Issue Nineteen All you need to know about fine dining, luxury accommodation and the best food and beverages the UK has to offer.
Valentine’s Edition: Woo your partner at the most romantic hotels and restaurants and surprise them with the finest drinks!
Angler | Bath Priory Restaurant | Hélène Darroze at The Connaught Bath Priory Hotel | Jumeirah Carlton Tower | South Place | The Wellesley Champagne Gosset | Chase Distillery | Kilchoman
World Class Spa • Well-being House • Michelin Star Restaurant Cookery School • Equestrian Centre A Palladian Mansion set within 500 acres of private parkland, just 6 miles from the historic City of Bath, a World Heritage Site. Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ Tel: +44 (0)1225 742777 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lucknampark.co.uk
E AT S L E E P D R I N K Issue Nineteen
All you need to know about fine dining, luxury accommodation and the best food and beverages the UK has to offer
Publisher Laurie Cuthbert Email: email@example.com
Editorial Assistants: Cordelia Rosa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Tadier Email: email@example.com
Collectively speaking, our New Year’s resolution was to fully embrace the finest restaurants, hotels and brands the UK has to offer, the fruits of which can be found throughout our 19th issue. Rather than bemoan our growing waistlines and increasingly far flung travel schedule, being the troopers we are, this edition showcases a veritable smorgasbord of indulgent cuisine, luxury accommodation and brands with genuine
Design Steve Watson - www.stevewatsondesign.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operations and Finance Stuart McCreery Email: email@example.com
pedigree. On a beautifully crisp weekend before Christmas, we visited the Bath Priory Hotel & Restaurant and found a hotel which combines good old fashioned relaxation with spectacular rooms and cuisine, and all this just a quick walk from the Georgian glory of Bath Spa.
In the capital, we were back and forth across town to enjoy the
Hotel, Jumeirah Carlton Tower and The Wellesley. From the classically
delights of Angler, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, South Place French gastronomy at Hélène Darroze to the modern British seafood at Angler, both restaurants are united by a commitment to impeccably
prepared dishes that utilise the finest ingredients. With three Michelin
stars between them, their pedigree is clear to see.
EatSleepDrink Magazine William Robinson Buildings, 3 Woodfield Terrace, Stansted, Essex, CM24 8AJ Registered in England: 8041224 The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily
At South Place, the first hotel in D&D London’s spectacularly successful stable, we were thrilled to find a design hotel that actually delivers what it promises. While at The Wellesley and Jumeirah Carlton Tower, both located in the always charming Knightsbridge, we savoured the very definition of old school glamour. Indeed, if you’re struggling with ideas for Valentine’s Day, the spirits
those of ESD Media Ltd. Neither ESD Media Ltd or any other
of Chase and Kilchoman will do wonders for your partner’s mood.
person associated with the design, production and publication
Likewise, if fizz is more your ticket, Champagne Gosset, the world’s
of this magazine make any guarantees, warranties or claims as to the accuracy, currency or truthfulness of the content of this magazine. No part of this magazine may be copied, reproduced or
oldest champagne house, continues to produce some of the finest cuvées we’ve had the pleasure of tasting.
transmitted in any form without written consent of ESD Media Ltd. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited editorial, images or photographs published. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and ESD Media Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. All rights reserved ESD Media Ltd.
So, charge your glasses, put your feet up and get ready to make some more enjoyable resolutions!
CONTENTS Issue Nineteen
Valentine’s Day Drinks Cabinet
EA T Angler Hélène Darroze at The Connaught Bath Priory Hotel & Restaurant
38 9 44
S L EE P Bath Priory Hotel & Spa
Jumeirah Carlton Tower:
DRINK Champagne Gosset:
If you would like to go directly to an article, simply click on the relevant heading listed above.
If you have any news to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Muñoz to open StreetXo in London London, UK
Valentine’s at Alyn Williams London, UK
David Muñoz, chef and creator of Madrid’s three Michelin starred DiverXo and urban hotspot StreetXo, will bring his street-food inspired StreetXo to London’s Mayfair in June 2014. This will be the celebrated maverick chef ’s first restaurant outside of Spain and a return to London, the city that inspired his cooking style. His unique representation of street food is an evolution of his travels from the exciting London restaurant scene to South East Asia and everywhere in between. Muñoz trained in some of London’s greatest kitchens for many years before returning to Madrid. His StreetXo restaurant is influenced by Spain, but encompasses many other elements of his travels. StreetXo’s vibrant dining energy is an extension of Munoz’s powerful upbeat approach to cooking. London StreetXo will be the same, open for service 14 hours each day. The focal point of the restaurant will be the central open-kitchen with chefs front and centre, interacting one-on-one with guests, cooking and serving up food and fun. Open and airy, StreetXo will also have a large bar with an inventive cocktail selection. The energy will flow between the kitchen and bar, and food and drinks will be available throughout the venue. The menu will change often and will feature 12-14 dishes, but guests should also look out for the trolley circulating throughout the room, serving one-off creations.
Enjoy a seven-course menu specially-created by the award winning, Michelin starred Alyn Williams this Valentine’s Day. Fall in love over a luxurious selection of decadent dishes including: hand dived scallops with Datterini tomato, monks beard and salted ricotta; poached and roasted guinea fowl with white onion angolotti and an apple and kohlrabi salad; rib of Galloway beef, salsify and a broccoli custard; capellini with truffles and parsley; and a fabulously indulgent apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream for two – perfect for sharing. The Valentine’s menu costs £90 per person and will be available for two dinner sittings on 14th and 15th February, the first from 5:30-9pm and the second from 9pm onwards.
SLEEP Perfect for a cultural weekend in London, the hotel is offering an exclusive Art14 Experience, allowing guests an insight to the world of art. The package includes one night’s accommodation, Continental Breakfast for two in The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant, plus tickets to the art fair at Olympia Grand between 28 February and 2 March 2014. Art14 London, returning to the capital after a triumphant first year, will showcase the best paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, video and digital art by artists from around the globe.
