavenly riot of pink marble. With a ceiling covered in pale pink silk flowers and brass blossom-shaped wall lights, the pink marble theme even stretches to the floor.

Frankly, all loos in London should look like this.

Scarfes isn’t the only one launching a fresh menu in time for summer cocktail season. Avenue St James threw a party to celebrate its new cocktail card rollout, which this year is dedicated to Asian and Latin American mythology and legends.

On Monday liqueur-maker Disorono delighted its workforce and members of the foodie world with a dinner to celebrate the launch of a new partnership with bar lab Crucible at Sartoria on Savile Row.

Disaronno brand ambassador Rod Eslamieh has been working with Crucible director Stu Bale and leading bartender Geoff Robinson on ways to enhance the perception of Disaronno’s versatility of flavours, which will see the bartender and brand ambassador collaborating on a series of masterclasses throughout the year.

On Tuesday Islington’s Thai Square had its third in a series of timely, summery cocktail masterclasses for consumers, and this time it was all about gin.

Resident mixologist Narongdet Chuaichunoo taught guests how to recreate the Clover Club, made wth Tanqueray Gin, syrup, fresh raspberry puree, lemon juice and egg white, and a classic Singapore sling, with gin, cherry brandy, strawberry liqueur, topped with soda and grenadine.

Finally… on Wednesday evening db caught up with Harrods head of wine Edward Gerard at the opening of the department store’s new drinks shop.

Among the 1,400 different wines was this TBA for £28k – the most expensive single bottle in the shop.

Although the fine wines were impressive, it was this car parked outside Harrods that proved the most striking thing of the night – a Lambo entirely covered in red Swarovski crystals.

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