Picks and Pans Review: Downing St. Dish

updated 09/20/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/20/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

In his memoir, Britain's ex-PM Tony Blair chats about everything from royal valets to Bush's I.Q. Some highlights:

ON GEORGE W. BUSH

"He was very smart .... No one stumbles into that job."

ON DINING WITH THE QUEEN

At the traditional barbecue where Philip cooks, "they do the washing up... . The Queen asks if you've finished ... stacks the plates and goes off to the sink."

ON BALMORAL

A visit combined "the intriguing, the surreal and the utterly freaky... . The valet asked if he could fold my clothes and generally iron the underpants ... and so disconcerted me that when he then asked me if he could 'draw the bath,' I ... thought for a moment he wanted to sketch the damn thing."

ON DRINKING

"If you took the thing everyone always lies about-units per week-I was definitely at the outer limit. Stiff whiskey or G&T before dinner, couple of glasses of wine or even half a bottle with it ... . I had a limit. But I was aware it had become a prop."

From Our Partners