Issue Sixteen All you need to know about fine dining, luxury accommodation and the best food and beverages the UK has to offer
The Gilbert Scott • Garnier • The One Premium Extra Olive Oil by OSPREY LONDON Poets House • The Halkin Glenfiddich • Bruno Paillard Champagne • Carom Soho
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E AT S L E E P D R I N K Issue Sixteen
All you need to know about fine dining, luxury accommodation and the best food and beverages the UK has to offer
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Dear Readers, With Wimbledon suffering as it so often does, and despite the nation’s best efforts to resist, the Great British summer has been up to its old tricks again this year. Yet, never ones to put a dampener on things, we trust that our nine features will help to bring the sunshine and colour back to your outlook. On the front cover this month we lead with the stunning Victorian grandeur of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. Designed by renowned architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, the hotel is the finest railway hotel in the UK and its interior design seamlessly reflects the symmetry of a classical sensibility combined with modern flair. Speaking of symmetry, The Gilbert Scott, run by the Marcus Wareing team, also gets the ESD treatment this month, so if you’re a fan of hearty dishes cooked to perfection, we’d highly recommend a read of our review on Pg. 9. As well as these two London hotspots, we were thrilled to visit Poets House, which has recently opened to great acclaim in Ely. A much needed slice of luxury in East Anglia, this boutique suite-only hotel is a pleasure from top to bottom and with the addition of its fine dining restaurant, The Dining Room, the region has had a very welcome culinary boost. For the urban connoisseur, our review of The Halkin, located on one of Belgravia’s finest roads – just around the corner from Harrods – reveals the secrets to succeeding in London’s highly competitive luxury hotel market. If it’s DRINK you’re after then our features on Glenfiddich, Bruno Paillard Champagne and Carom’s Botanical Gin Garden in Soho should tick all the boxes. Perfect for a summer nightcap, a velvety aperitif or an afternoon’s indulgence, each of these brands and venues can be interchanged at your heart’s content…Just remember to have a glass of water before bed! Last but not least, we’re also thrilled to feature the highly rated food at London’s worst-kept secret Garnier and the premium extra virgin oil from OSPREY London. Plenty, then, to keep you going until our August edition! P.S. This month, we’re also running an exclusive Kandula Tea competition. In order to be in with a change of winning some ‘tearrific’ prizes, tweet us an alliteratively ‘tearrific’ 140 character story to: @goeatsleepdrink and email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name and postal address. We will select the three best entries and prizes will be announced via Twitter and in our next edition. Good luck – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!
CONTENTS Issue Sixteen
EA T The Gilbert Scott: Named after the building’s original architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott,
we were wowed by Marcus Wareing’s classic-yet-contemporary cuisine.
Garnier: Located a stone’s throw away from the station, Garnier is owned by well-known restaurateurs Didier and Eric Garnier of Racine, Le Colombier and St Quentin’s Group fame.
The One Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil by OSPREY: We caught up with Graeme Ellisdon, Founder of OSPREY London, and uncovered his genuine passion for authentic gastronomy and love of all things Greek.
S L EE P Poets House: Located in the heart of Ely and originally consisting of three Grade-II-listed properties from the early twentieth century and once the home of a renowned local author, Poets House has undergone a sensitive, design-led transformation into a uniquely-stylish hotel, restaurant and event venue.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel: Featuring 245 guest rooms, including 38 delightfully restored and updated suites, The St Pancras Renaissance has once again become one of London’s most iconic destinations and a benchmark for all railway hotels around the world.
The Halkin: Perfectly positioned just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and housed on a quiet s treet in stunning Belgravia, The Halkin offers quiet and luxurious accommodation in the heart of the capital.
DRINK Glenfiddich: The world’s most awarded Single Malt Whisky and one of the last family distilleries, Glenfiddich produces a range of whiskies that will please even the most demanding connoisseur.
Bruno Paillard Champagne: A young and dynamic house which has quickly established a reputation for elegant champagnes with real style.
Carom Soho - Pan-Indian restaurant: Carom, situated in the middle of Soho, is playing host to a Tanqueray Botanical Gin Garden from the end of May through to October, unsurprisingly has a selection of 89 gins
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Labour of Love at The Cinnamon Club London, UK Testament to Britain’s love of the monarchy is the Royal Labour of Love Menu at The Cinnamon Club, executive chef Vivek Singh’s legendary modern Indian restaurant in Westminster. Since launching on 17th June, the menu – designed to coincide with the royal delivery – has sold just over 200 to diners at the Westminster restaurant. Available until 20th July, the menu is just £45 for four courses and is packed with ingredients to curb cravings, keep mother and baby healthy, potentially kick-start labour, and help recuperate and restore. Vivek explains: “Ironically, the bulk of orders haven’t been from pregnant ladies at all. The Royal Labour of Love Menu has proved most popular with our regular diners, and of course visitors to
London with a love of our royal family. Its been a great success, and a menu we’re extremely proud of.” The Cinnamon Club The Old Westminster Library 30-32 Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BU www.cinnamonclub.com T:020 7222 2555
Dell’Ugo reveals unique range of fresh raviolis Nationwide
Ugo Foods, the UK’s fastest-growing manufacturer of chilled pasta, has unveiled a unique and surprising range of fresh raviolis. The varieties, which are: “Olde English” (pear, stilton and pinenuts), “Nordic Delight (beetroot, cream cheese and smoked salmon) and “White Chocolate & Cranberry” are the winning entries from its “Design Your Own” competition. This contest offered
the general public a once in a lifetime experience – to design their very own ravioli filling and win the opportunity to have their recipe packed into Dell’Ugo’s silky, free-range egg pasta. The three winning designs have been made up into fresh ravioli and put into Dell’Ugo packaging. A short production run is being made for the winners’ friends and family and if it is popular Dell’Ugo will consider
adding to their line of successful pasta varieties. Dell’Ugo received over 100 entries, with creations such as “chocolate, bacon and chilli” and “tofu with goji berries” being some of the strangest suggestions. The influence of the recent growing trend for sweet/savoury was apparent with entries for combinations such as blue cheese and fruit. The most popular entries included meat (i.e. chorizo, bacon), Asian-style fish combinations (crayfish, crab) and those with traditional English ingredients using cheddar cheese, sausage and black pudding. The winners are Patricia Moroney from Painswick, Gloucestershire, Georgina Stevens from North London and Emma Brooks from Northampton. The competition was judged by Niamh Shields of Eat Like a Girl alongside Dell’Ugo owner, Paul Ugo. The winners will be congratulated at an official dinner hosted by Paul Ugo on 18th July. Dell’Ugo’s range of products are available nationwide and can be found in Ocado and Waitrose. Visit: http://www.ugogroup.co.uk/
SLEEP Three Nights for Two in August at Ellenborough Park Cotswolds, UK
This August couples can enjoy a glorious Cotswolds getaway by taking advantage of this offer at Ellenborough Park. The package includes an overnight stay in a Classic or Luxury room for up to two people, Full English Breakfast on each morning and use of the spa and leisure facilities. Starting from £580 for a Classic Room and from £910 for a Luxury room, the package is available throughout August, excluding the Bank Holiday (23rd, 24th and 25th). Treatments can be pre-booked for an additional charge and the rate is based on two adults sharing a double or twin bedroom. On your visit, take our advice and book in for dinner at The Beaufort Dining Room too, which is one of the finest restaurants in the Cotswolds. For more information and to book, call 01242 545454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.ellenboroughpark.com Ellenborough Park, Southam Road, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucestershire, GL52 3NJ
Hendrick’s Afternoon Tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel London, UK St. Ermin’s and Caxton Bar have teamed up to create the Hendrick’s high tea from just £29 per person (£39 per person with a teapot of Hendrick’s Gin Cocktail). A range of sweet and savoury delicacies will be served alongside a teapot of delectable Hendrick›s cocktail. A sophisticated afternoon tea that draws inspiration from gin, but not any old gin, Hendrick’s’ Gin! St. Ermin’s and Caxton Bar have created a selection of sweet and savoury treats, designed to complement Hendrick’s’ unique infusion of rose and cucumber. A specially created selection of Hendrick’s’ cocktails, served in a teapot, can also be enjoyed alongside this gin inspired temptation. Book online at: http://www.sterminshotel.co.uk/eating-drinking/ afternoon-tea/afternoon-tea-menus/hendrick%27s-afternoontea/ or call 020 7222 7888 for reservations. St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW
