Saturday, October 22, 2011

Waddesdon Manor and Wine Tasting!

I am off on another AWC trip to a treasured National Trust "Home", Waddesdon Manor, built by Baron Ferdninand de Rothschild. This Renaissance style chateau was built to display his collection of art treasures and to entertain the fashionable world back in the day when an invitation for a weekend hunting trip outside the city of London was just what the Royals looked forward to. We arrived early in the morning and the sun was just peeking over the elaborate roof line so I took a few close-ups as we waited for our private guided tour of the house.
Since the 19th century, the Rothschild name has been synonymous with riches, banking, lavish houses and exquisite art collections. Equally important, however is the family's long association with the finest wines in the world. So how could we resist a wine tasting in the private wine cellars containing over fifteen thousand bottles of the finest Rothschild wines in the world.
It is rare that we are able to bring home a gift for our husbands (who are working while we play!) but I thought Rick might enjoy two of the wines we tasted. For future reference: Blason d'Aussieres 2008 - A.C. Corbieres in the South of France...a blend of 4 grapes - Spice from the Syrah or Shiraz *wine tip* Known as Shiraz in Australia and South Africa and as Syrah in California and France Amancaya 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina ...less tannin more alcohol - Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon blend *wine tip* A wine with a high alcohol content works best with fatty foods such as Duck.
Cheers Love!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Frieze Art Fair

I don't pretend to know anything about modern art but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon tour of the Frieze Art Fair in Regent's Park. I thought I might share a few of my favorites and give you a chance to experience a little "culture". Our guide told us that this year's program of commissioned projects incorporates a number of unique viewpoints that demand a shift in viewers' perceptions.....I'll say!
Which one owns a famous New York Gallery?
My favorites.....
Here's an interesting concept, if you want to purchase this incredible Yacht as a vehicle for water sports, it will cost you £60,000,000 but if you want to purchase this gorgeous Yacht as a piece of art, it will cost you £160,000,000. Something about the honor of owning a piece of art, stay with me here!
I saved the best for last....a machine that will chew up your credit card and draw you a picture to replace it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chocolate groupies, pay attention

This week may very well turn out to be the best in your year, the next six days have been declared National Chocolate Week in the UK. From Dorset's Chococo to London's Rococo, Britain's best chocolatiers will arm themselves with spatulas and piping bags to reveal their skills. The article I read claimed that ~British chocolatiers have become the rebellious punks of the chocolate world, bending the rules and incorporating everyday products into their creations.
Yesterday Rob and I were exploring Borough Market (not many stalls open on a Monday!) and found this great little Chocolate shop called The Rabot Estate from Saint Lucia, West Indies. We were intrigued by the chocolate pasta.....
but even more by the menu: Savory Cacao Wrap - Duck Confit, Dark Chocolate, Dried Cherries, Coriander, Roasted Cacao Nibs, Creme Fraiche or Sweet Cacao Wrap - Hazelnut Chocolate, Cacao Whipped Cream, Roasted Cacao Nibs
It was just too exciting for us so we settled for the most delicious cup of hot chocolate! Cheers!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Visit the Dalmatian Islands.....

Clear, blue water, glorious pink sunsets.....
and a pure sense of a rich history influenced by many cultures. As we toured Croatia and Montenegro, we could see how much the war in 1991 cost the people in this area, our guide reminded us, "We are looking to the future, not focusing on the past. It is up to our generation to change things." It was truly a beautiful place to visit and the people were so welcoming.