Wedding Flowers – Choosing a Florist

Countryside Summer Wedding 043 Wedding Flowers   Choosing a Florist Blog by Karen at Allium Design
Photographs by www.kat-hill.com
After you have said ‘I will’… you and your beloved will walk an exciting path of joint decisions for usually several months until you can happily say ‘I do’.. It’s an exciting time and one of the most inspiring parts should be choosing flowers, finishing touches and small details to enhance your day, things that personalise and represent you as a couple.

I love my job, sharing flora, styling thoughts and ideas with my brides and grooms-to-be, but it’s an interesting economy with tighter budgets, and my clients want the day of their dreams at the right price.

946533 562944670418686 313252742 n 300x199 Wedding Flowers   Choosing a FloristSpolit for choice
Of course flower availability has changed dramatically, so many more flowers are available for longer growing periods. Blooms are bread to be more robust and florists can suggest flowers that we wouldn’t have dreamed of, even just a few years ago. We really are spoilt for choice and there is always something perfect for every colour scheme.
You’ll get lots of great ideas by looking on the internet and in wedding magazines. Couples usually come to see me once they have chosen their venue and often ‘the’ dress as they both play a large part in the style of the wedding.

A bouquet to remember
For me, flowers are all about the scent, something to evoke a memory of a wonderful day for years to come… A bride’s bouquet should be something that ‘wows’ her, something she will look at, love and always remember. Garden flower choices are as popular as ever for the coming season. Imagine a posy of rambling roses with bobbing scabious, scented sweet peas and a sprinkle of herbs with garden foliage, understated, yet elegant, bound in vintage lace, easy to carry and a joy to photograph for a summer wedding.

Countryside Summer Wedding 058 300x199 Wedding Flowers   Choosing a FloristPlan and ask questions
Start your flower planning twelve months before the wedding date, especially if you are holding a Saturday celebration, as good florists are booked up well in advance. Always see at least two florists and go to your meeting prepared with a list of questions about their services and ask see samples of their work. Also ask the following questions:

  • How many weddings do they cover in one day?
  • What do they charge for delivery on the day?
  • Have they worked at your venue in the past?

Go with the quote that ‘gets you’
At this initial meeting you will look at colour options and favourite flowers, talk about your day and your vision. This is often a learning process with your florist; who should steer you in the right direction and work with your budget. Once you have found the one that ‘gets you’, to quote one of my brides from last year, it’s often a style of work and an experienced, friendly one that will give you confidence.

Countryside Summer Wedding 065 300x225 Wedding Flowers   Choosing a FloristWhat to expect
There will be other meetings as the wedding gets closer, a venue visit, a church visit and always a final meeting a few weeks before the day to make sure everything is in place. On the day, your florist will deliver bridal flowers to you and your bridesmaids. If it is a church wedding, that will usually be decorated the day before, as will a private venue. Open venues will always have other clients to consider so access is usually on the day only.

The Vineyard Wedding Fair – 2nd March
Allium Design will be at The Vineyard Wedding Fair on Sunday 2nd March chatting about flowers all day, so please come along and say hello with your flora questions and I’ll be happy to give as much advice and guidance as I can on how to enjoy your flower planning

Discover more about The Vineyard Wedding Fair – www.the-vineyard.co.uk/weddingfair.asp

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday 2nd March.

Karen
Allium Design
www.alliumdesign.co.uk

 

Chile – One of the most exciting wine producing countries

tumblr mwbblh9Y6z1rveocqo1 1280 Chile   One of the most exciting wine producing countries

At the moment, I think that Chile is one of the best and most exciting wine producing countries. Despite the fact it being a “New World” wine country, Chile is in fact fairly old as vines were first planted in 1548 by Spanish colon, Brother Fransisco de Carabantes.

The first grape variety planted was Mission (known as Pais in Chile). The name refers to the Catholic missions where they were generally grown and the wine had, as a main purpose, to be served during the masses. Another exciting fact about this country is that it remains Phylloxera free, meaning that some of the vineyards are 100 or more years old.

