Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester for the Chelsea Flower Show 2015

May 18, 15 Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester for the Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Posted by in Champagne

The Chelsea Flower Show is this week and as they’ve done for a number of past years,  The Dorchester has partnered with Laurent-Perrier Champagne to create a breath-taking show garden, marking Chatsworth’s debut at Chelsea for the 2015 show.  The tea will be held in The Dorchester’s Promenade and will be served with Laurent-Perrier’s favourite champagne; Cuvée Rose. It will be an afternoon featuring the decadent but oh so delicious cakes inspired by the Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, sandwiches and of course Champagne. The afternoon tea has been created to celebrate the collaboration between Laurent-Perrier Champagne and Chatsworth at Chelsea Flower Show. The teas will be available to the public throughout Chelsea week from 18th – 24th May. Laurent-Perrier and Chatsworth have a shared heritage in gardens and nature, the garden, under the artistic direction of award-winning designer Dan Pearson, promises to be an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Phil Hammond will instil the essence of the show garden into his floral displays at The Promenade at The Dorchester and Henry Brosi has created a selection of delicate cakes inspired by the plants and flowers of the garden to give guests a memorable guest experience. Priced from £59 per person, the Laurent-Perrier Floral Afternoon Tea will be available in The Pavilion at The Dorchester during the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with 5 daily sittings at 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm, 4.30pm and 5pm. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Sake Flights of Fancy at CUT

Apr 17, 15 Sake Flights of Fancy at CUT

Posted by in All, Food and Wine

The more sake I taste, the more I realize what a great food wine it is. Most people start out drinking hot sake in their local Japanese restaurant but there is so much more to sake then gulping it down with sushi. Sommelier Vanessa Cinti of  45 Park Lane wants has always been fascinated by Japanese culture was introduced to sake by her love of the cuisine. She recently qualified as a Sake Sommelier, being certified by the world recognised organization, The Sake Sommelier Association and has now created a unique sake experience called Shini-Tai. Shini-Tai will be offered in Bar 45 and at American steak restaurant CUT at 45 Park Lane. Both the bar and restaurant will be offering flights of sake comprising 3 sakes from small producers, chosen for their quality, flavour and array of style. We tasted the inaugural flight which consists of …’Amabuki Marigold brewed with yeast from the blossoms of marigold following a traditional Yamahai method, Kirin Vintage 2013, vintage sake with a rich sherry like taste and Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo a special sake aged in barrels of Domaine Ramonet (renowned Burgundy producer) will all be served at a chilled temperature…’ As Vanessa explained to us, sake is all about the purity of the water used, that’s what gives sake it’s distinctiveness. She also told us that like wine, there are many different varieties of rice used to make sake, as a matter of fact, there are about 80 different varieties in use today. During the tasting, we had both sweet and savoury food pairings. I was really surprised by how well the sake went with the pastries designed by CUT Pastry Chef, Niamh Larkin. The pastries were subtle and delicate, my favourite pairing being an orange madeleine with the sakes. CUT Executive Chef  David McIntyre has introduced new Asian influenced dishes on the menu this spring. Examples include Scallop ceviche, spring onions, shiso, wasabi-kosho ponzu, Tuna tartar cones, ginger, wasabi, sesame-miso tuille, and Steamed sea bass “Hong Kong” style, chili oil, garlic, ginger. We had...

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New cocktail menu and beef nibbles at Gaucho

Dec 03, 14 New cocktail menu and beef nibbles at Gaucho

Posted by in All

Last night I was invited to try out the new cocktail menu at Gaucho in Piccadilly. The Gaucho group has launched a new Autumn/Winter cocktail menu along with a ‘Beef in the Bar’ canape plate. I caught up with Ian O’Reilly, Head of Bar and Beverages at Gaucho, over a couple of cocktails to find out a bit more about the new seasonal menu. According to Ian, the idea behind launching the ‘Beef in the Bar’ was to highlight what Gaucho originally made the restaurant successful – beef! They want to get back to their roots and remind people that Gaucho is not a high maintenance or pretentious place, rather their main mission is to serve the best Argentine beef and red wine with a side of chips. The beef nibbles in the bar are all a part of that idea. At the moment, they are serving Aberdeen Angus Air Cured Bresola, Beef & Chilli Salami and Chimmichurri Cured Salt Beef and in the future they’ll be curing the meats in their own malbec, Vina Patricia. I thought the beef nibbles were a nice little accompaniment to the cocktails. The new cocktail menu is divided into 3 sections, aperitifs, signature cocktails and Buenos Aires classics. Ian described the signature cockatils as having something for everyone, he’s taken, in his opinion, some of the best of Argentine culture and artisanal products to create unique drinks. Gaucho stocks 4 or 5 artisanal products such as Herpedina, which is an orange liqueur only made in Argentina, which they use for one of their Buenos Aires classics cocktails. As the evenings are now long, dark and chilly, I went for the whiskey based cocktails on the list. I tried the signature cocktail Smoked Ginger made with Bullit rye, the Buenos Aires Classic The Re-Fashioned made with Woodfood Reserve bourbon with a touch of espresso and their Club Negroni made with Haig Club. Manhattans are my default cocktail but these bourbon/whisky based drinks at Gaucho could make me forget my manhattans,...

