(video) Simon Hopkinson chatting about food and wine at the Exeter Magdalen Chapter Hotel

Jul 23, 12 (video) Simon Hopkinson chatting about food and wine at the Exeter Magdalen Chapter Hotel

Posted by in Food and Wine, Hotels and Spas, Videos

Simon Hopkinson , well know British chef, founder of Bibendum restaurant in London, and author of several cookbook also takes time out to consult for the Chapter Hotel chain here in the UK. I caught up with Simon at the newest addition to Chapter, the Madgdalen Chapter Hotel in Exeter to talk about his food and wine philosophy as well as the cuisine of the Chapter Hotels. I also spent the weekend in Exeter at the Magdalen and will be writing about it very soon… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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The Ashdown Park Hotel and the Bluebell Railway, a weekend in the English countryside

I do love to get out into the English countryside. Living and working in London, my friends and I are often on the first flight off this island when we have holiday time, dreaming of luxury chalets or beach huts,  but there are plenty of wonderful places to visit here. I know I may be sounding like a Visit Britain advert but it is true and many places and events are literally an hour’s train ride away from the Big Smoke. Which is how I found myself at the picturesque manor of Ashdown Park in Sussex. I was there to attend the Sussex Food and Wine Festival at the Bluebell Railway, itself a tourist attraction in it’s own right. The Bluebell Railway is one of the last standard gauge passenger railways left in England. Back  in the day, the railway used to run from Brighton to London  but nowadays it runs steam engine train rides around the local area.  The railway even has a Pullman carriage which was part of the original Orient Express where you can take high tea on the weekends. The weekend I was there, the Ashdown Park Hotel was catering the tea in the Pullman but they have a slew of options to choose from on the regular steam train service. Whilst there, I sampled the English sparkling wines of Bolney Estate as well as a newcomer (at least to me anyway) of the local vineyard, Bluebell Vineyards. They’ve recently won a host of awards from Decanter nd tasting their sparklers, I can see why. Fresh and bright sparklers, they use chardonnay and pinot noir for their wines. They are looking to expand their production but at the moment, it’s still quite small. That evening, I had dinner at the Ashdown Park Hotel, where I was also staying. It’s a converted old manor house, built in the 1880’s) a luxurious hotel, it sits in the middle of Ashdown Forest surrounded by beautifully tended English gardens and an 18 hour golf...

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Beatriz Machado, Wine Director of The Yeatman

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.11234586&w=450&h=325&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26] 1st collector for Beatriz Machado, Wine Director of The YeatmanFollow my videos on vodpod Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Adrian Bridge, CEO, The Yeatman, Porto

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.11234578&w=450&h=325&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26] 1st collector for Adrian Bridge, CEO, The Yeatman, PortoFollow my videos on vodpod Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Nocturnes at Le Meurice, Paris

Le Meurice in Paris manages to combine understated elegance with quirkiness while at the same time enveloping you in a cocoon of luxury. That is the best way I can think of to describe this de luxe (in the truest sense of the word) luxury hotel. The history of the hotel goes back to 1771 in Calais where the founder of the hotel, Charles-Augustin Meurice took it upon himself to set up a hostelry for tired British travellers on their way to Paris. Charles Augustine owned a coach service and from there the travellers would take his coaches to Paris where – surprise! he set up a second inn for them to check into after the long journey from the coast. From these humble beginnings, Le Meurice was born. In 1835, the hotel moved to its present location, across from the Tuilieries. Due to it’s close proximity to the Louvre Palace, it soon became a favourite of visiting royalty and became known as the Hotel des Rois (Hotel of the Kings). Throughout the years the hotel also served as a refuge for royalty, as well, the Shah of Iran was actually staying at the hotel when he was deposed. Probably one of the most famous guests of the hotel was Salvador Dali. He would stay at the hotel every year for at least a month and was noted for his, shall we say, unusual behaviour. On one occasion he requested a herd of live sheep be delivered to his room and once they arrived began shooting at them with blanks! Ah, artists. Another time he asked the staff to catch flies in the Tuilieries and paid them the equivalent of 1 euro per fly. The legacy of Dali’s visit was the establishment of Prix Meurice for Contemporary Art. Launched in 2008, it’s aim is to support young French artists. As you enter the foyer of the hotel, you are greeted by a pair of almost entwined columns, one of the winners of the Meurice Prize. The...

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A visit and dining at The Lancaster, Paris

I was invited to discover a great little luxury hotel in Paris by PRCo recently. It’s called The Lancaster and although it might not be as well known as the Ritz or George V, it’s worth considering when you’re looking for a more intimate lux experience. The hotel is part of the Spanish group, Hospes Infinite Places which is known for it’s outstanding yet personal and intimate hotels. The Lancaster fits into that category nicely, having once been a private mansion located just off the Champs Elysee. It’s but a stones throw from the Arc d’Triomphe and the shops of the Champs Elysee. The hotel has played host to many famous folks and Marlene Dietrich lived here for 3 years. She even had a favourite piano in the hotel which is still there and can be found in the Dietrich suite. The decor of the hotel is rich but at the same time, minimally appointed and when I entered, I immediately knew I was in a  fine Parisian hotel with it’s unique collection of antique, paintings and carefully restored  18th century furniture mixed in with Art Deco touches. That’s not to say they have abandoned the modern world. Each room has an iphone docking station, hi def TV and all the modern amenities. The Lancaster also has a one Michelin starred restaurant, Le Table du Lancaster, headed by Chef Michel Troigras. I dined in the restaurant and the menu was an intriguing blend of classic French cuisine with some surprising twists. Celery Cannelloni with caviar and smoked ells, scallop melba flavoured with bergamot, lobster plins with black truffle, pan fried foie gras and preserved grapefruit, turbot poached in pineau broth, saddle of venison with caper and grape, these were part of the 7 course tasting menu I enjoyed.  Each dish was a delighful culinary mouthful. The sommelier had also paired each course with wine and the selections were just as interesting as the cuisine. The following are my gastronomic highlights of the evening… We...

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