DRINK Mamont Vodka Challenges Bartenders to Embody the Spirit of Adventure in a New Signature Serve Nationwide Last week, Mamont - the premium Siberian Vodka - hosted the EVEREST 60 Challenge, a cocktail competition like no other, where Bartenders and Bar Backs were challenged to develop THE Mamont serve - a cocktail embodying the Spirit of Adventure from which the brand was born. Nine teams from across the UK gathered at London’s latest destination bar, Megaro Bar, to compete in the competition, which celebrated one of the greatest adventures of the past century - Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay’s conquest of Mount Everest. Following a series of physical and mixology challenges, the winning team was announced as David Smilie and Alec Dyson from Booly Mardy’s in Glasgow, ascending to victory with The 56 Degree Mamont Martini - a twist on a cocktail classic incorporating Single Malt Speyside Whisky, Italian wine and Absinthe. In celebration, the winners and participants were treated to a traditional Russian feast, where The 56 Degree Mamont Martini was served. Tamara Mazure, Mamont Vodka Ambassador, says of the winning cocktail, “This Martini is a classic vodka serve seamlessly incorporating a taste of Scotland - a nod to the Bartender’s heritage and in recognition of both Siberia and Scotland sitting at 56 Degrees North. With a dash of absinthe the cocktail takes on an adventurous quality and the decision to not add garnish shows the creators’ true understanding of Mamont’s commitment to being the purist vodka to emerge from Russia. A truly perfect Mamont signature serve!” Mamont Vodka is a small-batch premium vodka, produced in one of Siberia’s oldest distilleries. Made with artesian well water and six times distilled, Mamont is one of the finest and purist vodkas to emerge from Russia. Filtered through silver birch charcoal, its taste is soft with a hint of sweetness and a dry finish. The 56 Degree Mamont Martini will be served at The 2013 Moscow Bar Show in October, to which the winning Bartender and Bar Back will taken as part of their own adventure with Siberia’s premium vodka. Available from £32 at Selfridges, Spirited Wines and www.thewhiskyexchange.com
Cracker Drinks Co. Launches New Packaging and Marketing Campaign Nationwide
The Cracker Drinks Co. is set to launch a new look package from Elopak and a major nationwide marketing campaign to build on its 340% volume sales growth over the last four years. The Cracker Drinks Co. has completed a full brand review and will be launching a nationwide marketing campaign to push its range of fruit juices and innovative juice drink blends from Pineapple, Guava & Lime to Still & Cloudy Lemonade. Currently distributed in all major multiple retailers including Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose, it has also generated rapid growth in the On- Trade with listings across all Mitchells & Butlers brands and recently launched into Whitbread and Marstons brands.
The company positions its distinctive juice and juice drinks as the quality of chilled with the convenience of ambient, with emphasis on no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours and Not From Concentrate. The current core range includes Orange, Cloudy Apple, Cranberry, Still & Cloudy Lemonade, Blueberry & Blackberry, Mango & Passion Fruit, Apple & Strawberry & Cranberry, Pineapple & Guava & Lime and Apple & Lychee and are priced £1.50 - £1.89 in retail. Gavin Cox, Managing Director of The Cracker Drinks Co., said: “We have seen unprecedented and consistent growth year on year, with double digit growth in distribution points in 2012 alone. We know our customers are loyal and that people love The Cracker Drinks Co. juice and juice drinks, it’s now time to ramp it up and support the brand in the way it deserves, with a dedicated campaign. Cracker is the only ambient juice brand produced in gable top in the UK and this is the first Pure-Pak® Curve carton in this category, increasing the visual appeal of the drink on busy shelves. The new Cracker Juice Co. brand identity and the new pack design ensures shelf stand out. We are also already quite a way down the line in completing more product and project innovations which will be seen over the next 12 months,” he said. Visit: www.crackerdrinks.com
EAT : The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London
Full steam ahead Having recently opened its very own Gin Garden, The Gilbert Scott restaurant is an elegant British brasserie run by Marcus Wareing’s team. Named after the building’s original architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, and housed within the magnificent St. Pancras Renaissance, we were wowed by the classic-yet-contemporary food which provided the perfect counterpoint to the glorious Victorian space. Evidently inspired by its unique setting in one of Britain’s finest examples of Victorian architecture, the restaurant pays homage to the heritage of this most impressive space. With its own entrance through the revolving door on Euston Road, the Bar is a destination in its own right. Complete with soaring ceilings, the talented mixologists and bar staff have dreamt up an exciting cocktail list and a robust English sparkling wine selection. If this wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, Gilbert’s Gin Garden has just been unveiled in time for the summer. Created in collaboration with the team at Hendrick’s Gin, the Gin Garden offers a marvellous setting in which to enjoy botanically-themed gin cocktails and other tipples in an urban garden, tucked away in the famous vaulted archways of the Gilbert Scott. Indeed, with creations like ‘Hibiscus and Chamomile Cairpirinha’ (£13.00), ‘Bottled Negroni’ (£11.00) and Giulia’s
Julep, featuring Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Mint, Lime, Fernet Branca, Cynar, Cucumber, Sage and Ginger (£13.50), we’re sure the Gin Garden will be a roaring success.
Under starter’s orders On our visit, the Gin Garden hadn’t yet opened but we were more than happy to enjoy a couple of glasses of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs (£14.50) at the bar to
have come to be generally uninspired by asparagus, the Hollandaise was an absolute triumph, full of richness and smoky flavours that were the perfect foil for the steamed Asparagus. The Snails were tender although the Bone Marrow wasn’t to our taste. Despite this momentary blip, the Mushrooms and Garlic Butter were classically prepared and thoroughly enjoyable.
The main event
begin the evening. As we were led to the restaurant along the majestic corridor that connects the two, we were welcomed by the sumptuous smells of a Sunday roast – a particularly auspicious start. Seated in one of the corner tables, we had the perfect vantage point to take in the incredible architecture that informs the space. Rarely does one encounter a menu
that is designed with its space in mind but The Gilbert Scott most certainly reflects a Victorian sensibility garnished with a modern style. To start, we ordered the Dorset Snails served with Bone Marrow, Mushrooms, Garlic Butter and Toast (£8.50) and the Wye Valley Asparagus with a divine Brown Butter Hollandaise (£12.50). Whilst we
Because of the wealth of options available, we were quite literally spoilt for choice when it came to the main courses. The Lake District Sirloin Steak served with Brandy Mushroom Sauce and Butter Braised Potatoes (£34.00) would have no doubt been delightful. Likewise, we overheard our neighbours raving about the Lincolnshire Baked Onions with Almonds, Blue Cheese Dumplings and Cider Sauce (£14.00). However, despite the agonising choice, we were unable to look any further than the Lake District Rib of Beef for Two served with Bone Marrow and Red Wine Sauce (£64.00). Served with a flourish and carved in front of us at the table, our selection was instantly vindicated as the >>
meat was tenderly cut to reveal a light purple hue. Having ordered George’s Chips (£4.00) and the Cauliflower Pudding baked with Nutmeg and Cream (£4.00) to accompany the Beef, we put on the proverbial nosebags and tucked in. As suspected, the Rib was cooked to a perfect ‘medium rare’. The Red Wine Sauce gave the meat a lovely counterbalance as richness blended with the smokiness of the Beef. Had we not ordered the sides, there was a feeling that the dish was lacking something, particularly at £64.00, so we’d definitely recommend ordering at least one of the two accompaniments (for our money, the Cauliflower Pudding was the clear winner at just £4.00). Frankly, such is the quality of service at the restaurant, we’re almost certain that the chefs would be happy to prepare your choice of sides if you ask nicely enough.
Indeed, rather than choose the wine ourselves, we were guided by the excellent Sommelier, Giancarlo Cuccuru, whose choices combined a combination of old world class and new world delight. With the Beef, he cannily served us two different reds as a taste test. The first was a Cabernet Merlot produced by Cape Mentelle in Margaret River, Australia (£7.00 per glass), which was served alongside a Chateau de Pez by St Estephe (£14.50 per glass) produced in Bordeaux. My guest and I were almost embarrassingly cocksure that the winner was the Bordeaux and we were shocked but amused to find the contrary, that it was, in fact, the Cabernet Merlot which trounced its opponent. Much like the restaurant itself, then, the wine list is a kind of symmetry between a classical sensibility and a modern flair for good taste.
