Last week L’Ortolan treated over 150 guests to an afternoon of food and wine tastings and stunning displays with the help of some of our most respected suppliers. Guests were welcomed with a refreshing non-alcoholic Mojito before being whisked off on a tour around the restaurant to sample the many delights on offer. Our guests were intrigued to know what made our Virgin Mojito so delicious, so we created a very simple recipe for you to follow at home.
Apple Juice 125ml
Ginger Ale 100ml
Lime Cordial 10ml
Lime Wedges 4
Mint leaves 6
Start by pouring the lime cordial into a tall tumbler glass
Next put in your lime wedges and muddle (crush) them into the cordial
Take your mint leaves and smack them between your palms to help release the oils, then put these into the glass and muddle into the limes
Add 3 ice cubes (for enhanced presentation you can use crushed ice)
Pour in half your apple juice and ginger ale, then stir to mix the ingredients through
Add the rest of your apple juice and ginger ale
Stir again to mix through then present the drink with a straw
Posted in Cocktails, l'ortolan | Tagged Cocktail, Day of Excellence, entertaining, recipe | Leave a Comment »
Just a stroll away from Mayfair, Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace, St James’s Hotel and Club is one of London’s most desirable addresses. With its perfect location, long history, stylish and elegant interiors and a Michelin starred restaurant, St James’s Hotel has built its well deserved reputation with a formidable clientele of film stars, celebrities, authors and diplomats.
With fabulous suites and some of the best guest room terraces in London, the hotel boasts stylish, contemporary, yet elegant interiors finished with handmade silk wallpaper, black lacquered furniture, handcrafted Murano glass chandeliers and polished natural stone bathrooms.
St James’s Hotel and Club is also home to Seven Park Place, the deliciously small, but perfectly formed Michelin-starred restaurant by well known English Chef William Drabble who also oversees William’s Bar & Bistro. A comfortable, unhurried and sophisticated atmosphere, the Bistro is perfect for light lunches, pre and post theatre dinners or for supper, while the chic bar offers an extensive selection of cocktails and an impressive choice of wine and spirits.
Renowned for their exciting range of contemporary and classic cocktails, St James’s Hotel has created a special cocktail menu to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show. Made with edible flowers this year’s floral concoctions include ‘Jasmine Buttercup’, ‘Elderflower & Basil Spray’, ‘Flower of Scotland’ and ‘Rose & Lychee Martini’.
We spoke to St James’s Hotel to find out exactly what goes into their floral cocktails – Why not have a go at creating the Rose & Lychee Martini yourself..?
Rose & Lychee Martini
50 ml Vodka
25 ml Lychee Juice
10 ml Monin Rose Syrup
1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitter
1 Rose Petal to garnish
The Rose & Lychee Martini will available for guests to taste a week before the Chelsea Flower Show at our Day of Excellence on Friday 17th May – Register now to join us!
Posted in Cocktails, Events, l'ortolan | Tagged Chelsea Flower Show, Cocktail, Day of Excellence, l'ortolan, Lifestyle, St. James's Hotel and Club, William Drabble | Leave a Comment »
We take a look into the history behind the prestigious French Champagne House and how the Pommery Brut Champagne became so popular…
Champagne Pommery is a French Champagne house founded in Reims by Alexander Pommery and Narcisse Greno in 1858. After Alexander’s death in 1960, Madame Pommery dedicated the business to Champagne production and began producing a sparkling white champagne instead of the classic, still red wine of the period. Her innovative crisp, dry style of “brut” champagne propelled the Champagne house into unimaginable heights, becoming one of the largest Champagne brands in the region.
Following from her success Mrs Pommery built ‘The Grand Castle’ in 1868 – The estate features a 308 acre vineyard of exceptional Grand Cru sites and 18 kilometres of cellars and chalk pits where Madame Pommery stored and aged over twenty million bottles of her innovative Champagne. Many other Champagne houses later followed suit.
