To say I had a lovely evening on Friday would be an understatement and a half, I can tell you. Having received an invitation to attend an Edinburgh Gin event (you can read all about the last one here) at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, I had a feeling I might be in for a treat.. and I wasn’t wrong. Set out in the leafy outskirts of Sutton Coldfield, the Edwardian house was the venue for the latest event held by Edinburgh Gin. Called The Art of the Cocktail, guests were to sample five gin-based cocktails alongside a specifically crafted five course dinner; how can anyone refuse that offer? Honestly..
Arriving at the beautiful countryside venue, we discovered as well as a gourmet tasting menu prepared especially for the event, top bartender Robert Wood – you may know him from 40 St Paul’s or The Edgbaston – was on hand to take the helm and create our gin cocktails. If there’s a safer pair of hands when it comes to this line of work I’d like to see ’em. Like I said, to say this event was special really doesn’t do it justice.. I was glad I’d put nice clothes on and brushed my hair, let’s put it that way.
Having recently made Amazon’s best seller list, this take on Mother’s Ruin is by far one of my favourites, (and I don’t just say that because at the last event I was rewarded with a huge bottle of the stuff. Well, maybe a bit..) so I was eager to see what the evening had in store. The night began with a meet and greet, and I was delighted to see some familiar faces, and the lovely Claire Sumner-Hughes from Ian Macleod Distillers. What that woman doesn’t know about the juniper dream isn’t worth knowing. We kicked off the night with a honey-based gin cocktail named after the venue: Moor Hall’s Bees Knees.
The specially crafted menu for the evening was designed exclusively for the event by Moor Hall Hotel’s new chef, Nigel Parnaby – who has joined from the fabulous Hoar Cross Hall – and included five courses. Designed to tickle the tastebuds and work in harmony with the cocktails, we were set to enjoy courses including fish, lamb and (my forever love) cheese. Seated and ready for action in the stunning dining room we awaited the first course with palpable excitement.
A first course of smoked salmon and smoked trout rillette arrived superbly presented alongside samphire, pickled cucumber and walnut bread with a lime jelly. The delicate combination of fresh smoked salmon and trout spread made for an interesting flavor and texture combination and was my favourite dish of the meal. This was paired with the Edinburgh Maid cocktail, which offered hints of cucumber and matched the fish perfectly.
A palette cleanser next in the form of a gin and tonic sorbet provided a fresh taste to cut through the richness of the smoked fish. The elderflower liqueur offered a refreshing kick.
For the main event a two bone rack of lamb was delivered, with a braised lamb faggot and a juniper and chorizo jus. Pink and juicy, the meat was flavourful, and paired well with the robust Chateau Smultronstalle.
Dessert provided a comfort-food treat in the form of plum and ginger pudding with cinnamon scented custard, and I enjoyed the Rhubarb Reviver cocktail – definitely my favourite drink of the evening.
We completed our culinary adventure with Staffordshire organic mature cheddar, served with cardamom bread, juniper chutney, coffee and petits fours. This savoury cheese was delicious and had a tangy flavour, complimented by the raspberry liqueur to finish.
As well as a delicious evening of food and gin pairing, I was fascinated to learn more about the background of Edinburgh Gin. The team educated guests about the brand that is fast-becoming one of the UK’s biggest drinks exports, and spoke about the distillery in detail. It’s clear these guys have gin lovers at the heart of everything they do, and that’s how they remain dedicated to not only the science of distilling, but also the art of it.
Tickets for the Edinburgh Gin Dinner at Moor Hall Hotel were priced at £55pp and included a five-course meal, five cocktails and an expert-led mini gin masterclass to begin. There was also an option for an overnight stay at a very reasonable additional cost. You can find out more about the hotel and upcoming events like this one here.
Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, Moor Hall, Sutton Coldfield, B75 6LN
*Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event as a guest of East Village PR and my meal and drinks were complimentary for review purposes. All opinions, photos (and gin-fuelled happiness) are my own as usual*