Our venue for dinner was Auberge d’Onex, located in the suburb of Onex on the southern side of Geneva. Nestled amongst a lush garden, Auberge d’Onex is housed in the building that was originally the clubhouse of the first golf club in Geneva. Cuisine is Italian and the owner/maître d’ is a very vivacious host.
Auberge d’Onex is a homely and cosy restaurant, dark wood exposed beams on the ceiling, floral curtains, white clothed tables with comfortable wooden chairs.
Red wine was the drink of the night, a lovely 3 year old Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico.
Baskets of bread were dotted around the table with some fantastic olive oil to dip it in. Antipasti was served from platters and included, grilled asparagus, grilled witlof, burrata cheese, artichokes, sausage, salamis, whitebait, grilled eggplant. My favourite had to be the burrata cheese, so creamy and soft. Servings were quite generous.
Main was a large whole fish that the staff bought out on a trolley and served to us with some caponata. Not being much of a fish eater I had veal scallopine.
Before dessert bowls of peaches, plums, grapes, fresh dates, kiwi berries and small mangoes, were placed on the table.
We had a choice of 6 desserts served from the dessert trolley. We were also offered grappa and house made Limoncello with dessert. I chose meringata and promptly forgot to take a photo, while Mr. CA4G had the tiramisu.
After a fabulous dinner it was back to the hotel for our final sleep in Geneva.
After breakfast it was back on the bus and then to Plan les Ouates for our final visit to the Patek Philippe factory.
The morning saw us broken in to two groups again. One group went over to the service department while the other group was taken for a talk about the design and research and development of new watch models.
Our group first went for the design/R&D talk. Very interesting to hear how a watch is designed from sketch to model and then to prototyping. Sketches and 3D printed models are presented to a panel of 6 that includes Heads of design, R&D, Watchmaking, Mr and Mrs Stern. After deliberation and critiques, go ahead is either given or the piece goes back for refinement or changes. Some pieces may take a year or two of playing around with before the final design is set.
It was very interesting to see and handle the 3D models. Several sizes are presented; a life size one, a large one, and then case and bracelet(if not on a leather strap) separately. Prototypes are made from a base metal after the go ahead is given and mock up movements are installed. These are then presented and critiqued again.
We also saw examples of dial designs and prototypes. We saw samples of some enamel dials and the steps in their making. A sample piece (around 10cm x 10cm) is made first and then sent for approval. A sample strip of the colours used is also made up which is also presented witht he sample piece. Enamelists are true artisans and the work they do on such a small scale is astounding.
After our time learning about the design process it was time to swap with the other group and head to the service department.
In the service department we learnt about the amount of work and quality control that goes in to servicing Patek Philippe watches. We were then taken to see the head of vintage watch servicing . A team of 3, one master watchmaker and two junior watchmakers handle repairs and restorations of the vintage timepieces.
On display were some of the botch jobs that they are sent from people who just go to a bad watchmaker, rather than send their watch back to Patek Philippe. One watch had a paperclip used in the repair!
The head watchmaker is so skilled at his work that he is able to tell when a part he is machining is not right just by the sound it makes. He is also able to hear it across the desk on work one of the junior watchmakers is doing.
The restoration department has a ‘library’ of information built up by the head watchmaker. While some parts are available, quite often the restoration department needs to manufacture their own parts based on the components in the watch they are restoring. This requires meticulous measuring and skilled hands and eyes. This information is then stored for future reference in the ‘library’.
After our visit to the restoration and service department it was time for lunch. This time we had a three course lunch in the cafeteria.
Entrée was a tasing plate or borscht, foie gras mousse on a crouton, smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade.
Main was duck breast with plums, roesti and seasonal vegetables.
Dessert was a delicious orange and chocolate ring.
After lunch we stretched our legs and had a look at the site where Patek Philippe is constructing a new expansion of the factory. This new building will see Cadrans Fluckiger move from St. Imier to Geneva, the case and jewellery departments will also move to the main site, relocation of the service centre and a watchmaking school.
We then jumped on the bus for the short drive to the case and jewellery departments. We saw first hand the machining and finishing of the cases, from a lump of precious metal or a lump of steel the case comes to shape in a CNC machine. It takes hours for the case be finished in the CNC before it heads off for polishing.
The polishing department was quite fascinating as well. Depending on the type of finishing (shiny, brushed, matt) the polisher will have a different approach and finishing method to the process. Some pieces such as the Nautilus bracelet require both a brushed and shiny finish, this then requires the futher step of ‘blocking’ the polished areas before applying the brushed finish.
