Brasserie ABode Chester

With Christmas fast approaching, November had been an exceptionally busy month at Marketing Cheshire HQ! So it’s no surprise then, that I was delighted to take some time to indulge at Brasserie ABode’s Buffalo Trace dinner and distilled masterclass.

As a whiskey-lover, it’s safe to say I’d dabbled with Bourbon here and there, but Buffalo Trace would be something new to me, I was excited to learn more!

One of Chester’s premium eateries, the sumptuous Brasserie ABode sits on the fifth floor of the ABode Hotel, a resident in the city’s unique, rotunda-shaped building. As the saying goes, ‘first impressions count’ and this one certainly did not disappoint.

Entering the room, it is impossible to ignore the surroundings. Sapphire velvet, cushioned seating and tables laden with pristine white cloth are perfectly placed to offset the gold of the ornate décor. Spotlights and candles set the mood meanwhile wall-to-wall, floor-length windows and balconies succeed in fully exploiting the spectacular views. All the ingredients were present to accommodate truly magical moments. 

But the Brasserie offers so much more than dinner with a view, as I was about to discover…

From the moment I took my first step out of the lift, to the moment I was grabbing my coat from the cloakroom and calling for a taxi, the proficient staff made my experience feel every bit special. It wasn’t long before I was led to my table and introduced to Tom Higgins, the Buffalo Trace expert that would be leading the evening.

Brasserie ABode host a variety of events throughout the year, led by experts in the finest wines and spirits, where guests can enjoy an exquisite five-course tasting menu with paired wine flight/cocktails. It’s an alternative to the more traditional tasting workshops that one might be used to, where the educational element is the focus. These events are intimate but not intrusive, with around 20% of the evening dedicated to learning about the spirit and the pairings, giving you the chance to fully enjoy the dining element (as you would any other meal out!).

Except by the time the first course arrived at my table, it was quite obvious that this wasn’t just “any other meal out”. I was already half way through my delicious Mint Julep when I was greeted by a perfectly presented crab bisque with burrata and wild mushroom toast. This set the standard for the rest of the evening.

At this point, I think it is really important to emphasise the value for money. From the quality of food coming out of the kitchen (and the size of the dishes!), I almost forgot that it was only £45 per person to book. The mathematician in me sat there totting up how much it would cost me for five cocktails in a bar (minus the food) …need I say more?!

As the evening unravelled, the excitement and anticipation for the next pairing on the menu didn’t stall. I wish I could pick a favourite course but each one was fantastic in its own way. The sharpness of the second cocktail perfectly complemented the smoked salmon, capers and shallots. The ginger in my third drink really brought out the flavours of the fillet beef, whiskey jus and pommes fondant. And then the sweetness of the Paxton & Whitfield biscuits and apple in my whiskey sour struck just the right balance when paired with the French cheese.

When the last course came out (sticky toffee pudding with bourbon crème anglaise), we were treated to a large measure of Sazerac Rye, a spirit with a ‘strong and spicy hit’ followed by ‘subtle aromas of caramel and vanilla’. The Sazerac is thought to have been the first ever American branded cocktail. The drink was originally made with Cognac but due to difficulties with importing brandy, it was soon substituted for Rye Whiskey.

So with a room full of tipsy and 100% satisfied guests, the evening came to a close. Looking around the room, I couldn’t help but notice the diversity of the people at the event. Though it goes without saying that this isn’t one for the kids, there were couples young and old, groups of friends and even corporate parties that had come to enjoy the Buffalo Trace Dinner.

Brasserie ABode Chester already have loads of events in the diary for 2019. They will be bringing in specialists from Hallgarten Wines, Fever-Tree, Beefeater, Tanqueray, Sipsmith, El Jimador, Whitley Neill and Monkey 47.

Is it time for a midweek treat?...

>Book your tickets now for Brasserie ABode’s Christmas Wine Dinner

>Click here to view all events at Brasserie ABode

>Find out more about Buffalo Trace Bourbon

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