Posts Tagged ‘wine’
We’ve been given an extra day off. Another blissfully long, four day weekend. Thanks to the Royal Wedding, whether you’re big on bunting or burying your head under the duvet, for this extra day off, I am truly thankful. I for one, think it’s a day to celebrate. To be proud of being British and of all things British. We sometimes forget to rally our sense of spirit and be a part of something, especially after the recent tough times and impending ‘double-dip’.
This is a happy event, that will go down in history and that as a country we kind of need to lift that spirit again. You may be sick as a chip of seeing it on the news, but I say let’s dig out those smart get ups and have something to talk about when we inevitably get asked when back at work ‘Where were you on Friday?’ And let’s face it, there’s not many occasions I can get away with my blue, spotted, heart shaped fascinator – but I’m sure this is one of them.
So, I’ll have my fingers crossed and shades at the ready for the sun to stick around. I’ll be gathering my nearest and dearest together in their most glorious finery, and instead of my usual glass of Pinot, I’ll be trying out some of the English wine and fizz everyone’s talking about. They sound like they’re going to be as big as the wedding itself this year. British wines and bubbly they tell me, are becoming a big hit for 2011 and beyond. as trends change and our summers are a few days longer. I think it would be rude not to give them a whirl. And they are of course being served at the Royal Wedding itself, so if it’s good enough for the happy couple… The Sommelier at Hotel du Vin & Bistro suggested I try a Balfour Brut Rosé or a Nannette’s English Rosé both from Hush Heath Estate in Kent, so I’ll be ordering a couple of those.
Once we’ve watched the celebration on TV or big screen and the vows have been made, being a Friday off and all, I know I won’t want the moment to end there. I’m never the first one to leave anything, so I’m thinking how quintessential a way to continue the afternoon than with an afternoon tea – a Champagne one of course. I can’t not have cake at a wedding…..any excuse. My favourite cake at that, light, fluffy, jam and cream filled, a nod to the British baking tradition, the Victoria Sponge. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Before the sweet I also can’t resist my favourite crust free sandwiches. I’m hoping for salmon, cucumber and cream cheese.
I’m not having my own street party as I live city centre and the main road might prove tricky to block off – so I’m heading for my local Hotel du Vin. That way I have the option of indoors or al fresco and they’ll definitely have all the treats I’m hankering for to save me attempting them at home – minus the cake mix plastered walls! – so I’d like to be treated like Royalty this weekend and be served wine and cakes for no other reason than I’m British.
You may choose to join me and be waited on, or you may fancy trying some of these specially created recipes below from Keith Shearer, Executive Chef at Hotel du Vin, for your own street party or soiré at home. Here’s to a happy Friday wherever you are. Whatever you choose to do, I choose to celebrate with loved ones. It’s not often we get a free Friday together.
Where will you be?
Victoria Sandwich cake
200gm caster sugar
200gm self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar together,
Add eggs one at a time and mix till well creamed,
Add sieved flour and baking powder,
Mix till a smooth batter is achieved,
Pour into a greased lined cake tin bake at 180c,
Bake for 20mins till well risen and firm to the touch,
Leave to cool split through the middle spread with strawberry jam (fresh whipped cream or butter cream optional),
Replace the top and dust with icing sugar
250gm strong white flour
500gm plain flour
45gm baking powder
500ml butter milk
Rub butter through dry ingredients until fine crumbs are achieved,
Add buttermilk and mix to combine, do not over mix,
Roll out to one inch thickness and cut out circular shapes,
Egg wash the top (careful not to get any egg wash on sides of scone or it will stop them rising),
Bake at 210c until well risen and golden brown,
Serve with clotted cream and strawberry jam
1lb ripe bananas
1lb caster sugar
4 whole eggs
8oz melted butter
1lb plain flour
1 1/2 oz baking powder
In a machine bowl whisk bananas and sugar together,
Add eggs oil and melted butter,
Sieve flour and baking powder together,
Fold into banana mixture,
Pour into greased and lined 1lb loaf tins scale at 400gm,
Bake at 180c for 30-40 mins
1125gm strong white flour
Lightly cream butter and sugar together,
Add eggs slowly until well incorporated,
Add flour until just combined,
Reserve till needed,
Roll out 3-4 mm thick line small tart cases bake blind till fully baked leave to cool,
Brush melted chocolate into the tart case
1 vanilla pod split and scraped
6 egg yolks
125gm caster sugar
30gm plain flour
15gm corn flour
Heat milk with vanilla pod,
Whisk caster sugar and egg yolks together,
With the flour and corn flour,
Add hot milk to egg mix return to stove cook out,
Chill reserve till needed, fold in semi-whipped cream to soften
Fill tart shells with pastry cream, decorate with seasonal fruit – nice combination of colours,
Finish off with a clear pastry glaze on top, set removes drips,
Run toasted desiccated coconut round the edge to finish.