Finishing touches As with St Pancras Renaissance that similarly reflects this kind of symmetry, The Gilbert Scott doesn’t do things by half – something we were quick to see when the desserts were served. The major error with this list of historic desserts is that you and your fellow diners might well struggle to decide. Trying to be democratic about things, we eventually decided on a Sticky Toffee Pudding (to share) with Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce and Clotted Cream (£12.00). Rich and creamy, the Pudding was everything a good Sticky Toffee Pud should be. Served with a couple of glasses of Tokaji Dessert Wine from Hungry (£10.00) it is fair to say we left the restaurant full of cheer. Emerging from the splendour of the restaurant, it struck us that The Gilbert Scott is abundantly one of the finest British brasseries in London, maybe even the best. With the likes of Balthazar and The Wolseley weaving their grand European tradition through London, how refreshing to see Marcus Wareing celebrating the best of British in perhaps one of the most British buildings. Dinner for two, including drinks, approximately £160. For reservations, please visit: www.thegilbertscott.co.uk or call 0207 278 3888. The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London, NW1 2AR.
Passionate about Tea Established in March 2011, The Kandula Tea Company was born out of a passion for real tea and the love of Sri Lanka. With the market for premium leaf tea in the UK and Ireland continuing to grow, the company has made great strides over the last 18 months. One major development for Kandula has been extending its range into Foodservice. Indeed, its whole leaf teas and infusions are now on the menus of restaurants, tearooms, hotels and health spas. The catering range with their bespoke Menu of Teas is also proving to be enormously successful. Kandula teas are served as individually wrapped pyramid ‘tea gems’ which offers the customer complete control so that they can infuse their chosen tea to their own taste something the brand recognises as being incredibly important to tea drinkers.
Whilst Kandula’s Great Taste Awardwinning English Breakfast, Pink Ceylon and Peppermint Leaf teas continue to be hugely popular, the business is delighted that its entire range is being recognised by tea drinkers throughout the UK. Its delicate Green & White Ceylon teas convert people who have been put off green teas that are bitter, and those who dislike Earl Greys being too perfumed,
enjoy the fresh lemon notes of Kandula’s Earl Grey. Tea drinkers who find a lot of black teas have a tannin aftertaste love the clean refreshing quality of the Orange Pekoe Ebony Ceylon and English Breakfast blends. Furthermore, the company’s Spiced Fruit & Herbal Infusions are growing rapidly in popularity too. These are naturally caffeine-free, which is an increasingly popular choice for customers. Their Menu of Teas offers a collection of 12 blends to compliment food – either as teas to pair with food or as natural after meal digestives. E-mail email@example.com to ask for our full Menu of Teas & Infusions. Visit: www.kandulatea.com or visit: http://www.kandulatea. co.uk/?p=tea.shop to order your Kandula Tea today.
S L E EP : Poets House, 40 St Maryâ€™s Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EY
Chapter &Verse Located in the heart of Ely and originally consisting of three Grade-II-listed properties from the early twentieth century and once the home of a renowned local author, Poets House has undergone a sensitive, design-led transformation into a uniquelystylish hotel, restaurant and event venue. With great anticipation, we visited the hotel for ourselves and were thrilled with what we found. 14
Coupling the buildings’ original charm with stunningly innovative interiors, Poets House’s 21 guest rooms claim to afford guests the perfect blend of luxurious comfort. Based on the grandeur of the claim, on our arrival we were pleased to note that each of the 21 rooms did indeed consist of a spacious suite with beautifully crafted free-standing copper baths.
At your convenience From the second one arrives at the hotel,
one is greeted by the resident butler, a charming touch that prepares you for a high level of service and indulgence, which is much needed given the region’s rather lacklustre hotels. Unusually for an area that boasts the thriving city of Cambridge and its continued investment and wealth, Cambridgeshire as a whole lacks any show-stopping hotels – a mantle that Poets House is clearly trying to take on. As well as the luxury of the freestanding copper baths, each room
contains a comfortable pocket sprung king sized bed, full Air-conditioning, a rainwater shower, bespoke toiletries; Hermes for him and Bvlgari for her. In addition, we were able to unwind in fluffy bathrobes and slippers and enjoy the complimentary welcome tray for late night nibbles. If that wasn’t enough to keep you happy, there is also complimentary Wi-Fi, a smart TV with satellite channels, Bose Bluetooth sound system and a personal safe and hairdryer. In-room treats aside, one should also>>
take the time to have a stroll around the charming streets of Ely, an activity for which the hotel is perfectly positioned. With its quaint shops and welcoming pubs on the River Great Ouse, Ely is one of the UK’s finest cathedral cities and the ideal size for a weekend break away, particularly with the welcome arrival of Poets House.
The Dining Room With a similar lack of quality dining options in the area, it should come as something of a blessing that Poets House also boasts its own fine dining restaurant in the form of The Dining Room. All dishes are based on properly sourced ingredients from the best local suppliers. Overseen by Executive Head Chef, Leah Jenson, the restaurant offers a mixture of classically inspired dishes, simple a la carte dining and a few surprises in equal measure. On our visit, we enjoyed the Pressed Pork Belly with Smoked Eel Brandade (£7.50) and Brixham White Crab and Brown Crab Cocktail (£7.95) to start. Both were well-presented and packed with flavour, which made for an excellent segway into the hearty main courses. We opted for the Fillet of Riverside Beef with Slow-cooked Cheek and Elveden Farm
Rainbow Chard (£24) and the divine Haysmoked Rump of Denham Estate Spring Lamb served with Heritage Vegetables, Goat’s Cheese, Lavender and Honey Jus (£18.50). The Fillet of Beef was cooked to perfection, slightly rare with lots of flavour, whilst the Hay-smoked Rump of Lamb was one of the best we’ve enjoyed all year. For dessert, we decided on a more
unusual selection that included Mrs Temple’s Binham Blue Ice-cream with Red-onion Marmalade, Spring Onion, Celery and Pear (£5.50). With a taste that was as strange as its description, we were left unimpressed as the flavours didn’t mesh at all well together. However, the Baked Yogurt, Gingerbread Ice-Cream with Apple and Cinnamon (£5.50) was
more accomplished. On first impressions, then, The Dining Room is a vital addition to the culinary scene in East Anglia and we’re hopeful that it will only go from strength-tostrength. After dinner, we moved into The Study and enjoyed a couple of cocktails, which were well-constructed although the service could definitely do with improving. This is, though, all part of the learning experience for such a young hotel, and the owners are clearly committed to making Poets House a fixture as one of East Anglia’s premier destinations. Indeed, judging from the last few reviews
on TripAdvisor, service seems to have dramatically improved. This can only be good news for its owners, The House Collection, a select portfolio of boutique hotels that was recently named by The Times in its 2013 list of the World’s Top 20 Cool New Hotels.
A home away from home With its commanding views over Ely’s magnificent cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s residence, Poets House is a real gem that deserves to shine. From the personalised service given by the butlers, who will unpack and draw guests a bath
should they wish to the exciting cuisine on at The Dining Room, we can’t wait to return next year and see how the hotel is doing. With any luck, the service will continue to improve and Poets House will be running at full occupancy. On our recent visit, there were many encouraging signs for the hotel, particularly in The Study where the bar attracted a vibrant crowd enjoying after-work cocktails and locally sourced bar snacks. Ultimately, such is the quality of the finish throughout, if Poets House was located the 80 miles or so down the road in London it would already be full. The luxury toiletries and all-suite accommodation both set the scene for a decadent property that is ready to deliver a boutique experience for many years to come. Rooms start from £119 per night including breakfast. Call: 01223 65311 for reservations, visit: www.poetshouse.com to book online or email: enquires@ thehousecollection.com for further information. Poets House, 40 St Mary’s Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EY
DRINK : Glenfiddich
As the world’s most awarded single malt whisky, and one of the last family distilleries, Glenfiddich is famed across the globe for its Speyside single malts. We spoke to the team to find out the secrets behind the brand’s success.
