Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Reunions and Events > 'Warm Autumnal Hug' of an evening

'Warm Autumnal Hug' of an evening

An Evening at Elystan Street

42 Alumni, partners, guests and staff gathered at the Michelin-starred 'Elystan Street' restaurant in Chelsea on Tuesday night in a new style event designed not only for the enjoyment of the attendees but also to show-case and celebrate Bradfieldian talent. The evening was an elegant mix of fine dining offered by Elystan Street chef and co-owner Phil Howard (H 80-84) and wine tasting led by Sunday Times wine columnist and award-winning wine writer Will Lyons (H 89-94).   The menu was billed as being 'a warm Autumnal hug' and it certainly met the brief. Now, I apologise if you are sitting at your desk reading this with lunch a distant memory, because when Phil talked me through the menu prior to the event I started salivating so I can only assume that it would have the same effect on others. 

As guests entered they were treated to a glass of English sparkling wine, the Corallian classic cuvee from the Langham Estate in Dorset. Will commented that such a thing would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago but now we have nearly 900 vineyards on our shores and English sparkling wine can compete with the very best. The guests agreed as no noses were turned on this occasion, only glasses. Once at the table we enjoyed rillettes of smoked mackerel with cucumber, horseradish and dill. Phil drily commented that this would be described as 'smoked mackerel pate' on the shelf in Sainsbury's, but Phil's version most certainly had the edge.  This was paired with an interesting white wine from Thessaloniki in Greece. Made from the French grape variety Viognier it’s delicate aromatics of jasmine and tropical fruit was a near perfect match for Phil’s dish and on polling was the most popular of the evening.

The next course - a pasta - was a permanent fixture on Phil's menus as being a food that is both warm and comforting yet equally sophisticated. Will paired the 'agnolotti of pumpkin and chestnuts with ceps, brown butter, parmesan, and sage with a wine from an estate, he described as making some of the finest Chardonnay in the southern hemisphere. The 2021 Chardonnay from Kumeu River, near Auckland in New Zealand didn't disappoint and we learned from Will that Chardonnay and screw-tops should only be dismissed at your peril if you are a wine-tasting professional!

The roast pressa of Iberico pork came next - a Spanish cut that Phil promised would be absolutely delicious, and true to his word it most certainly was - accompanied by a damson sauce, hispi cabbage in a baked potato skin and soused plums this dish was a real crowd pleaser. We headed to Bordeaux for the wine choice, Will told us how we have been enjoying the wines of Bordeaux for centuries and that in 1307 Edward II, King of England, ordered more than a million bottles of red Bordeaux to celebrate his marriage in London. The 2017 Château Tour du Moulin was superb. Supple, fresh and pure, complementing not competing with Phil’s main course.

And then came the dessert... Fig leaf ice cream. It would be a wonder whether there will be any fig trees with leaves remaining after Phil's insight into how to make this tasty pud. Aromatic, rich and a decent portion too thankfully, as this is certainly something you wouldn't want to skimp on. Also, the surprising but inspired addition of an olive oil accompaniment. The ice cream was paired with a 2015 late bottled vintage Infantado port, which converted the unconverted in its pairing.

Will and Phil were phenomenal co-hosts and it felt like a rare privilege to be part of such a special evening, a sentiment echoed around the room. A huge thank you to them on behalf of the Bradfield Society and all attendees.


Phil Howard is co-owner of Elystan Street, well known for his success at The Square, he also has a webpage giving more information

Will Lyons is The Sunday Times Wine Columnist and Vice President of The Sunday Times Wine Club. An accomplished after-dinner speaker you can listen to his award-winning podcast, Wine Times





To view this News Article

Most read

Have your say

This website is powered by