Having opened this year, The Vanguard sits in a prime-time location, slat bang in the city centre on Duncan Street.
Café and coffee shop the day, bar by night. And whilst The Vanguard may be new to town, the team behind it have plenty of experience, being the masterminds behind Domino Club and Rolands. When you know, you know.
For a one-night exclusive celebration, The Vanguard hosted an intimate food and wine pairing session, with the evening focusing specifically at the French Bordeaux region. Whilst this set menu has come and gone, The Vanguard hosts regular showcase events of various cuisines and complementary paired wine or spirits, all alongside their usual menu offering.
With this special pairing, The Vanguard collaborated with the Bordeaux winery, The Lucien Lurton Family, where we were transported to the world-famous region of France through the taste of their bestselling wine.
Starting the night was a light white wine, a great choice to kick off a wine pairing event. The Reserve de Lucien Lurton was easy to drink and enjoyable. refreshing and sociable, and easy on the palette.After the glass was supped away nicely, the starters arrived, and the glass refilled. This time, we were tasting the Chateau Valoux Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, another white wine, which was still refreshing but had more depth of flavours than the first.
Paired with various starters in canape format, the white wite complimented each snack very well. The oakiness of the Chateau Valoux Blanc was able to work as an extension to round one.
As for the food, all the canapes were well and truly finished.The smoked mackerel pate was served on a fennel crisp bread with a horseradish garnish. Each bite was exactly what you’d have wanted from a mackerel dish. Strong in flavour, contrasting textures, and a slight kick to it.
Typical French pastry, the gougère, which is a choux dough mixed with cheese, was scrumptious. Light, fluffy and cheesy.
The sweet potato and coconut maki seemed a little random for a French-themed night, yet tasty, yet a personal highlight for me was the black pudding bonbon and green apple purée.
Until this day, I refused to consciously eat black pudding. The Vanguard made this happen. I chose and wanted to tuck into these bonbons. And thank goodness I did. These were heavenly. And I can openly admit, that black pudding bonbons are delicious.As for the main, which was the anticipated course of the night, a sharing plate of Pot au Feu was served. This classic French family stew, which means, “Pot on the fire”, dished out beautiful cuts of beef, rich broth and root vegetables.
As part of the meat selection, three variations were cooked up for us from smoked short rib, to ox cheek, and beef shin, all of which melted in the mouth. For a meat eater, this was pure delight.To accompany, root vegetables and a rich beef broth was served, alongside traditional accompaniments of gherkins, mustard, sour cream and sourdough toast spread with bone marrow.
In order to stand a chance against such a divine course, a full-bodied red was in need. In this instance, a red wine, Chateau de Villegeorge was poured, and considering the meatiness of the main, it was a beautiful red to enjoy for non-red drinkers like myself. It’s not usually my go-to, but it was very desirable and worked a treat for the meats.
Bringing the night to a close, was my favourite wine of the night. A sweet, fruity and fun dessert wine – Garonelles Sauternes. Two words for this tipple – absolutely moreish.And if the bottle would have been left on the table, it may have been supped up very quickly. This dessert wine was served with coconut macaroons, squishy, light and fluffy biscuits.
A few glasses in, I felt cheeky and politely asked if there were more macaroons to be shared. The prayers were answered, and I felt like a winning woman.
What a truly brilliant night. Beautiful food, quality wine, and another memory banked with my friends. That’s what it’s all about, right?And on a side note, I’m feeling extremely grateful at the moment. So, thank you in general for supporting the blog, and even getting to the end of this blog post. Another reason as to why you’re so great!
And if you’re in Leeds any time soon, and fancy a catch-up, coffee is on me.As always, would love to hear your thoughts in general. Have you been before? Do you like wine pairing events? Or just tell me what your day was like.