We Love Our Customers

Posted: 27/05/2016 in Bistrot de Luxe
A trip to Hush Heath Winery with Chef Tom and Andrea Briccarello Galvin Restaurants
Hush Heath

At Galvin we love our customers, they are the reason we do everything we do and although we have a rewarding loyalty scheme, we wanted to be able to do more for the people who dine with us often enough to have become friends, even family. So over the next year every month we’re arranging a series of trips and events designed to be real money-can’t-buy treats for a select few with plans to do even more for even more in a scheme we’re simply calling Galvin Loves Our Customers.

So it was on Friday 20th May head chef of Bistrot de Luxe Tom Duffill and Galvin group wine buyer Andrea Briccarello took a group on the first of these trips to the Hush Heath winery deep in the Kent countryside for a day of vinous and gastronomic discovery.

Founded by entrepreneur Richard Balfour-Lynn with the deceptively simple mission of creating an English sparkling wine to rival the great houses of Champagne, Hush Heath is a glorious place. The terroir of Kent is strikingly similar to that of Epernay and the 400 acre estate grows the three noble varieties needed to make traditional method sparkling wine - pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot meunier. These vines are complimented by apple orchards which Hush Heath use to create a range of craft ciders, both still and sparkling, and it is surrounded by ancient oak woodland which is an attraction in its own right, rich in wildlife.

Arriving at the vineyard from London in the late morning, our group was met by Hilary Green, sales director at Hush Heath and guide for the day. A fascinating tour of the vineyard was followed by a look around the orchards and a few of the intricacies of growing world class grapes and apples were revealed.

Having seen the raw materials it was time for a tour of the cutting-edge winery itself which makes not only the original Balfour Brut but also the Decanter Gold award-winning Balfour Brut Rosé, a blanc de blanc, blanc de noir, sparkling varietal pinot noir, still reds and whites and a wide range of ciders, each of which are named for a member of the Balfour family. This was of course followed by a tasting as Andrea and Hilary talked the group through the wines it was hard to believe that all this was happening in Kent. To pick a favourite would be very hard indeed but when the chance came to buy a bottle or two at the end of the day the sparkling pinot and strawberry cider did well.

Appetites sharpened by the walk and tasting, it was time for lunch. Luckily it just so happened that Tom had brought a selection of produce from Bistrot de Luxe from which he whipped up a casually splendid three course meal with the aid of a handy barbeque and the group sat down to eat and chat about the day. Even the English weather was behaving itself and with the food, the wine and the sunshine one could have been deep in the heart of French wine country.

Thus refreshed it was back to London – home happy and sated with their new acquisitions clanking in their bags for the merry band of customers, now even more like family to us, and back to Galvin HQ for Tom and Andrea to start planning the next adventure…

We Love Our Customers

We Love Our Customers