Belfast has many landmarks; one of my favourites is the Europa hotel. The Hotel’s rich red signage, which can pierce the darkness of any night, is as much an icon of the city as the legendary Samson & Goliath cranes.
Recently myself, on behalf of Ulster Tatler, and other members from local media, bloggers and supporters of the hotel were invited to a gourmet food and wine. The event was a collaboration and celebration of the delectable food and wine on offer from the Europa Hotel and J. Moreau & Fils.
On a day that saw snow showers, the weather thankfully improved, and on arrival to the drinks reception the sunshine was streaming in through the windows. The evening’s proceedings began with quirky macaroon canapés. The macaroons mixed bold colours with even bolder flavours for an appetiser with a real kick. These bite sized treats were matched with a gorgeous Rose d’Anjou which was just the thing to wake up the tastebuds.
Once the crowd had a chance to mingle, meeting old friends and new faces, it was time to be seated at our tables. At each place setting there was a copy of the evening’s menu. I won’t lie, I was delighted by what was to come. From a flavoursome pork belly dish served with scallop, cauliflower, peas and curry, paired with the delectable Moreau Chablis 2014, to a tantalising creation featuring hand picked crab, apple, nasturtium and brioche, paired with the distinctive Moreau Chardonnay 2014, I was in heaven. However, my favourite dish had to be the exquisitely cooked roast shorthorn beef fillet which was served with the velvety Moreau Merlot 2014. Both the wine and the dish tickled all the right tastebuds for me. A special shout out does need to go to the creatively crafted dessert: coconut ice cream served alongside chocolate and pineapple – divine.
I love a glass of wine however it isn’t a field I am exceptionally knowledgeable in. What made this event so special was that the uber talented and engaging Lucy Depuydt of J. Moreau & Fils introduced each wine before each course, allowing you to enjoy each sample that little bit more.
This was a truly wonderful evening. The impressive setting of the Europa, combined with the exquisite range of innovative dishes carefully crafted by the Hotel’s catering staff and the perfectly paired and high quality selection of Moreau wines, made this a memorable night from start to finish.