wine tasting event

Francotastic wine tasting – Wednesday 27th April

Summer arrived early in all its rose-tinted glory at fabulous Franco’s last week in the esteemed neighbourhood of St James.  Franco’s oozes chic and attracts the most-friendly and erudite clientele from all walks of life.  Their love and passion for rosé was the perfect match for Rendezvous’ desire to mark the advent of the spring and summer wine list in style. The evening was overseen by Franco’s team Imogen and Jason – thank you so much for your slick event planning; such a pleasure working with you.

A lucky group of Rendezvous wine lovers had the opportunity to sample no less than 60 (six zero) rosés, as well as champagnes, whites and reds.  From Taitinger Rosé champagne to Mas de Daumas Rosé Frizant; from classic French to rural Devon. The delicious circulating canapés were no mere palate cleansers; they were pop-the-whole-thing-in mouthfuls of delightful yumminess, but I kept circling back around to friend and YouTube star Stephen Cronk’s light and easily quaffable Mirabeau. Watch him with his cute video about how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew…

Was Mirabeau a match for heavy-weight rosé star Brad and Angelina’s Whispering Angel, a wine described as white flowers and crushed strawberries?  Well if palest pink was the couleur du jour then I think these two wines were the stand out stars of the night. I caught site of several couples whispering in the shadows.

Lovely to have friends in town from Monaco and Belgium.  The many trying Rendezvous for the first time were given a warm welcome to soothe their nerves, while those who come regularly know this is a place where the introductions flow seamlessly from one new friend to another.  It truly was a night full of friendly faces, made ever more friendly with the addition of the pink stuff!

Guests were offered the opportunity to buy cases of wine, but there was something in the way iphones were being flourished at the end of the evening that suggested it was more than wine cellars that were being stocked!

Lou Lou and I had been looking forward to this event for weeks and it couldn’t have turned out better: spectacular wines, gorgeous guests and some serious blending at the end of the evening.

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Diana and Christopher

The Cook, the thief, his wife and her lover

Those of you who remember this legendary film may be wondering just what bit of it resembled our chic cooking event…but bear with me.  The movie is about an eccentric banquet in a London restaurant over the (was it 3 or 4?) course of which our blonde heroine (played, unforgettably, by the iconic Helen Mirren) morphs from submissive wife to daring lover (and yes she probably did take her clothes off.)  Peter Greenaway’s film is a sumptuous display of artistic genius:  he uses a different colour scheme for each locale –  red for the dining room, white for the bathrooms –  with the characters’ costumes changing colour as they move from one to the other.

If we were to make a movie of our Cooking up a Storm event  it would star another iconic blond – gorgeous and eccentric Diana Horsford.  She’s even more creative than a Peter Greenaway film and certainly the menu we cooked was a feast for the eyes.

We all piled into the warm haven of the Avenue cookery school in Putney and were welcomed with a delicious glass of Crémant de Limoux Cuvée from the place in the Languedoc that invented sparkling wine – before Champagne – and gave us the word limousine.   What a treat to have ex-Christies head of wine Christopher Burr as our wine expert for the night.  Diana lined us up to watch her neatly assemble Thai salmon parcels, aided by handsome and eligible Tom (see pics). Next up was a gentle folding together of lemon possets and a ridiculously simple assembling of lavender biscuits direct to freezoir.  Christopher dispensed with a glass or two of Macon Villages meant for the wine tasting; couldn’t have us lot being thirsty…

Diana and TomLou & Babs Lou & Chris

Divided into groups, we all got to work, chopping and assembling our creations as directed ,with a general enthusiasm that belied the fact that some of us had yet to progress past egg boiling. All went swimmingly and by 9pm we were ready to get stuck into our appetising creations. Christopher took us through a tasting which included discussing the differences between two chardonnays: the aristocratically titled Domaine Mallory et Benjamin Talmard Macon-Villages and an earthier-sounding Heggies Eden Valley from Australia. Some of us were clearly not afraid of voicing our opinions, which proved to be sharply divided. En garde!

Our utterly wonderful Thai salmon parcels on a colourful bed of stir fried vegetables tasted as divine as they looked, notwithstanding the fact that I could see my chunky disorderly vegetables protruding from my surveyor friend’s precision-engineered ones – sorry Diana my chopping skills need work!  Christopher’s pairing of this course with an amazing  Gewurztraminer Tradition Cave de Turckheim exemplified his genius.

With dessert on its way he then played a game with us – a blind tasting where we had to answer the following questions: a) Warm or cool climate?  b) Very young wine, or matured? c) One varietal or more (simple or complex)? d) Use of oak?  e)  Where and what? Our candidate for consideration proved to be a delicious Rioja Muga, which none of us got spot on, but we got close, very close.  I wonder if I might be allowed on your Wotwine? app tasting team Christopher? I do have a lot of experience…

We downed the lemon posset and lavender biscuits with an elegant Moscato d’Asti, which I always love to drink at the end of a meal – being only 5% ABV it’s almost like drinking water…truly!  Then it was time to say good bye to our wonderful hosts.  Christopher, the perfect yin to Diana’s creative yang. We hope you’ll have us back again.

