When ESL was invited to indulge in a mouthwatering seven course tasting menu, complete with a perfect pairing of wines, we knew we were in for a real treat. So off we pottered one beautifully warm late summer’s evening to Glewstone Court’s village location, near Ross-on-Wye in south Herefordshire, taking in the leafy scenery of the Wye Valley and swinging in to the property’s colonnaded manor house entrance at dusk.
A friendly gathering of Herefordshire foodies was chattering convivially in the garden, small enough to get acquainted and large enough to make a buoyant atmosphere. The Spanish Ciento Volado Cava went down well alongside the hot sweet potato shooter amuse bouche and set us up nicely for our expectations to follow in the dining room.
Having changed hands just two years ago, Glewstone Court is enjoying an ongoing transformation decoratively at the hands of Gary and Karen Homewood, supported by their daughter Amy, and their first foray into hospitality is beginning well. With nine spacious bed and breakfast rooms, a chic bar, large comfortable lounge and intimate restaurant, as well as private meeting rooms, the venue serves the short break, special function, corporate meeting or casual diner well.
The dining theme; a Sweet and Sparkling Wine Dinner, was created by Glewstone’s talented Head Chef Vicky Lyons and her team offered dish after dish of decadence including a Wye Valley Smoked Salmon Crème Brulee, Mojito Marshmallow Sorbet, Honey Glazed Pork Fillet (and refined accompaniments), Pistachio, White Chocolate and Raspberry Choux Bun, a Summer Picnic Box of dainty sweet treats, ending with a robust board of cheese, and coffee and teas with homemade fudge.
This gastronomic journey was wonderfully paired with a series of French and Italian wines, knowledgeably and humorously introduced by charismatic sommelier Rupert Birch, of Nothing But The Grape. Choosing fine wines from organic vineyards that are lower in sulphites and preserves, we supped on Prosecco, dessert wine and a sparkling Grande Cuvee Cremant de Bourgogne spiked with Crème de Cassis for a fun Kir Royale.
To add to the entertainment, there was a lighthearted blind tasting of a secret bottle and a lucky winner for the most points scored for each element, plus the opportunity to buy wines on the night at discounted rates.
The success of these wine dinner events means that there are more on the calendar for this autumn and you don’t have to be a buff to enjoy them, there’s always the option to have dinner without the pairing and still be part of the fun.
Forthcoming dates are:
Friday 4 November, presented by Adrian Patterson of Tanners Wines.
Friday 2 December, presented by John Villar of John Villar Wines Ltd.
Find out more about Glewstone Court and more events