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Netherlands Lunch

Brummen, February 24, 2013

On a bright Sunday in February we visited Kasteel Engelenburg for a very special lunch. We could not have wished for better weather conditions to showcase the beauty of the castle as it was covered in a fairy tale dusting of snow.

Arriving in the ‘Spiegelzaal’ (mirror room), we were greeted with an impressive array of whiskies. A glass of champagne in-hand we watched a short film showing how champagne is made in the traditional way. This was followed by an introduction to sparkling wines including South Africa's first bottle-fermented bubbly.

The members appreciated this presentation about these wines and the food they best accompany; food which we, as members of the Chaîne consume regularly with great pleasure. A special touch during the presentation came when we were served an oyster.

The beautiful Veranda Room was a perfect setting for lunch being comfortably warm, delightfully bright and seasonally decorated.

To start: smoked salmon with horseradish cream, langoustine, and lardo di Colonnata (one of the world's great culinary delicacies, the lardo is a traditional pure pig fat made in the village of Colonnata in the hills of North-west Tuscany). The South African wine: 2012 Jordan Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch provided a perfect foil.

Glazed sweetbread with a risotto of cauliflower, pata negra and veal stock followed. At the Engelenburg obviously the sweetbread was expected to be good.  Expectations were surpassed! It was deliciously out of this world. 2011 Newton Johnson ‘Felicité’ Pinot Noir, again from South Africa, was an excellent companion.

Following the sweetbread, the staff of The Engelenburg created an unexpected surprise. We were invited to enjoy a refreshing granité of Rooibos tea spiced with lemon in the wine cellar of the castle. Captivated by the atmosphere and ambience of the cellar it was a challenge to get everyone back to the Veranda Room!

The next course was local farm-raised duck and a confit of duck leg with caramelised pecan nuts, couscous and a sauce of Jerusalem artichoke. A 2010 The Tin Mine, Zevenwacht, Stellenbosch – a blend of Siraz, Grenache, Primitivo and Mourvèdre fitted the bill perfectly.

Dessert was pear poached in Bruadar whisky liqueur accompanied by a madeleine of lemon, vanilla mousse and whisky and vanilla ice cream.

In conclusion, it was a delicious lunch in a beautiful setting making a return visit essential and an overnight stay would be a treat indeed.

Lidy Grisel
Dame de la Chaîne