Celebrating Baby Sussex at Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard

Afternoon tea served with view of Tower Bridge.

The long awaited member of Frogmore Cottage is here and we can hardly contain ourselves! Welcome to the world Baby Sussex! As London is now officially in jubilation I marked the occasion with Royal High Tea at Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard. In honour of the royal birth and motherhood everywhere the hotel has devised a very special celebratory menu for us to enjoy.

This however, is no ordinary occasion and as such this is no ordinary high tea. A view over Tower Bridge and the Thames from the comfort of Shangri-La’s TĪNG Lounge and Restaurant is one of the greatest privileges afforded to us by the hotel. I’m forever in awe of it no matter how many times I see it. So here’s what I had:

To eat

Wiltshire ham and piccalilli wrapped in the neatest of soft bread was the perfect nod to a traditional tea. Scottish smoked salmon, Elderflower poached chicken and cucumber were also part of this heavenly treat.

For my sweet tooth the blueberry cheesecake, chocolate sable with passion fruit cream and strawberry mousse with rhubarb cream were all I could have hoped for and more. May I add that the scones gratified all the senses.

To drink

Tīng Lounge and Restaurant welcomes you with their signature white jasmine tea with apricot. Coupled with Shangri-La’s devotion to refined and sensuous enjoyment of their guests the tea was pourled elegantly in to a magical cloud against the backdrop of London’s skyline. It was simply breathtaking.

There is also an extensive menu of the highest quality Shangri-La loose leaf teas. My favourite was the infused Beautiful Skin Tea of elderflower and hints of rose. China White Monkey tea with honey nuances was wonderful. I also tried the Green Mint of China gunpowder tea blended with peppermint leaves. It was crisp, fresh and utterly pleasing.

Why this menu is so special

To make this occasion extra special the Shangri-La At The Shard team have dug deep in to their past. Sentimentality, family recipes and childhood memories have been scoured to honour the most important women in our lives.

Executive Pastry Chef Benoit Defait has contributed his mother’s blueberry cheesecake recipe. Benoit fondly remembers the family making wild berry jam together. “It took three months for each jar to be ready which I was very impatient about. I would help my grandmother carefully place a label on each jar and then once three months had passed we would eagerly open them together and eat it by the spoonful.” As the family lived close to a farm who gave them cheese they’d make cakes and tarts using all the ingredients. I got a taste of that French countryside, those wild berries and share in the memories of grandson and grandmother cheekily eating spoonfuls of jam together. I felt truly honoured.

Commis Pastry Chef Lucy Wall cherishes memories of baking crumbles and cakes with her mother and grandmother. “My grandmother used to grow rhubarb and strawberries in the garden which we’d use to make crumbles, cakes and pies. I was responsible for rolling the pastry and loved getting stuck in. Although my favourite part was licking the spoon”, says Chef Lucy. So how grateful I was to taste her grandmother’s strawberry mousse which was divine.

Pastry Sous Chef Emma Watts was inspired to become a pastry chef by her grandmother who baked with her from a very young age. Chef Emma says, “My granny had a stack of cake cutters and cake decoration tools which my sister and I loved to play with. We were responsible for weighing the flour and sugar on the old scales. We’d constantly fight over who was right!” Her favourite cake to bake with her grandmother was a Victoria Sponge and that is exactly what Chef Emma contributed to The Royal High Tea. It’s truly worthy of the highest praise.

There was also a surprise bliss of Executive Chef Jeremy’s mother’s bara brith which I found exceptional. Executive Sous Chef David’s mother’s passion fruit cream with chocolate sable was the stuff of dreams.

So you see Baby Sussex, we are really happy that you’re here. We offer you the highest honour we could possibly bestow upon you; Royal High Tea served overlooking the greatest city on earth.


I was a guest of Shangri-La At The Shard Hotel. The Royal High Tea with a royal baby cocktail or mocktail costs £62 per person and available until 30th May 2019.

The quiet grace of Sussex ends Champagne’s reign

South Place Hotel www.jamesbedford.com
South Place Hotel

Sparkling Winemaker of the Year

Cherie Spriggs, Chief winemaker at Nyetimber, won the coveted accolade of Sparkling Winemaker of the Year this monthIt’s the first time the highly-regarded International Wine Challenge has awarded this honour to a winemaker outside of Champagne. Big deal? Of course it is. It’s David and Goliath except there’ll be no throwing of stones. This is a story of the quiet grace of Sussex ending Champagne’s reign.

Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and Anne of Cleves

The 1000 year old Nyetimber estate is first named in the Domesday Book of 1086. Henry VIII, no less, obtained it through the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. It was passed on to his minister Thomas Cromwell and then on to the King’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as part of the annulment settlement of their unconsummated marriage.

The end of Champagne’s reign

Very few places in the world, outside Champagne, have the treasured conditions required for producing fine sparkling wine. Eric Heerema, present day owner and chief executive of Nyetimber,  recognised them in his estate and was convinced that English sparkling wine had a future. With the unparalleled expertise of Chief winemaker, Cherie Spriggs, the first batch of the holy trinity of grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, were planted in the chalky soils of West Sussex.

Today the vineyard produces four sparkling wines; Classic Cuvee, Demi-Sec, Rosé Multi-Vintage and Blanc de Blancs. With the refined elegance of its expertise, passion and pioneering approach Nytimber has gently won over the connoisseurs. Its sparkling wines continue to be awarded for their elegance and refinement and its undisputed supremacy sealed with the accolade bestowed upon Cherie Spriggs. 25 years in the making of a 1000 year old estate.

