We’re very excited that Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden will be hosting our next lunch event on Saturday 11th June! A light, casual lunch featuring the hake cooked en papillote cooked on Ross’s brand new Big Green Eggs, the freshest of fresh vegetables, some suitably dainty summery wines all served in an idyllic setting with stunning views of the Camel Estuary AND a Padstow Kitchen Garden goodie bag…all for £45 per person. What’s not to like?
Just 16 lucky guests will meet at noon for a welcome cocktail followed by a tour of the vegetable patches while drinking in the views. I don’t know how Ross gets anything done – look at his happy little face…
Ross will pass on a few tips for budding gardeners before moving on to the poly tunnels where he’ll prepare a tray of fresh-picked vegetables for you to try with maybe a cucumber gazpacho taster in poly tunnel. You’ve not tasted cucumber until you’ve tasted…you know where I’m going with this.
We’ll then move to Ross’s wooden cabin for lunch or eat outside if the weather is kind. The menu will depend on what vegetables are at their peak but if you think in terms of a picnicky style lunch featuring hake or cod en papillote served with a range of different vegetable dishes (grilled, marinaded veg, chargrilled baby leeks and courgettes with mustard vinaigrette etc.) followed by a lemon and verbena posset or perhaps a cheesecake – then you won’t be far wide of the mark.
We’ll be selecting a line up of cracking summer whites for you to sample – either running a tasting table outside if the weather’s kind or matching the tasters to your courses inside if the weather lets us down.
For those who aren’t familiar with Padstow Kitchen Garden, it’s Ross’s brain child. He was formerly a chef at Rick Stein’s for ten years – and is now Padstow’s very own rock ‘n’ roll gardener. The Geach family has worked Trerethern Farm in Padstow for over 150 years and Ross has always been a keen budding farmer learning how to grow veg from his grandfather.
Uniquely Ross has blended his experience as a chef with years of study and experimentation to produce vegetables that are simply stunning quality. With a TV appearance under his belt and a regular column in the Sunday Telegraph, Ross has clearly hit on a winning formula and we were delighted when he agreed to host a wine club event.
Whilst I’ve always been a fan of Ross’s work, the light bulb moment when I decided to ask him about hosting an event came to me in the Seafood Restaurant. Mary and I were having a rare work-free and child-free lunch and my main came with a side order of Ross’s veg. I can’t remember what that dish was but the carrots…Oh My Goodness the carrots! They were so extraordinarily sweet that I asked how they’d been cooked. “Just steamed” was the answer from the kitchen. Look…I know what you’re thinking…”steady on Mike – it was just a carrot” and of course you’re right. But I’ve never tasted one that was so good that it became the centrepiece of the meal. Over the top? Well you’ll just have to come along to our event and decide for yourself.
So, as we look forward to easing into the summer months with lighter foods, salads and outdoor eating in mind, we’ll be exploring what flavours can be achieved with fresh, high-quality, carefully grown vegetables and which wines will help take those flavours to the “next level” (I’ve clearly been watching too much Masterchef).
Spaces are limited to 16 so please email to book your spaces without delay! firstname.lastname@example.org
An insight into a Cornish vineyard in the spring by Knightor…
The Sap is Rising
We are in our Seaton vineyard looking out towards Rame Head in beautiful South East Cornwall. A buzzard is wheeling overhead and the wind is chasing choppy waves across the bay whilst wispy clouds scud across a watery blue sky.
Pruning is almost done with only 3 rows of Rondo vines left to tie down.At our larger vineyard at Portscatho in the Roseland the pruning work is also almost over with only a weeks worth of tying down left to do, having already made the cuts and pulled out the wood of the 9,000 vines we have there. As the weather warms the ground the sap is rising making the canes more pliable and easier to tie to the wire. Here you can see the buds starting swell on the Seyval Blanc vines.
However, today we are trying to protect our vines from the wind as they come into leaf. Being on a narrow peninsula, in Cornwall wind is the main enemy of the viticulturalist as it robs heat from the plants. We are fixing the windbreaks and replacing or resetting posts that have been damaged or loosened over the winter. Without them we would get no crop as despite being in the lee of a hill to the south west, yields are low due to the exposed site with only the hybrid varietals like the Seyval Blanc that makes up part of out sparkling blend managing to crop regularly.
