Members of London Branch were delighted to return to the Savile Club in early January for a post-celebratory season’s formal dinner. We were pleased to be joined by some members of the Europe-Africa Committee.
The premises of this exclusive private members’ Club consist of an elegant 18th-century house in Brook Street in the heart of Mayfair. Many celebrated writers, artists, musicians, media people and scientists have been members: Thomas Hardy and WB Yeats; William Walton and Edward Elgar; John Cockcroft and Lord Rutherford, to name only a few.
In the late nineteenth century a well known firm of Parisian architects and decorators had transformed the house, creating rooms in the French style of the time. We had the great pleasure of dining in the Drawing Room, which had been part of a recent refurbishment.
Michael James is the Savile Club’s Michelin-starred Chef.
The evening began sociably with a sparkling wine and canapés reception.
The first course was: Black Ash panko bread crumbed, tempura courgette flower, finished with caramelised figs, pickled baby vegetables, feta cheese snow, honey and rapeseed oil dressing. It was accompanied by Burgundy – Macon Uchizy Mallory & Benjamin Talmard 2018, 13% (100% Chardonnay). This was a well made wine, with ripe citrus fruit flavours and minerality. The wine was kept on its lees before bottling, and no oak was used.
The main course was: Assiette of Lamb: Gremolata Fillet, Confit Belly, Herb Crusted Rack, pavé of root vegetable dauphinoise (turnip, swede, potato, celeriac, golden beetroot), wilted rocket, marrow bone and parmesan sauce. The matching wine was claret – Château le Gardera Bordeaux Supérieur 2016, 13.5%; 17% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Château Le Gardera has an excellent reputation for quality Bordeaux Supérieur, using sustainable farming methods. The wine had been aged in oak for 12 months. It had a good tannic structure and was nicely balanced, showing tobacco, cedar and plum flavours.
Dessert was Vanilla Poached Pear, with orange syrup and cinnamon spiced shortbread, partnered with Sauternes Premier Cru Classé Château de Rayne Vigneau 2007, 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, kindly donated by Richard Duncan. This honey-gold wine was delicious, aromas of lemon, peach and apricot, and a balanced medium-bodied taste.
The dinner finished with coffee or tea and chocolates.
We had enjoyed a fine dinner in stylish surroundings: an interesting menu and splendid cuisine, together with well-matched wines.