Because of the length of the country, vineyards were planted mainly nearby where people were living, close to the big cities. The problem was that most of the vineyards were planted in the wrong place. The tendency is changing and wineries are nowadays looking more into the different terroirs and where the different grapes would best been grown to show all their potential.

The main grape varieties you are likely to find are Sauvignon Blanc; usually producing wines of great freshness and flavours, but without being as vegetal or herbaceous as the cousin from New Zealand. Chardonnays also are magnificent and tend to develop more tropical aromas such as lychee and coconut. Riesling is also found and gives good results.

In term of red wines, the very local Carmenere is a great example of Chile’s wine identity. Carmenere used to be grown in Bordeaux during the 17th to 18th Century, but is not really used any longer. This grape variety has a very long history as Carmenere and Merlot used to be planted together in the same vineyard, however, winemakers didn’t know that. In fact you could have bought a bottle of red wine labeled as being a Merlot and find 90% of this grape.

It wasn’t before 1994 that Carmenere was really discovered as a grape and was split from Merlot vineyard to be produced on its own. Then, in 1998, the Chilean Department of Agriculture officially recognised Carmenere as a distinct grape variety. Alongside this fantastic variety, you will find the more classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah which are all, given the right conditions, producing wines of great character.

If you are interested in discovering more about this beautiful country, I would be glad to welcome you to our Casa Lapostolle Wine Dinner taking place on Friday 28th February. View menu and more details

Casa Lapostolle is owned by the Lapostolle-Marnier family of Grand Marnier and was established in 1994. Since then, its notoriety has never stopped to grow and it is nowadays regarded as one of the best winery.

Discover more

Romain Bourger
Head Sommelier

What’s on in Berkshire this February

rosesandsuitcase facebook Whats on in Berkshire this February

Valentine’s Dinner – Throughout February

Start with a chilled glass of Taittinger Rosé Champagne before creating your very own tasting menu. – we’ll help you match the perfect wines to match each course. To finish, enjoy a glass of Schramsberg Rosé sparkling wine. There will be a special menu to choose from on 14th February. View current menu

£120 per person
Please call us on 01635 528770 to book or book online

Snowdrops Walk at Welford Park

Thursday 30th January to Sunday 2nd March
This breathtaking sight is enjoyed by thousands of visitors throughout the winter months. Over many years and generations, it has been tradition to open the grounds during February so that this wonderful spectacle can be viewed by all who want to see it. After a bracing walk many retire to the Old Laundry Tea Rooms to partake of a light lunch or homemade cake and a pot of tea and take a wander around the Snowdrops Gift Shop.

For further details see www.welfordpark.co.uk. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am-4pm and the car park closes at 5.30pm. Adults £6, Concessions £5, Children 4-16yrs £1, Children under 4 go free

Wine School at The Vineyard – From Sancerre to Muscadet

Wednesday 5th February – 6.30pm to 8pm
Join us for a journey down the picturesque Loire Valley as we taste wine from the central vineyards to the Loire Atlantique. View more wine schools
£30 per person
£55 per person including a two course dinner and matching wines

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea at The Watermill Theatre

Friday 31st January to Saturday 15th February
It’s the roaring ’20s and five stowaways set sail from England to the USA – the land of opportunities, the land where dreams come true, rags can turn to riches and romance is in the air. Join us on a musical journey across the ocean in this compilation cabaret featuring the infectious music of the period from a company that includes some favourite Watermill actor-musicians. With songs including Ain’t Misbehavin’, Making Whoopee and Night and Day, this scorching collection of intoxicating numbers will warm your heart.

Performance Time – Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm,Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm, Saturday 15 February performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm For further details see www.watermill.org.uk. Tickets prices start from £15.

