A TOP chef held an exclusive tasting night at a luxurious Hampshire hotel.

Michelin-star chef, Angela Hartnett hosted a unique tasting event at Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest where a four-course meal and a selection of red and white wines, inspired by the "easy-breezy" Tuscan lifestyle were on offer for a night at the five star hotel.

The night consisted of food cooked by Angela and co-head chef, Luke Holder, serving four dishes ranging from culatello ham, chicken liver pate and rabbit.

Hampshire Chronicle: Starter: Culatello ham, focaccia, chicken liver pate, sage anchovy teamed with crostini with onion and grated pecorino cheese

In between meals, Angela and her team introduced themselves and explained how each dish and the wine it was served with was inspired by the Tuscan lifestyle, while a copious supply of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon from Angela's wine range, Hartnett Holder & Co generously filled each glass before they became empty.

Angela said: "It's been such a good evening. I think it's all the people involved.

"You've got great producers and buyers, a wonderful chef with Luke and all the people that believe in the same thing and they want to work with good people and people that believe in the same ethos. It's about quality over quantity and it's not about compromising."

Hampshire Chronicle: Angela Hartnett pictured with Chronicle reporter, Harvey Lindsay

Review by reporter, Harvey Lindsay:

IT'S not every day your editor taps you on the shoulder and offers a free meal at Lime Wood Hotel, hosted by Michelin-star chef Angela Hartnett. But on one sunny June afternoon, one of my dreams came true.

I was given the chance to experience a four-course meal with Champagne at one of Hampshire's most luxurious hotel's, and like the opportunist I am - I accepted.

The evening started at 7pm, where I was escorted to the bar area and a glass of Ayala Brut Majeur was placed in my hand. I sat and took in the atmosphere as guests slowly started to fill the room and waiters glide from table to table, topping flutes up before they became half empty.

Half hour had past and we were escorted to our table in the dining hall, where Angela greeting us with a welcome speech, along with co-head chef at Lime Wood, Luke Holder.

Our starter came well-presented on a wooden board, consisting of culatello ham, focaccia, chicken liver pate, sage anchovy teamed with crostini with onion and grated pecorino cheese, which melted beautifully in your mouth. This was paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Angela's wine range, Hartnett Holder & Co. This was intense, yet delicate and had light notes of garden herbs and white fruits.

Around 15 minutes later and another three glasses down, the primi arrived, consisting of agnolotti stuffed with pappa al pomodoro and basil, or for regular people - ravioli. This was absolutely delicious and my only complaint was that there wasn't more of it. The pasta burst with flavour after every bite and it was teamed perfectly with oil and basil. This dish was also served with Sauvignon Blanc.

Following the primi, we moved to our secondi, a stuffed rabbit with lardo di colonnata, braised borlotti beans and Tuscan sausage. This was served with Cabernet Sauvignon, also a part of Angela's wine range. This consisted of bright red fruits and a shot of vanilla, which are enveloped in toasty oak.

While enjoying the flavours and soft, smooth textures of the rabbit and Tuscan sausage, Angela introduced herself as she made her way around everyone's table.

As the night drew to a close, we were treated to our fourth dish - an almond tart with apricots. This was full of flavour, light and went extremely well with the Cabernet.

To buy a bottle of wine from Hartnett Holder & Co, go to: gifts.limewoodhotel.co.uk/products/hartnett-holder-co-wine-case-of-6/


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