Despite the best attempts of HSBC’s UK City Ride to close off half of Manchester and the British summer’s traditional hide and seek games a very happy afternoon was spent by the Commanderie at the King Street Town house.
As for last year, we gathered on the glass edged balcony with (depending on your perspective) a spectacular view and/or a scary drop onto the Manchester rooftops and skyline; as cloud and sun fought for dominance. As we assembled, we enjoyed a nice glass or two of Saumur and caught up with old friends and met some of the guests.
We enjoyed a full house for our meal and despite the doors open to the elements, we managed to generate a steady chortle of conversation throughout. The meal stared with some beautifully cooked seared scallops with a lovely combination of celeriac purée, watercress and hazelnut oil. These were accompanied by a straw coloured, Semillon rich Chateaux Thieuley 2015, A.C. Bordeaux Blanc, which accompanied it beautifully.
Whilst the description of corn fed chicken, with wild mushroom and tarragon sauce, accompanied by sweet potato purée, baby leeks and Lyonnaise potatoes, may not set the heart racing; the execution of the cooking and the flavours were delicious. Though could not match the superb Château Langoa-Barton 2007, 3ème Cru Classé A.C. St-Julien. This wine is drinking exceedingly well and Commandeurs experienced and understood what a treat they had had.
Following the Langoa-Barton was never going to be easy but the more mature Château Lagrange 2003, 3ème Cru Classé A.C. St-Julien did its best and as it spent more time in the glass it too began to show its class and went well with an imaginative cheese selection; from which some kept back their blue cheese to try with the desert wine the Château de Malle 2010, 2ème Cru Classé A.C. Sauternes. This was lighter than some but had some nice honey tastes without being at all cloying. It therefore made a great accompaniment to both the blue cheese and the tasty trifle cheesecake with berries and Chantilly cream.
In no time at all it seemed to be time for the traditional toasts to the Queen and the Commanderie de Bordeaux and time to thank our hosts at front of house and in the kitchen for some very convivial four hours of pleasure.
This event also marked the first event for our new Maître Echanson and he has set himself a very high benchmark to keep up to! The author has also had fantastic complements from guests on what an “interesting and eclectic” group we are, that are so “welcoming and inclusive” – a group one can be proud to be a member of (unlike Groucho Marx)!