Valentine Wolf Walk at The Wolf Conservation Trust

Saturday 15th February from 10am to 12.30pm
Spend your special day at the Trust in the company of our wolves. You will join two of the wolves as they walk around the fields at the Trust. There will be photographic opportunities whilst on the walk, also a gift for your partner on the day. Booking is essential.

Ticket price is £85 for 2 people. For further details, please visit www.ukwolf.org

Live Broadcast of War Horse at The Corn Exchange

Thursday 27th February 2014 at 7pm
The National Theatre’s original stage production of War Horse, broadcast live from London’s West End. Since its first performance at the National Theatre in 2007, War Horse has become an international smash hit, capturing the imagination of four million people around the world.
Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. Filled with stirring music and songs, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

For further details see www.cornexchangenew.com. Tickets – Full Price £14, Concessions £12.

An Evening with Casa Lapostolle of Chile

Friday 28th February – 7pm arrival for 7.30pm
Lapostolle has an objective is to create world-class wines using French expertise and the superb terroirs of Chile. And today, Lapostolle owns 370 hectares in three different vineyards and produces a total of 200,000 cases spread over Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Syrah. Discover more

5 course dinner with matching wines
£95 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book

Detox this January

Spa image treatment compressed Detox this January

After indulging over the Christmas period many of us look to undo this with what is termed as de-toxing. The simple truth of the matter is that the body is very good at de-toxing itself and many of our organs, such as the liver and kidneys, have this as part of their role. Even the skin has a role in detoxing through the sweating process. What we can do for an easy de-tox is to aid the body in what it does naturally. Here are some great tips to help you do this:

Drink 1.5 litres of water a day
Water is great not only for hydrating the skin, but also helps the body to flush out toxins. Take care not to drink excessive amounts of water as this can also cause the body harm.

Reduce alcohol consumption or have a tee total period
Pure alcohol is a toxin to the body, and yes while there has been some research saying alcohol can have some health benefits, it still needs to be broken down by the liver, which means that other normal processes that the liver undertakes may be slowed down such as processing fat, eliminating waste and metabolising carbohydrates.

Undertake regular exercise
This can be anything from walking, jogging and dancing round the room to music. Basically anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel a little warm, and even better a little sweaty. The heart pumping faster increases the circulation improving the movement of toxins to the liver and kidneys for their removal. Sweat carries toxins out of the body and flushes them through the pores.  The sauna and steam room is also a good way of doing this, but exercise is still better due to other health benefits . It’s always a good idea to make sure you check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise programme.

Eat a wide variety of foods and cut out the junk food
This doesn’t mean go on a diet, but just give your body a wide variety of nutrients from a range of food. Many vitamins and minerals are needed by your body to work efficiently, and this includes those organs involved in the de-tox process such as the liver.

If you want that pampering experience mixed with the feel good factor of doing something to de-tox, here are some treatments we recommend.

  • Darphin Slim and Detox Treatment  – 1hr 25 mins
  • Darphin Personalised Refining Body Polish – 55 mins
  • Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap – 55mins
  • Detoxifying Algae Wrap – 55mins
  • Full Body Massage –  55 mins
  • VitaMan De-Stress Back Treatment – 55 mins

Please visit our website for full details of our treatments.

Half Spa Day Offer
Enjoy a morning or afternoon spa day for two in January or February 2014 for the total price of £120, saving £20 on the normal price*.

Your half day spa day includes:

  • a 25 minute treatment of your choice
  • a light Bento box lunch and refreshments
  • full use of our spa facilities for half a day.

Just £120 for two people

Discover more on our website

Kirsty Hughes
Spa Manager
The Vineyard
www.the-vineyard.co.uk

What’s on in Berkshire this January

whiskey on the rocks Whats on in Berkshire this January

Wednesday 15th Jan – Jump Racing at The Racecourse Newbury

10.30 to 4.30pm
The Racecourse Newbury’s first raceday of 2014 and a great way to start the year with a card of exciting Jump racing in store. Enjoy some of the finest raceday hospitality with a Private Box or excellent food and drink in our panoramic restaurants, The Racegoers or The Hennessy Restaurant. Tickets from £14 to £24

See website for more details and to purchase tickets 

Wednesday 15th Jan – Whisky Masterclass – What’s your Favourite Dram?

