Cognac & first class food – what could be better?
Last month, we were invited to attend a Courvoisier pairing dinner at Oriole Bar in East London’s Smithfield Market, which was, as you’d expect, incredible.
Oriole has recently been nominated for Best New International Cocktail Bar in the Spirited Awards 2016, as part of the Tales of the Cocktail competition – no mean feat, but completely understandable once we’d tried their rendition of the Courvoisier Classic Champagne Cocktail.
After a brief catch up with our hostess for the evening Rebecca Asseline, Courvoisier’s glamourous Global Ambassador, we were seated in the side function room off the side of the bar, a small area, which lent a very suitable sense of intimacy to the evening. Following a warm welcome from our hostess, we tucked into our Amuse-Bouche, a pain d’épice topped with sweet potato and camembert which matched perfectly with our champagne cocktails.
We then moved on to a history of the cognac making process, and the rich history of the Courvoisier cognac house and its intrinsic links to the Parisian Golden Age and even as the cognac served at the opening of the Eiffel Tower – truly making it the Toast of Paris! We paired our starter of Courvoisier cured Salmon Tartare with asparagus vichyssoise, poached quail egg and salmon roe, with a snifter of Courvoisier VS.
Our mains (the Beef Rossini with Duck foie gras was too good to photograph before we tucked in) and the Sole Veronique were great accompaniments to the VSOP, showing that a good cognac can really be a part of every stage of a meal.
The piece de résistance however, was the poached pear and Roquefort crème brulée, alongside the Courvoisier XO. A true showcase of the great skills of the chef at Oriole, and the versatility of the cognac.
The guests in the room were left satisfied – not only from a great meal and tasting of the Courvoisier range – but also with the in depth knowledge of Rebecca. Conversation flowed, not only from those more acquainted with the world of cognacs and Courvoisier, but also those who did not have a knowledge of the brand before this evening.
Once again, thanks must be given to the team at Oriole for putting on such a great event, and providing a great meal and cocktails (the Head Chef, Gustavo, received a much-deserved round of applause upon entering the room), and to Rebecca for being a great hostess to this unique event.
Events like this are not few and far between here in London, and we would heartily recommend for you to visit any tutored tastings or pairing dinners you may find – they always shine a new light on a brand you may think you know well!