I have been talking about the similarities between the Great Gatsby movie, set in the 20’s and the current financial environment, so I was pleasantly surprised to get an invite to the top London St Pancras Renaissance Hotel hosting “The Revival”, an evening of 1920’s fun, in Gatsby style, along with Perrier-Jouët.
The event was held in the Booking Office bar and restaurant, easily located alongside the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel on the top concourse of the Eurostar Terminal. It is a romantic, opulent location where people come and go, romances start and end, and Perrier-Jouët champagne flows to celebrate or commiserate. And this evening the staff and many of the customers had dressed up in 20’s style clothes, along with a superb jazz musician, Alan Short.
Perrier-Jouët have been making Champagne since 1811, and the Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2004 is a superb example of their art. Perrier-Jouët have their own ‘Champagne Trees’ to serve it with, holding 6 hand etched glasses and a bottle. Obviously you don’t have to share if you don’t want to…
After some champagne, and soaking in the atmosphere of jazz, the high ceilings adding to the effect, the 20’s style dresses, and a bit of people watching, we went on to eat.
The menu served is a replica of a menu found under floorboards from 1921 when the Hotel was being renovated. It seems plain and simple by today’s standards, yet has a French cuisine style fashionable at the time, and allows the skill of the chef to come through. Remember that there was still rationing in the 20’s and unless you were living the high life, much on the menu would be hard to get. Gatsby would be in heaven here.
We started with Consommé Croute au Pot – This arrived looking like a pie, but cracking open the light pastry revealed the consommé with each vegetable cut into a ball by hand. All very crunchy with the full locally sourced flavours you would expect.
The main was Boeuf Bouilli Flamande. This would have been expensive and rare even in the 20’s, and consists of a very rich cut of beef, slow cooked, and then dressed in a rich stock reduction and traditional vegetables. And it was filling! The meat just falls apart, its flavor mixing with the source to feel very filling in the mouth and on the waistline.
Finally a trio of desserts, showing some of the artisan skills at the time. Hand spun sugar nests, a complete novelty in the 20’s, and a chocolate bomb with hot ice-cream on the inside, dressed with gold leaf in true Gatsby style.
The jazz played on, diners came and went in 20’s attire, cocktails of the era were being served and I could have enjoyed it all night. Sadly I had a train to catch, but not far to walk.
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