The World’s Most Awarded Sing The Perfect Gift
Can you begin by explaining the history of Glenfiddich, perhaps drawing particular attention to the original ideas/concept behind the brand and its position in today’s market? Our founder, William Grant, nurtured a dream to make the ‘best dram in the valley’. In the summer of 1886, with the help of his seven sons and two daughters, William set out to fulfil a lifelong ambition. Together they began building his distillery by hand, stone by stone. After a single year of work it was ready and William named it Glenfiddich, Gaelic for Valley of the Deer. William’s passion, determination and pioneering spirit continues to guide us. Glenfiddich is one of the few single malt distilleries to remain entirely family owned and is now the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a true reflection of our founder’s integrity and innovative spirit, passed down through the generations.
the small copper stills on Christmas day 1887. A highlight of the 125th anniversary celebrations was Christmas Day 2012 – Glenfiddich’s official birthday III. To mark this historic year, celebrations will be happening throughout the world.
The history: Glenfiddich is a brand steeped in history and heritage I. In 1886 William Grant took the first step in realising his lifelong dream and with the help of his nine children, he built The Glenfiddich Distillery. A year later on Christmas Day 1887 the first drop of spirit flowed from the stills II. In 1963 Glenfiddich introduced
single malt Scotch whisky to the rest of the world by being the first to commercially export outside of the UK.
The branding typifies tradition and elegance – could you tell us more about how this has evolved over time? Generations of families have worked at the distillery in Dufftown and continue to be part of the Glenfiddich business I. The Glenfiddich Distillery has remained in the family for five generations with the unmistakable vision of William Grant being passed on from generation to generation. Peter Gordon is William Grant’s great-great-grandson
I. Born from our founder William Grant’s ambition to create the ‘best dram in the valley’, today the legacy lives on as The Glenfiddich Distillery continues to produce exceptional single malt that is widely recognised as the ‘World’s Most Awarded’ single malt Scotch whisky II. After a year of building The Glenfiddich Distillery with his family, the first drop of spirit flowed from
gle Malt Whisky t for Father’s Day
II. Glenfiddich is one of only two distilleries that is still owned by the founding family, the other being The Balvenie III. Glenfiddich craftsmen include many generations of the same family.
Could you tell us about the distilling process – any secrets you can share? The valley William so carefully chose, the century-old traditions, and the warmest of welcomes remain unchanged to this day. Expect tall copper tuns, great wooden washbacks and stone-walled warehouses filled with earthy, aged aromas. One of the last independent distilleries with the freedom to carry on our history of innovation. GROUNDWORK With a keen eye, he looks into the mash tun. A mixture of our specially-sourced barley, ground down and added to our Robbie Dhu springwater, is heated here to 64°C. The porridge-like ‘mash’ turns to sugar, dissolving into a fine sweet, tangy liquid called wort. The wort is drained, cooled and passed into our Wash Backs, where yeast is added and fermentation begins. He records the temperatures, volumes and sugar gravities of each Wash Back up on the chalkboard as he’s always done. MASHING & FERMENTATION 1. B arley from our specialist maltsters is ground into rough flour and mixed with heated Robbie Dhu springwater. 2. This thick brown porridge-like mixture known as ‘mash’ is emptied into our giant mash tuns. 3. Rotating mash knives lift the mash, encouraging the barley starch to
convert into fermentable sugars. 4. The Robbie Dhu springwater absorbs these sugars and after six hours, a dark syrupy liquid called ‘wort’ is obtained. 5. The wort is drained and cooled to 17°C. 6. This cooled wort is pumped into giant wooden fermentation vats – our handbuilt Douglas Fir washbacks. 7. Yeast is added. The temperature soars as fermentation takes over and the sugar is converted to alcohol. This is where our characteristic pear notes are created. 8. As the temperature dies down after two to three days, a rich brown ‘wash’ of up to 9% ABV is left, ready for distillation. HEART OF THE DISTILLATE Our wash is heated and condensed in copper Wash Stills for its first distillation. And a second time in Spirit Stills. With exacting judgement, using a hydrometer, our Stillman executes a high ‘cut point’. He turns the tap on to the spirit safe at the precise point we always have. A point set by our founder over a century ago. The newly distilled spirit flows in – the very ‘sweetest’ part of the distillate. Characteristically clean, estery, sweet and fruity. It’s about 70% ABV. Ready to be matured. COPPER SCULPTOR We keep the shapes of our copper stills strictly identical to those bought by our founder. Copper is a soft, malleable metal that needs care, time and generations of cultivated understanding. Since 1957, we have had specialist craftsman onsite tending to all 28 of our uniquely shaped and sized copper stills. We’re one of the very few distilleries who still do.
DISTILLATION 1. Following fermentation, the rich brown wash runs into our wash stills. 2. Here it is slowly heated, almost to boiling point, causing the alcohol to vaporise into the narrowing still neck. 3. The vaporised gas is guided down by a water-cooled condenser. This liquid is about 21% ABV, and known as the low wines. 4. The low wines are heated and condensed again in our spirit stills. Unusually, to preserve the character of our whiskies, we use two differently shaped spirit stills. And bring together their distillates equally. 5. At an exact point in the distillation, our high cut point is executed. The very heart of our distillate – clear, light and fruity – is captured. This ‘new make’ spirit trickles into the spirit safe, ready for maturation. 6. The distillate that is not deemed pure enough, called the ‘feints’, is redistilled. WOODMAN Working with oak that will give as much as 65% of our whisky its maturing flavour, is a great responsibility. Our long-serving Head Cooper builds, mends and chars our casks with century-old knowledge and tools. At our onsite cooperage, one of the only remaining, he works alongside his team of highly experienced coopers tending to around 126 casks every day. WATCHMAN Warehouses stacked with casks of gently maturing single malt Scotch whisky are watched over by our experienced warehousemen. Checking casks for leaks, taking samples for our Malt Master and keeping a watchful eye over our marrying process; they call on our expert coopers if there’s a problem. And keep our Malt Master up to date with the precious, ageing malts. MATURATION 1. The finest American oak and Spanish Oloroso oak casks are hand selected by our Head Cooper. 2. The casks are mellowed by years of previous use. The American oak once held bourbon. The European oak held fine sherry. 3. Our oak is toasted or charred to caramelise its wood sugars and open up the oak’s flavour-giving properties. 4. Robbie Dhu spring water is added to our new-make spirit to 63.5% alcohol,
Style. Quality. Function. Established in 1975, T&G has continued to invest heavily in Product Design and Development and has listened carefully to customers in terms of expectations, needs and suggestions. Whether it’s front of house or back of house, table service or tools; T&G have a variety of products that are durable and easy to use. All T&G products have been designed and manufactured with style, quality and function in mind. Our Catering product lines include serving/display trays, menu holders, table tidy’s condiment/tea/coffee boxes, steak/ dip boards, dip dishes, condiment sets, salt and pepper mills, pinch pots, serving bowls, trolleys/serving stations and much more.
We are continuing to lead the market with our ever-expanding selection of premium styled Mills. Within this area we are market leaders, offering the CrushGrind® mechanism for our stylish stainless steel, advanced acrylic and FSC® certified beech mills. Throughout our mill collections there is a choice for everyone from dynamic to traditional. T&G can also produce bespoke and branded products to order, subject to minimum order quantities and lead times. To see the full T&G range please request a copy of the T&G catalogue or visit our website, www.tg-woodware.com
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and our casks are filled. 5. C asks spend long years in our dark, damp warehouses, breathing in Highland air. Maturing a single malt imbued with the character of our glen. 6. Watched over by our warehousemen, our casks wait patiently until they are primed for bottling. SHARP SENSES Innate skill, drive and dedication underlie a Malt Master’s ability to nose, taste and develop exceptional whiskies. Our Malt Masters past introduced marrying to smooth out fluctuations in flavour naturally occurring in maturing whiskies. Once whiskies have reached maturity, they are combined in oak marrying tuns. Here, spirits from different casks mellow and gather great consistency and harmony until our Malt Master decides they are ready for bottling. MARRYING AND BOTTLING 1. When they have reached the desired maturity, selected casks are emptied into large, Portuguese oak marrying tuns. 2. They rest there with whiskies of the same age or older for up to nine months mellowing and building smooth, harmonious consistency. 3. S ome expressions spend a few months in virgin oak casks or casks that used to contain other alcohols, before marrying. There they gather intense aromas and flavours, giving them their characteristic finish. 4. R obbie Dhu springwater is added to create just the right alcohol by volume for each expression. The now fully crafted single malt is bottled.