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Nyetimber Terrace

It’s fitting then that Michelin-starred Angler Restaurant at South Place Hotel will celebrate the ascendancy of English sparkling wine. The roof terrace at the hotel has been transformed in to a celebration of English summer. From now until 16th September it will serve a special menu of Nyetimber sparkling wines exquisitely paired with light bites by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Gary Foulkes. It’s a stylish combination which adds more than a sparkle to London’s rooftops. Rabbit and chorizo rice balls, crispy Cornish squid and Giaraffa Sicilian olives can be ordered with Classic Cuvee, Demi-Sec MV, Rosé MV or Blanc de Blancs 2010. It’s a dignified, noble celebration of a product of England; the likes of which have never before been seen in the history of winemaking. A shattered glass ceiling has never looked so good.

 

South Place Hotel is located at 3 South Place London EC2M 2AF. For more information visit: www.southplacehotel.com

 

 

 

South Place Hotel celebrates Nyetimber

South Place Hotel www.jamesbedford.com
South Place Hotel

Sparkling Winemaker of the Year

Cherie Spriggs, Chief winemaker at Nyetimber, won the coveted accolade of Sparkling Winemaker of the Year this monthIt’s the first time the highly-regarded International Wine Challenge has awarded this honour to a winemaker outside of the Champagne region in France. Big deal? It is in so much as its a wonderful acknowledgement of English wines and expertise. South Place Hotel has chosen to celebrate this honour on its roof terrace where you can enjoy Nyetimber whilst overlooking London.

Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and Anne of Cleves

The 1000 year old Nyetimber estate is first named in the Domesday Book of 1086. Henry VIII, no less, obtained it through the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. It was passed on to his minister Thomas Cromwell and then on to the King’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as part of the annulment settlement of their unconsummated marriage.

The end of a reign

Very few places in the world, outside Champagne, have the treasured conditions required for producing fine sparkling wine. Eric Heerema, present day owner and chief executive of Nyetimber,  recognised them in his estate and was convinced that English sparkling wine had a future. With the expertise of Chief Winemaker, Cherie Spriggs, the first batch of the holy trinity of grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, were planted in the chalky soils of West Sussex.

Today the vineyard produces four sparkling wines: Classic Cuvee, Demi-Sec, Rosé Multi-Vintage and Blanc de Blancs. With its expertise, passion and pioneering approach Nyetimber has gently won over the connoisseurs. Its wines continue to be awarded and its supremacy was sealed with the accolade bestowed upon Cherie Spriggs; 25 years in the making of a 1000 year old estate.

image001

Nyetimber Terrace

It’s fitting then that Michelin-starred Angler Restaurant at South Place Hotel will celebrate the ascendancy of English sparkling wine. The roof terrace at the hotel has been transformed in to a celebration of summer. From now until 16th September it will serve a special menu of Nyetimber sparkling wines exquisitely paired with light bites by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Gary Foulkes. It’s a stylish combination which adds more than a sparkle to London’s rooftops.

Rabbit and chorizo rice balls, crispy Cornish squid and Giaraffa Sicilian olives can be ordered with Classic Cuvee, Demi-Sec MV, Rosé MV or Blanc de Blancs 2010. It’s a dignified, noble celebration of a product of England; the likes of which have never before been seen in the history of winemaking. A shattered glass ceiling has never looked so good.

South Place Hotel is located at 3 South Place London EC2M 2AF. For more information visit: www.southplacehotel.com

Seven tips you need to know about barbecuing: Chef Tim Love rubs it in

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Lonesome Dove

Let’s get something out in the open shall we? We didn’t expect this hot spell in London to last long. A couple of weeks of sunshine, at best, is all that we had pinned our hopes on. Still, here we are, almost the end of July and still basking in glorious, unrelenting, sunshine. The weather has held up for so long that we are forced to reconsider our behaviour. Dare I say it, we may even have to adopt some warm-weather habits such as barbecuing.

With year-round sunshine and cuisine influenced by a diverse Creole, Mexican and Native American heritage, Fort Worth topped my list of places for inspiration. With Britain’s collective failed attempts at barbecuing it seemed the most natural place to  turn for help. The city’s celebrity chef Tim Love of Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters was, to our good fortune, in London recently. I was happy to be able catch up with Chef Tim. With multiple restaurants including Lonesome Dove and Woodshed in his repertoire rest assured that we are in good hands. Here are Chef Tim’s seven top tips you need to know about barbecuing.

Barbecue Vs Grill

In the US we differentiate between barbecue and grilling. The key to barbecuing is slow and low which allows the meat to soak up smoke and the seasoning allowing it to become tender and moist. The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of the meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelised crust. In America this is done over both charcoal and gas grills.

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Woodshed Smokehouse

Barbecue

  • Experiment with different woods when slow cooking. Each burns at a different temperature and will give different flavour notes to your food. You’ll soon figure out your favourite.
  • Start your fire early and let your smoker heat up fully. This should take about an hour and a half.
  • Be adventurous and remember that you can smoke anything from savoury to sweet.
  • Top tip: My favourite thing to smoke is chocolate chips which I use in cookies.

 Grill

  • First and foremost be patient and make sure you have a very hot grill.
  • Also keep half of the grill hot and the other half cooler. This allows for searing. It also gives you a place to finish your meat off by roasting.
  • Top tip: When grilling vegetables, soak them in ice-cold water first. This is great for searing and also keeps the vegetables crisp after you’ve cooked them.

 

 

 

 

Lonesome Dove Restaurants are located at 2406 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 419 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 and 100 N Central Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. For more information visit: www.lonesomedovebistro.com

Woodshed Smokehouse is located at 3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth, TX. For more information visit: www.woodshedsmokehouse.com