Champagne Bollinger and Boisdale Belgravia Dinner:
It’s not often I get invited to an exclusive members only champagne dinner. And, having been to Boisdale in Canary Wharf and Bishopsgate, I was really looking forward to trying the third Boisdale. There are events at all the Boisdale venues ranging from wine and whisky tastings through to special dinners to celebrate the start and end of the Game season, Burns Night and practically any other special occasion you could imagine.
Boisdale in Belgravia is in a quiet side road not far from Victoria station. It’s the oldest of the group and has a strong traditional feeling, although there are some great features like the quirky cigar terrace where you can sit out and enjoy a cigar and a whisky all year round, albeit under canvas, but with tartan rugs and heaters to keep you cosy.
The dinner was being held in a private room at the back of the restaurant which was packed to the brim when we arrived. A convivial and lively atmosphere, I suspect that a healthy group of regulars ensures everyone feels welcome.
We started the evening with a fruity smooth glass of Special Cuivee NV Bollinger. It’s a fuller, richer champagne that I would normally pick and a perfect aperitif.
Starters of Lobster Thermidor were generous and beautifully presented. While the lobster was tender and very fresh and the Thermidor topping pleasant I was a little suprised that the rich, warm sauce was essentially a topping for cold poached shellfish. It worked very well, but wasn’t quite what I expected.
We moved on to drinking NV Bollinger Rose. Made by adding red wine to NV Bollinger to create a structured wine with a complex palette of flavours. Very fruity and a perfect match for our Roast Black Leg Chicken with mushrooms, cabbage and minted new potatoes.
To finish we enjoyed a 2004 Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut. Now, I am pleased to report that this was my favourite drink, we learnt that it is only produced by Bollinger when there is an exceptional harvest . The rule of the blend is that 75% of the fruit is from Grand Cru sites, the remaining 25% from the finest Premier Cru. It is fermented in aged oak barrels and stored on lees for five years before being released. The blend is 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and the result is fabulous.
We were served cheese and biscuits to accompany the champagne, but at this stage I’d eaten enough and preferred to enjoy the unadulterated excellent Champagne.
I very much enjoyed the experience, though for us, this evening the star of the event was definitely the champagne. From watching other diners eating from the main menu I suspect the food is better when not part of a large set dinner. Membership of the Club at Boisdale is £250 – but there is a generous discount for members who want to attend the dinners and many of the tastings are free of charge. This particular dinner was priced at £39.50 for members and £75 for members including all wine and food, although we dined as guests of Boisdale.
Boisdale of Belgravia
15 Eccleston Street