Review – Bumpkin – Chelsea, London
Bumpkin is a fab brasserie in Chelsea serving great, British fayre. They are well known amongst the locals for their delicious brunches but I’ll need to save that for another day. My visit this evening was to the inaugural bi-monthly food and wine pairing dinner. The guest winery to be featured tonight was the Huia Vineyards from that well-known wine producing region of Marlborough, New Zealand. We were to be dining in the lovely covered garden area which is very pretty and if you watch reality tv was also the setting for the 4th of July party on the show ‘Ladies of London’. The tables were set and my fellow diners and I were looking forward to some tasty dishes and some great wines.
Our first course was a charcuterie board to share amongst two, featuring air-dried beef, air-dried pork loin, Coppa de Dorset and smoked mutton. The meats were all from a West Dorset supplier and the quality was outstanding. It did not last long as my neighbouring diner John (a Bumpkin regular) and I devoured the lot with the exception of the mutton. Mutton is a very distinct flavour which is not to my taste but did mean that John got to eat all of it which he happily did. The board was matched with a Poulet Cremant, a clean citrusy, but at the same time slightly sweet wine, with a hint of honey.
The fish course was a pan-fried Hake with sautéed broccoli, mussels and a tomato cream. Beautifully cooked and presented, the fish was my favourite course. I also loved the cream that came with this, well seasoned and light it was a great accompaniment. The dish was matched with a Sauvignon Blanc (my wine du jour). A good combination, with the zesty undertones cleansing the palate in between mouthfuls, it is a great wine to also drink on it’s own.
Plate number three was the meat course, in this case a charcoal grilled piece of lamb rump. Served with roasted artichoke, beetroot and a fennel puree. This seemed to go down very well with my fellow diners as it was quickly consumed along with a lot of oohing and ahhing. To enjoy alongside we were treated to a Pinot Noir, rich, spicy and with hints of vanilla it was another great selection.
Our final course was a cheese board with a selection of British cheeses – Shropshire Blue, Keen’s Cheddar and Rosary Goats Cheese. My favourite was the goats cheese, very soft and creamy it was the first one to finished closely followed by the rest. It was easy to see that John and I both like cheese! The wine for this was the only one not from Huia. It was instead matched with a French Malbec Tu Vin Plus Aux Soirees (Fabiaen Jouves). A nice way to complement the saltiness of the cheese it is a lively number with a good, dark fruit combination that goes down a little too easily if you get my drift!
I had a memorable night for my first visit to Bumpkin, Chelsea. I had some great food and wine, the ambience was wonderful and I love the garden setting. The wine pairing dinners have launched in September and are definitely worth seeking out. As I write this the plan is for them to be a bi-monthly event so I would suggest keeping an eye on their website for details or give them a ring. One of the great things about these nights out are meeting fellow diners, they are a lot of fun too. I do like meeting new people and as a matter of fact John, his lovely friend Anna and I are going to get together one weekend to go back and enjoy the famous Bumpkin brunch. When regulars are so enthusiastic about the regular menu too you just know it has to be done!