Art of fine living at the Harrow

IMG_1459February’s meeting of Andover Wine Friends was a spectacular lunch at The Harrow Inn, Little Bedwyn.  They put on a great show for 17 of us, while running the front half of the restaurant as usual.  I was seriously off duty – too much good food, company and excellent wines – so there are no detailed notes this month.  However, here are a selection of photos of some of the seven or so courses plus cheese, almost entirely from these islands. And a brief note on some outstanding wines.

The approach in this restaurant is easy to describe – genuinely warm hospitality, outstanding sourcing of ingredients, perfect timing in the kitchen, innovative combinations and a profound love of wine.  What a great combination!  The event started well with Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne, being poured above left. 

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And the wines? Some were bought at the Harrow and some came from people’s own collections. To pick out some unfairly:

  • the Ruinart is wonderfully balanced and very refined
  • Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex, Loire – great, concentrated mineral Sauvignon Blanc … because there is a tradition of drinking this great wine at the Harrow
  • a stunningly good, moderately priced Semillon from Australia which the Harrow stocks: Mount Horrocks Semillon, Clare Valley, Australia
  • a wonderful white Grenache (not a phrase you can often employ!) from Catalan Spain – Ctonia, Masia Serra
  • three Rieslings to compare – Eden Valley, Australia; classic Mosel; Schlumberger Grand Cru from Alsace
  • decent Condrieu from Christophe Pichon and Cornas from Domaine de Rochepertuis
  • sadly another ‘drink at the Harrow’ tradition here did not come to pass as the 1985 Hermitage from Jaboulet was over the hill – I suppose in this case it just rolled gracefully down the hill
  • Spinnifex’s Indigene and Shiraz-Mataro from the Barossa, big fruit numbers but beautifully structured and complex, especially the latter
  • there were quite a few others which probably deserved a mention …
  • and finally, a brilliantly concentrated and only moderately sweet Banyuls: Coume del Mas Quintessence Banyulus Rouge
  • some people found a little space to try two different Grappas

With many thanks to the whole crew at the Harrow – you deserve your success.

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