As the weather warms everything starts coming out and not just the vines. In Spring people start to drink the light delicate aromatic wines like the Trevannion, which are so crisp and refreshing on a sunny day. It is also the start of the wedding season with our Classic Cuvee sparkling in demand for celebrations both at Knightor and elsewhere. We are kept busy bottling,disgorging (removing the sediment from the sparkling wine after fermentation) and labelling to keep up with a growing demand.
Luckily the sunnier milder climate near sea level in Cornwall means that we don’t have to worry about late frosts burning off the new growth on the vines. However, as the winery at Knightor is on higher ground we always wait for consistently warmer weather in May before bottling the sparkling wine blends. We need mean temperatures to stay high even at night to ensure that secondary fermentation happens in bottle without further temperature control being necessary.
For now vineyard maintenance on brisk but clear days with glorious views of the cornish coast is not a bad way to spend our time at work with a welcome glass of Trevannion to follow.
You can enjoy both the Classic Cuvee and the delightful Trevannion white on the BinTwo terrace.
Thank you to those of you who came to our second cocktail night here at Bintwo on Friday 11th March, another great night led by Marc Ramage from South Western Distillery, heaps of fun with gin and fizz being enjoyed by all.
Cocktail night ‘part two’ featured ‘The Sea Dog’ Tarquin’s Navy Strength Gin, Cornish Pastis and plenty of fizz. This, mixed with Marc’s magic gave us creative and tasty ideas for summertime entertaining, lots of ways of pimping up a glass of Prosecco and possibly some makings of a sore head.
For those of you who like to mix it up, here are Marc’s recipes. He kicked off the night making a variation of a French 75, A Cornish Garden 57, and superb it was too.
18.75ml Tarquin’s Seadog Gin
12.5ml Lemon Juice
6.25ml Elderflower Liqueur
Champagne (Camel Valley Brut is delicious with this recipe).
Pour all the ingredients into a champagne flute then top up with Camel Valley Brut, garnish with a Lemon Twist.
Clementine & Rosemary Mimosa
Inspired by Cornish Autumn evenings, this cocktail has a warming kick.
6.25ml Tarquin’s Seadog Gin
6.25ml Rosemary Syrup (made with equal measures of sugar and hot water and several sprigs of rosemary, let the Rosemary infuse, cool, strain and bottle).
6.25ml Clementine Juice
6.25ml Lime Juice
Pour all the ingredients into a champagne flute then top up with your fizz of choice, garnish with a little fresh Rosemary.
Death in the Afternoon
A cocktail invented by Ernest Hemingway who was partial to a drop of Absinthe. Marc uses Tarquin’s Cornish Pastis as an Absinthe substitute and slightly smaller measures than Mr Hemingway would have approved of!
6.25ml Tarquin’s Cornish Pastis
12.5ml Lemon Juice
6.25ml Sugar Syrup
Top up with Sparkling Wine.
Pour all the ingredients into a champagne flute then top up with your fizz of choice. Dangerously refreshing!
A Millionaires Martini
An awesome party drink.
25ml Tarquin’s Seadog Gin
12.5ml Dry Vermouth
In a shaker add the Gin and Vermouth and a little ice, shake then pour into martini glass, top up with Sparkling wine and garnish with an olive.
Cornish Kir Royale
A sure-fire crowd pleaser and so easy to make.
12.5ml Tarquin’s Gin
Dash of Cassis
Pour all the ingredients into a champagne flute then top up with your fizz of choice.
Lemon Drop ‘Ginojito’
Marc’s fabulous zingy variation on a ‘Mojito’.
12.5ml Tarquin’s Seadog Gin
Handful of Mint
2 teaspoons Sugar
In a glass add the lime, mint, mint and sugar and muddle. Then add the gin and top up with fizz, garnish with a sprig of mint.
It’s taken us a while to get there but we’ve managed to finalise this year’s terrace menu ahead of Easter. So that’s it…no more debate. No more endless tastings. No more prevarication. The choices are made and there’s no going back…probably.
“What takes so long?” I hear you ask. Well it’s actually quite hard work (stop smirking) finding a selection of wines that make up the right combination for our terrace menu. They all need to be easy-drinking straight after opening and able to be enjoyed without food. We need to provide enough range in terms of grape variety, country of origin and price point. Oh and we like to throw something interesting and unusual into the mix too – something you’ve not tried before.
So we torture ourselves (laying it on too thick? Honestly it’s a slog) compiling a long list that with lot’s of tasting and debate turns into a short list. Then we go to another supplier tasting and find more wines that we love so we’re back to a long list. And then, just as we think we’ve got the selection nailed, a supplier tells us that they’re running short on the current vintage of one of our chosen wines. They send us a sample of the new vintage and…it just ain’t quite right. So back to the drawing board we go – it’s like a puzzle where the pieces keep changing shape.
