Lunching at Roast with Chapel Down sparklers and others

I went to Roast the other day for lunch. I was invited to partake in a social media experiment where we bloggers were invited to help out with making up a menu for our readers. So I found myself overlooking  Borough Market last week in the bar of Roast. Along with me were my fellow bloggers, eatlikeagirl, spittoon, intoxicating prose, gourmet chick,  and gastronomy domine  as we all sat down to lunch with Frazer Thompson (Chief Exec), Guy Tresnan, (Sales and Marketing Director) and Owen Elias, (the winemaker )of Chapel Down. Roast’s philosophy is all about sourcing and using seasonal British produce so it’s only fitting that they partner up with Chapel Down wines of Tenterden, Kent. I’ve visited Chapel Down and enjoy their English sparkling wines so I knew that we’d be in for a treat! We started off with the Chapel Down Brut Rosé ’06, a sparkly rosé made up of 100% pinot noir, a bit on the sweet side, strawberries and cream came to mind while we were sipping it.   Once everyone arrived, we sat down to business. Chef Lawrence Keogh went through a brief presentation of what we’d be eating and then he turned the show over to Owen. I felt a bit sympathetic for Owen when he explained he had to wing it on the first matching as he was unable to do a proper food and wine match beforehand but I think his choice of the Chapel Down English Rose  was a fine one. Although the smoked Etive trout  with Dorset crab cakes had quite an intense flavour, the  rosé  had enough acidity and red fruit flavours to stand up to it. One minor quibble, the scallions sprinkled around the plate did seem to overpower the wine, I followed Spittoon’s lead and set mine aside. When we sat down I had a brief glance at the menu and saw haggis as the second course! Having never eaten haggis but having heard numerous, shall we say ungenerous remarks, my hopes were not high but Chef’s Keogh’s Ramsey of Carluck haggis with celeriac and oxtail sauce was delicious. I seem to remember...

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Chapel Down and the Blaggers Banquet

Just a quick post today to remind all of you of the Blagger’s Banquet taking place this Sunday, Nov 15th at the Hawksmoor in Liverpool St. It’s for a great cause, Action Against Hunger and everything in the auction and for the dinner has been blagged by all of us food and wine bloggers. Niamh from Eatlikeagirl has been the driving force into getting this event off the ground but she had time to have lunch at Roast with the Chapel Down people who have generously donated beer, English sparkling wine and are auctioning off a year’s vine lease at their Tenterden property. After lunch, Niamh and I had a chance to talk to Frazer Thompson, Chief Exec of Chapel Down to tell us a bit about what their wines and what they’re donating to the event. [viddler id=f1d37fca&w=437&h=392] Hope to see you all on Sunday. Contact me or  click here for tickets. Next post coming up… our lunch at Roast with all those fabulous Chapel Down wines. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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more English wine -Chapel Down visit and lunch

Driving along the road we passed an old WW II airfield complete with light aircraft swooping by overhead. “You know when you watch those old WW II movies with stock shots of an English field and airbase with the subtitle, ‘Somewhere in England?’ Well, this is where they got that footage, ” said Frazer Thompson, my rather informative and charming host from Chapel Down Winery. We were on our way to the vineyard just outside the town of Headcorn in deepest Kent when we passed the airfield. It’s always nice to get out of the city and appreciate nature in all it’s beauty and I couldn’t have picked a better place to spend an early summers day then the “garden of England” as Kent is so often referred to. And rightly so, the land is perfectly suited to grow everything from apples to strawberries and Kent is the centrepoint of hop production for real English ale. I’d read stories of East Enders descending on Kent in the summer to pick the hops (amongst other things – *wink*) during the first half of the 20th century but only had a hazy idea of where that was in relation to London. And now, here I was, smack dab in the middle of all those lovely hops, I swear I could smell them in the air. But I wasn’t there for ale, I was there for the wines of Chapel Down. Their Tenterden vineyard is sitting on some great wine producing land. The soils of the area are clay with sandy bottom layers which provide excellent drainage as well as the even better chalky limestone soils. Those two soil types make for excellent grapegrowing potential and Chapel Down amongst others is taking full advantage of nature’s gifts. Kent is located along the famed Kimmeridgian ridge which is a shallow sea that has now been lifted above sea level and provides the limestone soils that Champagne is famous for, which allow it to produce it’s distinctive sparkling wines...

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Brightwell Vineyards & English wine week – slideshow

English wine. English wine week. Do they make enough wine to support English wine week? Well, yeah, they do. There are over 250 vineyards in the British Isles and loads of them are winning awards and making fantastic wines. I’ve become a big fan lately, not only because I’m living here but also because I think that they’re producing some fantastic stuff. I have to say that the sparkling wines are the ones that are winning the awards but they’re getting better and better at making those whites and even, dare I say, reds! Last weekend, Andrew from Spittoon invited a bunch of us food and wine bloggers up to Wallingford, Oxfordshire to visit Brightwell Vineyards and have a taste or two of quality English wine. So one EARLY Saturday morning, I met up with eatlikeagirl, foodstories, pencilandspoon  (Mark, a beer blogger) and cooksister to brave the wilds of the English countryside. (A slideshow of my trip to the English countryside and vineyards) Our first stop was Brightwell Vineyards which has been around for about 20 years and they have a quite an extensive collection of varietals but most are experimental. They focus mainly on bacchus, ortega, reichensteiner, and dornfelder with pinot noir being planted next year. They are unusual in that they focus on still wines as opposed to sparkling which most English producers seem to gravitate to. Brightwell is not only situated next to the Thames but has a lovely duck pond with lots of wild birdies, horses, the friendliest dobermans I’ve ever met (the dogs would probably show you where the safe is), and pigs! Athough the wine pigs, as we nicknamed them, will be moving next year to make way for rows of pinot noir. The big hit of the tasting had to be the Oxford 2006 Regatta red, a complex spicy, woody, red wine. Pepper, graphite, ripe red fruits, raspberry, all those decriptors were being thrown about with abandon by the bloggers. I had to agree and it also had a lovely silky weight to it. Carol,...

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Balfour video winetasting at the Bluebird

Well, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose from Hush Heath Estate and I’ve written about it numerous times. I even took a couple of bottles to the American winebloggers conference last summer where it was a big hit. Last week, Penny from the Wine Cellar at the Bluebird, had a tasting of the Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose. I took along my fellow wineblogger, Wine90, so she could see what all the fuss was about. We did a short winetasting video after the event and here it is… The Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose is available from the Bluebird, retail  £39.99 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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