Famed for being the creators of the ever popular Brut Champagne, the Pommery house still attracts more than 120,000 visitors from all around the world every year. Now owned by the Vranken company, the Pommery brand continues to maintain the house’s image of modernity and extravagance, being the only Champagne House to offer specific blends for different seasons – highlighting individual characteristics of each of their prestigious wines.
The Pommery style has perpetuated year after year; elegant but ever discreet aromas, freshness and liveliness on the palate with a long and supple finish, a light but fresh composition. Pommery is one of our most popular house Champagnes at L’ortolan, offering a wide range of Champagne blends including the Pommery Dry Elixir which is only available at L’ortolan in the UK.
Celebrate Spring in style with our Seasonal Pommery Champagne offers…
Pommery Champagne Lunch
Three courses and a glass of Pommery Champagne.
£39 per person
Lunch only, must be pre-booked
Pommery Champagne Dinner
Six courses and a glass of Pommery Champagne.
£59 per person
Available Tuesday to Thursday dinner, must be pre-booked
Posted in l'ortolan, Wine | Tagged Champagne, history, l'ortolan, Pommery, Wine | Leave a Comment »
A phrase often heard from guests when asked if they would like any assistance in selecting a wine is “I’d like to have anything but Chardonnay”. This is so commonly heard in restaurants these days that there is now an unofficial industry term describing these guests as ABC drinkers. For a Sommelier this can be particularly amusing as this is often backed up with the question “Do you have a nice Chablis on offer?” - Why does this make Sommeliers chuckle? The reason is that Chablis is made from Chardonnay.
When you enquire a little deeper, what you inevitably find is it’s not the Chardonnay grape variety that displeases the guest, but the amount and styling of Oak contained within the wine. This goes back to the late 80’s/early 90’s when Chardonnay was the wine in Vogue at the time. On its own Chardonnay can be a bit of a bland grape, but it is easily influenced which is why producers favour this grape over others, because they get to impart their own style and personality into their wine.
Some of the finest examples of Chardonnay are found in France. Here they get, in part, their rich and toasty character from the long and gentle aging given to then in French Oak barrels. Due to the expense of French Oak these barrels are frightfully expensive to make and maintain, therefore in an attempt to lower costs many producers began using a cheaper American style Oak and an alternative method for getting the oak in contact with the wine. This resulted in an overpowering, cloying and quite often boring style of wine which had its peak of popularity but has now fallen out of favour. Unfortunately this style of wine has sullied the good name of Chardonnay all over.
If you again take the example of Chablis it’s easy to see that this is nothing to do with the variety and everything to do with the production method. Chardonnay remains one of the most widely-planted grape varieties, with over 400,000 acres worldwide, ranging from the most sublime, flinty and steely wines through to those that have a warm, toasted brioche base topped with ripe but tart pineapple.
Craig Steven, Sommelier
Join us at L’ortolan to experience a selection of our Chardonnay Wines.
Posted in l'ortolan, Wine | Tagged Chardonnay, Craig Steven, l'ortolan, Sommelier, Wine | Leave a Comment »
The Real Wine Month is a national promotion of organic, biodynamic and natural wines made by artisan growers and winemakers. L’ortolan is one of over 200 restaurants taking part in the celebration, so we’re taking the opportunity to showcase our diverse and renowned natural wine list.
A trend in recent years is to actually turn the clock back and look at how wines used be made before modern innovations took over. The ‘real’ wines we offer are from some of the most sought after producers, making wine in small yields either organically or bio-dynamically and with minimal intervention in the winery. No chemicals, no secret ingredients… just pure fermented grape juice crafted into something beautiful using the winemaker’s love and expertise.
We source wines working in these ways. The best wines of the past were all natural: the same could be said of today, in an elusive marriage of excellence meets ethics. As might be expected, they can be positively different from ‘conventional’ wine in appearance and taste.
