This years dinner was organised by 2022 Champagne Academician Sonal Clare who has taken over as the Midlands Dinner Organiser.
This years' Midlands dinner was at the stunning Mallory Court Hotel. Mallory Court was built in 1916 for James Thomas Holt, who had made his fortune producing cotton in Preston and had decided to retire to Warwickshire. To this day, Mallory Court has a proud reputation throughout the world for its friendly and unobtrusive service and rigorous attention to detail, and continues to go from strength to strength as one of the most beautiful Country House Hotels in England, serving as a home from home for its many regular guests.
After 2022’s Champagne Academy trip and having been in attendance to many of the Midland’s dinners in the past, I was delighted to have been asked to take over from outgoing Midland’s dinner organiser, Kevin Skeet. Big Champagne flutes to fill!!!
It was my inaugural dinner and after having had a lovely meal at the end of 2022 at Mallory Court, I thought this would be a great place to host such an illustrious event. This stunning English Country House locates in Leamington, 10 minutes away from the Town Centre was a great venue that combined tradition, history and culture.
Their team was helpful throughout, organising a tasting for myself and representatives from Charles Heidsieck, Presidential house Bollinger and Taittinger.
Our evening started with a blind tasting of the 16 Grande Marques Champagnes alongside some delicious sticky tempura cauliflower bites and gougères filled with cheese…yummy!
Our dinner began with the inimitable Steve Winchcombe addressing the room.
We were delighted to have representation in the form of Bollinger’s Charles-Armand de Belenet, Frankie d’ Albertanson from Charles Heidsieck and Kevin McKee from Taittinger.
Our menu design was based on the area being world renowned in the automotive industry.
Our menu on the night;
Scallop Ravioli, Langoustine Broth, Dulse Seaweed, Garden Herbs
Charles Heidsieck, Blanc de Blancs NV
Ballotine of Quail, Apricot, Local Honey, Roast Squash Pesto
Bollinger PN TX17
Aged Beef Fillet, Potato Mousse, Baby Carrots, Red Wine Sauce
Bollinger, La Grande Année Rosé 2014
White Chocolate Cremeux, Oakland Raspberry & Sorbet.
Taittinger, Nocturne Rosé Sec NV
To conclude, we finished off with the raffle and it was great to see such an overwhelming £2800 raised for the Drinks Trust.
I want to say a massive thanks to all of the Champagne Academy, the houses and representatives that helped me along the way and all the team at Mallory Court for making my first dinner seamless. See you all next year…hopefully!