Lucie Loves... Food & Drink // Pure Chablis ... A night on the rocks, and a quick catch up on how that divorce is progressing!

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It’s midweek and I find myself thinking “Fuck it! I’m wearing the tinsel dress and no one can stop me!” Happy Hump Day, y’all!

I hop on the tube, looking all sparkly, with my housemate’s shaggy cropped jacket for company. It does look like a small animal… So I’d forgive you for thinking I was some sort of overdressed mad cat lady…

Anyway, I get off at Mansion House and wander down the narrow streets to the address I’ve been given. An address which promises to be the equivalent of finding gold at the end of the rainbow. The gold – in this case – is obviously the never-ending line up of Chablis, that we mere mortals must plough through, while being fed on some very tasty food. First world problems, eh?

I’m already excited, after spying a few familiar names on the guest list, and can’t wait for a good old catch up at Bacchus On A Knife Edge Supper Club at Andaz Studio.

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Turns out… Chablis… is rather magical. 

I’m running a little late, so – armed with my hefty Canon MKIII DSLR camera – I whisk around the room, saying my hellos, making a fool of myself when I do one kiss on the cheek and forget that I’m in London and the other person is expecting two. 

“I’m northern.” I add – offering a hug as compensation – and then snapping a few more shots, before we have to take our seats for dinner.

I then grab an aperitif, ‘Pas Si Petit’ Petit Chablis 2014 from La Chablisienne. Unfortunately, I’d missed the Scandinavian-inspired canapés by Martina and Magdelena of NORDISH. But I can imagine how good the miniature Norwegian fishcakes and remoulade, and curled cucumber filled with crab and avocado salad must of tasted!

If you need some sort of social lubrication for a dinner party and are terrified of having awkward or stilted conversation… I think, Chablis is the answer. Basically, it grants you access to a free therapy session*.

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I mean, one glass and I was away! I don’t think poor Mr Massey, sipping the first glass of vino, knew quite what he was in for… as he tentatively broached the question: “So.. how’s your divorce coming along?”

“Erm… It isn’t really…” I reply.

“Oh? How so?” He says, looking genuinely concerned, sipping on his Petit Chablis.

“Well…” I groan… “It turns out that in order for me to get legal representation to help me through my divorce petition… I need to find about £750 at least. And – right now – between starting my own company, blogging and juggling being freelance opps… every spare penny I get goes towards rent and bills and being able to carry on living in London.”

Basically, I’m working to live as oppose to working to fund my divorce. And I’d rather go on holiday with any spare money than fork out for something so boring. If any solicitors firm wants to sponsor my divorce… I am very happy to negotiate… give me a shout ;-)

“But you CAN do it without legal representation.” Mr Massey replies, helpfully. “If you’re not quibbling over anything… like a house or kids…”

“I know…” I admit “But I’m reluctant to let him screw me over a second time… and would rather have someone who does this for a living helping me out, as opposed to me just ticking boxes and signing things that I don’t really understand.”

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Damn! Divorce talk is really thirsty work, I think as I reach for my second glass – the Alain Geoffroy 2014 Chablis.

I wish I could be more like Mr Massey and Gary Lineker and go down the free-ish route… But my gut instinct just won’t let me do it! After all, I have no idea where my (soon-to-be ex) husband is even living right now. We don’t speak. 

England? Canada? England? Canada? The Moon? 

I do not know and I do not care. 

But what I do resent is that every guy I go on a date with, from here on in, has to be told: “Oh… actually, I’m married… but separated. I’m about to go through a divorce.” Followed by: “Oh, what happened, you ask?” 

Me on cue: “He fell in love with another woman.” 

It’s tragic. I know… but after nine months it just feels pretty normal, and I’ve accepted what happened. If you fall in love, you fall in love and there’s no way of avoiding it. Call me romantic, or stupid. But that’s what I believe.

However, the best response to this revelation heard on a date, came from a very lovely comedian. 

“But I don’t understand…” He says, looking bemused.

“You’re the sort of woman that a man would leave his wife for.” 

Oh the irony! How I laughed and laughed.

Anyway, back to Chablis…

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The starters arrive and give us a bit of a breather… Food has and always will be a big love of mine. Not only for the fact that it usually means socialising with some of my favourite people, but because it is comforting – in every sense.

The British starter by Hana of Pickled Plates, consisted of a summer vegetable salad with roasted radishes, brown butter dressing, pan-fried whiting and tempura samphire. The tempura samphire was my fave bit of the dish!

I particularly enjoyed the roasted radishes, more than I thought I would. I guess I’ve always been a bit harsh on the old radish – that and cress. I often wondered what was the point of this tiny purply-pink veggie… But then, served up like this, I was quite the convert. “It’s like a turnip!” chimed Douglas Blyde, our delightful host for the evening. Spot on, DB.

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Next up we were introduced to Chablis number three, Julien Brocard’s Chablis, La Boissonneuse, 2014.

As we move further down the list of wines our tastebuds rejoiced. Number three was quite the party in your mouth, and went really well with Rosie of A Little Lusciousness  and her team’s delicious miso-glazed pork chops, served with Japanese raw slaw, rice vinegar and chilli dressing. A dish inspired by her recent jaunt to Japan. Note: I really really really want to go to Japan!! So this little taster was more than welcome.

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As the evening wore on, and we both got fed up of divorce talk, we rattled on about life and tucked into a mountain of cheese and about seven more bottles of Chablis.

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It was like a celebrity had walked into the room when those cheeseboards were brought out. England vs. France. 

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Cheeses provided for our delectation…

  • Stichleton from Nottinghamshire vs. Bleu d’Auvergne
  • Baron Bigod from Bungay vs. Camembert from Normandy
  • Montgomery Cheddar from North Cadbury, Somerset vs. Comté

 These delightful cheeses were accompanied by more Chablis, from communal buckets: 

  • Domaine William Fevre, Vaulorent, Premier Cru 2012
  • Jean Paul et Benoit Valmur Grand Cru 2012
  • Clotilde Davenne Les Preuses Grand Cru 2008
  • Domaine Laroche Les Blanchots Grand Cru 2007
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I’d never seen so many cheese paparazzi before. I mean, if Antonine Griezmann was laid out on that board, I’d understand the swooning…

But then again… this lot had come from Neal’s Yard Dairyand caused quite a storm… and gave everyone another excuse to enjoy more Chablis.

“The taught balance between acidity, citrus and minerality gleaned from the landscape of miniature fossilised oysters and ammonites make Chablis a particularly individual, even ‘feline’ wine.” Douglas Blyde on Chablis

“MEOWWWW!”

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It turns out that while Chablis is pretty excellent with savoury foods, it does not like anything sweet. Hence, the decision to supply the food & lifestyle blogger and journo bods with a mountain of cheese instead.

Yet again, another fabulous evening with Douglas Blyde and Co. I have dropped several hints now that I’d quite like to visit the Chablis region… and do some wine tasting in-situ… We’ll see, eh?

Find out more about Chablis: chablis-wines.com

Photography © Lucie Kerley

*Sorry, Mr Massey. :-S