The jewellery department is where those pieces that require stones to be set in the dial or case are finished. Cuff links and ladies jewellery pieces are also produced here. We were very lucky to be able to meet the gemologist for Patek Philippe. He travels the world looking for some of the most amazing stones. For example a row of around 20 flawless Zambian emeralds, a suite of 6 perfect ‘pigeons blood’ rubies and many flawless diamonds in all sizes. The special stones don’t always get used straight away, it may take several years before a design comes along to utilize them. We were able to see one of the stone setters working on a pave diamond bracelet for a watch.
After our tour of the case and jewellery departments it was back to the main factory for the final part of our afternoon and tour. An hour of inspecting the current novelties and standard production pieces.
Trays of watches were passed down each side of the table, with plenty of time for looking, handling and asking questions. There were lots of exciting pieces to contemplate. I had two favourites, both from the ladies Gondolo range with a real art deco feel.
Of course Mr. CA4G is a watch fanatic so he ended up with a dream wish list of around 8 favourite pieces.
After a mesmerising hour and a half of watches, we wrapped up the official part of the tour and headed back to the hotel for a short respite before dinner.
Stay watching for our final dinner at Auberge D’Onex.
After visiting Maison Cailler it was time to head to the hill town of Gruyères where we were to have dinner. Located in the Canton of Fribourg, in the foothills of Mont Moléson, the town is perched atop an 82metre hill. It was quite interesting to see snow on the nearby mountains even though it was the end of summer. The country side around the town was stunning, so green and lush.
It is a fascinating old town with many of the buildings being beautifully maintained in their original style. Cobble stone streets make for an interesting walk and not a walk I would want to attempt in high heels.
The largest building in the town is Chateau de Gruyères (castle) built between 1270 and 1282 and now home to a museum covering 800 years of architecture, art history and culture of the region.
Chateau St Germain, the second castle within the town, was acquired by the artist H.R. Giger and now houses the H.R. Giger Museum and the Giger Café/Bar. Sadly time did not allow for a visit to either museum, which gives us a reason for a return trip to do so.
Gruyères is of course the area where that fabulous cheese of the same name comes from. Given that we were in Gruyères, it was only natural that dinner would be fondue. Our restaurant was Café – Restaurant des Remparts which, like many buildings in the town, is built in to the external wall of the town.
The outer walls of the town are situated on the edges of the hill and thus give amazing views out over the surrounding countryside. We were fortunate that the clouds parted and we were able to enjoy the view with a little sun before it set.
The interior of the restaurant is very traditional Swiss style. Lots of wood, red and white, lace and very homely touches. The ladies who served us were dressed fairly traditionally as well.
An entrée of salad and platters of cold meats with pickled onions and cornichons was presented first, shortly followed by fondue of vacherin and Gruyère cheese.
While we usually have 2 or 3 fondues a year at home, it was a revelation to have it in Switzerland. Steamed chat potatoes are served along with bread cubes. The fondue itself was thick, cheesy and creamy and totally delicious. I think I will be searching for Vacherin cheese next winter to replace the Emmentaler I normally use in our fondue.
All that cheesy goodness was followed by a dessert of wonderful fresh berries, topped with luscious, thick Gruyères cream. The cream was served at the table by the waitress who came around with a wooden bowl that the cream had been set in and the scooped out with a paddle shaped spoon. I asked for just a little and was served around 1/3 of a cup. Very naughty but sooo good!!
Walking outside after dinner it was lovely to see the town lit up in the twilight.
Day 3 was a very long day and we returned to the hotel around 1030. It was however a very fascinating and fantastic day full of interesting things to see, learn and enjoy.
Day 3 saw us with an extra early start. We had a 2 ½ hour drive to the dial factory, Cadrans Flückiger at St Imier in the Canton of Jura. Under grey skies and a light shower we boarded our bus and headed out of Geneva along the lake. Once we were out of the city we drove through beautiful green countryside with the occasional rainbow.
Cadrans Flückiger S.A. is a subsidiary company of Patek Philippe. They specialize in the manufacture and finishing of dials. Not only do they make dials for Patek Philippe, they also do dials for companies such as Audemars Piguet and IWC, among others. It was fascinating to learn that a dial can have anywhere from 40 to 70 processes applied to it and can take up to 3 months to make.
