The Steeple Times asks head sommelier of The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant Louise Gordon: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Family, friends and the aim of one day owning my own business.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Per Ardua ad Astra” – “Through Adversity to the Stars”. Both my parents are ex-RAF so it is the first motto that I learnt and the one that has stuck with me.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
I think it is entirely unacceptable for footballers to be paid obscene amounts of money every week for kicking a ball around a field when so many people these days are struggling to get by.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Having enough time to spend with friends and family.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
The health and happiness of my friends and family, though I’m not sure my overdraft would buy very much.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
I would like it to be easier for first time buyers to get on the property ladder but other than that, I leave the banking crisis to people far smarter than I.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
The overuse and misuse of the word ‘like’ supremely irritates me. If you can’t like, form like, a sentence without like, excessively like, using the word like, then you like, shouldn’t speak like, at all. Arghhhh!
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I believe charity begins anywhere it is needed, but personally I support the RNLI, the Royal British Legion and I have also just been introduced by our executive chef to a great charity called the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
They are great for playing Scrabble whilst avoiding eye contact with other commuters on the rush hour train, but should always be turned off in restaurants and polite society.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Apart from my friends and family, Queen Elizabeth II, Odette Pol-Roger, Emily Wilding Davison, Sarah Millican, Oscar Wilde and Orlando Bloom (for a bit of guy-candy).
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
A full roast dinner with all the trimmings followed by apple pie with custard and a cup of ridiculously thick hot chocolate from a great little place I once found in Venice. I would eat it anywhere as long as I could be surrounded by my loved ones.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
It is always cocktail hour somewhere. As long as you’re not driving a car, in charge of small children or operating heavy machinery it’s perfectly acceptable to drink whenever you choose.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A cup of Earl Grey. You were expecting me to say wine, weren’t you?
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
My friend Sarah and her husband Nick as they are excellent cooks and always have copious amounts of really good booze. Their parties are fun, full of interesting people, usually go on all night and are generally quite epic.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My 3-year old niece, Alex. She has yet to be jaded by life and is hysterically funny.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Spending a Sunday with my best friend. I don’t feel guilty about it at all, it’s just a pleasure.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
Probably something simple and classic like a rose. Boring I know.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Mini Mayfair. One from back in the day when Minis were actually mini, as they are small, nippy and easy to park.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I have a secret urge to be an excellent gardener, but am unable to keep even the hardiest of houseplants alive.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A three piece canvas that I could not get to hang straight and evenly apart, no matter how much I tried. It annoyed me so much that I cleared the mantelpiece and stood it on there instead.
Louise Gordon is one of the UK’s leading female sommeliers and is head sommelier at The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant. She was previously the head sommelier and wine buyer at Clos Maggiore and has also worked at Harvey Nichols’ Prism Bar and The Westbury Hotel.
The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant, Jumeirah Carlton Tower On Cadogan Place, London, SW1X 9PY. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7858 7250. Website: http://www.theribroom.co.uk
Louise Gordon runs monthly wine club sessions at The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant. For more information, got to: http://www.theribroom.co.uk/News–Reviews/wineclub