Alyn Williams at The Westbury Hotel 37 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2YF 020 71836426 email@example.com
ART14 London at Jumeirah Carlton Tower London, uk Guests who book a suite will receive access to a VIP preview from 2-6pm on 27 February and the show’s VIP lounge throughout the show. Suite guests will also enjoy a private visit to the studio of artist Liliane Lijn, who has been short-listed to produce the next artwork for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. As part of the experience, an artinspired cocktail ‘The Perfect Palette’ will be available in The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant, a creative combination of Bombay Gin, Damson Gin with lime juice, sugar syrup and a blackberry and lemon
garnish that will be a welcome treat after a day at the fair. The Rib Room will also offer a pair of tickets each week to anyone who buys ‘The Perfect Palette’ from 1 February. To book, contact the team on: +44 (0)20 7858 7223, email: JCT@jumeirah.com or visit: jumeirah.com/JCT Jumeirah Carlton Tower 2 Cadogan Place London, SW1X 9PY
St. Pancras Renaissance launches bath ritual experience London, UK St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has announced the launch of an indulgent new bathing experience in homage to the hotel’s past. Guests staying in Chambers can now enjoy the ultimate in luxury with a complimentary ‘Bath Ritual’ experience as part of their stay. When the original Midland Grand Hotel opened in 1873, a Victorian bath menu enabled guests to request private use of one of the building’s 5 bathrooms. Working in partnership with Cinq Mondes, the award winning French beauty brand used exclusively in St Pancras Spa, the hotel has now brought this experience back to life, with a contemporary version of the bath menu, based on the Journeys treatments available in the Spa. The Bath Ritual begins with a personalized consultation from the Chambers Butler. This will determine which of the menu’s 5 Journeys is St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is delighted to announce the launch of an indulgent new bathing experience in homage to the hotel’s past. The different options include ‘Journey to India’, ideally suited to those in need of relaxation, ‘Journey on the Silk Route’ for those requiring muscle and joint relief and ‘Journey to Africa’ for those who favour a more rejuvenating and reviving experience. Once selected, the guest can retreat to The Chambers Club while the Butler prepares the room according to the chosen Journey. The bedroom will be transformed using complementary atmospheric music and scent. In the bathroom, Cinq Mondes products tailored to the Journey, including a scrub and oil will be
provided alongside a sweet snack which will complete the indulgent experience. The complimentary service is the latest benefit afforded to guests staying in St Pancras Chambers. Guests of the 38 rooms and suites situated in the original Victorian part of the building, also have access to the exclusive Chambers Club, which serves complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapés alongside a selection of drinks throughout the day. Priority table reservations at The Gilbert Scott restaurant, a Eurostar VIP Transfer Service and a complimentary wet shave at in-house barbershop Gentlemen’s Tonic are further benefits available to Chambers guests. Visit: www.stpancrasrenaissance.co.uk or call: 020 7841 3540 St. Pancras Renaissance Euston Road London, NW1 2QR
DRINK Champagne Gosset is introducing its latest prestige cuvée into the UK market: Celebris Rosé 2007 Extra Brut, the first new rosé in the Celebris range for over five years. A blend of 59 per cent Chardonnay, 41 per cent Pinot Noir and 7 per cent red wine (from Bouzy and Ambonnay) true to the character of most Gosset champagnes, it is produced without malolactic fermentation. The climatic conditions of 2007 were exceptional and lent themselves to the extra brut style. A wet and gloomy but extraordinarily mild winter, followed by a hot and summery spring, then wet and changeable summer (often with hail) culminated in superb early-harvest weather from late August.
Champagne Gosset introduces Celebris Rosé 2007 In the glass, with a pale pink hue and a hint of cherry-red reflection, the Celebris Rosé 2007 displays a constant, slender, stream of thousands of tiny bubbles. On the nose it delivers not only notes of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla, but also nuances of lilac and violet, which confer delicacy and freshness. This freshness is also found on the palate; with those prevailing aromas of red fruits there is a hint of pink grapefruit in the finish. “This cuvée provides Gosset with another superb tribute to the expertise – and patience – of our cellar master Jean-Pierre Mareigner. It is an important addition to our Celebris range. ” Says Jean-Pierre Cointreau, CEO of Champagne Gosset. Packaged in distinctive black and pink Gosset Celebris livery, it is expected to retail for around £145 a bottle. It is distributed in the UK exclusively by McKinley Vintners (Tel: +44 20 7928 7300 or visit www.mckinleyvintners.co.uk).
Billecart-salmon rosé for valentine’s day This Valentine’s Day enjoy an intimate evening at home with Champagne Billecart-Salmon. Symbolic of passion and love, Billecart Rosé is the ultimate drink to share with someone special. This year, to make your evening unforgettable, take home a complimentary bottle of Brut Rosé when you purchase a bottle of either Brut Rosé,
Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru or Vintage 2004. This event will run at selected retailers throughout the UK, from the 1st to 15th February. For more information on the Valentine’s event, please visit: www.champagne-billecart.com
Vale n t in e’ s D ay D rinks C a b i net
JACK DANIEL’S SINGLE BARREL:
Bottled from a single barrel from the Jack Daniel distillery. Each barrel is selected by the Master Distiller by its suitability as a standalone product before being bottled. Take our word for it, if your partner likes his whisky sweet and sublime, Valentine’s Day will be better than it’s ever been! RRP: £41. Available at selected retailers and online at: www.masterofmalt.com
BALBLAIR 1983 – 1ST RELEASE:
Replacing the 1975 vintage, the Balblair 1983 is a stunningly rich single malt Scotch whisky from the distillery in the Highlands. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels since 1983, it’s full of cracking sweetness and a warming hint of oak. If you’re budget stretches into the realm of a good dinner out, we’re certain that this 30 year old single malt will be the perfect solution to your romantic quandaries. RRP: £210.43 at www.masterofmalt.com
CAORUNN SMALL BATCH GIN:
A small batch Scottish gin from the Balmenach distillery in Speyside. Caorunn (pronounced ka-roon) is made with a combination of traditional and handpicked botanicals including rowan berry, heather, coul blush apple and dandelion. As you will have seen from our feature on this delightful gin in Issue 15, it’s the perfect gin for a crisp G&T, making it ideal for the significant man or woman in your life. RRP: Around £23. Widely available in off licenses, wine merchants and online at: www.masterofmalt.com
TEAPIGS MODERN MATCHA KIT:
If, on the other hand, you’re enjoying the New Year’s abstinence, why not treat your partner to a healthy dose of teapigs’ matcha, which continues to revitalise and astound its growing number of drinkers throughout the UK. RRP: £32.50 at http://www.teapigs.co.uk/tea/shop_by_category/matcha_shop/matchakit.htm
ROGER CONSTANT LEMAIRE CUVÉE ROGER CONSTANT 2007:
Let’s face it, nothing says “I love you” like a bottle of great bubbly. If you read our last edition, you’ll already be in on the secret. Constant-Lemaire is a truly wonderful champagne house that we’ve been singing about for months. This particular cuvee is extremely hard to come by as only 150 bottles are available in the UK. For this reason alone, you’ll be in his or her good books for at least the rest of the night! RRP: £139.99 at: http://www.htfwines.co.uk/roger-constant-lemaire-cuvee-roger-constant-2007. html
EAT: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair, London
Hélène Darroze at the
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught celebrates everything about the finest French restaurants: impeccable service, delectable cuisine and wonderful wine.
Situated within the splendour of The Connaught in London’s Mayfair, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught has longbeen a favourite of ours. Indeed, we have enjoyed a Champagne Billecart-Salmon Tasting Menu there alongside Billecart’s MD, Colin Palmer. On this occasion, however, we were there to strictly bask in the restaurant’s familiar charm.
An old friend
Like seeing old friends, there is always a slight anxiety when returning to a favourite restaurant: will it be as memorable as the last time? Fortunately as soon as we were welcomed into the beautifully appointed dining room by Restaurant Manager Loic Henriet, such anxiety was immediately put to bed. Presiding over the restaurant with grace and charm, Loic creates an atmosphere that is relaxed-yet-formal. All of the staff quite literally bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and are as happy to advise as they are to be directed. This understated persona combines beautifully with the two Michelin starred cuisine and means diners can enjoy the food and win e without feeling pressured. We decided to go for the 6 course Tasting Menu with 1 dessert (£125 per
person excluding wine) and opted for wine pairings chosen by Sommelier Giovanni Ferlito (now Head Sommelier at Morton’s). As if by magic, two glasses of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé appeared on the table, which we were pleased to note remains a popular house pour. First on the menu we attacked an XXL Hand-Harvested Scallop from Scotland cooked with Tandoori spices, Carrot and Confit Citrus Mousseline, Spring Onion Reduction with Lampong Pepper and Fresh Coriander. While we are generally indifferent towards the
proliferation of scallops on seemingly every Michelin star menu in the UK, this was an example of how to do it well. Beautifully tender and succulent, the tandoori spices of the dressing acted as the perfect foil for the scallop.