Anyhow as first world problems go I know this is pretty top tier and, truth be known, we probably do make a bit of a meal out of finding the right combinations. But we do it all for you dear reader. We don’t expect medals or honours – we’re happy to toil on your behalf. But the next time you sit on our terrace, as you ease back in your chair with the sun on your face raising a glass of nectar to your lips…perhaps you’ll spare a thought for our efforts and in a moment of reflection whisper to yourself “they’ve got it tough these guys”.
Some of the menu headlines:
Billecart-Salmon – our favourite Champagne house retains the top slot on our menu (relax everybody – we’re not daft)
Knightor, Cornwall – We took a chance by introducing wines from this lesser known Cornish winery and it paid off. Customers merrily quaffed both the Brut Classic Cuvée and Trevannion in reassuringly large quantities thereby securing it’s place on the menu for 2016.
Green Lip Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand – still your favourite terrace wine by a clear margin. Safe!
Pouilly Fuissé 2014, Domaine Ferret, France – we tasted a dozen creamy Burgundies to find this classy little number and very relieved we were too when the new vintage measured up to expectations.
Gavi La Battistina 2015, Piemonte, Italy – replacing the Picpoul de Pinet as the BinTwo entry level white this Gavi is simply mouthwatering! 100% Cortese berries producing an aromatic, juicy wine with weighty fruit and a fresh, citrusy yet gently nutty and savoury flavour. It has great texture and a refreshing, satisfying finish. I was desperate to put a very lovely Muscadet on the menu to pair with our newly added dressed crab for a bit of a classic retro food/wine match vibe. But quite simply the Gavi was just too good, too luscious and too drinkable to pass over. Next time Muscadet – I promise…
Sherry – Gutierrez Colosia Fino, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain – just too good with our charcuterie to not keep it on the menu. Available by the glass and half bottle this year.
Château Civrac 2008, Bordeaux, France – an easy decision to retain this juicy, easy drinking, well-aged claret. Made by our good friend Mark Hellyar – a Cornishman making wine (and making waves!) in Bordeaux.
Clos Du Val Zinfandel 2013, Napa Valley, USA – we loved this wine as our easy drinking “big” New World red last year. We tasted dozens of wines looking for a replacement and kept coming back to it. No wine on the list fought harder to retain its slot on our terrace menu. Well done the Zinf – showing true colonial fighting spirit!
La Vendima 2014, Palacios Remendo, Rioja, Spain – winning the fiercely contested “Spanish Red” slot on the menu, and new for 2016, I present you with this modern and fresh style Rioja. La Vendima, “The Harvest” , is a ripe, fruit-forward blend of Grenache and Tempranillo. Soft, supple and laden with wild red berries and a little sweet spice to boot. A highly enjoyable drop – lighter weight than you might expect and, I think, a sure fire winner for a gentle summer red.
Trevibban Mill Black Ewe Pinot Noir 2014, Cornwall – we’re incredibly excited with this new addition to our menu! In a blind tasting two Masters of Wine declared this the best English red they’ve tasted…and it’s made right here in Padstow! Rich black fruits with a gentle touch of spice. Medium bodied with soft tannins and a long finish. Great work from Cornwall’s newest vineyard. We love championing local wines when they’re this good and we can’t wait to see what you think of it!
Rimauresq Cru Classé 2015, Côtes de Provence, France – still a classic, bone-dry fragant rosé made in the traditional Provence style. Why change something this good…that’s exactly what we thought.
Camel Valley Rosé 2014, Cornwall – with the addition of this cracking wine from our longest standing local winery we’ve rounded off our Cornish selection nicely. A light rosé made with 100% Pinot Noir berries with intense strawberry aromas and a fresh hit of zippy red fruit flavours. The 2014, in my view, has truly mouth-watering and refreshing acidity that I’m sure you’ll love as much as we did when we tried it.
It’s been a long, wet winter but there’s recently been reason to hope the worst is behind us. And as if to provide sure-fired confirmation that Spring has finally sprung, this weekend sees the return of our hugely popular Maine Lobster Rolls to the BinTwo menu. What’s a lobster roll? I’m glad you asked…
Hailing from Maine, New England in the U.S of A, lobster rolls are a simple, but luscious combination of chunkily chopped lobster meat, a touch of seasoning, a squeeze of lemon juice, a little chopped celery, a dusting of paprika and a cautious dollop of mayonnaise – just enough to bind the mix together – served in a soft finger bun.