What would you say are the brand’s major strengths? Glenfiddich is the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The Glenfiddich range has received more awards since 2000 than any other single malt Scotch whisky in two of the world’s most prestigious competitions, the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the International Spirits Challenge. International Spirits Challenge 2012 •G old: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask 19 Year Old •G old: Glenfiddich Malt Master’s Edition • Gold: Glenfiddich 12 Year Old International Wine and Spirit Competition 2012
• Gold Outstanding: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich Malt Master Edition Sherry Cask • Gold: Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix • Gold: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve 19 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich 30 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich 40 Year Old Scotch Whisky Masters Awards 2012 • Master: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old, Distillery Edition • Gold: Glenfiddich Rich Oak & Glenfiddich 15 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich 21 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask 19 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich 30 Year Old • Gold: Glenfiddich 40 Year Old Gold: Glenfiddich Malt Master’s Edition
Can we expect any special whiskies in the coming months? Yes, there will be a limited edition
expression in time for Christmas, which will be launched in support of Team Glenfiddich.
Glenfiddich Supports The Walk This year the premium and most prestigious Scotch whisky brand in the UK will continue to honour William Grants pioneering spirit by supporting Team Glenfiddich UK in the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge which will see teams of wounded servicemen and women from the UK, US and the Commonwealth race to the South Pole under the patronage of Prince Harry.
Top quality ingredients are a cornerstone of any single malt – what makes Glenfiddich so special? With a variety of expressions, Glenfiddich have a bottle for every type of whisky drinker. The signature expression from the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch
whisky, the Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is an exceptional whisky. Carefully matured in the finest American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks for at least 12 years, before being married and mellowed in oak marrying tuns for complete harmony of aroma and flavour. This whisky is perfect for traditionalists who take their whisky with a little water, and will relish the signature Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, with its distinctive fresh pear, creamy with subtle oak flavours and a long smooth and mellow finish. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, ABV 40%, 70CL, RRP £34.59 The adventurous take their whisky on ice, and enjoy the bold taste of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old and its intriguing aromas and flavours. Tradition and innovation collide to give this whisky great depth and consistency with notes of sweet heather honey and vanilla fudge combined with rich dark fruits. Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, ABV 40%, 70CL, RRP £38.59 Those who savour their whisky neat and appreciate the distinguished finish of Glenfiddich 18 Year Old. This intriguingly fruity and robust oak expression has a remarkably rich aroma with ripe orchard fruit, baked apple and robust oak and
taste of luxurious dried fruit, candy peel and dates. Glenfiddich 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky RRP £50.59 The Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky mini set - which includes the 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 18 Year Old single malts - provides the perfect introduction to whisky. Glenfiddich Miniature Single Malt Whisky Gift Set, ABV 40%, 3 x 5CL, RRP £14.99
What are your most popular products? Our most popular product is the signature Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, which has flavours of fresh pear and subtle oak. It is carefully matured in the finest American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks for at least 12 years. Married and mellowed in oak tuns, the result is a complete harmony of aroma and flavour. Carefully matured in the finest American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks for at least 12 years. Married and mellowed in oak marrying tuns for complete harmony of aroma and flavour. A single malt Scotch whisky with distinctive fresh pear, creamy with subtle oak flavours and a long smooth and
mellow finish. The signature expression from the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch whisky.
What do you think has been the driving factor behind the brand’s success? Uncompromising quality.
Finally, what are you favourite years to enjoy? We bring a completely original finish to single malt Scotch whisky. After 14 years maturing in fine Spanish oak and American Bourbon casks, our Malt Master carefully selects virgin Spanish and American oak casks to release extra layers of aroma and flavour into our whisky. With precision timing and handling he allows just the right amount of sweet vanilla, soft toffee, spice and gentle nutty notes to come through. The result is the first virgin American and European oak-finished whisky in the world. Glenfiddich is one of the world’s most desirable whiskies and can be found at any good supermarket, bar, off-license and online from www. thewhiskyexchange.com
E AT : Garnier, 314 Earls Court Road, London, SW5 9BQ
Battle OF THE BRASSERIES Located a stone’s throw away from the station, Garnier is owned by well-known restaurateurs Didier and Eric Garnier of Racine, Le Colombier and St Quentin’s Group fame. We went along to see how it squared up to the likes of Balthazar and The Wolseley.
In February, Balthazar opened with a bang audible from the Eiffel Tower. The younger sister of New York’s glitterati hangout had Londoners battling for reservations like teenage wannabes. Now the hype’s died down, we can move our attention to London’s more discrete French offerings. One such restaurant is Garnier - a French brasserie that tiptoed into Earl’s Court last summer. Located a stone’s throw away from the station, it’s owned by well-known restaurateurs Didier and Eric Garnier. The brothers have had their fingers in many pies over the years, including the St Quentin’s Group in Knightsbridge, Le Colombier in Chelsea Square and Racine on the Brompton Road.
Understated elegance… Inside you’ll find white tablecloths, red velvet seating and gold-rimmed mirrors. It feels, well, French - traditional and elegantly understated. Didier and Eric clearly have a passion for local
neighbourhood restaurants. We arrived at 7.30pm when Garnier was relatively quiet, but it wasn’t long before a procession of regulars begun to filter in, each greeting the French maître d’ like a long lost friend.
Decisions, decisions… The maître d’ showed us to our window seat and gave us a la carte menus. The dishes are inspired by Parisian brasseries; simply made with an emphasis on quality ingredients. There is also a set menu, though it’s only available at lunchtimes. Fuelled by fresh pieces of baguette and dry, garlicky toasts, we studied the extensive list of starters, mains and ‘specials’, most of which were written in French with English descriptions and could be ordered in large or small portions. The easiest choice was the wine – a bottle of Côteaux Varois en Provence (£25.90), the restaurant’s Wine of the Week. As for our food, final decisions came down to the waitress’ recommendations, something done with confidence, proving her knowledge of each dish. >>
>> Traditional Parisian dishes…
Starters were a small portion of Cocquille Saint Jacques a la Grecque from the main Les Poissons selection (£12.00), and Salade Gourmande au Foie Gras de Canard (£12.50). I’ve always been a fan of Cocquille Saint Jacque, so was excited to try Garnier’s take on the dish. The scallop shell was discarded, as was the mashed potato I’m used too. Instead, four, large scallops sat on an equally sweet bed of cauliflower puree and roasted peppers, topped with deep fried courgette flowers and rocket. It wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed every last morsel. Salade Gourmande was a generous heap of French beans mixed with shallots, pieces of smoked duck, gizzards and foie gras. It was a mixture of simple and extravagant ingredients, giving the dish an intense, earthy flavour. By the time our mains arrived the restaurant was just as buzzing as Balthazar. The Cuisse de Lapin Farcie au Boudin Noir (£19.00) was a beauty to behold. A stuffed leg of rabbit sat on top of juicy black pudding, roasted artichokes and Tetris-shaped chips, covered in a rich, gorgeous gravy. Hearty food that was just right for our never-ending winter.
Across the table sat a very different meal – Rump de Veau, Asperges et Féves a la Marjolaine (£19.60). Fresh and colourful, grilled veal rump was tangled with broad beans, asparagus and radish, coupled with a citrusy marjoram dressing. On the side: a bowl of the smallest Jersey Royals I’ve ever seen. The heavenly flukes were as easy to eat as Malteasers - sweet, light and simple. We finished our meal with Crême Brulèe à la Vanìlle (£6.90) and Fondant au Chocolat (£7.90). The Crême Brulèe was large, crisp on top and creamy in the middle. I wouldn’t expect any less from a French brasserie. The Fondant was utterly moreish, paired with sweet, stewed cherries and strawberries, and topped with candied orange peel that gave the
chocolate a delightful flavour. Garnier has style, atmosphere and warmth. It’s the friendly local you visit with friends to eat French food, drink and put the world to rights. It’s special, but approachable. It doesn’t require pomp and circumstance; it relies on recommendations and word of mouth. Go spread the word. Dinner for two including wine: £105. Garnier Restaurant 314 Earl’s Court Rd, London SW5 9BQ Call 020 7370 4536 for reservations Visit: www.garnier-restaurant-london.co.uk for more information.
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S L E EP : St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London, NW1 2QR
Featuring 245 guest rooms, including 38 delightfully restored and updated suites, The St Pancras Renaissance has once again become one of Londonâ€™s most iconic destinations and a benchmark for all railway hotels around the world. We visited this landmark property for ourselves and experienced a model of hospitality.