As we proceeded through the menu, there was nothing to find fault with and we were left wondering why more restaurants at this level struggle to find such consistency. In a sense, the
predictability of the cuisine at Hélène Darroze might do it a disservice to newcomers looking for theatre and spectacle. For us, the restaurant’s dependability is its crowning glory. Unashamedly devouring the savoury courses of Sole, Hake, Lamb, Black Truffle and Chicken respectively, the wine pairings were delicately judged, each one teasing out the essence of the core ingredients to great effect. There was a distinctly AsianFrench fusion at work here, which was a pleasant surprise from our last visit. Yet, despite this, the cooking was unwaveringly excellent. We could wax lyrical about each course but the food should (and does) do the talking here, although we couldn’t live with ourselves if we didn’t mention the divine Roasted Hake! Yes, the restaurant is expensive – more than £350 for two for 7 courses including wine pairings – and yes it is one of London’s most rarefied neighbourhoods. But when the food, service and wine is so replete, all one can do is sit back and savour the experience until the next time.
>> In the know
For those on a budget or a tight schedule, you’ll be thrilled to learn that you can enjoy a light three-course lunch within the hour. For just £35 per person (£42 including wine), this is surely one of London’s best value dining experiences. At the other end of the scale, The Sommelier’s Table offers a bespoke food menu dedicated to your wine preferences beneath The Connaught’s legendary kitchens where a collection of some 6,000 vintage wines are impeccably kept in a limestone-clad cellar – we’ve been
to the cellars and it truly is a sight to behold. Accommodating a maximum of 8 people, this is a treat for even the most demanding oenophiles and gastronomes. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught Carlos Place Mayfair, London W1K 2AL
Visit: http://www.the-connaught. co.uk/mayfair-restaurants/helenedarroze/ for reservations or call: 020 3147 7200. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays and dress code is smart with a jacket preferred.
S L E EP: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London
Part of the impossibly chic D&D Group, recently-opened South Place is one of the capitalâ€™s most stylish luxury hotels. On our visit we were wowed by high functioning design, al fresco bars and a breath-taking rooftop restaurant.
With 80 cutting-edge bedrooms, South Place represents a sea change in the City of London’s corporate accommodation. Indeed, located just a stone’s throw away from Moorgate, the hotel has a rather unique appeal, both to the City crowd and a younger, edgier clientele who flock back for bottomless prosecco and ubercool DJ sets. It is the first venture into the hotel market from the now iconic D&D London restaurant group. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a group that can do no wrong, the hotel is kitted out with Conran-designed interiors, 2 restaurants, 3 bars and 5 private dining and meeting rooms. What is immediately apparent is energy with a capital E. Smokers will rejoice that the outside bar, nestled away on the hotel’s second floor, is smoker-friendly, which demonstrates the kind of foresight that was put into the architecture of the property. Of course, this part of London is becoming increasingly de rigueur due to its proximity to Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Hoxton. The City, too, is a far cry from the ghostly persona of the late 90s and now boasts a wide array of leading restaurants and bars.
Guest rooms at South Place combine comfort with modern, intelligent design executed without being utilitarian, quite the feat for this part of London. Each room features a 40” Bang & Olufsen television with over 40 channels and complimentary movies on demand. There are five bedroom categories at
the hotel: Dominions, on the top floor, which boast sloping Mansard ceilings and king beds; South Place Rooms, which have super-king beds; the newly installed Eldon Rooms with complimentary soft drinks; Studios, which offer a more generous floor space, both in the openplan bedroom and bathrooms; and Suite 610, which runs the entire length of
BUBBLES SET THEM
FREE. Home soda maker designed by Yves Béhar.
>> Dominion Street and enjoys panoramic
City Views (we had the tour and it is truly spectacular). We stayed in one of the Eldon Rooms, which demonstrated the hotel’s designled functionality to great effect (it is also a member of Design Hotels). Particular attention has been given to the lighting, which is controlled by touch panel and is fully adjustable, with presets for bating, reading and packing. It was refreshing to see that the generous work desk included a recessed media hub with international sockets as well as AV and IT connections. The mini bar is a veritable celebration of British products and, uniquely in London’s five star scene, gives one the option of full bottles of Sipsmith Gin,
should you wish for a more debauched stay. There was a Nespresso machine and tea-making facilities and large 100ml James Heeley ‘St Clements’ amenities in the bathroom. Our favourite in-room feature was undoubtedly the electric blackout blinds that provided a blissful and uninterrupted slumber.
As well as more wining and dining options than you could hope for in a night, South Place has a well-appointed TechnoGym with free weights, cardiovascular and resistance machines. The gym also boasts voyeuristic views of the surrounding streets, which go some way in compensating for the essential
with treatments priced at £55, £110 and a la carte. If you’re after a real treat, don’t forget to book in advance for Angler, the hotel’s highly acclaimed Michelin star restaurant on the top floor (more on this on Pg…). With its spectacular city views and stunning food, Angler is the perfect spot for power lunches or a romantic meal and even has a roof terrace for the last word in urban al fresco cuisine.
A number of firsts
>> tedium of working up a sweat on the
treadmill. Lovers of self-indulgence will be similarly thrilled to unwind in the hotel’s Spa & Wellness centre, which in addition to steam room and saunas, offer Aromatherapy Associates treatments, rituals and products to restore health and vitality. Indeed, the Spa offers massages, aromatherapy and beauty treatments in the first floor of the hotel. Its Spa and Pampering menu includes a unisex range,
As the first hotel to open in the Square Mile for 100 years, South Place is the only independent, luxury hotel in the City (sorry Andaz and Threadneedles). Like many of the world’s finest design hotels, South Place also commissioned a number of pieces of art especially for the hotel, including kitsch ‘pop-art’ prints by John Vincent Aranda. If shopping is more your thing, then Westfield Stratford is just a 10 minute tube ride, while the streets of Oxford, Bond and Regent are all within striking distance. Boutiques, galleries and markets are even closer, with Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Hoxton in the immediate neighbourhoods.
For us, South Place represents a critical piece of London’s luxury hotel jigsaw. A hotel that combines design with comfort and Michelin star cuisine with laidback comfort food at 3 South Place Bar & Grill is always going to be a hit in our book. Who would have thought, though, that its location would be the real star of the show? The answer, of course, is D&D London. Rooms start from £231 per night including breakfast. Visit: www.southplacehotel.com for reservations or call 020 3503 0000. South Place Hotel 3 South Place London EC2M 2AF
Il Gelato di Ariela (Arielaâ€™s Gelato) was born in 2006 when in a really hot summer Ariela was struggling to find the fantastic Gelato she could only find back home. It was then that the penny dropped and she realised there was a lack of really authentic Italian Gelato in London. So with the help of Francesca, another Gelato lover, she opened a little Gelateria in north London. Their mission was to make the original Italian Gelato, the artisan way, using only the best natural ingredients, real fruit and banning all artificial flavourings and colourings. It wasnâ€™t long before other food establishments were asking to be supplied with what they regarded as one of the best Gelato in London, one thing led to another and Il Gelato di Ariela moved from being a retail business to a wholesale one.
