French Champagne Soiree

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On Wednesday 7 May, I was joined by 25 divine Travelling Divas to a French Champagne Soiree at Urbane restaurant, run by renowned champagne consultant and educator Bernadette O’Shea.

It was an evening filled with flowing, French bubbles including the beautiful Louis Roederer Brut Premier and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. Each was perfectly accompanied by divine canapés such as herb cured salmon with cr’me fraiche, crispy pork belly, and jamon with pear chutney on rye (I’m drooling just writing this). Bernadette’s abundant wealth of knowledge and information about our favourite potion was truly inspiring. Oh, and did I mention that her cattle dog only speaks French? She is the epitome of ‘chic’.

I think I speak for everyone when I say the evening took me back to the rolling vineyards, elegantly dressed people and gastronomic delights of France. It was a true celebration of all that is wonderful about Champagne and as Bernadette so eloquently yet pragmatically put it –

“Champagne brings texture and mouth aromas to food. Its high acidity tones down fat and salt and reduces excessive sweetness. Its effervescence ‘degreases the taste buds’ while adding elegance and height to heavy foods. Champagne has exquisite nuances and for me it is a creation of beauty and enchantment.’
I couldn’t agree more!

Desperate to discover more, I asked Bernadette what particular dishes she’d recommend to complement our favourite beverage and here’s the verdict:

  • Crab with cucumber, apple, lime and ginger gelée
  • Ocean trout, cr’me fraiche and caviar on chive blini
  • Poached scallop, saffron juice and balsamic pear
  • Ginger crispy skin pork belly with cardamom and apple paste
  • Duck breast with blood orange marmalade &  pomegranate seeds
  • Quail bound in vine leaves, date and rose stuffing, caramelized fig and lightly smoked fresh curd
  • Slow roasted beef with poached leeks and shaved truffle
  • Risotto, pump raisins, roasted quail breast
  • Honey torte, golden raspberry salad and pistachio ice cream
  • Berry cr’me br’lée with jasmine tea

Inspired to visit Champagne? Stay tuned to learn more about our soon to be released French Frocks & French Bubbles tour.

Chief Diva, Andrea xo

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