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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
21 Oct 2010

Nick's sister-in-law Sarah Barclay is organising a dinner at a very exciting new neighbourhood restaurant in Kentish Town, London NW5, on Tuesday Nov 9 in aid of the Camden Cold Weather Shelters*. I have chosen and will be presenting the wines, and the food will be cooked by chefs who have already won their spurs at Vinoteca and Acorn House respectively.

The Kentish Canteen opened only a month or two ago and has just received an almost unprecedented 10/10 rating from The Times' notoriously demanding restaurant critic Giles Coren. I suspect that if the ticket price had been decided upon after this rave review, it might have been higher. As it is, I think £47.50 for a three-course meal and five wines (a sum that includes a £30 donation to Camden Cold Weather Shelters) is a very good deal - especially in view of our recent article Wine events - the right price?.

It is only thanks to the generosity of Wendy Sinclair, the owner of the Kentish Canteen, who is providing this meal at cost, and Bibendum Wines of London NW1, who are very kindly donating the wines, that the ticket price can include such a substantial charitable donation. Those buying tickets are of course free to donate more.

For what I hope are easily understandable reasons, the wines have been chosen for the value and interest they offer rather than because they are famous and expensive. They are:

Chapel Down, Primrose Hill Brut NV England

Petit Papillon Grenache Blanc 2009 Vin de Pays d'Oc
Argento Pinot Grigio 2009 Mendoza, Argentina

Les Hauts d'Agly 2008 Côtes de Roussillon red
Estapor Venir 2007 Baja California, Mexico

I'm sure that an extremely jolly evening will be had by all in attendance.

For full details of this exciting new restaurant see

To book tickets or to find out more, see here.

*Camden Cold Weather Shelters is a homeless charity which has been running since 2005. It opens from 1 Nov to the end of March to feed and provide overnight shelter to nearly 70 homeless people per night in 12 churches in Camden. The project is almost entirely supported by volunteers who cook, make beds, talk to the 'guests', as they are called, and stay overnight at the shelter to make sure it runs smoothly. Almost half the guests are between 18 and 25, a mixture of British, Eastern Europeans and refugees. Most have been homeless for only a short time and the idea is to pick them up before they get dragged down and lose all confidence in themselves and their ability find work and/or a home. As well as providing shelter, those running the project give everyone referred to them a great deal of help, support and mentoring so that by the end of March, most - not all - have found a job and accommodation. They need to raise about £32,000 of their £48,687 budget for the forthcoming season.