6.30pm to 8pm
Whether it’s Irish, malt or rye, join us for a whisky masterclass and enjoy tasting whiskies from around the world. Learn more about how they vary in character and the best way to appreciate them. £30 per person

See our website for more details on our wine schools and masterclasses
Please call Ami Williams on 01635 589407 to reserve your place

Saturday 25th Jan – Burn’s Night with Glenmorangie

7pm arrival for 7.30pm
Join us in celebrating the life of Robert Burns starting with whisky cocktails on arrival and a reading from our Glenmorangie host followed by a wee dram to toast the haggis and four course dinner with matching whiskies & wines. £95 per person See menu

Please call Ami Williams on 01635 589407 to reserve your place

Fri 31st Jan to Sat 15th Feb  – Devil & The Deep Blue Sea at Watermill Theatre

A musical compiled by Simon Slater and directed by Simon Slater. It’s the roaring ’20s and five stowaways set sail from England to the USA – the land of opportunities, the land where dreams come true, rags can turn to riches and romance is in the air. Join us on a musical journey across the ocean in this compilation cabaret featuring the infectious music of the period from a company that includes some favourite Watermill actor-musicians. With songs including Ain’t Misbehavin’, Making Whoopee and Night and Day, this scorching collection of intoxicating numbers will warm your heart. Tickets from £15.

See the website for performance times and more information
To purchase tickets call 01635 46044 or email – boxoffice@watermill.org.uk

My Trip to Bordeaux

Bordeaux blog My Trip to BordeauxI had the great opportunity to travel to Bordeaux for the first time this year, at the end of October. I think most of us have this idea of Bordeaux wines being expensive and with reason; most of the wines we see on wine list are, but are mainly Grand Cru Classe (Great Growth) and they only represent less than 5% of the total production in Bordeaux.

The goal of this wonderful trip was for us to discover smaller and lesser known areas of this fabulous wine region as such as Saint Emilion satellites (like Montagne Saint Emilion, Saint Georges Saint Emilion…)

It started with a course at the Bordeaux Wine School for a tutorial covering history, geography, the different varietals and the Controlled Appellation areas.This followed with a walking tour of this amazing city; and a lunch at a local restaurant with a tasting of dry white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

We then drove to Chateau Le Grand Verdus (Bordeaux AC) for a visit and tasting. A beautiful, family owned estate producing exceptional wines around £10.00, their Grande Reserve (best cuvee) is around £15.00. After this interesting discovery we went to Cadillac to an estate owned by a Lebanese family, Chateau Biac. We started with a presentation of the Cotes de Bordeaux AC followed by a sweet wine presentation.

We later went to their cellar and to dinner. Starting with an aperitif and canapés (the highlight being a toast of peanut and dried apricot) on their terrace with a view on the Garonne river and a beautiful sunset. At the dinner we had the chance to taste some incredible wines as well as some lovely food mixing French and Lebanese cuisine.

The next day, we drove to Pomerol to visit one of the greatest estates of the area, Chateau Gazin (one of the first top Bordeaux wines I tasted was Chateau Gazin 1988) where we tasted 2005 and 2011 vintages. We also had the opportunity to see some of the best Chateau like Petrus and Lafleur Petrus.

On the way to Saint Emilion we also saw Evangile, Cheval Blanc, Figeac and Angelus before arriving at Chateau La Couspaude where another surprising tasting awaited us. After a very good lunch there and a quick, but wet visit of Saint Emilion we left for one of its satellites, Puisseguin Saint Emilion.