Today, behind the impossibly grand façade created by Sir George Gilbert Scott one finds a spectacular London hotel quite unlike any other. Indeed, around every corner one is dazzled by the ornate Victorian architecture and wowed by the distinctly 21st century service. Not content with its impressive Booking Office – the former ticket hall adjoining St Pancras Station – where one can stop for a refreshment or snack, the St Pancras boasts The Gilbert Scott restaurant run by Marcus Wareing’s team (don’t forget to read our standalone review on Pg 14 to hear our thoughts).
Lavish locomotion Having been swiftly checked in by the knowledgeable Head of Guest Relations, Andrew Minnucci, we were given a whistle-stop tour of the property, which included the remarkable grand staircase. It is a staggering feature of the hotel’s Victorian heritage that so much of the buildings original charm has remained, even more so when one considers the whole thing was almost left to ruin before being rescued by Marriott and Manhattan Loft Corporation. The painstaking renovation took years to complete at a cost northwards of
£200 million; when it was first built as the Midland Grand it was the last and grandest of the railway hotels and its modern interpretation is as much a eulogy to the vision of Sir Gilbert as it is a celebration of modernity. To give you just a small taste of the meticulous renovation process, Andrew told us that when a tiny piece of rare wallpaper was discovered, it had to be reinstated at a cost of £47,000 for the entire room. Having successfully restored such an iconic piece of the country’s architecture, the resulting St Pancras Renaissance is a rare and quite spectacular achievement.
Speaking of spectacular achievements, we were particularly thrilled to be in one of the hotel’s Chamber Suites that, based on our experiences, are easily among the finest in the capital. All of the 38 Suites come complete with Butler service – including complimentary pressing of up to two items on arrival and a shoe polishing service –, Chambers Club Access (more on this later) and oversized REN toiletries. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the ‘track-side’ rooms as we were, you’ll be able to partake in the most glamorous trainspotting imaginable as the Eurostar arrives and departs – the triple-glazed
windows act as a fine buffer to the noise of the station, so no need to worry about sleepless nights. Each suite is truly individual too, with vast ceilings, king-size beds, 300-thread Egyptian cotton linens and 32” LCD TVs. Perhaps the most romantic feature of the Suites is the amazing privilege of being walked from your room direct to your Eurostar train through a specially manned check-in desk that adjoins the station from the hotel.
Part of the club Once the entrance hall of the original Midland Grand, today, the same grand ambience greets guests of The Chambers Club, reserved for VIPs and Suite residents. From 6:30am until midnight, guests can enjoy hot and cold breakfast items, snacks and afternoon tea and early evening supper canapés. If that wasn’t enough, complimentary hot and cold, alcoholic (three reds and three whites and a fine selection of beers and lagers) and non-alcoholic beverages are served throughout the day, not to mention free Wi-Fi access and complimentary airport transfers for those booking Grand one- and two-bedroom Suites. Further information on both the Chambers Suites and Chambers Club can be found by
calling: 020 7841 3575. However, if you’re in the mood for a more formal dining experience, The Gilbert Scott is the perfect choice. An elegant space featuring an original yet familiar menu, it serves up nostalgic British classics and pays tribute to the history and grandeur of the building. In the old ticket office, the Booking
Office Restaurant & Bar revives the tradition of the station café and was positively heaving on our visit with guests enjoying a drink before catching their Eurostar to Paris and beyond. Perhaps one of the most striking settings for a power lunch, business breakfast or relaxed dinner, the Booking Office serves up classic English dishes and an array of punches >>
and mixed drinks dreamed up from the Victorian period. Its Bar also boasts live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is open until 3am on these nights.
Difficult to leave Paradoxically for a ‘railway’ hotel, we felt absolutely no desire to catch one of the many departing trains overseas. Indeed, such is its splendour and central location this is surely one of the few destinations that functions perfectly as a long-haul tourist hotel, an overnight business hotspot or a hub for onward travel. The fusion of modern amenities and Victorian design is successful throughout; the main problem is getting a sore neck from
looking up at the extraordinarily ornate architecture. With direct access to the Eurostar terminal and located within the St Pancras Station, the St Pancras Renaissance is a remarkable hotel that deserves all the hype. Perfect for business, pleasure or impossibly indulgent trainspotting, there is little to not love here. To put the icing on the cake, the hotel also offers a luxury subterranean spa featuring beautiful Victorian tiled baths and a haven from the hustle and bustle of London. There is a pool to unwind in and a state-of-the-art fitness suite equipped with Technogym cardiovascular and resistance equipment. So whether you’re staying overnight, checking in for dinner or simply passing through, the St Pancras Renaissance has done Sir George Gilbert Scott proud. Rooms start from £295 including breakfast and access to the pool area and gym. Chambers Junior Suites, including breakfast for 2 guests and one spa treatment, are available from £785 per night. Call: 0800 181 737 to make a reservation or visit: http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/ travel/lonpr-st-pancras-renaissancelondon-hotel/ to book online. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London, NW1 2QR
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Hadley Shopfitters are experienced in creating world class interiors. Including restaurants, members clubs, museums, library’s, hotels, public area’s, bars, VIP lounges and other related projects as main contractors or sub-contractors. Working with architects, designers and clients on complex refurbishment and fit-out projects. We master challenging timescales by co-ordinating all trades and always give the best value for the available budget and excellent customer service. Our In-House manufacturing integrates traditional crafts with modern techniques for the finest quality, cost effective work. Our skills in Bespoke Joinery, Solid Surfacing, Polished Hardwood, UV-bonded glass, Veneered inlays and “liquid metal” spray finishes are regular elements in our high quality fit-out joinery and specialist finishes work. We are proud to have developed, manufactured and installed the bespoke furniture, banquette seating, bars, units and bespoke metalwork for the The Gilbert Scott Restaurant, St Pancras Station. We worked very closely with the designer and the main contractor to achieve the very high standard and unusual range of finishes for this excellent restaurant. A good example is the main bar and back bar which, though giving the appearance of being bronze, are actually a sprayed metal finish all carried out in-house.
Hadley Shopfitters www.aehadley.com
DRINK : Bruno Paillard Champagne
Bruno Paillard Champagne is a young, dynamic house that has quickly established a reputation for elegant wines with real style. We caught up with the team to find out more about their wonderful wines.
key decision, which is a consequence of the first one, is to mature the wines very long “sur lattes”, i.e with the lees in the bottle, before disgorgement. The 3rd decision was to practice very low dosage. Eventually, the 4th key point was to give a “post disgorgement” rest to each bottle, and to indicate the date on the back labels.
Could you tell us about the production process from grape to bottle – any secrets you can share?
Can you begin by explaining the history of Champagne Bruno Paillard, perhaps drawing particular attention to the original ideas/concept behind the brand and its position in today’s market? Bruno Paillard founded his Maison back in 1981 with a very clear idea of the style of wines he wanted to produce. He was 27 years old and passionate. With no vineyards or money, he sold his beloved old Jaguar to raise the starting capital of 50,000 Francs. 13 years later he bought his first vineyards – 3 hectares in Oger and these now total 32 hectares, supplying 50% of the total grapes needed for an annual production of around 500,000 bottles. Based in Reims, Champagne Bruno Paillard is still a young, dynamic, family-owned, independent House. What sets Champagne Bruno Paillard apart from other Houses is the unwavering commitment to quality regardless of cost and a particularly pure, mineral and elegant style. Only first
At Bruno Paillard there is a philosophy of extreme excellence, carried through from the site and grape selection to the final blending and ageing. Only the best grapes from the best crus are selected, and from these grapes, only the première cuvée – or first pressing – is used. The blending is overseen by Bruno Paillard personally who also decides which parcels will be fermented in oak. Dégorgement of the wines is a very precise process and afterwards a period of convalescence is needed before being released onto the market. It is at this stage when dosage is decided – but it is always Extra Brut (around 5 or 6g/l) – to emphasise the purity of the resulting wine. As disgorgement is when the wine properly starts the ageing process, Bruno Paillard indicates this date on the back label to give the end consumer a signpost to the expected style in the individual bottle. pressings are used and each cru is vinified separately. The ageing process is also of particular importance at Champagne Bruno Paillard – 3 to 4 times longer than requested by the official rules. Bruno Paillard has always been a strong advocate of displaying disgorgement dates on the label: he was the first Maison to pioneer this, back in1985. The particular focus for the UK market is in high end – Michelin-starred – restaurants, mainly in London. This is because the Champagnes really need to be hand-sold by knowledgeable sommeliers and because customers tend to be Champagne aficionados who appreciate a hand-crafted product.
