After 18 months of service to Yapp Brothers I was kindly invited to their bi-annual luncheon at Le Gavroche last week. 100 guests took over the entire restaurant keen to sample great wines matched to a seasonal menu prepared by Michel Roux Jr.

Upon arriving in Waterloo we were advised by several other colleagues to pay a visit to a Hedonism Wines, a new fine wine and spirits boutique in Davies Street. Given that it might take some time to browse their entire collection, Meirion and I were given a brief yet informative guided tour - well worth a visit!

Outside Le Gavroche

Being fashionably late (as always!), I arrived at 43 Upper Brook Street just after 12.30pm and the upstairs bar area was almost full. Crémant de Limoux Brut from Domaine Collin was the chosen aperitif. This excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend proved a versatile crowd-pleasing fizz belying its modest price tag!

Having become a fan of Masterchef recently, I was eager to meet Chef Michel himself. Once seated, we were delighted to be joined by Michel Roux Jnr who talked us through the delicious menu he had devised. The “amuse-bouche” of salade de homard aux truffes set the standard before commencing vinous proceedings with the white Menetou-Salon 2011 from Domaine Teiller – ripe, juicy with floral aromas and citrus flavours. Next we were served the very elegant white Brézème Côtes du Rhône, an unusual blend of Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier which complemented Michel’s starter gratin de crabe et penne wonderfully.

The main meal of supreme de pintade roti et son jus was superb with the Lalande de Pomerol - La Chenade which was showing beautifully – crimson in colour with prominent cedar and cassis characters. Our Château Fouquet 2011 from Domaine Filliatreau, is a delightful organic cabernet franc, whose spicy, peppery flavours seemed much more enhanced when served in a Gavroche-style Burgundy glass.

Delice de fraises

A refreshing dessert of delice de fraises, glace au lait et “honeycomb” was ideally partnered with our luscious Muscat du Cap Corse: Domaine Pieretti 2011. Several guests on our table described this as having a “marmalade nose” which worked exceptionally well as partner to the fruit-based dessert.

We rounded off the event with coffee and petits fours. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and a privilege to eat at such a renowned establishment. Although officially ‘work’, sharing my table with such a relaxed group of interesting people, eating some of the finest cuisine and of course drinking some of the best wines made for a very pleasant day at the office!