If you were on Twitter yesterday at lunchtime…and for much of the afternoon…you’ll have noticed that four food and wine bloggers and I were furiously live-tweeting a lunch from Roast in London’s Borough Market, where wi-fi had been laid on to encourage us to look like total nerds as we ate. It’s a restaurant perfectly placed to make the most of the fresh produce from the market – the emphasis here is on seasonality and wonderfully British things like haggis, pork belly and black pudding. Matching wines were provided, at a rate of two with each of the five courses along with a beer and a welcoming glass of fizz, by Chapel Down Winery. I’ll recap my tweets and pictures from the meal below for those not on Twitter – as noted on the day, I’m afraid the quality of prose and photography drops as I work my way through the wine. And read down to the bottom, because the restaurant is offering blog readers a special menu with wines if you can make it to Roast on November 24, and Chapel Down have very generously provided a special offer on a case of wine for you as well.
Something of an experimental post, this – it’s the first meal I’ve live-tweeted. Let me know what you think. (It’s likely to remain a rare event: eating with a laptop on my knee is something I’d only do at a restaurant’s request or suggestion, ‘cos it made me feel geek-tacular.) You can read more of my daily ramblings on food if you follow me @liz_upton.
- Ensconced at Roast, gargling Chapel Down fizz. Expect quality of tweets to worsten as the lunch progresses – 2 pairings/course. 1:14pm, Nov 10
- See @wine_scribbler, @foodguardian, @thewinesleuth, @eatlikeagirl and @msgourmetchick for more on this lunch 1:16pm, Nov 10
- Smoked, dry-cured Loch Etive trout w crab cakes at Roast – trout outstanding. @wine_scribbler says shallots overpowering the wine – I like ‘em! 1:33pm, Nov 10
- @wine_scribbler I’m actually preferring the Pinot Reserve – and I’m not sure why I’m tweeting this, given we’re sitting next to each other. 1.36pm, Nov 10
- The smoked trout *was* a tricky thing to match wines with – next up, some haggis. 1:41pm, Nov 10
- A bottle of Chapel Down porter has just appeared in front of me – currently 5 glasses on table…getting confused. 1:42pm, Nov 10
- Bloody hell, this porter is good. Oak chips in barrel apparently – a winemaking tech and very splendidly spicy and tannic. 1:44pm, Nov 10
- We’re all making Black Velvets with the Chapel Down Vint Res Brut and the CD Porter. Delicious and also slightly shaming. 1:53pm, Nov 10
- Haggis and oxtail on celeriac/spud mash. Heaven, especially w a Black Velvet!
- Just been given an obscenely good slice of grilled black pud to sample. Ramsey of Carluke in Lanarkshire – superb. 1:58pm, Nov 10
- Leaving the red undrunk. This is *highly* unusual for me. 1:59pm, Nov 10
- …and we pause briefly while we collect ourselves. Jealously guarding my glass of Black Velvet from the v attentive wine waiters. 2:02pm, Nov 10
- @foodguardian is having trouble liveblogging because of his “Fisher Price phone”. I have no sympathy. 2:04pm, Nov 10
- A wine made with the Bacchus grape (English) has just arrived. Rather excited. 2:09pm, Nov 10
- I’m getting tuberose and rubber off this wine – Bacchus not a grape I know well, but v intriguing. 2:10pm, Nov 10
- I lie – that was an 06 Pinot Blanc in an ident. glass. The Bacchus is actually weirdly sweet and unacidic – and v nice. 2:12pm, Nov 10
- BTW, I think we should open a book on precisely when we are all going to be too pissed to continue tweeting. I say by course 4. 2:13pm, Nov 10
- Roast’s signature dish – pork belly w mash spuds and apple sauce. Hubba – look at that crackling. 2:23pm, Nov 10
- Pork belly outstanding – soft, tender meat, killer crackling. And there’s almost as much butter in this mash as at Robuchon. 2:25pm, Nov 10
- Chatting to restaurant owner about these spuds, which I could happily *live* in. King Eds at the mo, but only because seasonal. 2:33pm, Nov 10 (On speaking to the chef later, I discovered that actually they’re Maris Piper year round. Damn good, anyway.)
- Christ almighty. Apparently, portions usually x2 this size – that pic was just the *tasting* portion (of which I ate ½). 2:36pm, Nov 10
- Winemaker a bit unconfident about what’s up next – UK dessert wines a bit difficult. This is pretty good, but more aperitif-y. 2:45pm, Nov 10
- Spiced clementine custard w anise biscuits – pud like Grandma used to make. Chapel D Nectar gorgeous, but questionable match! 2:51pm, Nov 10
- So I *really* like this Chapel Down Nectar, but not necessarily with food. The pannacotta underneath is fabboo. 2:54pm, Nov 10
- You might notice that at this point in proceedings the quality of writing and photography is descending *fast*. Sorry. 3:01pm, Nov 10
- And an 08 varietal English Pinot Noir. Chocolatey, dry, unoaked. Prolly my favourite of the Chapel Down wines so far. 3:07pm, Nov 10
- Warm chestnut & pear cake w hot choc sauce. Melting, so excuse me while I eat. 3:18pm, Nov 10
- Chef has emerged, with a light coating of sauce. 3:25pm, Nov 10
- Chef’s belly tips – Stanley knife, rub salt & lemon, C230 for 30 mins, then down to 165 for 3 hours. 3:31pm, Nov 10
- …And I’m shutting the computer down now. Feedback’s very welcome – how do you lot feel about live-tweeted lunches?
Roast and Chapel Down are offering a special menu with wine pairings for blog readers on November 24. They asked for our help in selecting three of these courses to point you at, and we ended up going for the menu below (with pairings selected by the folks at Chapel Down).
- On arrival, a glass of Chapel Down Brut Rose
- Ramsey of Carluke haggis with celeriac and oxtail sauce, with a glass of Chapel Down Rondo Regent Pinot Noir NV
- Slow-roast Wicks Manor pork belly with mashed potatoes and Bramley apple sauce, served with a glass of Roast Bacchus Reserve 2007 (NB this will be the full sized portion, not the tasting portion from the pics above)
- Spiced clementine custard with anise biscuits, served with a glass of Chapel Down Nectar 2007
- Tea or coffee
With the wines, the menu will cost £44.50. If you want to book, call the restaurant on 0845 034 7300 and mention that you are booking for the Chapel Down Roast Bloggers’ Dinner on November 24.
Chapel Down are also offering readers a case of their Pinot Reserve 2004 for £99 for a case of six, including delivery to any UK mainland adddress. (A case usually retails at £150 plus delivery.) All you need to do is call the vineyard on 01580 763033, ask for Lizzie or Wendy and quote Blogger Offer.