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The Grand Journey, A Bombay Sapphire Experience

Thursday 20 July 2017

I recently had a conversation with someone at work that revolved around the fact that I don’t own a TV. “But what do you do?!” Was their concern. A look of slight horror and disbelief crossed their face. Well to be quite frank, I find TV boring, but also I’d much rather spend my time seeking out and going to kick ass events like the one I went to on Monday; The Grand Journey, a Bombay Sapphire interactive food and drink event. 

I’ve been doing some work with Bombay Sapphire recently, teasing up until The Grand Journey itself. But the big event is finally here. The Grand Journey is a culinary journey through the 10 botanicals that make up Bombay Sapphires unique taste. Fir it, they’ve only gone and partnered with Michelin starred chef, Tom Sellers of Restaurant Story fame to create a 7 course food pairing of each of the botanicals. But that’s not all, oh no, this isn’t just some kind of regular sit down dinner. No, no. They’ve only gone and installed a great honking train inside a building!

The Grand Journey is a (stationery) train ride through all the countries where the botanicals come from, and at each destination a new course is brought out that showcases those flavours. 

The journey is on all this week, at the Banking Hall in Bank, London. It’s the most gorgeous building, in typical old banking style- gold accents, sweeping staircases. Entering the building, you can’t miss the Laverstoke express sitting there in the middle of the room. There is even a platform with benches and suitcases out. 

But first up, a drink was needed. My personal favourite is “The Laverstock” which I had at the distillery. It’s the most deliciously summery drink, sweet but not sickly.

Although I did make my on summer recipe, a peach and lime G&T the other day, so why not check that post out too?

The train sort of reminds me of the orient express, the old worldly hey day of rail. I'd love to go on the orient express or the Pullman in Ireland, so this was a little teaser for me. 

The Grand Journey is very much a fully interactive live action event. Your tickets are checked by the train guard like on a regular train, and the guard asked about luggage and other train tit bits. 

Doesn't he look dashing?

On board it really is like a classic first class train. Leather button back chairs, curtains with rope ties and who could forget the all important brass lamps. 

The train Journey started in Tuscany, where the scenery whizzed passed, shows us the lay of the land and where the botanicals were grown. Every new country brought with it different environments and challenges for the botanicals. 

But it also brought with it, delicious new foods. 

Juniper Berries; the key ingredient for gin and these are sourced from Tuscany for Bombay Sapphire. Tom Sellers had made a juniper and blackcurrant ice block as a small starter to showcase the punch of sweet flavours. 

Next up we headed to Morocco, where coriander comes from, another key gin ingredient. This came in a tea glass of Bombay sapphire, Moroccan liqueur and Lyme Bay Winery Traditional Mead.  

We soon sped on to Spain where lemon peel was the star. Tom produced hot and cold scallops with a lemon mousseline to highlight the zing of the lemon. Truly a delicious dish.

We were off again to Italy to see the Orris Root where we had a compete of Bombay Sapphire, fig and bergamot liquor, with violet leaf, bergamot juice and creme de violet. If you've never had violet in a cocktail before, please promise me you will, it's one of the most delightedly flavour combinations.  

We then travelled back down to Spain where it was all about almonds. I never thought about pairing almonds with Iberico pork and yet sugared almonds and roasted pair made this a gorgeous juicy dish with great texture. 

Java. An exotic location for a British gin, but thats what makes it so exciting. Whilst it is certainly British made, it takes the unity of botanical from all around the world to make it special . Cubeb berries come from Java and on their own are fiery little things, almost like peppercorn. But mix that with coffee, cardamon, benedictine and of course Bombay sapphire, and you have the most delicious coffee, chocolatey , dessert cocktail.  

The final leg of our train journey was to Germany, home of Angelica root. And what better way to end things than with a dessert? Tom had turned the root into an ice-cream, along with salted blackberries and bitter chocolate. Sweet, sharp, bitter an salt. A truly delectable palette. 

After whizzing round the world in an hour (and several gins later) we arrived back in London and made our way off the train... and towards The Lavestokes.... Just me then?

I honestly can say Bombay Sapphire have created something rather special here. Gin is a complicated process, and let's be frank here, most people aren't going to know what 10 botanicals are in gin, yet by doing this, it educates us all but also gives the most incredible inspiration of what food pairings to do, as it's not just wine that has certain food pairings, no no, gin does too, it's just less widely spoken about. 

Sadly The Grand Journey is sold out for the remainder of this week, however this isn't the first time they have done and it won't be the last one either, so head over to the website and lookout for further news. Now with only a couple of days to go until the weekend, hopefully that has inspired you to crack open a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and start experimenting with flavour.

This post was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow Laura this look absolutely incredible! When it happens again, i'd definitely be tempted to come down.

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