Category / Pubs

Game and Wine Matching

Game and Wine Matching

Autumn nights have just got a whole lot more attractive with game and wine matching at your local pub.  Bring on the dark nights and falling leaves.

Pheasant shooting season is well and truly underway,  but what other food is in the hunters’ sights?  Expect a wide variety of game and wild birds destined for the tables of Young’s Pubs and Geronimo Inns over the coming weeks.

Game and Wine Matching

Each listed pub hosts an event where diners will learn more about game meat and birds and how it’s prepared for the pot.  Then there’s a chance to taste food and wine from a specially curated seasonal menu.

The Elgin: Notting Hill Gate

My evening at The Elgin began with a glass of Deakin Estate, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, a sparkling wine with a great citrus nose.  No doubt the obligatory Dutch courage needed for the squeamish in the room as next up was the skinning and jointing of a deer.

Game and Wine Matching

No mean feat for the butcher and game dealer in question, Chris Sole, from Blackmore Game, who was operating with a very sharp knife in a darkened room.  He prepared a few cuts and explained how to cook them.

Game and Wine Matching

Working up quite a hunger, the second part of the evening brought a three-course meal with a Sommelier-paired wine selection.  Molly Stevenson from Berkmann Wine Cellars was our wine host for the night.

Pigeon and Partridge

Wood pigeon with blueberry jus, beetroot puree and crispy salsify came with a light Pinot Noir called Jealousy.

Game and Wine Matching

Pot-roast Partridge breast with bacon, savoy cabbage, ironbark pumpkin and redcurrant jelly sauce, with a Bordeaux and a beautiful dessert of Toffee Apple pudding a Curas Muscat.

All of the wines are available in the pubs by the bottle.

Game and Wine Matching

Want to know more about game meats, without the need to cook?

Game and Wine Matching

Game and Wine Matching

These are the venues taking part:

Oct 5, The Alma, Wandsworth
Oct 11, The Blue Boar, Chipping Norton
Oct 12, The Hand & Spear, Weybridge
Oct 18, The Dukes Head, Putney
Oct 25, The Bulls Head, Barnes

Tickets start from £35 per person and are available directly from the pub or their website.

Here’s my post on pairing game with whisky.

Review: The Pilot, Chiswick

img_6721You might be fooled into thinking that this Fuller’s pub takes its name from the men and women flying into Heathrow (the flight patch is directly overhead this Chiswick pub), but you’d be wrong.

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It’s called The Pilot after the horses that used to pull the trade barges down the Thames during low tide.  The former stable, where they’d rest, is transformed into a swanky private room.

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After a significant restoration, this neighbourhood pub is bigger and dare I say it, better than before.  The bar area has been made wider; revealing a beautiful dining room and an outside space with heating.

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The interior is quirky with lovely touches and great lighting after dark.

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For a lover of gin, their infusions had my heart racing and after a few lessons from the boys at Sipsmith, they’ve got some great flavours on the go.  I can vouch immediately for fig and rosemary and the rhubarb and custard.  Especially tasty with ice picked from a humongous block.

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So, to the food.  I had the salt beef croquettes (£6.50) which were full-to-bursting with meat and mash, served on a bed of beetroot.

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Nice.  Mr had the smoked trout which was a beautiful cure, sliced thickly (£6.50) with a side of razor-thin fennel and apple salad.

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For the main course, I had the Ox Cheek (£15.00), and it was a generous portion served on a bed of field mushrooms and straw potatoes.

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We had a side of Heritage Carrots and black kale (£3.50).

Mr’s neck of lamb (£15.00) was genius.  Cooked pink it was full of flavour and served on a bed of lightly spiced lentils and a generous moat of yogurt.

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Yes.  I was full but took one for the team and had the set custard and poached plum (£6.00). The fruit was magnificently cooked but a shame that the custard was grainy in texture, a sign of overheating.

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The bill including drinks (2 x Sipsmith gin and Fever Tree tonic; 1 pint of Montana Red and a glass of Richland Cabernet Sauvignon) came to £80.75.  Service isn’t included and we were glad to read that any tips left go directly to the staff.

I was given £50 towards the bill.

The Pilot, 56 Wellesley Road, Chiswick, London, W4 4BZ