Visit our brand new website
Lime & Mint Sorbet winner of 2 stars at the Great Taste Awards 2013
Unit C34, Hastingwood Trading Est. Harbet Road, Edmonton - London N18 3HU tel/fax: +44 020 8803 5344 mobile: +44 079 732 948 56 email: email@example.com
DRINK : Chase Distillery
As the founder of Tyrrells Crisps, which he later sold in 2008 for ÂŁ30m, William Chase found further success with his worldbeating Chase Vodka, which he conceived in 2004. Today, Chase is synonymous with the finest vodka and gin and continues to expand with impressive gusto. We caught up with the man himself to learn more about what makes the brand tick and his new foray into wine.
Regular readers of ESD will recall that Chase came into being by pure serendipity. On a trip to the US to source packaging equipment for Tyrrells, Will stumbled upon a small distillery making vodka from potatoes. From then on, he decided it would be more fun to use his abundant supply of potatoes to make English vodka. The strategy, which continues to inform Chase to this day, was refreshingly simple: “to make a quality product with provenance and pedigree”.
Telling a real story
“When I first started Chase, the whole aim was to make something better and to try and get the industry to buy into it, not from brainwashing or sponsoring bartenders, but from a quality perspective,” Will recalls. “I didn’t want to just throw money at the product. Indeed, I felt like we had a real story to tell and that the vodka should speak for itself without massive advertising campaigns and billboards plastered everywhere”. As a brand, Chase genuinely lets quality speak for itself, as Will continues by affirming. “I knew from my experience with Tyrrells that if you have a good product, breaking into the retail sector is relatively easy, particularly in the premium market. Even more so today, retailers are open to stocking quality products, so if they like it, the chances are
they will begin to stock it, which was the perfect launching pad for Chase Vodka”. Today, Chase boasts a beautifully varied range of gins and vodkas, all distilled on Will’s farm in Herefordshire. Having long-been ignored in favour of the Cotswolds, it is the county’s honest people and top quality produce that continue to inspire Will and his team. “As well as our Marmalade Vodka and Classic Original Vodka, we now make an English Smoked Vodka, which is smoked in English oak for around 7 days, which gives it a fantastic taste and a smooth finish”. Having been fortunate enough to
sample the brand’s entire range, we can’t recommend the Naked Chase Apple Vodka enough, which is made from the farm’s cider apples, so it isn’t flavoured. There’s nothing added to it and its name reflects the organic apples used to create it. The Apple Vodka is distilled five times in Chase’s copper batch pot, which makes it perfect for a martini, served with a slice of apple (RRP: £40).
Gin and Grenache
As well as their successful UK market, Chase has also established itself as a goto premium spirit in the export market, with the Far East, particularly Hong Kong,
>> representing a large part of the business.
“We sell directly overseas and with the reach of social media, we are finding that the brand is increasingly recognisable the world-over,” Will notes. “Our Elegant Gin (RRP: £38) and GB Extra Dry Gin (RRP: £30) are also doing very well. Both are made from our own single-estate vodka that is grown, fermented, distilled and bottled on our farm,” he tells us. “For the Extra Dry Gin, we infuse juniper buds and berries to ensure that we distill the driest gin possible, followed by 10 fine botanicals, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, almond, coriander, cardamom, cloves, liquorice and lemon”. Looking to the future, Will is particularly enthusiastic about his new venture, a vineyard in the south of France that he acquired last year. “I’ve come to really admire Grenache. I love the spiciness of it; it’s soft on the palate and has a relatively high alcohol content, but, like our potatoes, it needs careful control of yields for the best results. I suppose I’m drawn to humble ingredients that, if treated with care and love, produce fantastic results. At the moment, we’re working on a really lovely rosé, which we hope to bring to market before too long”. The refusal to settle for ‘acceptable’ quality is the characteristic that’s
undoubtedly behind Will’s success. Indeed, from Tyrrells to Chase – and now with his own wine – his lack of compromise is unstinting as he concludes by explaining. “There is no danger of us ever outsourcing production, we know, and most importantly, our customers know, that the quality of Chase will be constant”. Despite Will’s characteristic modesty, we’ve no doubt that his wine will reflect the quality and elegance of his previous efforts. And for that, we can all raise a glass. Visit: www.chasedistillery.co.uk or http://www.chasedistillery.co.uk/shop/ to buy your bottle(s!) now.
THE HOTEL NANNY
GIVES PARENTS THE CHANCE TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR TIME AWAY A high-end childcare service launched by a businesswoman from Tetbury is making its mark at boutique hotels in the Cotswolds and Bath. The Hotel Nanny, set up to address the lack of dependable childcare at most hotels, offers a reliable and consistent service for families wanting to enjoy all of the luxuries on offer during their time away. The service is now available in 14 of the area’s most exclusive hotels, with more realising the benefits all the time. Feedback from clients is very good and a number of celebrities are now regularly using the service. The growing company is proving a successful business venture for owner Angela Roach, a 38-year-old mum of two who lives with her partner Alexis in the Cotswold village of Westonbirt, near Tetbury. Her own frustrations in finding high-quality childcare in hotels are ones shared by many couples. Until now. “When my daughter was six months old,” she says, “we went away to a beautiful exclusive hotel for the weekend. After being dazzled by the facilities available, I discovered that the childcare services were insufficient. The arrangements were very informal with next to no details about the qualifications of the person that would come along. This made both my husband and I uneasy about going ahead. Essentially, we were unable to enjoy our stay to the full. “After much research, it appeared that other families were experiencing a similar problem. It was then that I knew I could fill a gap in the market.” The Hotel Nanny service helps generate revenue for the hotels as family guests are now using facilities such as the spa and restaurant. The hotels can also position themselves as family-friendly destinations, which adds another string to their bow. In fact, regular clients come to The Hotel Nanny website first before booking their accommodation. The service is also used by corporate event managers looking for childcare facilities for their employees and clients, and particularly by wedding planners who book a number of private nannies for guests of the wedding party. Eventually, Angela plans to take the service nationwide, while maintaining The Hotel Nanny’s standards of excellence. She says: “We want to expand our reach and provide consistent and high-end nanny services to all of Britain’s finest hotels. The vision is to see The Hotel Nanny working nationwide.” For more information about The Hotel Nanny visit www.thehotelnanny.co.uk.
S L E EP : The Wellesley, 11 Knightsbridge, London
A relative newcomer to Londonâ€™s seemingly infinite luxury offering, The Wellesley occupies an enviable position at 11 Knightsbridge, cosily located between The Lanesborough and The Berkeley. With stunning views over Hyde Park and its own custom Rolls-Royce, we were thrilled to find a hotel that practices what it preaches and where indulgence is the name of the game.