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Dinner with Barone Francesco Ricasoli and his Brolio wines

May 26, 14 Dinner with Barone Francesco Ricasoli and his Brolio wines

Posted by in All, Food and Wine, Italy

“We are all consumers. Wine should be a pleasure and enjoyable…” That in a nutshell is the philosophy of Barone  Francesco Ricasoli  who was hosting a Brolio wine dinner recently at the Corinthia Hotel here in London. Francesco is the owner of Barone Ricasoli vineyards, set in the hills of Tuscany, and the 32nd Baron Ricasoli. The family have been linked to wine since the 12th century and Francesco is doing his best to continue the family tradition. His ancestor, Baron Bettino Ricasoli was instrumental in promoting and researching the wines of Chianti. Due to Baron Bettino’s work, Brolio wines were first awarded gold medals at the Paris Exposition in 1867. Francesco took over the family estates in 1993 and since then he has continued research and experimentation to bring out the best in his vineyards. The wines get their name from the Brolio castle that overlooks the vineyards. Fittingly, as it was World Chardonnay Day, we started dinner with the 2012 Torricella Chardonnay. The wine has a small amount of sauvignon blanc in the blend but was dominated by the chardonnay. The wine had a subtle nose of citrus fruit and a bit of toasty-ness to it. On the palate, though, it was very agreeable, having loads of tropical fruits, a creamy mouthfeel and a mineral finish. A delicious white wine to start the evening. The Chiantis were what we were there for and the Brolio wines did not disappoint. Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico 2010 was full of leather and spice, having a black cherry fruit profile with a smooth dark chocolate finish. Francesco said that he wants to deliver quality with these wines. I’d say you could definitely taste the quality. The wine was paired with Spring Lamb in croute which was  a fine match, the lamb tender and juicy, the wine working harmoniously with it. The Barone Ricasoli Colledila 2007 is one of their single vineyard wines and 2007 was the first vintage. 100% sangiovese, the aim of this wine...

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Brasserie Joel celebrates Eurostar’s 20th anniv. this May

May 06, 14 Brasserie Joel celebrates Eurostar’s 20th anniv. this May

Posted by in All, Food and Wine, London, restaurants

I love taking the Eurostar to Paris, I haven’t taken a plane to Paris since I don’t know when –  I always take the train. It’s just so much easier to go  via Eurostar and seems a more civilized way to travel, to me anyway. Eurostar is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, hard to believe that it’s only been around for 20 years, it seems to fit in seamlessly at St. Pancras/Kings Cross as if it’s been there forever. Brasserie Joel in the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel has launched a special menu to celebrate the 20 years of Eurostar service between London and Paris. Chef Walter Ishizuka has created a menu that encompasses favourite dishes from both cities. Chef Walter has an interesting background – a French chef of Japanese descent, he came to London after working under Chef Paul Bocuse in France. His Japanese heritage has influenced his cooking in creating French cuisine with a lighter flavours. The special menu starts off with Feuillete d’Escargot and Pork Pie. I love escargot and these were garlicky and not too chewy served on a wonderfully light puff pastry. I usually try and avoid breads and pastries but these were just too good to pass up. The pork pie served alongside the escargot was also very good, very morish. I had to stop eating them because I would have had no room for the  mains. Each dish was paired with a wine, the escargot with a Beaujolais-Villages and the pork pie with a Macon-Villages. Both wines were uncomplicated but fit the bill, complementing the food well. For the mains we had a choice of Boeuf Bourguignon served with a Cotes du Rhone and traditional Fish and Chips paired with a Touraine Sauvignon Blanc. The Boeuf was very tender as it should be and full of flavour, served with gnocchi a la parisienne, I could have eaten the whole plate but saved room for the crispy fish and chips. Everyone around the table commented on...

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