Lucie Loves... Food & Wine // Geology & Gastronomy: A Chablis - fuelled evening with Douglas Blyde at the Chancery


To avoid embarrassment in any social situation, the first pre-event thing that you should do (especially one that involves fancy food, fine wine and intelligent dinner guests) is learn how to pronounce the very thing that the whole evening revolves around. 

In this case: Chablis. It’s ‘shab-leeee’ and definitely not ‘shab-lisss’. Oh no.

After finishing work, I rushed to catch the tube and made my way from Temple, in search of 9 Cursitor Street, home to The Chancery restaurant.

The Chancery, opened by restaurateur Zak Jones in 2004, is nestled on a corner, away off the main thoroughfare of Chancery Lane, and boasts the services of Chef Graham Long, known for his deliciously modern European, seasonal menus. His food is carefully crafted with the gastronomic knowledge earned working alongside chefs such as Shane Osborn, Mark Sargeant and Gordon Ramsey.


I do love trying new things, exploring restaurants that I’ve never been to before, chatting to funny strangers at dinner parties and devouring the sort of food that you can’t (or wouldn’t bother to) just rustle up in your own kitchen, after a long day at work.

I’m not a wine expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, being a photographer and lifestyle blogger, I often accept invites to events that tickle my fancy, and I couldn’t wait to see what Chef Graham Long would whip up.

As a photographer I often eat (and drink) with my eyes. I knew that, after his Rose D’anjou rooftop wine-tasting shindig, accepting an invitation to Douglas Blyde’s Chablis soiree at Michelin starred restaurant The Chancery in London would be not only be SLR-wieldingly photo-worthy, but thoroughly entertaining too.

When given a choice of red or white wine, I very often veer over to the dark side, choosing warm, full-bodied reds over refreshing, light whites. I was keen to give Chablis a go and expand my palate’s repertoire of wines-that-I-know-and-like.


After a round of introductions, whilst supping on a very refreshing glass of 2012 Vincent Dauvissat, Petit Chablis – with notes of peach, lemon and grapefruit –in, what seemed like, the warmest little wine cellar bar in London; we demolished platters of Truffle arancini & crab beignet. 


Aperitifs done and dusted, we were then instructed to take a breather outside and make our way down to The Chancery’s private dining room, which seats around 35 people. 

I decided to mingle some more and sat next to a funny chap called Jon Massey, deputy editor of The Wharf, and owner of an unruly mass of curls. I guess we were very much chalk and cheese dinner party guests. Him: proper posh. Me: the commoner. Him: cut-glass British accent. Me: shopping-in-Ikea-for-cheap-glasses-northern-accent. 

Anyway, north-south divide and class-systems aside, he was a highly entertaining conversationalist. His write up of the evening is most amusing: I sound like some sort of bad ass super-villain! It’s a very entertaining review.


The next wines of the evening, poured for our delectation, were the 2012 Garnier & Fils, Grains Dorés, AOC Chablis and the 2014 Louis Moreau. Chef Graham Long served up marinated raw hand-dived scallops, cucumber jelly, avocado cream, sesame filo and shiso dressing to start the night off.


The pale gold and flowery Premier Cru were up next and in direct competition were the 2011 Jean-Marc Brocard, Montée de Tonnerre, and the 2012 Val de Mercy, Beauregards. To complement these wines we dined on tartare of trout, poached apple, nettle puree, macadamia nuts and trout eggs.


The arrival of the Chablis Grand Cru certainly lifted spirits. It was cheers all round when bottles of 2012 William Fevre, Les Clos, and 2013 Samuel Billaud, Les Preuses, were cracked open and Zalto glasses were filled with the purest of green-gold liquid, delicately scented with notes of green apple and citrus. They made the perfect accompaniment for dinner plates decorated with roasted quail, cannelloni of the leg and foie gras, sweetcorn, hazlenuts, pickled mushrooms and wild garlic.


To round the evening off nicely, a selection of Neal’s Yard Dairy British cheeses were served with glasses of 2003 Domaine Pinson, Chablis Premier Cru Fôrets. By this point in the evening, I’d grown to be quite Chablis convert and could definitely be swayed to opt for a glass of Chablis over a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay on my next outing.

Thank you to Chef Graham Long and team for creating an incredible menu to go with our Chablis. Douglas, as ever, it was a complete and utter treat to be your guest!