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Derbyshire Life Luncheon at the Peak Edge Hotel, Chesterfield

PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:51 13 October 2014

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Fabulous food, seamless service and excellent conversation combined to make this an event to be remembered

Guests enjoyed lunch in opulent surroundings, guaranteed to delight any bride and groomGuests enjoyed lunch in opulent surroundings, guaranteed to delight any bride and groom

The Peak Edge Hotel and Red Lion at Stonedge, near Chesterfield, has won numerous accolades at county food awards in recent years, earning an impressive culinary reputation and two AA rosettes in the process.

The contemporary four star boutique hotel provides impeccable levels of comfort and elegance, whilst the adjacent Red Lion Bar & Bistro - a 17th century former coaching inn - offers modern British dishes in atmospheric surroundings.

We were seated in the Red Lion’s light and bright Orangery which, with its subtle colour scheme, stunning ‘glass ceiling’, large windows, crisp linen tablecloths and towering flower arrangements designed by JJ’s Flowers, certainly looked the part.

Skilfully crafted canapés of smoked salmon, crème fraiche and caviar blinis; tempura vegetables; and chicken liver parfait, fine beans and bunyols syrup were served to guests on arrival with glasses of sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne.

Jane Aves, Karen Cochrane, Alison Warner, Stephen WarnerJane Aves, Karen Cochrane, Alison Warner, Stephen Warner

The wine for our luncheon had been provided by well-known local wine merchant John Hattersley, who gave a fascinating introduction to the expertly-matched wines at the start of each course.

The venue is renowned for its fresh fish and use of local produce and events coordinator Katie Gordon, together with chefs Ollie Parnell and Brandon Shepherd, had prepared a stunning menu.

Following a serving of sourdough bread, the starter of wafer thin venison bresaola, served with a summery mix of fresh rocket, macadamia nuts, blueberries and coconut, set the bar high. The quality of the meat, from Mainstream Foods of Alfreton, was evident and the dish was accompanied by a delicate Chateau l’Ermitage Blanc 2012.

The arrival of the main course of roasted sea bass fillet, in a flavoursome shellfish and olive oil chowder with aioli and croutons, was greeted with cries of appreciation. Supplied by M&J Seafood, the well-executed and beautifully balanced dish included vegetables from Thompson’s and was complemented by a fragrant Domaine Delsol. The offer of more bread to make sure that none of the juices were wasted was well-received!

The triumphant conclusion was a lemon posset topped with blueberry and jasmine compôte, and fluffy cinnamon beignet spheres prepared by pastry chef Christopher Billingsly. The accompanying Brachetto d’Acqui 2013 was a delight and only 5.5%!

The afternoon ended with tea, coffee and petit fours of fruit jelly slices and chocolate truffles.

Wine Tasting Notes by John Hattersley

Cremant de Bourgogne Carte d’Or, Domaine Brigand 2010

Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France

Grape: Chardonnay 50%, Pinot Noir 50%

ABV: 12%

Delicate bubbles release the exquisite aromas of dried fruits with gentle floral hints. On the palate it is a balance between roundness in the mouth with a freshness which enhances all the flavours on the long lingering finish. A great ‘Champagne style’ wine that doesn’t break the bank!

Chateau l’Ermitage Blanc 2012

Costieres de Nimes, France ABV: 13%

Aromas of orange blossom and a stony, flinty quality, the natural richness of Viognier and Grenache are balanced by fresh grapefruit and citrus from the Roussanne with a touch of mineral complexity. It is wonderful to find this blend of Rhone grapes put together so well. My white wine of the year!

Domaine Delsol Picpoul de Pinet 2013

Languedoc, France ABV: 12%

Grape: Picpoul

Golden with green tints. This is a dry, light, refreshing wine. The nose is fruity and floral with hints of rose petal and lime. In the mouth it is lively and fresh with well-balanced acidity. The Domaine covers 5ha of red soil next to the Etang de Thau in the middle of a pine forest, taking advantage of the cooling sea breezes. Left to age on lees for two months before being bottled in a traditional way. Ideal with shellfish, grilled fish and artisanal cheeses.

Brachetto d’Acqui 2013

Piemonte, Italy ABV: 5.5%

Now with a cult following, a surprisingly light and refreshing wine with noticeable sweetness. Pale cherry red in colour, this shows aromas of raspberry sorbet with rose perfumed hints. Appealing semi-sweet palate, lightly sparkling with crunchy raspberry fruit, mouth-watering acidity and a juicy finish. Great aperitif and perfect for a summer’s afternoon drinking. Goes well with chocolate desserts and fruit salads.

With thanks to...

JJ’s Flowers, Brampton 07718 168199

John Hattersley Wines, Bakewell 
01629 815255

Mainstream Foods, Alfreton 01773 591177

Direct Seafoods 01206 584 790

Tomson (Buxton) Ltd 01298 72099

Winster Foods, Chesterfield 01246 556916

Peak Edge Hotel & Red Lion, Stonedge 01246 566142

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