No good food renaissance would be complete without booze.
Whilst the UK has been reinventing itself as a foodie hub, a melting pot of good restaurants and a worthy gastronomic destination, there is one part that has been rather overlooked… good British wine. Across much of the south coast of the country, talented cultivators have been developing crops of red, white and rose, so good that they would give Gerard Bertrand’s Provoncale wine (my favourite) a run for his money.
To investigate just how to nurture the perfect fruit bearing vines, I headed down the Nutbourne Vineyard in Sussex for a saturday tour, a 7-course meal and a liver pickling amount of rose. No spitting, just swallowing.
The lovely brothers that own Nutbourne are also the brains behind two of west London’s coolest restaurants. The Shed (Notting Hill) and Rabbit (Kings Road) Their farm-to-table cooking, use of foraged ingredients, seasonal produce and small plates I have long been a fan of.
We began the the 7-course tasting menu with scallops, cooked in buerre blanc and wild garlic over a barbecue. Every course was wine matched and absolutely superb. The dish above (a butter bean puree with grilled leeks, pickled carrot and an elder jam with truffle oil) was my favourite.
Chef Ollie certainly has a way to make his vegetables sing with flavour!
Next up was the beetroot cured salmon, with pickled radish and nettles.
About now my camera ran out of juice, right before the delicious whipped mascarpone and homemade honeycombe came out. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen it here
If you are looking for a day trip away, fancy escaping the city, or are a keen wine buff, I can’t recommend a trip to Nutbourne Vineyard more highly. If you get lucky with the weather, like we did, you can go and pick your own wild garlic and catch some rays whilst strolling in the picturesque greenery. Perhaps you might be brave enough to swim in the lake too.?! If not, it is still worth the trip for the delicious food, good oxygen and truly beautiful sparking brut. Champagne you better watch out, holler to the Britainnia.
You can find the details of Nutbourne here