We arrived at a 55 hectares organic estate called Chateau Guibeau where again the quality was impressive and yet again the prices of wines were around £10 to £12. The rest of the day was spent in Pessac-Leognan, in the Graves region (named after the very gravelly soil of the vineyard) at Chateau La Louviere, property of Andre Lurton. The visit started with a little explanation of the Chateau followed by a tour of the winery and the impressive cellar. We moved to a great tasting showcasing about 20 different dry white and red wines with a fantastic dinner later (where we tasted a Chateau La Louviere white from 1994, incredible!).

For the last day we drove up to Chateau la Lagune, in the Medoc district were again we drove past Latour, Pichon Comtesse de Lalande and Margaux to arrive to this beautiful old Chateau. There we again tasted about 10 different red wines from several areas. We enjoyed our best lunch of the stay there cooked by a great young Chef, she specially cooked Joel Robuchon’s special mash potatoes, just delicious!

After four amazing days in this fantastic area, we had the chance to visit and taste a great panel of wines normally ranging between £5.00 to £15.00 and really understand that Bordeaux is not only about expensive Great Growth, but that small, less known estates or region doesn’t mean less in term of quality, I think it means the complete opposite. The smaller estates are fighting to produce amazing wines that worth knowing and should be drunk. This trip was fantastic and I look forward to go back very soon!

Romain Bourger
Head Sommelier

Best of British – December 2013 – Bruichladdich Distillery

DistilleryatNight 2 1024x682 Best of British   December 2013   Bruichladdich DistilleryThere is such an abundance of exceptional distilleries and producers cropping up in the UK now, that here at The Vineyard we wanted to give you the opportunity to taste the best of them. Each month throughout 2013 we’ve been with a different distillery to showcase the best of what Britain has to offer. This month we introduce Bruichladdich Distillery.

Close up of dram in glass 150x150 Best of British   December 2013   Bruichladdich DistilleryThe people of the Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, Scotland have always been the mavericks of the Scotch whisky world. The founders have a background in the wine trade and because of this their way of thinking has always been a little different.

They produce a number of different styles & expressions at their distillery on the southern coast of Islay. We have chosen to focus our cocktails on just a couple. Their Islay malt & The Botanist gin.

Along with this we have sourced two of their most sought-after expressions; Octomore, which is renowned for being the peatiest whisky in existence and the newest edition of Black Art, which is a very special secret bottling from their master blender taken from the depths of their ageing house. This is a closely guarded secret and an exceptional whisky, every time.

Jim with Port Charlotte casks 2 150x150 Best of British   December 2013   Bruichladdich DistilleryMany people enjoy whisky on its own, sometimes with ice and sometimes with water, but we have made a fantastic winter warmer from their magnificent Islay Malt; the Islay Flip. We have some of the rest of the range to sample on our display so please do let us know if you would like a taste.  Alternatively, please see page 10 of our Bar List for The Botanico – a great twist on a gin & tonic.

Islay Flip
Bruichladdich Islay Malt, Frangelico, plum infused Sake and yogurt liqueur

The Botanico
The Botanists gin stirred with lime, mint, sugar and ginger ale

Cheers

David Coveney
Head Barman

Events in Berkshire – December 2013

 

tumblr mxdt6wRECv1rveocqo1 1280 Events in Berkshire – December 2013Festive Dining throughout December and January at The Vineyard
Enjoy lunch in our restaurant with friends or colleagues in December from £29 for three dishes (Monday to Thursday). And choose matching wines from just £7 per glass. View our menu and Short Wine List. Please call 01635 528770 to book. Discover more by visiting our website

Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza at Hungerford – Friday 13th December 5pm to 10pm
Every year on the second Friday in December, the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza heralds the arrival of Christmas. The official opening time is 5pm when the town is alive with steam engines, organs, side stalls, street entertainment, the big wheel and other fairground rides. Crowds can see the bustling street scene; Punch and Judy shows, stilt walkers, clowns, jugglers and for the children and Father Christmas.

