Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

Aug 13, 15 Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

Posted by in Champagne

For the past few years, a group of my friends and I get together and spend a (hopefully) sunny afternoon floating down the upper Thames, sharing our food and wine. As many of my friends are wine bloggers, of course, we have to show off with our special wine finds. This year was no exception. As I’m a big champagne lover, I brought along the Billecart-Salmon 2006 (amongst other wines) to share with my friends. It was a gorgeous day to be floating on the river and we had chosen a route that took us from Henley to Reading. As soon as we got underway, I popped open the Billecart-Salmon. The 2006 is an extra-brut dosage and is composed of 75% pinot noir with the remainder being chardonnay from the Cotes du Blancs. As we sipping along the river, I could hear words such as “creme brulee”, “vanilla”, “red apples”, “pamplemousse” and “spice” being bandied about the boat by my fellow drinkers. I have to agree, the champagne was all that and more, a rich a fine wine, with delicate bubbles and a long finish. A refreshing drink to have on a warm summer’s day floating down the Thames. It’s difficult to bring gourmet cuisine on a small boat but we did have some very good Scotch eggs and I have to say they went very well with the 2006 Billecart-Salmon, the champagne cutting through the rich sausage. A lovely way to spend the day and the 2006 Billecart-Salmon was a great way to kick off the cruise. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Afternoon tea and gin in Henley

Aug 26, 11 Afternoon tea and gin in Henley

Posted by in Spirits

Champagne and a boat ride down the Thames. Then High Tea and Gin. Perfect. If only we lived in a sunnier clime. As it was, we were greeted with torrential rain when we arrived at the Hotel du Vin in Henley. But not to worry, rather then have champagne on a boat, we were warmly seated on the leather banquettes of their lounge, daintily sipping away. Who needs a boat ride, anyway? 😉 The hotel more then made up for the rather trad English summer weather with a fantastic welcome. The Assistant Sommelier, Aranka Komjati came out and gave us a short tutorial on the house champagne. Lombard & C0, which was founded in 1925,  supply the HdV with their champagne. A light, fresh and fruity wine, plenty of green apple, lemon and lime on the nose and palate and the cutest little bubbles. I don’t know why but bubbles always make me happy and the ones in this champagne were particularly playful.  Afterwards, we headed into the bistro for afternoon tea. Tiered serving platters instantly appeared laden with finger sandwiches, brownies, cakes and, my favourite, scones with CLOTTED CREAM. I adore clotted cream although my arteries probably are against it, along with fresh strawberry jam. Heaven. Served alongside all those lovely pastries were loose leaf tea in charming blue and white china. After we’d had our fill of tea it was time for a quick look around the hotel. Originally, we were supposed to have our gin tasting on the “sun-drenched deck” of one of the master suites. We got to see the 2 floor suite and the now rain-drenched deck which had some specatular views of the Thames and the surrounding hills.  I should mention that the deck has it’s own personal bathtub so you can sip your favourite libation while having a good long soak.  Not to worry, there was also another giant bathtub in the second floor bathroom. Back in the bistro and time for gin. Not any old gin...

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