Having recently learned that The Lanesborough is closing for a year’s renovation, The Wellesley must be licking its lips. Indeed, with The Lanesborough’s loyal guests left in no man’s land, The Wellesley is the obvious pretender to the very large throne. However, if our visit is anything to go by, it is more than capable of filling it. The hotel has 36 rooms and is located in what was, previously, the entrance to Hyde Park Corner underground station until the 1930s and then later home to the renowned Pizza on the Park jazz club. The opulent interiors have been restored to their 1920s Art Deco glory and given a contemporary feel by Fox Linton Associates. Italian marble runs through the main floor and links the Cigar Lounge and Terrace, The Crystal Bar, The Oval Restaurant and the Jazz Room with suitable decadence. The Cigar Lounge has Europe’s largest walk-in humidor and offers some of the rarest (and most expensive) sticks in the world, which are carefully stewarded by Giuseppe Ruo, one of the world’s greatest cigar aficionados who has the enviable task of travelling the world to secure the finest sticks for the hotel’s discerning visitors. The outdoor Cigar Terrace is, of course, heated and stays open until 3am – on our visit, it was heaving right until closing time, which gives one an indication of the hotel’s demand. If you’re a cognac aficionado then you’ll be pleased to hear that The Crystal Bar has a range of some of the world’s rarest, including a bottle of Cognac 1770, which at £4,000 a shot is not for the faint-hearted.
If, like us, you’re staying overnight, The Wellesley has a selection of suites equipped with the latest technology, such as Samsung tablets for 24-hour butler service. For those of you staying for business, The Wellesley Penthouse occupies the entire sixth and seventh floors and has its own luxurious boardroom, humidor and stunning views across Hyde Park, and which unsurprisingly can command up to £11,500 per night. It just so happens that on our visit we had the good fortune to be upgraded to The Wellesley Penthouse. As well as the 8 seat dining table, the suite boasts a gas fire, separate guest bathroom, two mini bars and complimentary films and music on demand. Toiletries are courtesy of Hermes and the towels and guest robes were soft enough to make one never want to leave. The slippers too were sturdier than one has come to expect with their own solid base, it’s the little touches, after all, that make for a truly replete luxury experience.
everyday brew it’s your ‘normal’ cuppa… only loads BETTER! take the taste test Call us on 0208 847 3980 and we’ll send you some to try for FREE.
*Independent survey of 2000 London taxi drivers.
of cabbies prefer teapigs*
>> All that jazz
For dinner we had seriously considered ordering to the room and making use of the extravagantly appointed dining table but instead we let reason lead the way and headed down to the Jazz Lounge for dinner and a night of live West End music. There are 45 covers at Live at The Wellesley (a nod to its previous setting as Pizza on the Park), with performances taking place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 8:30pm. We ordered from the a la carte menu and in true Italian style went for the Linguine with Lobster, Chilli and Cherry Tomato (£32.00) and the Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms, Hare Ragout and Castelmagno Cheese (£16.00). Like all true Italian comfort food, the Hare Ragout was a revelation and we urge you to visit the Jazz Lounge for this alone. Indeed, despite being half the price of the Lobster, it packed in so much richness and flavour that, frankly, it would have sufficed for the main. However, never ones to let moderation come in the way of a good meal we moved on to mains of Turbot in a Potato Crust with Spinach and Butter Sage Gnocchi (£34.00) and a slightly overcooked Saddle of Venison with Pumpkin, Cabbage and Blueberry Sauce (£38.00). Although the Venison wasn’t anything to write home about, the Turbot was beautifully presented and cooked to a succulent perfection. For us, however, the real star of the show was the wine, a Black Cottage Pinot Noir from New Zealand (£50.00), which was recommended by one of the restaurant’s excellent sommeliers. The wine positively leapt out of the bottle with a wonderful nose and was equally smooth going down. On our return, we couldn’t help placing a few bottles on order, such was its majesty.
>> Spoilt for choice
London makes no secret of its world-class accommodation and nor should it. Today, the biggest problem travellers have is choosing between the myriad of choices open to them in the luxury market. Yet, for us, The Wellesley, with its sublime interiors and 36 beautifully appointed bedrooms, is a clear frontrunner for the capital’s best kept secret. As we reluctantly left the hotel’s luxurious warmth, there was a Bugatti Veyron pulling up outside. Perhaps not such a secret after all. Fact file: Views over Hyde Park, 2 restaurants, Cigar Terrace and Lounge, 36 bedrooms and suites, Jazz Lounge, Afternoon Tea, Complimentary Rolls-Royce for guests. Lead in rate for a Deluxe King inclusive of breakfast and vat £420 per night. Lead in rate for Junior Suite inclusive of breakfast and vat £495 per night. Visit: http://www.thewellesley.co.uk/ or call +44 020 7235 3535 for reservations. The Wellesley, 11 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LY
DRINK : Champagne Gosset Xxx
Founded in 1584, Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne and is enjoyed and stocked in many of the worldâ€™s finest restaurants, wine merchants and private cellars. We spoke to Philippe Manfredini, International Director at Champagne Gosset, to find out more about this most prestigious of Houses.
After building its reputation on red wine, mostly Pinot Noir, in the 18th century the wine made in Aÿ began to bubble and the Gosset family quickly turned to the production of champagne. In 1994, Gosset was sold to the RenauldCointreau group, which remains family owned and also boasts Cognac Frapin in its stable. Having long-been a favourite of the world’s most discerning champagne drinkers, Gosset is today exported to more than 80 countries. The brand’s wines are made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, which gives them a distinctive slightly biscuity, fruity flavour, most prominently in the Brut Excellence and its vintage cuvée Celebris and Grand Millesime.
As Philippe begins by telling us, the Gosset family is still a relatively modest Champagne producer that prefers quality over quantity. “Today, our major activity is the production of champagne; I say major activity, because we still produce small quantities of red wine. I would say we currently produce an average of around 1 million bottles of champagne per year. Over the last
couple of years, we have been working to ensure that we have a balanced overseas distribution and this now accounts for around 60 to 65% of our business. “Gosset is a global brand and is available in every continent,” he affirms. “Obviously, our European markets are the most solid, notably the UK, Germany, Italy and the Benelux counties. However, in more recent times I’ve been visiting North Africa, particularly Morocco, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast, where demand is starting to increase because of increased travel from France. The United States and Japan are equally robust markets for us, but our general ambition is to be available for our customers throughout the world”. In terms of future growth, Philippe is bullish about China and Brazil, where sales continue to grow. “Although sales have been soft in Brazil over the last three years, 2014 is shaping up to be a great year volume wise in South America, with Colombia emerging as another strong growth area. It’s always nice to be able to tell our customers that Gosset can be found in almost any part of the world and this select geographical distribution has always been
>> part of our mission to the customer”. Tradition and elegance
For many years, Gosset retained the same label and branding, despite having considered updating it on numerous occasions. If anything this meticulous consideration tells their clientele one thing: that Gosset prefers to do things properly, as Philippe continues by explaining. “For our Antique line, we continue to use the same bottle but injected a certain freshness into the labelling. Early this year in 2014, we’re going to introduce a completely new look for our Brut Excellence”. To further drive home the brand’s unique approach to the art of champagne production, Philippe was keen to draw our awareness to Gosset’s production process. “We are one of the very few Houses that carefully avoid malolactic
fermentation, so that the wines keep all of their natural fruitiness. This means that our wines are cellared for many years before release, which is a key point of difference between Gosset and the majority of champagne producers”.