Dial enamelling and guilloché engraving are also carried out at Cadrans Flückiger and we were fortunate to be able to see the artisans working at both techniques. Enameling is very pretty but the amount of work involved explains why the pricing can be quite a bit more for an enamel dial watch. The engraving studio also had several guilloché machines dating back to the 1800’s still being used.
Lunch was at the Hotel Beau Rivage Neuchatel,a hotel we stayed at several years ago. Not associated with the Beau Rivage Geneva, this stately hotel is also situated by a lake, Lake Neuchatel to be precise. It was nice to return even if for a little while.
Memories of our dinner on our last visit had us anticipating the wonderful lunch that awaited us.
The wild mushrooms in puff pastry were very tasty and the freshness of the mushrooms was evident in the level of flavor.
Main course was a simple prepared chicken supreme, with vegetables and a chorizo cream sauce. The sauce had a nice spiciness to it.
Dessert was an apple tart tatin, beautifully presented and very delicious!
After lunch we had time for a quick walk outside.
After our fantastic lunch it was back on to the bus. Our next destination was a visit to the chocolate factory of Maison Cailler, located in the town of Broc, situated in the mountains of the La Gruyere region. Now part of the Nestle Group, Maison Cailler was founded in the early 1800’s by Francois-Lois Cailler. Over the next 100 or so years the manufacturing of chocolate was perfected with the ultimate secret to creaminess being the use of condensed milk made with the high quality milk from the cows of the region.
We took part in a tour of the factory which started with a series of rooms, each depicting a different period in the history of chocolate. From the Aztecs to the Conquisatadors, the arrival of chocolate in Europe, right up to the founding of Maison Cailler and the 20th century. Very interesting and well presented.
After the history rooms you start in to the factory proper. Glass walls separate the factory from the tour area where displays and samples of ingredients are arranged. An audio device is given to each tour member at the start and when held to an icon at each display, you learn more about the ingredients and where they are from. There is also information on the farmers/growers and their locations in the world.
And of course you can’t finish a chocolate factory tour without trying some freshly made chocolate. There were around a dozen samples to taste. Thankfully I only tried 4 which was quite sufficient.
We also had time for a bit of chocolate retail therapy.
This ends part 1 of Day 3 part two will see us head to the historic for town of Gruyeres for dinner.
For history buffs: the Beau Rivage Geneva started operations in 1865 and since then they have had many famous guests. Empress Sissi of Austria spent her final days here before being assassinated while boarding a boat to Montreux. She was returned to the hotel and died shortly after. In 1918 documents were signed in the Masaryk Salon creating Czechoslovakia. Other famous guests have included Sarah Bernhardt, Charles de Gaulle, composer Richard Wagner, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson(who enjoyed sardines with strawberry jam for breakfast at the Beau Rivage), drummer/singer Phil Collins, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Jean Cocteau, King Farouk of Egypt and many more.
Since 1987 it has also been the Geneva location for Sotheby’s jewel and watch auctions, of which the most spectacular must be the auction of the Duchess of Windsor’s collection of jewels. It was also the first hotel in Switzerland to have an electric elevator (third in the world) and the first in Switzerland to offer wireless LAN connections to guests.
Back to the tour!
Waking up early we headed down for breakfast. An elegant enclosed terrace overlooks the lake and provides a perfect backdrop for enjoying a relaxing breakfast.
Checking our weather app we found we were in for another beautiful, sunny day.
Like the Beau Rivage in Neuchatel, the buffet isn’t large but offers a great selection of local produce. Freshly baked breads were delicious and there were several types each day.
After breakfast it was back up to the room to get ready for our first full day of the trip. As you can see from how I am dressed the first day was quite formal.
A quick bus trip found us at Plan Les Ouates, an industrial area on the southern side of Geneva. I know what you are thinking, luxury watches in an industrial area? Plan Les Ouates is no ordinary industrial area. Locals give it the nickname Plan Les Watches as it is home to many Swiss watch brands (Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Piaget, amongst others). It is also home to several Swiss beauty/cosmetic brands like Clarins.
The fence with construction work behind is part of The Patek Philippe Factory. This new extension will house the dial factory, jewel and case manufacturing a watchmaking school and more. Patek Philippe is bringing everything in to one location rather than having departments spread out.
Upon arriving we had a quick coffee, met our guides and then headed in to the lecture room/ auditorium for a presentation about the Patek Philippe brand.
