With thanks to Linsi Halsey for the words and pictures
The evening kicked off with everyone congregating in the Buttery and the ambience was set by the huge roaring log fire to keep us all toasty. Convivial conversation whilst sipping local Nutbourne Sparkling Wine “Nutty” and enjoying some delicious canapés, which were the creation of Sam Walker of the Waterside Bistro, but were kindly served to us by the team of the amazing Fairy Godmothers.
Mike Imms addressed the crowd and explained the purpose of the evening and the emphasis being on locally sourced produce, then Mark Robinson, from Pallant of Arundel who selected the wine for the evening, explained the choice of wines which were very well matched to the set menu, and again, of course, were all from Nutbourne Vineyard, so very local.
To start we enjoyed a trio of local produce – again created by Sam Walker of the Waterside Bistro and comprised: Timbale of local Chalk Farm smoked trout, mosaic of local game with green chutney, glazed Sussex goats cheese, accompanied by a selection of homemade breads which were divine.
David Poole – Arundel Castle’s own Chef – created the main course which was pan-fried breast of pheasant from the Norfolk Estate on a bed of braised savoy cabbage & smoked bacon, in a cream sauce of Drambuie, mushroom and Tarragon, served with baby new potatoes.
The vegetarians amongst us enjoyed mushroom and butternut squash stroganoff, served with rice and dusted with smoked paprika – delicious!
For the sweet toothed, desert was created by Lucy Hopkins of Lucy Catering and we chose from chocolate roulade or Arundel apple & almond tart, I had the tart which was scrumptious and which paved the way superbly for the fabulous cheese course from where else…..but Pallant of Arundel and which was accompanied by “Pallant Pickle” which set everything off a treat.
Finally a selection of local and Fairtrade options for tea and coffee to wash down the heavenly Food Festival Truffles from Castle Chocolates, made especially for the event.
Everyone seemed to have a very enjoyable time, indeed!