As well as the staple Brut Excellence, Gosset produces Grande Reserve, Grand Millesime, Grand Blanc de Blancs¸ Grand Rosé, Celebris Vintage 2002 and Celebris Rose 2007. For our money, Gosset’s Blanc de Blancs is one of, if not the best examples on the market and we were pleased that Philippe still considers it his ‘baby’. “Our Blanc de Blancs has only been available for about two years, and I remember about 20 years ago asking our head winemaker about releasing it then. His reaction was one of annoyance and he said “there will be a Blanc de Blancs when it is ready to be a true Gosset!” Indeed, it is uniquely rich and longlasting for a Blanc de Blancs, which often surprises regular drinkers of other House Blanc de Blancs. We were fortunate enough to sample it with some scallops, although Philippe tells us it is versatile enough to be enjoyed with a variety of food. “We’ve been thrilled with the reaction to the cuvée over the last couple of years, so we’re excited about its growth this year,” he notes. It should come as little shock to those in the know that when Gosset says select distribution it really does mean it. The House’s mission is to have its core cuvées available on the finest wine lists, the best retailers and private clients. “We are not looking to be found everywhere but rather in the best outlets. For instance, in the UK specifically, we’re not just in London but across the UK in excellent pubs, hotels and select retailers. In the last decade, the UK’s restaurant scene has evolved tremendously, with so many young, dynamic chefs that truly understand how to pair food with champagne, so it’s a very exciting market for us”.
As Philippe mentioned, February sees the relaunch of the Brut Excellence, which he is particularly philosophical about. “We decided that our label needs to reflect the modern elegance of the champagne within. The wine itself has an open and expressive nose and rich flavours of apricots and peaches. The Grande Reserve is the flagship of the House
which is a perfect match with sweet and subtly spiced dishes of cooked fruit, sweet and sour and North African cuisine. I’d say it has a unusually unique dual personality that complements both elaborate and simple dishes”. As you will probably have noticed, Gosset has also just released its Celebris Rosé 2007 Extra Brut, the first new rosé in the Celebris range for over five years. A blend of 59 per cent Chardonnay, 41 per cent Pinot Noir and 7 per cent red wine (from Bouzy and Ambonnay), true to the character of most Gosset champagnes, it is produced without malolactic fermentation, as Philippe concludes by enthusiastically explaining. “The climatic conditions of 2007 were exceptional and lent themselves to the extra brut style. A wet and gloomy but extraordinarily mild winter, followed by a hot and summery spring, then wet and changeable summer (often with hail) culminated in superb early-harvest weather from late August. In the glass, with a pale pink hue and a hint of cherry-red reflection, the Celebris Rosé 2007 displays a constant, slender, stream of thousands of tiny bubbles. While on the nose it delivers not only notes of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla, but also nuances of lilac and violet, which confer delicacy and freshness”. Given the extraordinary quality and consistency of Gosset’s cuvées, it is difficult to not be charmed by Philippe’s optimism for the future of the brand. Approaching his 22nd year with the company, there is probably no-one better to enjoy of a glass of the new Celebris with. Cheers to that! Packaged in distinctive black and pink Gosset Celebris livery in its own gift box, the Celebris 2007 expected to retail for around £145 a bottle. It is distributed in the UK exclusively by McKinley Vintners (Tel: +44 20 7928 7300 or visit www.mckinleyvintners.co.uk).
E AT : Angler at South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London
D E K O HO aste t t s r fi e h t on
As you might have gathered from our South Place review we’re rather fond of D&D London, so we were particularly thrilled that Angler – the hotel’s rooftop fish restaurant – had won its first Michelin star just before our visit. What we discovered was seriously good seafood in a spectacular setting.
Sitting atop of South Place Hotel, Angler boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch out across the city. If you do what we did and enjoy a glass of champagne on its outdoor terrace before dinner, you’ll be able to see what it’s like to work on the 48th floor of some of London’s most powerful firms. Despite the enjoyment of playing voyeurs, we were far more excited about savouring Head Chef, Tony Fleming’s innovative fish menu. Upon winning his first star, Tony exclaimed that “I believe it is consistency that has led to us winning a star within a year of opening. I am so proud of our team who work tirelessly to uphold this culinary standard of excellence”. The eagle-eyed among you will have seen our praise for such high consistency across town at Hélène Darroze at The
Connaught and thankfully our hopes were more than justified at Angler.
Simple and chic
Before we strapped on the nose bag, Head Sommelier Benoit Allauzen talked us through the wine list and served up a couple of glasses of Jacquesson No. 735 Champagne to whet the palate (£13.50 per glass). Overseeing the wine list in Angler is no mean feat but Benoit also presides over the selections throughout the hotel, so it’s fair to say we were in capable hands for the rest of the evening. Our first impression was one of shock at how reasonable the Tasting Menu was. Five courses, including a pre-dessert for just £60 per person, in this part of London didn’t seem even a remote possibility but we can confirm it’s true. For an additional £60 per person,
diners can enjoy a Bounty wine pairing or for £85 a fine wine ‘Aquitania’ wine pairing. We opted for the slightly more restrained Bounty option, which was beautifully judged. First on the menu: A Ballotine of Ray Wing and Crab, served with Cucumber and Horseradish. The richness of the ballotine was cut by the horseradish while the cucumber was a versatile counterpoint to the strength of both flavours. Next, we were served Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar with Lime & Chilli which was similarly well-judged, particularly given the tendency of lime to overpower tartar.
It should come as little surprise to you now to learn of our general
Available exclusively in fine wine shops and in the best restaurants. www.champagne-billecart.com
antipathy towards the scallop. It is not, you understand, a deep-seated prejudice against this noble ingredient but rather against its universal inclusion on every Michelin starred/rated restaurant in the UK. At Angler, much like at Hélène Darroze, we’re delighted to say that it was wonderful. This example was a Seared Orkney Scallop with Red Wine Braised Beef, Pumpkin and Sage Brown Butter. Indeed, alongside the hearty flavours of
the beef, the scallop’s succulence was gorgeous and lent an unusual element to the dish. The Fillet of Halibut with Soft Herbs, Autumn Vegetable Casserole and Smoked Salmon Salad was similarly effective and celebrated the quality of ingredients rather than gesture towards any culinary pretension. One might suspect that 4 courses of fish would get tiresome but under Tony Fleming’s direction, the menu is exalting,
particularly when enjoyed with the wine pairings that combined wonderfully well with the ingredients on display. As you can imagine, fish was not served for dessert but the Gingerbread with Pear Caramel and Liquorice Ice Cream was a fitting end to this ‘vinous voyage through British waters’.