After the presentation we were broken in to two smaller groups to begin our tour of the factory. Sadly we were not able to take photos inside the factory areas, but it was fascinating to see how the parts are manufactured and machined. The size of some of the watch parts is mind blowing and then you think how hard it is to do polishing and finishing on a piece that is less than 1mm in size.
After the tour it was time for lunch which was in the private dining salon. Mr. Thierry Stern was our host for lunch. What a lunch it was! A three course lunch prepared by a chef poached from a Michelin star restaurant, we were informed that he also prepared the menus for the 2 staff cafeterias. These are not your ordinary run of the mill staff cafeterias either.
Lasagne style Zita pasta # 18, eggplant confit, poultry and Pata Negra ham.
Brittany lobster, cauliflower and curry foam.
Lemon cheese cake, thin vanilla crepes.
Coffee and chocolates ended our meal.
After our fabulous lunch we got on the bus for the short journey back to central Geneva for our tour of the Patek Philippe Watch Museum. WOW what a museum! The Patek Philippe Watch museum houses thousands of watches and pocket watches, and has examples of clock and watch making from the 1500’s right up to the year 2000. In the collection are pieces owned by many historical figures, Kings, Queens, aristocrats, Popes, Presidents, industrialists(think Getty’s, Astors, Graves, Chrysler), artists, actors etc.
Mr. Philippe Stern has built up a fabulous collection and continues to add to it, waiting for fine examples at auction or being offered for sale by other private collectors. The museum is broken in to two sections, Antique watches 1500’s to 1800’s and the Patek Philippe collection 1839 to present. There is so much to see that we will definitely be going back for another visit, you could spend a whole day looking at these masterpieces of horlogerie. My favourites were any of the enamelled antique pieces and the beautiful jewelled pieces from the Art Deco period.
Photography was not permitted in the museum but we managed to get the one below.
After a wonderful 2 hours in this fascinating museum it was back to the Beau Rivage for a quick freshen up and then to dinner at L’Observatoire Restaurant. We knew it was short walk from our hotel but didn’t realise it was in the hotel next to ours, Hotel D’Angleterre. The hotel is very old school British in style, very elegant and sophisticated. They even have a proper cigar lounge with wood panelling and buttoned leather chairs and sofas.
Offering views over Lake Geneva and the Alps, L’Observatoire is the private dining salon within Windows Restaurant at Hotel D’Angleterre.
I love a unique butter presentation!
Mille-feuille of crispy potatoes, vegetable puree flavoured with truffles and crispy chips.
Veal medallion Gamay jus, stuffed vegetables and mushroom filled potatoes.
Caramel pear, pink praline custard and orchid ice cream.
After our second three course meal of the day we were very glad it wasn’t too far back to our hotel and another good night of sleep.
Late September saw us jetting to Geneva, Switzerland for a watch factory tour. We were invited by LK Boutique and Patek Philippe to visit the Patek Philippe factories and see behind the scenes of watch making. I will focus only on the food, hotel and scenery in this post. We unfortunately were not able to take photos while in the factory but let me say it was a truly amazing experience.
We traveled with Emirates to Geneva with a stopover in Dubai. On previous trips to Europe it has always been after a week in New York, so it was a novelty for me to fly west and north from Sydney. The flight is of course LOOOONNGGGGG, nearly 14 hours to Dubai with a 2 ½ hour layover, then a further 7 hours to Geneva. Of course First class lounges help.
The first meal of our trip was dinner in the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney. A glass of rose Champagne got the trip of to a nice start. Mr. CA4G ordered minute steak with chips and salsa verde and I ordered pork with kale and sweet potato.
For our second course we ordered the cheese selection and a fig, toasted hazelnut and honey tart with a rosemary infused cream, housemade ricotta whey sorbet. Great cheeses and the tart was delicious and light.
Flying First Class is a rare experience and when you can upgrade to First you really enjoy the treat.
We arrived in Dubai early in the morning and after going through all the barriers, we stumbled along to Emirates First Class lounge. OMG!! Talk about a lounge. Massive, with water features, plenty of lounging areas, dining room, spa(you never know when you might need a quick massage or facial), business desks. One thing I really liked was the charging lockers where you could charge all your gadgets securely while you relax. The service was impeccable and the lounge very relaxing.
Freshly squeezed juice and bakers basket.
The only thing missing from breakfast was some bacon but it is a small thing. The sausages that we had (veal or chicken) with our scrambled eggs were sensational
Back on to the plane for the second leg of the trip, the sun had fully risen so we got some shots of Dubai as we left.
