Sunday 4th December 2016
Annual Church Service at St George’s, Hanover Square, London
Followed by luncheon at Oriental Club, Stratford Place, London
Our Chaplain and fellow Gastronome Father Roderick Leece, extended the warmest of welcomes to the service at St George’s, Church, Hanover Square. The service included music specially selected for the occasion and the truly heavenly choral singing by the Choristers of St George’s.
The service was be followed by a splendid luncheon hosted by Fellow Gastronome Matthew Rivett, and his team, at the Oriental Club, London. For nearly two hundred years, the Oriental Club has been an iconic Central London focal point for those returning from India and the East and for local Members who value the amenities and service offered by Club staff and its home, the impressive Stratford House.
The multi-award winning English Court Garden Blanc de Noir Brut 2010 was served together with a delightful range of canapés, including Welsh Rarebit, Smoked Salmon toasts and Scotch Egg.
The traditional method sparkling wine has a delicate style with good balance between acidity and sweetness. The flavour was pleasantly rich and the finish was clean and crisp
Amuse Bouche – “Beef & Oyster”
Deep fried battered oyster served in an oyster shell, sitting atop a rich beef consommé with vegetables and a delightful hint of spice and chilli.
The wine was a classic white Burgundy Maison Jaffelin Rully Blanc, 2014, Côte Chalonnaise. Light golden colour with an expressive fruity and floral nose. This is a wonderfully dry expression of chardonnay with a hint of tropical fruit on the finish. The wine was also followed through to the First Course.
First Course: Basil and Mango Salmon Tandoori, Punjabi Pickled Vegetables
Reflecting the origins of the club, the melt in the mouth tandoori salmon was gently seasoned with the basil and mango and was presented on a julienne of pickled vegetables. The tables of totally empty plates at the end were testament to how much this dish was enjoyed.
Main course – Roasted Pork Rack and Belly, Black Pudding Stuffing, Sour Cabbage, Sweet Apple Sauce
Generous positions of roast pork loin with beautifully perfect cracking and pork belly. The accompaniments of stuffing and sour cabbage offered at the table.
The wine was Vieux Château Gaubert, 2015, Graves, France. The wine had been decanted in advance from double magnum (3litres). With an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine showed a great balance of red fruit flavours and tannin. Dryness was offset by hints of black plum juice and the wine had a very pleasant roundness.
Dessert – Caramelised Apple Frangipane Tart, Fig Leaf Ice Cream
Beautifully simple presentation of an excellent warm frangipane tart topped with fit leaf ice cream. A real treat. Again all plates were empty at the end!
The wine was Cave de Turckheim Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives, 2014, Alsace, France. This late harvest classification from the Gewurztraminer grape provides a great intensity of rich, fruity and spicy flavours. Full-bodied, honeyed and with a satisfyingly long finish. Perfect for the dessert.
President Serge Pradier and guests enjoying the luncheon
Following the coffee there was the special annual treat of members of the St George’s choir leading the exuberant carol singing.
Appreciative thanks were given to Chefs Andy Blackburn and Arkadiusz Forystek and their team and to Bekim Shefketi and his team in the room. Thanks were also given to Mathew Rivett, Club Secretary and to Head Chef Wesley Smalley for their help in arranging the event. “”
Left to right: Bekim Shefketi, Dining Room Manager; Mathew Rivett, Club Secretary; Serge Pradier, Réunion President; Arkadiusz Forystek, Sous Chef, and Andy Blackburn, Senior Sous Chef.