Maine’s a long way to go for such a gastronomic delight so we’ve come up with a local version using the freshest lobster from the Padstow Shellfish Company and buns from the Chough Bakery just around the corner.
This year we’ve added hand-picked dressed crab to the menu served simply with a wedge of lemon and a chunk of crusty campigrain bread. Because when shellfish is this good that’s all you need! Like our lobster, our crab comes from the local day boats of the Padstow Shellfish Company. You’ll have the quiet satisfaction of knowing that your meal was caught and landed a stone’s throw from where you’re sitting. For a heightened sense of worthiness pair it with one of our local wines and you’ll have hit upon the most decadent sustainable dining solution known to man.
Well done for doing your bit!
Cline Viognier 2014, North Coast, California 2 bottles £11.50
A white which reflects the coming season, pure fruit and aromatics prevail. In North Coast, California the Viognier vines bask in the sun during the day and are cooled at night, the fruit ripens gradually retaining aromatics and acidity. With beautiful full-body, texture, stone fruit and citrus characters this is a wine which can stand up to a flavoursome tarragon chicken or even a good camembert.
Price with wine club discount: £10.35
Orballo Albariño 2014, Rías Baixas, Spain 2 bottles £11
Galicia, home of the tiny-berried Albariño variety, supports a huge fishing fleet: wet fish, shellfish (plus lobsters from Cornwall!) – and the food of the region is astonishing. With that in mind you can be daring with your Albariño, it will work with many Spanish fish treats: octopus, salt cod, anchovies. Orballo has a fresh apple and honey fragrance, the long, dry palate is both rich and dry while the phenolics (similar to tannins in red wine) give a mouth-gripping texture, so if you feel like playing it safe you can pair this nicely with traditional fried fish and chips!
Price with wine club discount: £9.90
The Cloud Factory Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand 2 bottles £11
A wonderfully pretty red for the start of Spring. This wine has all of the classic Pinot Noir red fruit characters combined with elegance and a pleasant freshness influenced by the breezy Maritime location of the vineyards. The judicious use of oak adds an almost creamy texture making this a wine that you can sup in the sunshine, never too soon to fire up the Barbie?
Price with wine club discount: £9.90
Raoul’s Old Basket Press 2012, South West Cape, South Africa 2 bottles £11.50
From the delightful family-run Beaumont winery situated in the Walker Bay area of the Cape, we give you the carefully crafted Raoul’s red. Raoul, the Patriach of the Beaumont family, takes pride in this quirky blend made from Tinta Barocca, a Portuguese grape variety which first took root in South Africa in the 1940’s, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and a little Mourvedre. What a mouthful, juicy, smooth and deliciously succulent, a great accompaniment to Spring roast lamb.
Price with wine club discount: £10.35
Château L’Ermitage 2014, Costières de Nîmes, France 2 bottles £10
Winemaker Jerome Castillon continues to impress. His Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend makes for a very tasty rose, beautifully salmon-pink in colour, bursting with ripe red summer berry flavours, dry and vibrant. Aged for 3 months on its lees it has developed a depth of flavour and richness making it a perfect foodie wine. Once again we are transported back to Southern France, what a chore!
Price with club discount: £9.00
Prosecco Di Paolo Frizzante NV, Italy 2 bottles £10.00
Fresh as a daisy! This is a delicate appley Prosecco with light floral notes. A great aperitif with a gentle spritz. A fizz made by the 100 year old Di Paolo company who strive to produce wines with a purity of fruit and freshness of which this Prosecco is a fine example.
Price with wine club discount: £9.00
Total cost of wines before discount: £130
Bin Delivered price £110 (£120 delivered nationally)
Val D’Oca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Rive Di Colbertaldo D.O.C.G.
With the first days of sunshine and no wind here at last, it feels like spring has finally arrived and what better way to celebrate than with a glass of fizz? My recommendation would be our recent arrival; the Val D’Oca Prosecco Superiore. Rich in aromas of apple and wisteria, and enjoying a complex structure, it has a great balance between softness and acidity and a pleasantly long lasting finish.
This Extra Dry sparkling wine is sublime as an aperitif or a great accompaniment to steamed mussels.
At just £13.50 (that’s a cracking £12.15 to BinTwo wine club members) Val D’Oca Prosecco Superiore is a wine which doesn’t hang around on the shelf so be sure to try a bottle before it’s too late!