We forgot to take some photos of the fabulous food served in Emirates first class between Sydney and Dubai but here is what lunch looked like.
The flight from Dubai to Geneva saw us fly up over Iran, then across Turkey and the Balkans before crossing the northern parts of the Adriatic and Italy, over the majestic Alps and then in to Geneva airport.
After landing we headed to our hotel, The Beau Rivage, Geneva. Located across the road from Lake Geneva, it offers an old world touch of luxury with modern conveniences(namely excellent wifi!!).
Exterior Beau Rivage, Geneva.
Our room was one of several that had a balcony facing the lake and the Jet d’Eau, with views to the Alps and Mont Blanc in the distance.
After settling in, we had a little time to ourselves and decided to take advantage of the sunshine to explore a little. Our group was given public transport vouchers for the duration of the stay. We decided to use ours to take one of the Mouettes Genevoise across the lake. The Mouettes Genevoise, are wooden boats that have a long history on Lake Geneva. There are three routes to choose from and we took the one that goes directly across the lake and offers good views of the Jet d’Eau fountain.
From our drop off wharf we walked back to the city centre, a walk of around 10 minutes. Naturally, we had to find some watch boutiques.
We were also successful in finding M.A.D. Gallery, where Mr. CA4G was to catch up with Mr. Max Busser later in the week.
We also found the carousel/merry go round located in the street leading up to the cathedral.
A bit more walking found us at the Quai de l’Ile, historic headquarters of Vacheron Constantin. This building is now home to a Vacheron Constantin boutique as well as home to their heritage department.
At this point, Lake Geneva starts to narrow again and become the mighty Rhone River. I never realized that the Rhone River starts its 812 kilometer journey down from the Lepontine Alps in the canton of Valais. You can see the water starting to flow quite quickly in the photo above and below.
Peak hour traffic was a nightmare! We thought Sydney was bad, but the traffic in Geneva shocked us a bit. Although we were later told that the road in front of the Hotel is the main one people use to go around the bottom of Lake Geneva and there is only the one vehicular bridge at that point.
Back at the hotel we had enough time for a quick freshen up before meeting the other members of our tour group at a welcome cocktail party/dinner. Only a few shots of the food, as it was also dinner there was plenty of food and all delicious.
Tiredness was starting to catch up with us so we headed back to our room where we had this stunning view out the window.
That was the end of our first day in Geneva, stay tuned for more on our trip.
Two days before our departure for Geneva we received an invitation to the A.Lange & Söhne 2015 Novelty Tour. This event to be held at Quay in the Rocks, was organized by Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne.
The day of the event was an early taste of summer with temperatures in the mid 30’s. As a matter of fact the first few days of October have been more like summer than spring, but can’t complain better a bit of heat than cold.
We were a little disappointed when we arrived at Circular Quay to see a cruise ship docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Thankfully we soon learnt that it was due for departure around the same time as the event started.
As the boat backed out from the dock, the sun set giving a brilliant display of light over the Opera House.
The dinner was held in the Tower room of Quay which comfortably seated the 30 of us. Mr. Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne was able to make the long flight down under to be with us for the evening, Mr Eric van der Griend, managing director of Watches of Switzerland was our host for the evening.
Scattered around the perimeter of the room were several display boxes with the novelties for 2015.
Butter was artfully presented, beats the standard square, triangle or round presentation.
Mr. CA4G chose the raw smoked Blackmoore wagyu, horseradish, soured cream, fermented rye crisps and raw funghi. Quay has a delightfully, unique way of preparing and presenting food. Mr. CA4G was suitably impressed with his entrée and the flavours in it.
I contemplated the Marron dish but wasn’t too sure about Dory caviar. I opted instead to have the vegetarian entrée of spring ewe’s milk curd, broad beans, caper and freekah crumb, apple, nasturtium and purslane. Very tasty and perfect for a hot day. I have never tried purslane before but enjoyed the flavour, contemplating adding it to my herb garden.
For his main Mr. CA4G again went for beef this time choosing the roasted grass fed beef fillet, morel cream, braised mushroom, roasted ancient grains caught the eye of Mr. CA4G. A nice tall fillet topped with all the extras. His only comments were about the great flavor and the tenderness of the meat.