The shops will be open with their staff in Victorian dress, some giving out mulled wine and mince pies. See the Grand Parade at 7pm and fireworks at 9pm. Free parking is available at Charnham Park and then proceed on foot to the High Street. For more info, please visit their website

The Vineyard Wine School – Wednesday 11th December – The Christmas Turkey
Quite simply, how to be the perfect host on Christmas Day. What to drink, what to match with it and how to make a lasting impression (for all the right reasons!) in what is surely the most family-orientated, special meal of the year. £30 per person. Please call 01636 528770 to book. Discover more by visiting our website

Carols in the Barnat Bucklebury Saturday 14th December
Come along to Carols in the Barn with complementary mulled wine and mince pies on arrival followed by singing from 5.30-6.30pm. This wonderful evening was really popular last year thanks to the fantastic programme created by Daniel and Sandra Nicholls and their team. It’s a traditional candle-lit carol service from within the rustic barn to celebrate the story of the nativity with farm animals to set the scene. Entry is free to this event. There will be a bar along with hot dogs/soup and hot chestnuts on sale. For more info please call 01189714002 or visit their website

Ballet Theatre UK: The Nutcracker at Arlington Arts Centre – Fri 20th December at 7.30pm
A perfect treat for the Christmas season– a wondrous experience that evokes joy and elevates your spirit to new heights. Whether continuing a valued tradition or discovering the magic of this beloved festive classic for the first time – Ballet Theatre UK’s Nutcracker is sure to leave you with a sense of warmth and treasured memories that will last a lifetime. 17, for more info please call 01635 244246 or visit their website

Christmas and Boxing Day Lunch at The Vineyard
The Vineyard is a place to indulge the palate and refresh the spirit. Where gastronomes and wine lovers indulge and the curious enjoy a new and very different experience. If you’ve not already booked for Christmas Day (£150 per person) or Boxing Day lunch (£50 per person) , why not join us and celebrate with friends and family? Please call 01635 528770 to book. Discover more by visiting our website

New Year’s Eve at The Vineyard – The Big Bottle Bash
Nothing is quite as impressive as seeing an old wine being poured from these large bottles such as Magnums and Jeroboams, so why not join us for a New Year’s Eve party like no other! Our Big Bottle Bash! Before dinner, don’t miss the chance to see our wine team decanting these fantastic wines and sharing some interesting big bottle facts.

Champagne aperitif with canapés, six course dinner with matching wines poured from a variety of large bottle formats, followed by dancing to our live band, fireworks at midnight and a special toast to see in the New Year. £295 per person. Please call 01635 528770 to book. Discover more by visiting our website

Taste of Christmas Fair

tumblr mwvswt48Qt1rveocqo1 400 Taste of Christmas Fair

Monday 2nd December 2013 – 12 noon to 8pm

In aid of Pelican Cancer Foundation and West Berks Mencap

If you are still looking for the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones and want to buy them something unique and luxurious, come along to the Taste of Christmas Fair at The Vineyard.

There will be exciting stalls selling unique, luxury and affordable gifts, cookery demonstrations and wine tasting. Bring your friends and family to join us for a special Taste of Christmas. Doors open at noon and there will be special offers for lunch and dinner at The Vineyard.

With over thirty stalls at the fair selling gifts and treats for the whole family including clothes, jewellery, stocking fillers, seasonal decorations and plants, here is just a little sneak preview into some of the stalls that will be with us on 2nd December.

Entry to the Fair is only £5 per person and will go to the Pelican Cancer Foundation and West Berks Mencap

Discover more about the Taste of Christmas Fair

Discover more about some of the stalls

Branche d’Olive – a luxurious range of gifts, lifestyle accessories, home fragrances and luxury bath and body products – Visit the website

Polly Ollie Annie – Polly Ollie Annie provides good quality, handmade clothes appropriate for everyday wear as well as the most special occasions. All products are hand sewn and knitted in England. The limited edition vintage range consists of the most precious handpicked antique fabrics, laces and buttons.  Visit the website

