Lucie Loves... Food & Drink // #Blogged | My escape to the Loire Valley with Douglas Blyde, Paul Winch-Furness and a couple of bottles of rosé d’Anjou


As a fashion & lifestyle blogger, London really is your oyster when it comes to interesting events. This one in particular took centre stage - or should that be rooftop - at east London’s The Queen of Hoxton.

Food and drink expert Douglas Blyde invited us along for an evening of ‘pink pleasures’. Never one to turn down an opportunity to indulge ourselves, we said yes.

The rooftop was ours for the evening and was swarming with hungry food and drink connoisseurs, and popup restaurateurs from all over London. 

I would be the first to admit that JMG and I are merely amateurs in the field, but are always keen to expand our culinary repertoire. What’s the point of living in London if you don’t open yourself up to new experiences?

We had never tasted rosé d’Anjou before, and so were excited to see what food pairings would be recommended for it.

As dusk set in, we tucked into canapés: trying to decide between honey & hoisin or lemon and thyme chicken, cuttlefish with chorizo & potatoes, laksa king prawn skewers, char-grilled vegetables and barbecued goats cheese toast.

Queen of Hoxton’s resident Chef, Daniel Ashley, known for his mouth-watering menus at The Book Club and Stories, also pulled together some very tasty starters: tempura prawns, zucchini,  broccoli, carrot and eggplant, sesame prawn toast, vegetable pakora, shashlik, curried lentil & chickpea sliders, onion bhaji and a few other delicious nibbles.

We listened intently as Douglas expertly guided us from wine to wine.

From Pierre Chainier 1749 to Auguste Bonhomme 2013, each glass of rosé d’Anjou stood its ground as equally perfect accompaniment to your summer dinner party or bbq with friends. I detected, with a little help from Douglas, notes of raspberry and strawberry, which added a touch of sweetness to the wine, making it easy to drink and a wine that will appeal to many.

Wine tasting over, food & restaurant photographer, Paul Winch-Furness introduced himself and shared his secrets to perfecting fine food photography.

It’s all about the light. If you shoot into it, it will add depth and shadow.

Paul also told us not to be afraid of putting yourself in the picture. A hand, at the very least, holding a glass, will add to the composition and help set the mood and help you tell a story.

Mouths continuing to water we were then introduced to Chef Daniel Ashley and our task for the evening: create your own kebab to accompany one of the bottles of rosé d’Anjou that we had tried that evening.

We grouped together - myself, JMG, Amy (read her post about how to taste wine) and Rosie - and set about creating a lamb kebab, with a honey, sweet chilli, olive oil, halloumi, peppers, mushrooms and onion. It helped that Rosie knows what she’s doing, being a chef who runs her own West London popup!

I’ve always said that the key to a successful bloggers event is ensuring that you have a 'hands on’ element. It was so much fun getting stuck in and creating our very own craft kebab. By the time the evening came to a close, we had developed a love of Loire Valley wine and made new friends along the way. A great evening was had by all! 

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Film + edit © jmgcreative