I have been wanting to try the pork jowl ever since I saw it on the menu when looking at Quay’s website. I was delighted to see it on our menu for the evening. Smoked and confit pig jowl, scallops, shiitake, Jerusalem artichoke crackling. The meat was so tender, the scallopswere a perfect complement to the sweetness of the pork, nice bit of earthy mushroom flavor and the Jerusalem artichoke crackling was pleasing both visually and flavor wise.
Of course we had some sides to share, mixed leaf salad, super creamy potato puree and lovely fresh beans.
For our final course, both of us chose one of Quay’s signature desserts, Quay’s seven texture Valrhona chocolate cake. Yes the one that has appeared on MasterChef. So rich and tasty.
Cheese was also bought out for the tables to share, sadly we ate it before we could take a photo. They were very nice cheeses and smelt amazing!
Looking back towards the city from the tower room. Sydney is so sparkly at night.
Yes I did get to try on a fancy watch or two. Two very elegant watches in white and rose gold with mother of pearl dial.
We would like to thank Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne for inviting us to be a part of this very special and fun evening.
We recently received an invitation from J. Farren-Price to join them for the Sydney launch of the 260th Anniversary Harmony Collection watches from Vacheron-Constantin. The evening was to be held in the Kent Street Kitchen at The Langham, Sydney. Of course we couldn’t say no!
The Langham, Sydney was formerly The Observatory Hotel, a hotel we had wanted to go to but for some reason never made it down to the Rocks to stay there. Upon walking through the front doors we were suitably impressed. Very luxurious! Cream walls, marble and wood floors, in some areas the rugs were recessed in to the marble. Beautiful soft pastel shades on the furnishings, wood, marble and glass topped tables, consoles and coffee tables abounded and everywhere gorgeous floral displays, polished brass highlighting everything. I miss polishing brass sometimes.
We made our way into the Kent Street Kitchen, where we were met by the staff of J Farren-Price, in a reception area decorated with historical images of some of the vintage watches used as inspiration for the Harmony Collection special editions. A video of the Harmony Collection watches being constructed and designed was playing on a dividing wall. Very fascinating to see the level of craftsmanship and detail that goes into high end luxury watches.
After canapes and a couple of glasses of Dom Perignon, we were taken through to the dining area where a display table with the Vacheron Constantin 260th Anniversary Harmony Collection was set close to the dining table.
A long communal table was dressed elegantly in a crisp black cloth, white linen serviettes, gleaming silver ware and a variety of white flowers and foliage in sparkly crystal.
A relaxed seating/lounging area was also adjacent to the dining area.
Looking at the menu, we saw an interesting and delicious array of food planned for our dinner, with some French wines that we were eager to sample.
First course was smoked ocean trout, escabeche, rocket, lemon pearls, pumpernickel. A very light yet flavoursome entree. The pumpernickel was done as crumbs, rocket presented as a puree with little crispy bits of fish skin served like crackling. This was served with a Domaine Christian Salmon Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France, a nice crisp wine that matched the fish perfectly.
Two main courses were offered, the first being butter poached West Australian marron, burnt onion and shellfish risotto. I was a bit unsure about the risotto as I know that sometimes a seafood stock can be quite strong, however I was very pleasantly surprised as this had quite a delicate seafood flavor. The nasturtium leaves gave a nice peppery hit to the dish. Our wine with this course was Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose from Provence, France. The Bandol Rose was a blend of Mouverdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Cinsault and Carignan are two varieties that we aren’t too familiar with here in Australia.
Second main course was a twice cooked beef short rib, marrow gelee, parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts. The beef ribs were nice and tender, the parsnip puree very smooth and creamy, and the Brussels sprouts cooked al dente, several of the Brussels sprout leaves were removed, crisped and scattered around, the bone was filled with a herbed crumb. Really a delicious course! Our wine was of course a very nice Bordeaux, Chateau St. Georges, from St. Georges-St. Emilion, France. At 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc it was a great pairing with the richness of the rib. Again with liking a high percentage Merlot, sacre bleu!! But still can’t handle an Aussie Merlot, go figure! Must be something in the soil in Bordeaux.
Dessert was apple mousse, honey cremeux and chocolate crumble. Very cute dessert and it was a shame to eat it. Tasted delicious, the green outer glaze concealed the apple mousse, so when you put your spoon in to it, it looked like a Granny Smith apple. The chocolate crumble was presented so that it resembles dirt, the dish looked like an apple had fallen to the ground.
It was a truly wonderful event, in very elegant surroundings, with wonderful people, food and wine. We would like to thank J. Farren-Price and Vacheron Constantin for inviting us to be part of the night.