The branding typifies tradition and elegance – could you tell us more about how this has evolved over time? Right from the beginning, in 1981, the decision was made – and published – to use only the first pressing. The second
You’ve just released your Blanc des Blancs 2002 – what is it that makes it so special to other Houses? Our 2002 has been released significantly later than the majority of the Champenoise. It has been developed exclusively from first pressing Chardonnay from two Côte des Blancs Grands Crus - Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger – and the wine has spent over 10 years maturing on lees to fulfil the potential of this exceptional Champagne vintage. 2002 was a relatively dry year, with 15% less rain than average. The summer was warm and temperate with constant heat that allowed the grapes to ripen evenly. September saw hot days and cold nights, giving an ideal temperature range for maturity and for the health of the clusters. The harvest was small, giving concentrated and aromatic grapes. The small amount of malic acid in these wines, retained after malolactic fermentation,
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maintained freshness. Like all the wines in the Bruno Paillard portfolio, dosage is very low at 5 grams per litre. Disgorgement – dated on the back label – was in 2012.
What would you say are the brand’s major strengths? Again, the uncompromising quality. We may not have the marketing budgets of the big brands, but we have grown through word of mouth and are now seen as a Champagne for the cognoscenti. Bruno Paillard may still be “Champagne’s best kept secret” for the “grand public”, but clearly it’s a favourite for sommeliers in now 30 countries…
Can we expect any special cuvees in the coming months? We will launch our 2004 Assemblage in the UK this autumn. This is a blend of nine villages in the Champagne region, and of two grapes: chardonnay (48%) and pinot noir (52%). Nine years ageing in the cellars have allowed this wine to develop candied fruit aromas, raspberry, wild blackberries, honey and ginger bread. And of course our exceptional N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra” 1999 which is released this year.
What are your most popular champagnes? Those which are sold by the glass in restaurants are the ones which sell best, so the Multi Vintage “Brut Premiere Cuvee” and “Rosé Premiere Cuvee”.
What do you think has been the driving factor behind the brand’s success? The fact that we are a Champagne for connoisseurs who understand the importance of investing passion into each process of the Champagnes life; from the vineyard management and site selection, to the selection of grapes for individual parcels to be vinified, to the ultimate selection for the final blend. The ageing process is something which sets Bruno Paillard
Champagnes apart and, again, is the attention to detail which our customers appreciate. Whilst we age our Champagnes longer than other houses, we are also committed to conveying the importance of disgorgement dating, and encourage amateurs to discover the wonderful “post disgorgement” life of great Champagne wines.
Finally, what would be your ideal evening of champagne and food pairings? It depends on the season, the company…! Visit: www.champagnebrunopaillard.com for more information. Bruno Paillard can be found by the glass at many of the UK’s finest restaurants and through Bibendum Wine and Selfridges.
E AT : The One Premium Extra Olive Oil by OSPREY LONDON
In June of last year, Graeme Ellisdon, founder of successful leather goods brand OSPREY LONDON, announced his foray into the world of gastronomy with the launch of The One â€“ Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We caught up with Graeme and uncovered his genuine passion for authentic gastronomy and love of all thinks Greek.
Since the launch of OSPREY HOME, the brand’s destination interiors store, followed by the Saddlery Cafe in 2011, the food and lifestyle aspect of the brand has become increasingly important to Graeme. Serving a selection of fresh, seasonal, and wheat and gluten free food for customers to treat themselves to after a hard day’s shopping, the move into own-brand, high-quality food seems a logical next step for the brand.
Authentic ingredients As a designer who puts great store by quality materials and traditional techniques, Graeme personally sourced this olive oil from a company in Crete, which works with family growers. Having spent time working on the island in his youth, he was familiar with the local insistence on quality and tradition, which chimes with the brand’s desire to offer high quality and authentic products from around the world. Having left England after school to travel the world, Graeme returned to England in 1980 with just £500 to his name and founded OSPREY LONDON, creating a collection of beautiful handmade belts. Having quickly established the brand’s reputation by producing authentic, handmade leather goods, Graeme’s empire has gone from strength-to-strength over the last 30
or so years. To celebrate the company’s continued expansion, Graeme was keen to tell us that the brand will be returning to the capital with a new London flagship store in 2014, which will proudly stock The One. Delicious with fresh bread, as a dressing for salad, or in cooking, The One Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been created using traditional, cold-press techniques. Presented handsomely in a sturdy wooden case, with the OSPREY LONDON logo branded into the side, this new line is the perfect gift for any food connoisseur, particularly those who share Graeme’s taste for authentic manufacturing that prides itself on quality and craftsmanship. Operating from a
former hat factory in Luton, which now forms the brand’s stylish head office and showrooms, Graeme’s love for authenticity is clearly broadcast in this new olive oil.
The finest tradition On first glances, releasing a premium olive oil might seem an odd move for a luxury clothes brand. However, as Graeme tells us, the company has already enjoyed fine success with its Saddlery Café located within OSPREY St Albans. “Good food is important to us all and increasingly so our brand,” he explains. “A meal is something that is prepared for you individually; it expresses care and nourishment that goes beyond the >>
stomach to the soul. The Saddlery Café – the brand’s charmingly rustic eatery – is about good, seasonal, simple food created using quality ingredients”. Furthermore, his time in Greece during the early 1970s clearly played an integral role in the decision to release the product. “Crete has a special place in my heart and I spent several happy months there one summer in 1973. I love the fighting spirit of the Cretan people, and I love their food, especially their olive oil. When I found this small company producing such a special product, it reignited my passion
for Crete all over again”. The One Premium Olive Oil is produced for OSPREY in Crete by Terra Aegea, a company which prides itself on traditional cold-press extraction methods and fruit grown by a group of family growers who have developed their groves over generations. Established in 2011, Terra Aegea has built a business model based on delivering outstanding oils to the premium market – something that is clearly evident in The One. Likewise, only the best fruit from selected trees are picked at the optimum
ripening level and according to rigorous standards to create this unique extra virgin olive oil. Using the centuries-old, cold-press method of extraction, the result is a truly beautiful oil, which is balanced, full of Mediterranean flavour and very low in acidity, making it the perfect dressing to salads and for dipping freshly made crusty bread. Having tried The One with a number of different breads and nibbles, we’d highly recommend trying it with crusty olive ciabatta or with a generous Caesar salad and French bread. Ultimately, this is a premium olive oil that fits perfectly with the ethos of the OSPREY brand, and one that seamlessly adds to the ever-growing empire of Graeme Ellisdon’s qualityconscious business. The One Premium Extra Olive Oil is available in 500ml bottles at £39.00. To purchase, please visit: www.ospreylondon. com To taste it for yourselves, visit: OSPREY HOME, The Saddlery, Woodcock Hill, Coopers Green Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4 9HJ
S L E EP : The Halkin by Como, Halkin Street, City of Westminster, SW1X 7DJ
A Shopper’s Paradise
Perfectly positioned just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and housed on a quiet street in stunning Belgravia, The Halkin offers quiet and luxurious accommodation in the heart of the capital. We went along for ourselves to see how it compared to COMO’s sister hotel, the Metropolitan on Park Lane. 50
With a reputation for style and chic accommodation, COMO has created two of London’s most popular destinations in Belgravia and Park Lane. Indeed, following on from our review of the Metropolitan in Issue 14, we were particularly excited to visit The Halkin, which is quite literally around the corner from Harrods. Apparently favoured by celebrities seeking out much needed privacy, this is a hotel that promised serious calibre.