A word to the wise: if any of you have children home over the Easter holidays, Diana runs wonderful classes for those going off to university or for a chalet season.  Having your own well trained kitchen ‘slaves’ has to be a worthwhile investment.

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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The Avenue Cookery School with Diana Horsford

Club Event: Cooking up a Storm – Tuesday 15th March

Cooking up a Storm at London’s friendliest cookery school
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Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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wine_tasting

Francotastic Wine Tasting – Wednesday 27th April, 2016

What’s included:  Fully inclusive wine tasting with canapés.

“Ciao a tutti.”  If your Italian is a bit rusty we can introduce you to the universal language of wine in the upscale calm of Italian restaurant & Jermyn Street favourite…Francos.  Just bring along a single friend or group of friends our Tasting Party. 
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Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Tom & Tonics at Bar20

Tom & Tonics at Bar20; a taste tickling Tuesday tonic

What’s in a name?   I’ve banged on about name badges enough and you’ll be pleased to know that for our Rendezvous Club events, the gloves are off….well at least the name badges are.

The inspiration for our Gin event popped up during a rainy Tuesday chat.  What’s not to like about Gin & Tonic we asked after the first gin….Gin & Train sets – nope too Rod Stewart,  Gin & Tolstoy …too War & Peace, what about Gin & Tuesdays?  Tuesday is such a perky day of the week. I soon progressed to Gin & the City after adding Bar20 as the venue and after we joined forces with Thomas Dakin the event became Tom & Tonics.  What’s in a name; rather a lot of fun…actually.

So on this perky Tuesday, thirty Rendezvous Club members and their friends either took a stroll from their City-based offices or drove across town for our first City event, our first Gin event and our second badges-off event.

Rendezvous Club encourages brands to directly engage with our discerning members and we were lucky enough to get hold of Alix Walker, the charasmatic gin curator responsible for the brand new Thomas Dakin gin to give our Members a talk about all things gin. Alix talked us through the gin itself, its inspiration and, of course, the perfect serve.

 

Dakin’s botanicals are intriguing whilst being very traditional; there are eleven in total with three of them remaining the Master Distiller’s secret: juniper, English coriander seeds, orange peel, grapefruit, cubebs, liquorice root, angelica and, rather uniquely, red cole (horseradish.) Making it almost more authentically British than Dakin’s original gin (Thomas Dakin (the man) was an 18th century entrepreneur and the forefather of quality English gin.  An incredibly moreish gin with a fantastic history!

 

Other history-forming events from that night included one of our more dapper looking guests having his Instragram account and blog created by one our digital media savvy ladies.  Rather pleased he was that his photographs were already being liked by a very stylish following.  So pleased, he seemed to be keeping the rest of us, post-Gin tasting propped up on Cosmopolitans. Bar20s bar team including the appropriately skilled Max and Mariusz, seemed to just go with the flow as the noise level from our crowd got bigger.  The bar staff could hardly escape us wearing Thomas Dakin red aprons!

And if you want to recreate your own Gin event and connect your own reference with a T for Tonic here’s how Thomas Dakin suggest you make the modern masterpiece with a twist.  See you again soon.

How to serve the perfect Tom & Tonic

50ml Thomas Dakin gin
125ml premium quality tonic.  Fever-Tree Mediterranean or Indian.
A twist of orange peel to finish.

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Confidence & flavours Jan 12th 2016

 

Gallery1

It’s a particularly warm late January afternoon as I pop in to see gorgeous Bethany at Goat Chelsea to collect the canapés they’ve made for our Gallery Party at the Cadogan tonight.  I carve up Bethany’s gym plans by suggesting a quick ‘glass of confidence’ (“Hey why not? It’ll make me train harder”. Good girl!) So, feeling confidential, we compare notes on our complex love lives before, armed with boxes of fine goodies, I grab a cab to the Cadogan Gallery, where I’m greeted by the divine Lucasta, who is excited about their current exhibition and takes me through the artists we will be viewing as a backdrop to tonight’s event.  I really love the style of the artists Cadogan Contemporary represent; they are pieces you could put on a wall of your home and every time you move, that piece takes on a different character, almost changing slightly as you do.READ MORE

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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cheese hearts

Relive the aromas and smells of our Wine & Cheese Rendezvous Club Event at La Cave à Fromage

As we dash through Selfridges beauty hall with its Christmas candle aromas you can’t help but get in the mood for the season.  READ MORE

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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Wine and Cheese with Badge

Club Event: Wine & Cheese tasting – Tuesday 10th December

It is no secret that wine and cheese can be taste-bud tingling combination.  But where do you start?

Well, there are no official rules. But there are some combinations that just work better than others. READ MORE

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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The Goat - Chelsea

Winter party fun at Goat Chelsea – 25th February, 2016

Join us and a room full of vibrant & beautiful people at Goat Chelsea, a rustic New York-style neighbourhood bar that’s cool & chic yet relaxed and friendly.
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Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is an entrepreneur with a background in fashion and events.  She is a partner in Vida8, the event side of London’s exclusive matchmakers Vida. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together with a flair for hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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