Wine & Swine

The other night I attended my first “Wine & Swine” event for a lovely farm called Dingley Dell. This was held at a charming Gastropub called the Leather Bottle in Earlsfield. As a North London lady I have not frequented the area however my aversions were quickly disbanded when I arrived in Earlsfield after a quick 20 minute transfer!

This pub is well worth a visit as it is my sort of place: homely, welcoming with a large beer garden. It was also hosting one of the first Wine & Swine events which is essentially a pork fest and pairing with Aspalls apple juice/cider and Meantime Beer. Apologies for any non meat eaters out there as this was a pure Pork feast by every sense of the word.

I was a guest of a journalist friend of mine. When we entered the huge beer garden there must have been long tables and seats for around 200 people. It reminded me of the recent Jubilee street parties – very British, local, and felt like I was back in my second home Dorset.

We were greeted by the largest suckling pig I have ever laid my eyes on. It was spinning quite happily and a whole hog filled with Aspalls apple juice. The hog was being cooked and marinated (using mustard, white wine, cider and some tuna extract)  by one of the top chefs Mark Poynton patron of Alimentum in Cambridge.

We were then shown to our table which was the special “tree house” and here we were ruling the roost. We had access to the local  farmer who actually was given a pig to chop up. It was more of a “masterclass” I could barely watch!

However the courses followed and these were 6 courses each paired with Aspalls Cider or Meantime Ale/Beer.  The significance of this was to promote local produce and Meantime from Greenwich is no exception.

Each course was delicious and my companion and myself were in the treehouse with others.

The menu was as follows:

Starter – The Whole Hog Board – prepared by Chris Knights and Stephen Bushnell

Air dried pork leg, crispy pig’s ears, potted brawn, mini hot dogs, black putting trotter fritters, Gooseberry Chutney, purple basil jam and Young’s Beer Bread

Paired with Aspall’s Premier Cru

Apple Smoked Pig Cheeks – Paul Sowden

Potted smoked pig’s cheeks, mead jelly and pea puree

Paired with Meantime Wheat Beer

Low and Slow Pulled Pork Shoulder – Ben Goldsmith

Sweet and tender pork shoulder, slow cooked garlic, rosemary, black pepper, fennel and oregano (cooked over charcoal and hickory wood)

Paired with Aspall’s Premier Cru

Hog Spit – Mark Poynton

Whole hog filled with Aspalls Apple juice

Paired with Aspalls Premier Cru

World Championship St Louis Pork Ribs – Andy Annat

Lip smackin’ 5 hour cherry smoked pork ribs with barbeque and black treacle glaze served with smoked plant pot bread

Paired with Meantime London Pale Ale

Dessert – Sunday Brunch – Chris Knights and Stephen Bushnell

French toast with marmalade, maple cured bacon, Leather Bottle pears (from the garden) and cornflake ice cream

Paired with Aspalls Perronelle’s Blush

I have never felt so full on pork ever! However it was the tastiest and most divine pork meal I have ever had. Simply outstanding and not one to miss.

There are plans to host more as word is catching on and the PR company Roche Communications are busy dealing with the next event.

Do go and visit the Leather Bottle near Earlsfield Station and please do go to the next Wine and Swine event but remember not to eat for a day prior and you certainly won’t eat for the next day or two.

Happy dining and until next time!

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About Alexandra Abrahams

Alexandra Abrahams originally worked at the BBC and has since gained a wide range of experience from a plethora of jobs. Her time as a Dating Consultant for a matchmaking agency led her to start writing a book entitled “Secret Diary of a Matchmaker”. Being blessed with a Mariella Frostrup voice, she also does voiceovers including corporate work for IBM, Body Shop and Gillette. Alex now works as a Brand Ambassador for a premium spirits company. The vacancy was advertised as the Best Job in the World. This international role sees her working closely with luxury hotels, bars and private members clubs. Alex also arranges exclusive events and parties where she charms all in sight with her schmoozing skills. Alex describes herself as a proper “Girl about Town” and will attend any new party all in the name of research!
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