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Great Britain Grand Chapitre

Bailliage Great Britain
Southampton, September 30 - October 3, 2021

Culture and gastronomy - a perfect programme
" The Gala Evening was held at The Vineyard at Stockcross "

The weather is always big talking point in the UK. Rain (and there was lots of it!) did not stop play at the Ageas Bowl Cricket Ground in the port of Southampton, when members gathered at the Hilton Hotel in early October for our 61st Grand Chapitre.

After a dinner in “Beefy’s at the Hilton”, the weekend’s programme was properly launched on a Red Funnel ferry with a trip across the Solent to Cowes, the world- renowned centre for sailing on the Isle of Wight.

The destination for the visit was Osborne House, the Italianate royal residence and holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, set in its own expansive grounds with its own seaside bay.

Other trips enjoyed over the weekend despite heavy rain, were to the world-famous sites of Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral and to the winery at Hambledon in Hampshire. Old friends were re-united and new friends made.

Both the Welcome Dinner and the Farewell Lunch were held at attractive venues on Southampton’s harbour front. The former in The Bow at the Harbour Hotel was a sumptuous feast of six generous courses with lots of local Hampshire flavour masterminded by Michelin-starred Chef Alex Aitken. In contrast, lunch at The Blue Jasmine, designed by Maître Rôtisseur Darren Liew, was a feast of Asian fusion dishes - all freshly and beautifully served in elegant surroundings. And briefly the sun shone.

Saturday morning, Bailli Délégué Philip Evins and International Vice-President Marie Jones presided over a packed Induction Ceremony in the Ageas Bowl Media Centre.

The Gala Evening was held at The Vineyard at Stockcross near Newbury. At the reception perfectly-chilled glasses of Nyetimber ‘Classic Cuvee’ Sussex NV were served from magnums. We took our places in the California Suite for the dinner which was superb with audible gasps of admiration as each deft, delicious course arrived.

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Amuse bouche
Tormaresca Calafuria Negroamaro 2020
Puglia, Italy

Pressed ham hock and guinea fowl terrine
celeriac remoulade
Ata Rangi ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir 2019
Martinborough, New Zealand

Halibut, leeks, cauliflower, champagne
Joel Gott Chardonnay 2017
Sonoma, California, USA

Roasted venison
mushrooms, quince and red wine jus
CVNE Imperial Reserva 2014
Rioja Alta, Spain

Waterloo, honey and truffle
[Ed. Waterloo is a semi-soft, Guernsey cow's milk cheese
produced by Village Maid Cheese Ltd in Riseley, Berkshire]
Mount Horrocks ‘Watervale’ Semillon 2019
[Organic] Clare Valley, South Australia

70% dark chocolate parfait, poached pear, cocoa nib tuille
Zuccardi ‘Malamado’ Fortified Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina

Coffee and tea
Petits fours

Congratulations went to Executive Chef Tom Scade (Maître Rôtisseur) and the brigade, Head Sommelier Romain Bourger (Maître Sommelier), General Manager Paul Shanahan and their teams.

Due to ongoing pandemic-related issues with travel, international members from around the globe were the vital ingredient missing during this hugely successful weekend. However, there will be a warm welcome back for everyone at our 62nd Grand Chapitre in the university city of Oxford in autumn 2022. Join us there come rain or ‘shine!

Janet Epton
Officier

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Finally ...

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