This was the second visit of the Gastronomes to this prestigious establishment since the hotel has returned to the bosom of the Forte family (second generation); as older members will recall, Sir Charles Forte was a life member of the Reunion.
When your Editor arrived for a pre-committee glass of bubbles ,he was delighted to see the hotel really buzzing—the traditional lounges full to overflowing and in the bar ,contrasting with a more modern décor, every seat was taken. A heart-warming site in these challenging economic times and proof that the professional hotelier will always ensure success!
Many Gastronomes have managed this site since the Second World War—commencing with the legendary Georges Marin who went on to become Directeur Generale of the Georges Cinq,Plaza-Athenee and the Tremoille, when under the private ownership of Madame Dupree .The present custodian of Brown’s ,fellow Gastronome Stuart Johnson ,continues to maintain exemplary standards throughout this lovely old hotel.
Ruinart champagne (the oldest champagne house) and delicious canapés greeted members on arrival with a good turnout of country members—a duo of Owens and a trio of Irvings!
A starter of scallops correctly cooked mi-cuit with bacon (wild boar,) which is always the perfect foil to this prime mollusc, was a classic example of uncomplicated cooking executed “comme il faut”; in addition, a zesty and crisp Sauvignon de Touraine worked really well in setting the style of the menu.
The Kingairloch red deer (great flavour, texture and just rosé) continued the trend of good unpretentious dining; we loved the accompaniment, with mashed neeps, of little petit choux farcie with top quality haggis. A simple combination that worked really well. Members remarked upon the outstanding Gigondas Vielles Vignes 2007 –a stellar match for the red deer .
The traditionalists were pleased to see the correct nomenclature for the pudding-Trinity Burnt Cream-with delicious little Griottine cherries soaked in kirsch. A late harvest Tokaji with lots of acidity and cracking fruit flavours provided a great finale to the evening.
Ivan Artoli, Director of Rocco Forte hotels and guest of Stuart Johnson, made a point of introducing himself to as many members as possible, which helped to ensure a relaxed and very friendly evening.
Your Editor must admit a to a certain bias in his review, but the event confirmed his opinion that Brown’s Hotel continues to be one of the best hostelries in the Capital!
(P.S .The Editors decision/opinion is final !)