A wealth of experience
It is, perhaps, not a shock to learn that Tony Fleming cut his teeth under the
likes of Marco Pierre White and Richard Neate at the Oxo Tower before joining Angler. There is no mercurial brilliance here, rather a consistent eye for the best ingredients and the chutzpah to produce consistently good dishes. As well as the Tasting Menus, the menu changes every day to reflect availability, but don’t be surprised to find Langoustine ‘Sausages’ with Champagne and Caviar Sauce or Slow-roast Turbot, Bone Marrow, Parsley and Garlic. At lunchtimes, a simple
set menu is available, making the restaurant perfect for a quick, if indulgent, bite. Simply put, Angler has cast its net wide enough to appeal to both City power brokers and even the most casual gastronomes. There are no miracles here; Tony Fleming’s dishes celebrate the best British seafood and shellfish in an achingly stylish setting. The overall effect is sophisticated and, frankly, highly addictive. Dinner for two, including wine pairings, £240.
Visit: www.anglerrestaurant.com/menus for reservations or call 020 3215 1260. Angler South Place Hotel 3 South Place London EC2M 2AF
S L E EP: The Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant & Spa, Bath
A pleasant stroll up the hill from the majesty of Bath sits The Bath Priory, which boasts its own Michelin star restaurant headed up by Head Chef, Sam Moody. We went along for ourselves and found a hotel proud to put the E in Escapism.
Under the ownership of Andrew and Christina Brownsword (see the fabulous Gidleigh Park in Devon, Amberley Castle and Lower Slaughter Manor), The Bath Priory has become a destination in its own right. Indeed, my partner and I had to bribe ourselves to briefly venture into town on the proviso that we’d return within an hour for a swim, glass of champagne and stroll around the hotel’s gorgeous gardens. Set within 4 acres of grounds, the hotel features a luxury spa cannily designed to lure the weary city-set into sublime surrender. Based on the clientele we saw, the design is clearly working.
separate bedroom. It also boasted a guest toilet and luxuriously large bathroom complete with L’Occitane toiletries and big fluffy dressing gowns, the latter of which you won’t want to undo. If a drop of the stronger stuff floats your boat, all the Suites have complimentary port for you to enjoy, which is also a welcome touch in our book.
Evidently if you’re after repose, this is the place for you. The Garden Spa has four treatment rooms and a state-ofthe-art fitness suite with TechnoGym equipment. Despite this, children are made very welcome at The Bath Priory as our pets, with two dog-friendly rooms for those with dogs older than 10 months, not that we heard a peep from anything besides the clinking of glasses. >>
In the know
Arriving in Bath after a couple of hours on a heaving train is affirming. The stunning Georgian architecture has a soporific effect on the frazzled traveller. A quick 10 minute cab ride and we were greeted by the charming front of house staff that shimmered our luggage to the room and checked us in. Fortunately for us, we were installed in one of the hotel’s recently refurbished Suites. One of Bath Priory’s 33 rooms, our Crescent Suite was impeccably appointed with classic country interiors, a generously sized sitting room and
Having taken in the hotel’s gardens we were struck by the Priory’s Kitchen Garden, which represents a fantastic collaboration between Sam Moody’s kitchen and the land that surrounds it. Sam’s passion for local ingredients is evident in all of the menus. The connection between his ingredients and the menu is refreshingly unique. On our visit, we sampled the Truffle Tasting Menu, a seven course extravaganza that celebrated the not-so-humble truffle. While the first course of Sliced Scallops with Truffle didn’t set our world on fire, the following six dishes were exquisite with the undoubted highlight being Chef ’s imagining of Croque Madame. Frankly, this dish is worth the visit alone and we’d return time and time again for the Restaurant’s exquisite wine list, which
boasts a generous offering of old world classics and new world stars. The Restaurant itself was actually two rooms together on our visit but work was just about to start on the addition of an al fresco bar and restaurant area for summer 2014, which is bound to be executed with the Brownsword’s customary taste and style. Breakfast is also served in the Restaurant and the various nooks gives one a sense of intimacy that is often lacking in large spaces.
Living up to its name
Ultimately, if you’re after luxury in an idyllic setting near one of England’s finest cities, you’d be extremely hard-pushed to find a hotel better than The Bath Priory. Should you wish to explore the city, it’s just a gentle 15 minute walk and there are numerous cosy pubs and bistros on the way to keep your spirits high.
For us, however, the hotel was the destination and we left its warmth and luxury with a heavy heart. With the new al fresco space set to open this summer, we’re certain that The Bath Priory will continue to wow guests for many years to come. The only problems you might have are getting a room and finding a way to replicate Mr Moody’s exquisite Croque Madame. Rooms start from around £200 per night including breakfast but check the website for offers, which occasionally include special culinary deals. Visit: www.thebathpriory.co.uk for reservations or call 01225 331 922. The Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant & Spa Weston Road Bath Somerset BA1 2XT
Shopfitting Specialist Joinery Interior Decorating Electrical Contracting Architectural Metalwork
Tel: 023 9266 4341 firstname.lastname@example.org
making design become reality
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
D R IN K : Kilchoman
Kilchoman has long-been one of our favourite single malts, so when we were invited to sample a range of their whiskies we jumped at the chance. Furthermore, we had the pleasure of speaking to whole team who are consistent in their dedication to producing some of the worldâ€™s finest (and youngest) whisky.
We love ambitious spirits brands, so can you tell us about why you decided to start your own distillery?
Kilchoman was established in 2005 and was the first whisky distillery to be built on the west coast island of Islay for 124 years. Islay is home to some of the biggest and most famous distilleries in the Scotland however Kilchoman bears little resemblance to these larger facilities. The ambition with Kilchoman was to build a distillery that was closer to the old-style farm distilleries of which Islay once had more than 30. These farm distilleries completed every step of the whisky making process themselves from growing the barley to bottling it – and that’s exactly what we do.
We’ve been able to quite quickly establish Kilchoman in traditional single malt markets around the world, particularly with the large number of ‘peat freaks’ as we call them who have been enjoying the heavily peated Islay whiskies for decades.
used an empty bottle to break into a car. Having our own, completely unique bottle was always the ambition and until a couple of years ago the funds were required elsewhere but now we have it, we recognise all the more how important it is.
The branding typifies tradition and elegance – could you tell us more about how this has evolved since it was founded?
Could you tell us about the distilling process – any secrets you can share?
We always wanted the brand to be perceived as one equally at home in a muddy field as it is in an elegant bar. The weighty, stocky bottle with a gold coin looks and feels like it was built to last – the quality of the bottle was confirmed when I was in Germany and someone
No secrets, no wizardry. The fact that the distillery is new and not a reopened (mothballed as they are known) distillery meant that we could design our stills and other processes with 21st century knowledge and expertise. Two key factors are the size of the stills and the way in which we operate them – the higher
copper contact we achieve from having smaller stills helps with the purity of the spirit. To further ensure the cleanness of our spirit we only take a very small section from each run (heart). Although we don’t produce as much as other distilleries (it takes us a year to produce what bigger distilleries produce in a week) the way we operate means we only collect the very best quality spirit.
What would you say are the brand’s major strengths?
We’re proud to make our whisky in a unique way and it’s what stands us apart from other brands. I also think people feel an affinity with Kilchoman because we are a small family run company where we care a great deal about what we do.
We made significant sacrifices to build the distillery and I think the resulting passion and enthusiasm resonates with customers. But more importantly that is the fact we are making a quality of single malt that people are willing to spend their money on.
