Always in search of new flavour adventures and intriguing combinations, Creation’s Carolyn Martin and Daniela Messina recently took to the culinary highways and byways of Europe once more. This time to Tallinn, Wroclaw, Tønsberg, Brummen, Haarlem, London, Chilworth and Marazion. Last week Carolyn reported on the first leg of their trip; this week she continues from Haarlem to Marazion.
Sunday, 31 March – Haarlem, Netherlands
Having left Brummen and the magical Kasteel Engelenburg behind, we arrived in Haarlem where a visit to Maita, a wonderful Japanese-Peruvian-style restaurant provided yet another highlight. There is a magnificent lightness to their dishes and we had the pleasure of watching the chefs prepare our food. My favourite was the scrumptious, umami-rich cod which was marinated for three days and tasted fabulous with the Creation Chardonnay. Real brain food to help us shape up for the next day which was one of the best and most original trade tastings we have ever attended.
Monday, 1 April
Still in Haarlem, we had the privilege of presenting a masterclass and then a tasting in, wait for it … the Frans Hals Museum! Imagine the pleasure of presenting our wines (and especially our Art range) among those masterpieces. Our wines were well received and we are delighted with the restaurant listings achieved. The event was hosted by our Dutch agent, Vinites, who invited us to dinner afterwards, along with some of their other producers.
Tuesday, 2 April – London, UK
Catching up with old friends is high on our priority list and it was therefore lovely to spend some time with our friend Emma Clarke again. Emma helped us enormously when we started in the UK and her support will always remain invaluable.
Then it was on to Texture, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Portman Street owned and run by Aggi Sverrisson and Alan Bednarski. Here we did a tasting and were delighted to have the Creation Reserve Chardonnay listed. A big thank you to Roger Davies for your introduction! The restaurant is famous for a fusion of Japanese and Icelandic dishes and we just loved the carver duck with celeriac, cranberries and flower sprouts which paired perfectly with the R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia.
Wednesday, 3 April – London and Chilworth, Surrey
Wednesday morning saw us meeting with the Bibendum marketing and sales team. They cover the whole of the UK which means we can get our wines into restaurants in far-flung places and offer excellent customer service.
Our next stop was The Percy Arms in Chilworth where we gave a private client tasting. The co-owner Janine Hunter and I were great friends while studying Design at UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art and The Percy Arms reflects her South African background with beautiful images of African wildlife and warm hospitality. Among the guests were a group of BA pilots who regularly visit us in the Creation Tasting Room, our Swiss friends, the Nolans, who now live in the UK and our friends and partners the Drakes. What a super ’audience’! A very special thank you to Roberto de Vincentis for the impeccable service and to Chef Didi Ivan for the excellent steak. We look forward to presenting another exciting wine and dine there in September.
Thursday 4 April – Marazion, Cornwall
Last but certainly not least on our itinerary was Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in the town of Marazion close to the island of Penzance. Owner Ben Prior has visited us twice before and on both occasions invited us to host a wine and dine at his establishment. Shades of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’? Well, great fun it certainly was and I was particularly fascinated with the Monk’s Beard which paired brilliantly with the Creation Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon while Daniela’s favourite, the Jaffa Cake went down a treat with the Creation Reserve Chardonnay.
And so another amazing culinary adventure came to an end – but not without it leaving an indelible impression and serving as a great source of inspiration.