Last weekend we rounded up the team and headed off to Epernay to experience the amazing food, culture and of course, Champagne, which comes from this corner of Northern France.
The trip was organised in part to uncover the inner-gourmet (and in some cases gourmand!) in each and every member of the team. From the soft chalk slopes where the famed Chardonnay grapes grow, to the world-famous cellars of Taittinger, we literally got under the skin of both the grape and the remarkable process by which the world’s most prestigious tipple is made.
Whilst the tasting was perfect, and good fieldwork for our company-wide Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 2 qualification, the experience also gave us ample opportunity to talk about our menus, in particular, those for unique venues. Sat around a table in Maison Taittinger our chefs, event managers poured forth new ideas for menus, styling, tastes and textures. The meeting fizzed with excitement and will see our new autumn and winter menus drawing inspiration from the informality of the high street, Michelin star luxe to the grazing flavours synonymous with global kerb foods.
We also headed to our long-time Champagne supplier, André Clouet (another Grand Cru no less!) with our wine merchant The Vintner, for a most exquisite banquet. We feasted on the best local produce as well as sampling some of there very best vintages in the most rarefied of surroundings.
It was a one of a kind experience. We came back to London on Sunday lunchtime wiser, inspired, a little fragile but positively fizzing for the coming season!