Creation’s Carolyn Martin and Daniela Messina recently got out their passports and put on their globe-trotting shoes again – this time on a whirlwind tour of Belgium, Scandinavia, Estonia, the UK and the French Riviera. A fascinating variety of cultures, trends and flavours were the order of the day – all strung together by, yes, you’ve guessed it: the love of wine. Last week they reported on the first part of their trip. This week they tell us about their activities in the UK and the French Riviera.

10 September: Vibrant London


To me London, my home-town for almost ten years, will never lose her charm. To celebrate our arrival Daniela and I went for an early dinner at Sea Containers on the South Bank. Inspired by the Golden Age of transatlantic travel this chic restaurant combines the best of American and British cuisine with stunning views over the Thames. We were of course very happy to see the Creation Viognier on the wine list! The menu is truly marvelous with one of our favourites the small-plate Chestnut Mushrooms, Paprika, Lemon Curd Mustard Sprouts, Pinenuts and Manchego Cheese. The dish literally looks like a fluffly cloud and is oh so delicate but at the same time so flavourful. Would be excellent with the Creation Chardonnay we thought.

Click here to read more about Sea Containers.

11 September: From Spitalfields to 67 Pall Mall


Early Monday morning Daniela and I set off to the city’s oldest market, Spitalfields in East London, to source fresh herbs and flowers for our tasting at 67 Pall Mall. The tasting at this famous hangout of UK wine pros and wine lovers was a great success and the lunch that followed, scrumptious to say the least. A big thank you to Fiona Beckett MW and Sumita Sarma for their valuable input.

12 September: Familiar Faces


Handford Wines is without a doubt one of the best boutique wine shops in London and famous for its top South African wines. Here we met up again with Greg Sherwood, a Master of Wine and a regular judge at prestigious international wine competitions. I’m happy to say that the 2015 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir will soon be on their shelves.

Click here to learn more about Handford Wines.

Our next stop was the elegant restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill, where our mission was to say hallo to Gareth Ferreira, a sommelier whom I really admire. Gareth ( Best Sommelier of South Africa 2016) took care of our lengthy lunch at 67 Pall Mall a few months ago and needless to say he handled it brilliantly. So it was delightful to see him at work in his new milieu at Core where the emphasis is on natural, sustainable food and where he is the Head Sommelier.

Click here to find out more about Core by Clare Smyth.

Another treat for the day was lunch at the beautifully designed Sake no Hana, an authentic Japanese eatery in Mayfair. The à la carte menus offer a selection of charcoal grill, toban and kamameshi dishes, while sushi and sashimi are prepared to order. General Manager Tobias Brauweiler spoiled us with all his favourite dishes: Agenasu Gomamiso (fried aubergine with fresh fig and roasted sesame sauce) and Hamachi Nama Wasabi (thinly sliced yellowtail sashimi with truffle black pepper) to mention but a few. An array of different flavoured ice creams called ‘Mochi’ provided a super dessert. Our bottle of Creation Viognier went perfectly with all these dishes, proving again the versatility of this cool-climate wine.

Click here for more information on Sake no Hana.

Our day ended at the fun and convivial Three Wine Men Tasting where it was lovely to see Tim Atkin, Oz Clarke and Olly Smith again and showcase our wines to the wide variety of wine lovers attending the event.

13 September: Mixing Business with Pleasure


Wednesday was spent at WOSA’s Intrepid South Africa Tasting, a busy and productive day with so many familiar (and new) faces coming to taste our wines and see what we have been up to. After the hectic day we popped over to the Pebbles Pulse Party which was held to raise awareness of the Pebbles Foundation. Great fun!

14 September: To York and Harrogate


We set off bright and early for York to go and see our friends from the Star Group, Mike and Wendy Green, Andrew Burn and Matt Hunter. We had a feast of a lunch at Mr P’s Curious Tavern where the kitchen kept on sending dish after dish, all matched with Creation wines. Afterwards we strolled down to The Star Inn The City for a glass of MCC for dessert.

The evening was spent at Harrogate Fine Wines, tasting and socialising with Andy Langshaw’s charming clients. It’s amazing to find how many wine lovers in the small town of Harrogate know about Creation Wines, many of whom have visited us before. Later we went to a local pizzeria which reminded Daniela of the popular Bohemia Bar from her student days at Stellebosch! For once we didn’t drink wine, but gin – a delicious craft gin made with real juniper berries.

For more info on Harrogate Fine Wines, click here.

18 – 21 September: Last Stop: Nice!


I spent the last four days of our trip in the lovely home of Helen Bate and Louis Rich on the French Riviera. Day one saw us going to the little town of Val Bonne to stock up on local fresh fruit, cheese and other ingredients for our soirée that evening. Helen and I spent the day in the kitchen – she is a fabulous chef and taught me some great skills. We had an amazing evening with various of my hosts’ friends from the yachting fraternity, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the wine pairings.

A special bonus on my last day in Nice was popping in at the Michelin-starred JAN restaurant to find the super talented Jan-Hendrik busy at his new venture, Maria, next door. This new private function room can accommodate up to 15 guests and is ideal for intimate celebrations. The menu changes regularly and at present features our versatile Creation Viognier.

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