We are constantly tasting and tuning our wine offering with the ever changing menu: we love to introduce the ‘fruit’ of that work. Whether you are looking for the ideal bottle to accompany your food choices from the menu, or a selection by the glass to go with each course from our tasting menus, we will be happy to guide you.
Take a look at our interview with Sommelier Craig, as we ask him what makes wine ‘natural’.
Throughout March our Sommelier, Craig, will serve guests a variety of natural wines by the glass, introducing them to their quirky, complex, and lighter textures. Craig has worked closely with Head Chef Nick to pair natural wines from France, Italy and Greece with the L’ortolan Menu.
Dine with us during March to experience a selection of our Real Wines, and don’t forget to ask Craig more about the estates and regions of these lesser known wines.
The Real Wine Fair
Sunday March 17th (Trade & Public) 10am – 6pm
Monday March 18th (Trade) 10am – 6pm
The Real Wine fair compromises over 100 winemakers, more than 500 wines to taste, fantastic artisan products & street food, pop-up wine bar & restaurant and the Real Wine Shop.
For more information and tickets, visit www.therealwinefair.com
Posted in l'ortolan, Wine | Tagged l'ortolan, Real Wine Fair, Real Wine Month, Wine, wine pairings | Leave a Comment »
Yesterday our demo studio came to life with an afternoon tea inspired Patisserie Demonstration from L’ortolan Pastry Chef Samantha Rain. Our demonstration guests arrived to a beautifully sunny L’ortolan and introductions were made over tea and coffee in the bar. Afterwards the guests took their seats in the studio to learn how to produce a stunning selection of pastries both appealing to the eye and delicious – the perfect accompaniment for afternoon tea!
Macaroonier Sam demonstrated her perfect Liquorice Macaroons; a small light biscuit, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. Macaroons are one of our favourite current sweet crazes so we asked our very own L’ortolan Pastry Chef for a lesson in baking the popular French confection.
300g Icing Sugar
300g Ground Almonds
10g Liquorice Powder
115g Egg Whites
1. Blitz together 300g icing sugar, 300g ground almonds and 10g liquorice powder and pass
2. Whisk 115 egg whites to stiff peaks
3. Boil 300g sugar and 80g water to 118°c and pour onto egg whites
4. Whisk egg whites until fluffy and add to dry mix
5. Once the Italian Meringue is cold, combine all the elements into a smooth paste
6. Pipe the mixture and leave to form a skin
7. Bake at 150°c for 6-8 minutes
Liquorice Pastry Cream Filling
1 Vanilla Pod
4 Egg Yolks
1. Boil 250g milk, 30g sugar and vanilla
2. Pour milk onto egg yolks and whisk, then place mixture back into the pan and cook out
3. Combine 30g sugar and 22g cornflour
4. Add Liquorice compound to taste
L’ortolan Cookery Demonstration Programme
9th April – 3 Course Dinner Party – Bring a little Michelin star flair to your dinner party at home with some ideas and inspiration from the L’ortolan kitchen.
23rd April – Chocolate Heaven – The perfect indulgent treat for serious chocoholics. During this masterclass you will be introduced to a variety of different chocolates including some of the world’s finest single estate chocolate.
14th May – Shellfish Masterclass – Delicious ways to prepare and cook shellfish – include a selection from lobster, oysters, clams, mussels, crab and razor clams depending on availability.
11th June – 3 Course Fish Supper – How to select and prepare the ‘catch of the day’ and cook your fish to perfection.
18th June – Summer Barbecue with the Big Green Egg – The Big Green Egg can be used to smoke, bake and slow cook as well as a barbecue. Join chef on the terrace and discover some new techniques and recipes.
To book your L’ortolan demonstration please call 01189 888 500 or email email@example.com
Posted in Cookery School, Events, Food, l'ortolan, Recipe | Tagged demonstration, Food, l'ortolan, Macaroons, masterclass | Leave a Comment »