Armadillo Jewellerya stunning collection of stylish, delightfully original and utterly wearable jewellery from designers across Europe. Fabulous gift ideas at sensible prices, or that ‘special something’ to wear yourself. There are plenty of lovely things for well under £20 and some very pretty items for less than £10 so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit the website

Vintage Tiger – Contemporary and Classic clothing for ladies created from beautiful Velvets and Silks. The styles are mostly original with rich and colourful accessories to match – standard sizes and bespoke. Visit the website

Absolute Snugs – Absolute Snugs was created in 2009  and brings the very best quality, Australian made ugg style boots to the UK consumer, and at a sensible price! Furthermore the purchaser has the reassurance of dealing with a person here in the UK should there be any issues with their purchase. Visit the website

Ila Spa – At ILA they create luxury organic skincare, spa products and treatments. Meaning ‘Earth’ in Sanskrit, ‘ila’ reflects our faith in the power of nature as the source of real wellness. They only use the finest natural plant and mineral ingredients, wild-harvested in remote, untainted regions by artisan producers who value traditional, sustainable practices. Visit the website

Lotus Direct selling handmade and exclusive home accessories, lighting and fashion accessories. Many of their products they source have an ethnic story to tell. Visit the website

Master Sommeliers dinner on 24th November

tumblr mwbblh9Y6z1rveocqo1 1280 Master Sommeliers dinner on 24th November

Discover more about the Master Sommeliers hosting our dinner on 24th November

With just over a week to go before our Master Sommelier Dinner, we thought we’d share a bit more about the Master Sommeliers who will be joining us for what will be a very exciting wine fuelled evening. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see all five Master Sommeliers in one place and quiz them on their wine knowledge

Discover more about the menu and wines

Please call us on 01635 589407 to reserve your place

Dimitri Mesnard MS

Dimitri is a leading wine expert for Jackson Family Wines and their Prestige Account Manager for Europe. Prior to working for the Jackson Family, Dimitri worked at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and was for several years, Head Sommelier of Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells.

Nigel Wilkinson MS

Nigel is the Fine Dining Account Manager for Boutinot Wines. Nigel became a Master Sommelier in 2005 and is now the Assistant Secretary for the Court of Master Sommeliers European Chapter. Before entering the wine trade, Nigel was twice runner-up in the UK Sommelier of the Year Competition and was named ‘Young Wine Server of the Year’ in 1999. Nigel lives in North Wales with his wife Joy and his two sons Owain and Aled.

Matt Wilkin MS

Originally from Adelaide, Australia’s 1st Master Sommelier Matt Wilkin arrived in the UK December 1998 following a number of years learning his trade in Australia and France.

Matt has held a variety of prestigious roles including Executive Sommelier at the Michelin two-starred Capital Restaurant and Hotel Group Knightsbridge, where he oversaw wine purchasing, liaising with suppliers, staff training, private wine tastings and cellar management for 6 operations. He now jointly owns and runs London-based wine company H2Vin ltd specialising in the Loire and Rhône Valleys whilst successfully building a serious collection of great Burgundy.

Gearoid Devaney MS

In 2010, Gearoid joined Flint Wines and  is one of the most well-known and qualified sommeliers in the country, having passed his Master Sommelier qualification in 2009 and having worked in some of the top restaurants across Europe. Food is as much his passion as wine so he’ll happily answer any questions regarding matching the two together. Previously Gearoid was Head Sommelier at the famous London restaurant, Tom Aikens.

Claire Thevenot MS

Claire was born and raised in Besancon, Franche Comte like Daniel Galmiche! She worked a bit in France, Germany and Switzerland before moving to Brighton 10 years ago for the opening of Hotel du Vin there. She also worked here at The Vineyard for a number of months.After 5 years, she took on the wine training role for both Hotel du Vin and Malmaison. She currently works for Enotria, a specialist wine supplier, where she gets to meet so many people and taste nice wines with the best sommeliers in London.

Discover more about the Master Sommeliers Dinner