Well-balanced service As soon as one enters The Halkin, one is struck by the service mentality of the hotel. Particularly well-balanced, with someone on hand to provide help or take an order without being intrusive or over-attentive, we were glad to see that COMO’s attitude to providing guests all they could desire is consistent in both destinations. Moving through to the bar area, the atmosphere is informal and relaxed, with a good selection of tapas on offer to accompany a drink from the bar – Curious Brew Beer, anyone?! The stuffed olives served with a drink are presented with a dry ice, steaming effect, which we found to be a playfully unique take on a classic snack. Although we had other plans for dinner, we were able to note that that the restaurant area is somewhat unusual and faces the courtyard gardens behind the building. The large windows
on one side provide a not unpleasant counterbalance to the slightly stark white décor on the other. As one would expect from a hotel of its calibre, the tables were impeccably dressed with freshly laundered and ironed white clothes for breakfast. Whilst we didn’t stay for dinner, we were informed that cuisine is a key element of the experience at The Halkin by COMO, which is aiming to become an essential address for luxury dining in London. With the introduction of the recently opened Basque restaurant, ‘Ametsa with Arzak Instruction’, headed by a team that includes chef Elena Arzak
who was voted Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef, the hotel is certainly making all the right noises and we look forward to returning soon to try it for ourselves. The Halkin Bar similarly provides an afternoon tea menu as well as cocktails. The intimate space likewise offers a relaxed, all-day dining menu featuring Western classics and impeccably crafted comfort food including pasta, steak, salads and sandwiches.
A suite tooth Having had a brief tour of the property, we were delighted to be shown into our suite for the night. According to its
website (www.comohotels.com/thehalkin/ thehalkin), “the hotel is widely regarded as a home away from home, with faultless service, award-winning cuisine and Asian-inflected style throughout its 41 contemporary suites and rooms”. Whilst many hotels make these claims, there are few that can live up to the hype but we’re pleased to report that The Halkin was pretty much faultless. Indeed, all guests are entitled to a complimentary welcome drink of their choice on arrival as well as complimentary wireless access. The room itself was very welcoming, with fruit, coffee machine and a spacious seating area and desk, making it the perfect destination for short and long-term stays alike. Unusually roomy, the spaces were clearly designed with comfort, warmth and luxury in mind. Much like its sister property, The Halkin also offers thoughtful in-room touches, including the provision of a bag for shopping and an umbrella. These touches tend to separate good hotels from great ones and, in The Halkin’s case, demonstrate a keen understanding of their visitors’ requirements, such as popping to Harrods to pick up a few things without getting wet – an activity one can virtually guarantee given the great British summer! The en-suite was well-appointed with both curved corner bath and shower
cubicle. Particularly spacious for London, and with COMO’s own luxurious brand of spa toiletries provided, these are spaces that have been designed to please even the most demanding of guests. As well as the large bathroom, we were thrilled to see a lovely super king-size bed that was properly turned down before we returned from dinner. The room similarly boasted a state-of-the-art Samsung TV (featuring international satellite TV, movies on demand and a CD jukebox), mini bar and snack tray to keep you going before dinner or after a long day hitting the pavements. Much like at the Metropolitan nothing is left to chance at The Halkin and, such is the attentive philosophy of the hotel’s management, one gets the impression that even the most outlandish requests will be taken care of swiftly and efficiently.
Location, location, location! Unsurprisingly popular with tourists and businessmen alike, The Halkin by COMO is unusual for offering the kind of efficiency one would expect in a traditional chain hotel but with the added touches of a luxury five star destination. Much like the Metropolitan, COMO has clearly hit upon a recipe for success in developing designer hotels with a broad appeal for the affluent business-stroke-luxury traveller,
a demographic that is evidently growing given the hotel’s popularity. Oozing style and sophistication in equal measure, we were disappointed to leave its welcoming doors and face the world. The fact of the matter is we could have easily spent another week ensconced in the hotel without missing our home comforts. Provided it can maintain these high standards, and with the highly innovative cuisine being dreamed up by Elena Arzak, we’re predicting another great summer for The Halkin. Indeed, unlike the Metropolitan, which is looking a little tired in places, The Halkin by COMO is most definitely the jewel in the brand’s UK crown. If you’re after a true five star experience in one of the capital’s most glamorous locations, then you’d find it hard to better a stay here. Rooms start from £335 per night, including breakfast. Call: 020 7333 1000 for reservations or visit: www.comohotels.com/thehalkin/ thehalkin to book online. The Halkin by Como, Halkin St, City of Westminster, SW1X 7DJ
D RINK : Carom at Meza, 100 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TN
e t u l o s Ab
s u o i N GI
Pan-Indian restaurant, Carom, situated in the middle of Soho, is playing host to a Tanqueray Botanical Gin Garden from the end of May through to October. Unsurprisingly, it has a selection of 89 gins and we just couldnâ€™t resist popping in and trying a few for ourselves.
Nowadays bars are no longer a place where you go and order a standard drink of any kind, they each claim to specialize in something, be it prohibition style cocktails, beers from small independent brewers or as we recently found out, a specific spirit. Indeed, Carom has a selection of 89 gins, each one slightly different from the next, not only in the way it is distilled but also in the botanicals used to make it. Gin’s predominant flavor is juniper berries, the better the gin the more you can smell and depending how refined your palate is, taste the berries. Upon arrival at the Tanqueray Botanical gin garden we were each given a small wicker basket and encouraged to forage in said “garden”. In the garden placed amongst the distressed wood benches, garden furniture, plants, flowers and random pair of wellies were placed bowls of
ripe fruit, ramekins of berries and pots of mint and rosemary all ready for us to create our own bespoke gin cocktails. It was a genius, or should we say ginius, idea. To continue with the the pun, we thought we’d be inginious and put Adam Spinks (Manager of said pop up bar) through his paces by putting together some incongruous flavours. We thought the rosemary and grapefruit would be the most baffling for him but he took our ingredients from the basket and put together what he could with the interesting mixture we presented him. We came out with a lychee and rose petal gin Collins and a vanilla, strawberry and cinnamon, both served in jam jars. A fellow forager came out with a tea bag in her jam jar, although on closer inspection we realized it wasn’t a PG tips but a Tanqueray tea bag that contained
juniper berries to infuse the flavours in to the cocktail. Other foragers had similar tea bags but they were coriander, liquorice or angelica. We felt rather silly after speaking with Adam about our foraging choices, who said that although he liked a challenge not even the gin meister general himself could make the flavours we gave him work together. This is totally fair enough and you will find menus with a cocktail list if you don’t fancy creating your own botanical gin creations. A very nice surprise is that they’re all very reasonably priced at £7.95 each! Having the gin garden at a Pan-Indian restaurant is the perfect setting, the tangy, spicy food smells accompany the aromatic gin cocktails beautifully, there is even a cocktail, the Malacca fizz, with a recipe dating back to 1839 that has spicy influences. It is also fitting, as >>
favourite drink of many was born! The gin used for the cocktails ordered from the Botanical Gin Garden is Tanqueray. A well-known, award-winning premium gin made with high quality grains, purest water and finest botanicals, it was allegedly the gin of choice of the Rat Pack, Roger Moore and JFK. As we mentioned earlier there are 88 other gins to choose from but you can’t go wrong with good ol’ Tanqueray. To give the garden a little more description, it’s in a glasshouse attached to the front of the restaurant overlooking Wardour Street, not only is it great for people watching but it also takes you out of bustling London and in to a mini spa paradise with overgrown hanging pots and foliage giving it an exotic greenhouse feel.
the Gin & Tonic was the quintessential drink of British Empire, invented by the British Army in India. Back in the day the officers would drink lots of tonic because the quinine in it helped to prevent malaria however, after a while, and because it tasted so foul on its own, they decided to add a splash of gin, et voila! A life long
The garden will host a series of interactive events throughout the summer starting in June with the Botanical Evening Masterclass through to October with Cocktails at home: foraging in the autumn. For more information and booking please visit: www.caromsoho.com or call 020 7314 4002.
ADVERTISER INDEX AE Hadley – www.aehadley.com
Ettinger – www.ettinger.co.uk
Fracino – www.fracino.com Kandula Tea – www.kandulatea.com Moevenpick Ice Cream – www.moevenpick-icecream.com
26-27 13 3
Peter Spanton Beverages – www.peterspantonbeverages.com
Real Champagne Company – www.real-champagne.com/cases/champagne-club-ESD
Sodastream – www.sodastream.co.uk2 T&G Woodware – www.tg-woodcare.com
Teapigs – www.teapigs.co.uk
Warisan – www.warisan.com
Drinking a fine London
Gin or Vodka ......?
My Tonic water has the base note of bitter quinine and a very definite top note of real lemon oil and bitter orange but leaves a space in the middle for a fine spirit to fully occupy - think of my No1 London Tonic as a grand frame in which to exhibit a masterpiece!
No1 London Tonic by Peter Spanton Beverages www.peterspantonbeverages.com