Can you tell us about the 2007 vintage and what drinkers should expect from it? At six-years-old, the 2007 Vintage is the oldest whisky we’ve released to date and it’s very much in line with the core Kilchoman character – fruity, peaty and sweet – however the all bourbon cask maturation adds tones of vanilla, butterscotch and the fruitiness is more tropical than the richer fruitiness of the
expressions such as Machir Bay. As with all our whiskies, there is no filtration or colouring so there is also a lovely oily mouth-feel.
Top quality ingredients are a cornerstone of all top quality single malts – what makes Kilchoman so special?
There is no doubting the importance of good quality barley, water and yeast – the three ingredients for making whisky – but when it comes to making great single malt, the equipment used in the process and the skill of the people operating it is equally as important. I’ve mentioned our stills and processes but we also have a unique maturation-policy whereby we source our bourbon barrels
which account for over 80% of our cask requirements directly from Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky. The cask a whisky is matured in will contribute as much to the flavour as any other element and by sourcing our cask direct from one source we ensure quality and consistency. It’s easy to get the big things right but at our end of the market you need to invest in the little things as well.
What are your most popular whiskies?
Machir Bay is our flagship whisky and is the only whisky in our range that is not limited to a certain number of bottles each time it is released. It embodies all the character that we originally wanted in a Kilchoman malt.
What do you think has been the driving factor behind the brand’s success?
The people – we have a great team lead by John MacLellan the general manager who take great pride in what they do.
Finally, what is the best way to enjoy Kilchoman? With friends, having a good time, not thinking about it too much and just enjoying it.
AT EXCLUSIVE HOTELS
The Hotel Nanny provides guests of exclusive hotels with bespoke nanny services. Our packages allow guests to enjoy the best of both worlds - time away with their children and that all important â€˜meâ€™ time, whether it be to indulge in the hotel restaurant, enjoy the facilities or to attend a wedding reception. All of our nannies are CRB checked, rigorously interviewed and continually assessed by the agency to ensure that they provide the highest standard of service. We provide guests with a flexible service and the complete piece of mind needed to enjoy their stay to the full.
For more information on our nanny packages, please visit our website www.thehotelnanny.co.uk or call us on 01666 504562
SL E E P : Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, London
On Top of the World Few hotels better capture the essence of Knightsbridge than the wonderfully appointed Jumeirah Carlton Tower, located just moments away from the prestigious designer boutiques of Sloane Street and, of course, the luxe-paradise of Harrods. We went along for ourselves and found a property oozing class and cache.
Walking past the impossibly beautiful people on Sloane Street where even the bodyguards could be ex-models, it is not hard to imagine the kind of experience one will get at Jumeirah Carlton Tower. As soon as one sets their eyes on Number 2 Cadogan Place, it is clear that one is in the company of discerning guests who flock back to Jumeirah’s properties around the world time-andtime again.
iPod/iPad docks and complimentary phone chargers on request. There are two state-of-the-art Samsung flat screens, a well-stocked mini bar, Nespresso Machine and a sofa bed. The bed was of particular note for its sublime comfort and size but, then again, at over £1,000 per night at the weekend, one does expect such levels of luxury. Moving through to the en-suite, we
were thrilled to see oversized toiletries by REN, which reminded us of the offering at Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair, in both the walk-in shower and the large bath, making for the ultimate unwinding soak before dinner.
The Rib Room
Despite reluctantly leaving the luxury of our suite, we had a reservation in the
A room with a view
We were greeted by the courteous front-of-house Karan who gracefully informed us that we had been upgraded to one of the hotel’s highly sought after London City View Suites. Entering the suite, we were taken aback by the mirrored entrance hall and almost as stunned to see the whole of London’s glory set out before us. Up on the 17th floor (yes, 17th floor!), all of the capital’s landmarks are visible, including the London Eye and Big Ben. The view is particularly electric at night when London creates its own dynamic landscape for guests of the hotel. The suite itself is designed for both business and leisure, with furnishings and technological features including a work desk, dining table and corporate amenities, including custom-designed
hotel’s famed restaurant, The Rib Room, which we energetically attacked after a gym session in the in the seriously kitted out Peak Health Club & Spa on the 9th floor, which also affords spectacular views across London. With three AA Rosettes, The Rib Room is something of an icon in the capital’s dining landscape. Having been revamped for the 21st century, the interiors pay homage to its 50-year history and Head Chef Ian Rudge’s menu showcases the best of traditional British cuisine using fresh, seasonal produce. Oenophile’s will also be delighted by Head Sommelier Louise Gordon’s collection of over 450 wines and champagnes. Further to this, the restaurant regularly hosts live music in the evening, so do check the website (https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotelsresorts/london/jumeirah-carlton-tower/ restaurants--bars/rib-room/) to get the latest listings if you like to dine with a musical flavour. On our visit, we opted for the Rib Room Prawn Cocktail (£19.00) and the Loch Fyne Smoke Salmon (£17.50). The Prawn Cocktail was undoubtedly the most
impressive we’d ever seen and was served with suitable aplomb in a delightfully large bowl. For the mains, we picked the signature Roast Rib of Casterbridge Aberdeen Angus with Yorkshire Pudding (£44.00) and the Lobster Thermidor with Baby Leaf Salad and Lemon (£60.00). Although my Rib left a little to be desired as it was slightly overcooked, the Steak Fries and Creamed Spinach (£5.00 each) were excellently cooked. On the plus side, I was informed by my partner that the Thermidor was wonderfully succulent and even cut up for maximum enjoyment. Desserts were a similarly indulgent affair and choices of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Cherry and Lemon Verbana Compote (£8.50) and Raspberry Soufflé with White Chocolate Ice Cream (£8.50) marked a fittingly excessive end to the culinary proceedings. After dinner we were persuaded (against our will, obviously) to enjoy a couple of glasses of Ruinart Blanc des Blancs (£25.00 per glass) at the famous bar. Despite the somewhat disappointing signature Rib of Beef, we’d certainly return to The Rib Room for its heady mix of
atmosphere and indulgent menu. One thing is for certain, you won’t leave hungry.
Let’s face it, choosing a luxury hotel in the capital is hardly a chore – the modern traveller has a world-class array of choices in London. However, despite this embarrassment of riches, at Jumeirah Carlton Tower it’s fair to say that the guest can expect the best of everything. Whether you’re in town to shop, to unwind, to indulge or to detox, the hotel has you covered. Frankly, you’d be churlish to avoid doing to a little of each activity before dragging yourself back to the luxury and comfort of your suite and watching the rest of London pulsate in its inimitable way. We’d highly recommend a stay at Jumeirah Carlton Tower and we’d recommend booking in advance as it was fully booked on our visit two months before Christmas. London City View Suites start from around £900 per night including breakfast based on 2 adults. Fact file: 216 rooms, including 58 luxurious suites. Three restaurants plus private dining rooms. Health club and spa with extensive fitness facilities, including 20 metre indoor swimming pool. Golf simulator offering more than 30 of the world’s greatest golf courses. Visit: www.Jumeirah.com/jct or call +44 020 7235 1234 for reservations. Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9PY
World Class Spa • Well-being House • Michelin Star Restaurant Cookery School • Equestrian Centre A Palladian Mansion set within 500 acres of private parkland, just 6 miles from the historic City of Bath, a World Heritage Site. Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ Tel: +44 (0)1225 742777 email@example.com www.lucknampark.co.uk