Brooks’s, St James’s Street, London
The Club that was to become Brooks’s was founded in March 1764. The Club is now located in the 1778 purpose-built Palladian style clubhouse in St James’s Street. The Club is named after William Brooks, a wine merchant and money lender who had paid for the Club premises to be built. The interiors are in neoclassical style, and the supper was held in the stunning Great Subscription Room, which benefits from a barrel vault ceiling. More details on the club can found at: https://www.brooksclub.org/
Champagne Gosset Brut Excellence NV was served on arrival, which excited the palate with a predominance of Chardonnay and its fresh, elegant and intense flavours with notes of honeysuckle and ripe, fleshy peaches.
The generous, and very moreish, selection of canapés included: Tempura Prawn with Lime, Soy and Ginger, Caramelised Foie Gras with Quince Jelly, Club Beef Tartare, Spicy Tuna Ceviche, Courgette, Sun Blushed Tomato and Goats Cheese Roll, Chilled Gazpacho.
Members and guests were welcomed at dinner by the Club Secretary, and fellow Gastronome, Ian Faul. The President invited all members present their guests. Grace was said by the Réunion Chaplain and a fellow Gastronome Reverend Roderick Leece.
First course – Gin Cured Salmon and Scallop with Micro Salad, Citrus, Chive and Tomato Vinaigrette.
The cool citrus of the salmon set off the perfectly cooked warm scallop. A joy to eat.
Petit Chablis, Moreau-Naudet 2017
Glorious expression of Chardonnay, flinty dry with delicious juiciness, with a touch of herbs, and fresh zest acidity. The wine was well matched with the salmon dish.
Main course – Roasted Grouse served with Game Chips, Braised Savoy Cabbage and a Grouse Liver Pâté Crôute
Perfectly cooked and tasty grouse with the traditional accompaniments of Bread Sauce and Browned Breadcrumbs being offered at the table. These, together with the rich sauce, ensured all plates were cleared. There were even some parts on the bone which made the purists happy.
Château d’Angludet 2006, Margaux
A classic Claret from a renowned Château owned by the Sichel family. The wine displayed an earthy and gravelly character. Dark in colour with rich favours and rustic tannins that were soft but created a real dryness on the palate. A prefect wine for the Grouse.
Savoury – Welsh Rarebit
Traditional savoury, wonderfully cooked and presented with Worcestershire sauce as an accompaniment.
Dessert – Blackberry Cranachan with Caramelised Hazelnuts served with Lavender Shortbread
Traditional Scottish dessert of cream and seasonal blackberries bolstered by Scottish oats and whisky.
Moscato d’Asti Nivole 2017, M Chiarlo
Typical fragrant and floral aromas of the Moscato grape, with notes of peach and apricot set in fine bubbles and with a fresh finish.
The meal was completed with Coffee and a selection of chocolates
Taylors 10-year-old Tawny Port
A superb example of the aged tawny style. Mellow and elegant, combining delicate wood notes with rich aromas of mature fruit. Smooth and silky on the palate and with full of ripe fruit flavours, which persisted in the long finish.
The Loyal Toast was proposed by: The President Wallace Vincent who also proposed the santé du chef et du service. Many thanks and much appreciation were shown to Ian Faul, Club Secretary, and fellow Gastronome, for hosting the event, Head Chef, Richard Tonks, Assistant Secretary, Alastair Curbbun, and Banqueting Head Waiter, Alexandra Boot.
Pictures by Demir Ozyurt and words by Gastronome John Cousins