Recipes by Keith Shearer, Executive Chef at Hotel du Vin & Bistro
It’s with great pride we announce two of our finest have made it into the final of UK Sommelier of the Year hosted by the The Academy of Food and Wine Service. This prestigious honour is within the grasp of Mark Perlaki from Hotel du Vin Harrogate and Wiremu Andrews from our Hotel in Cheltenham.
With three nominees from the Fat Duck and two from Hotel du Vin, we’re in very fine company indeed. The result will be announced in the next few weeks. When we know. You’ll now. Best wishes to Mark and Wiremu.
It’s with great pleasure I find myself heading to London today for the Bistro opening. There’s trepidation, for sure. But the early signs during the soft opening is that the du Vin brand and way of thinking will fit in just fine.Much excitement about the opening night. Apart from the usual amazing collection of food stations and the never endiing glass of Champagne we seem to serve, we have a few exclusive surprises.
First off we’ll be featuring an exclusive collection of teas from famed London perfumer Miller Harris.
Secondly, we’ll be showcasing our “wine by the glass” dispenser – first of its kind in a restaurant setting. (see previous post)
Thirdly Vodka wunderkind from deepest darkest Herefordshire – Miller Harris have produced a special run of Marmalade infused vodka from their award-winning stills.
and…fourthly Universal signed singer songwriter Jonathan Jeremiah will be playing an acoustic set on the night featuring songs from his new album “Solitary Man”
Sure there’ll be a drizzle of celebs. But the real heroes tonight will be our sommeliers and the chefs who’ll be running round up close and personal for the great and good of London’s dining scene.
Our advertising says I think London is ready. Well, London we are too.
Once the remit of the cooler wine shops, the “By-the-glass” wine dispenser will take pride of place in the new Bistro du Vin. For all those who love to try wine but don’t want to risk the whole bottle or a full glass, this machine will allow you to be more much more adventurous with your wine choice.
The process is simple. Buy a card at the bar of the bistro and top it up as and when. Wine measures come in two sizes – 50cl and 150cl. As far as we’re aware this is the first of it’s kind to feature in a bistro, and is perfect for the du Vin disciple who love his or her wine.
You can see a similar device in the Vagabond Wine shop in London.
We’re incredibly proud to announce the opening of our first Bistro du Vin in London. Not only is this our first foray into the big city, but it’s the first Bistro du Vin of its kind. We’re thinking all the Bistro taste, style and classic dishes you know and love from your visits to Hotel du Vin in the heart of Clerkenwell.
Over the coming weeks prior to the big launch we’ll be featuring pics of the construction and general paraphernalia surrounding this exciting step for the du Vin brand.
If you want to check it out yourself in person on location the construction work is currently taking place on the former Eastgate Inn. To get there alight at the Farringdon tube station take a left on exiting and walk up the hill passing a plethora of bars and the obligatory Starbucks on your left. At the end of the road you’l see the majestic Smithfield Market , turn left then left again at Pret. Cross over to the other side of the road, walking past St. John’s restaurant and we’re on the right hand side.
We think London is ready. Are you?