On the 5th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Opihr Gin. This gin was designed with an exotic ancient spice route in mind. This gin has a heady spice mix with cardamom rising about the rest. Despite the spicy explosion there is a sweetness from the orange. Iv had it served different ways. Most common is with a slice of grapefruit. However I like it with a sliced red chili and some cardamom pods.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me …..

Elephant Gin. Distilled in Germany but with some fascinating African ingredients.

It’s different and unexpected. On the nose it’s dry earthy and sweet. On the palate Dry and a long finish. This would go very well in cocktails.

And no it’s not made from Elephants, just like baby oil is not made from babies. Lol

Christmas at The Lodge

Christmas is my ultimate favourite time of the year. I love when families and friends get together to celebrate. You can imagine my excitement when I seen that Virginia Park Lodge was hosting a Christmas Lunch on 30th November. I have had the pleasure of dining in The Lodge early this year and have eaten in Corrigans Mayfair in London.  So I think it’s fair to say that I’m a big fan of  Richards cooking and philosophy of food.

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Delighted to see all the changes made to The Lodge since my last visit. We arrived and we were  greeted by Richards sister Deirdre with a big smile and a lovely festive feel to the bar.  The fabulous Christmas tree and candles  everywhere really gave a very magical feel to the afternoon. We were starving and really looking forward to our lunch.

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We were seated in the board room. A fabulous room with one large table. The table setting was stunning and we started to pull our Christmas crackers. Christmas had offically started for me.

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We were treated to some lovely home made breads, sausage rolls and cheese canapé  to start. Followed by a lovely grilled prawn and chickpea soup.  There was a lovely spice to the soup and it was a welcome starter.

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It was a lovely idea to have lots of people sitting at the same table. As we all got chatting, it was nice to here everyone’s stories about their connection to either The Lodge or to Richard.  Really nice table conversation. Of course Richard was popping in and out to check how our afternoon was going.  The service was flawless and very professional.
Next up was our main course,  everyone got a lovely plate of Turkey and Ham. For me however I was treated to a lovely plate of veg from Richards Kitchen garden. The carrots were so sweet. I was very happy.

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It was nearly dessert time, now I never eat dessert.  Usually too full on stuffing myself with starters and main courses but everyone really enjoyed what they got ” Christmas in a Bowl” Christmas pudding and ice cream.

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After dinner we sipped on mulled wine and enjoyed some lovely mince pies while we listen to Carol singing from the Virgina Choir. This was my favourite part of the day. I secretly shed a tear or two as I taught about someone very special. Christmas always reminds me of how lucky I am to have great family and friends but also reminds me of who I have lost. One special little guy was on my mind, and I was remembering all our special Christmas together.

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A big thank you to Richard and all his team for giving me a very special start to the Christmas season. Another great memory.