For the Autumn 2021 edition of our Michelin-star dining series – timed to coincide with the end of harvest – this intimate fine-dining event at our vineyard in rural Kent for just 40 guests at each sitting of lunch and dinner featured a menu of masterful, delicate dishes led by the British seasons and paired with specially chosen Gusbourne vintage wines.
Restaurant Story, which gained its first Michelin star just five months after opening in London in 2013, is renowned for the storytelling in its dishes, inspired by the provenance of ingredients or a moment in chef Tom Sellers’s life. Signature dishes included ‘bread and dripping’ – an edible beef-tallow candle that melts into a grazing snack as it illuminates the table. Restaurant Story was awarded a second Michelin star in 2021. For this event, Group Head Chef Gary Cutcliffe created a bespoke menu to complement a selection of Gusbourne wines.
Under blue skies, autumn leaves and the crisp October air, we welcomed guests to the vineyard with a glass of our classic Brut Reserve 2017. Delectable canapés were served: tomato and caviar tarts, and burnt hay biscuits filled with goat’s cheese mousse. Tables in our autumn-themed garden room, overlooking the vines, were beautifully laid for the first course: a delicate tart of Cornish crab and pear with a lemon zest and elderflower vinegar gel – a superb pairing with Blanc de Blancs 2016.
Each dish was created as an ideal match with one of our vintage wines. With Blanc de Noirs 2018, Gary and his team served a sweet onion agnolotti dish in a burnt lemon sauce. The main course, paired with our silky, balanced single-vineyard still Pinot Noir, was a warming, seasonal dish of roasted partridge with quince and celeriac alongside a quenelle of partridge leg with pickled walnut sauce and topped with a leaf tuile.
The sweet ending of the meal’s narrative paired Rosé 2016 with an indulgent and elegant blackberry cheesecake, served with fromage blanc, blackberry sorbet and a filo crisp. Exquisite.
Group Head Chef Gary Cutcliffe described the inspiration behind the menu and the specialness of the vineyard setting: “Gusbourne wines pair so wonderfully to food that our possibilities were endless. We wanted to work with local, seasonal produce and showcase the best of autumn – with a few nods to the vineyard setting. The menu we’ve devised really set off the wines beautifully.”
If you missed out on this special sold-out event, we have more events coming up this year, including our Winemaker's Pinot Noir Masterclass with Alastair Benham and Chardonnay Masterclass with Laura Rhys MS. The team is hard at work planning more exciting Michelin star dining occasions for 2022.
Since 2018 we’ve been inviting some of the UK’s top chefs to Gusbourne to share their Michelin-starred talents in our intimate garden room, overlooking the vineyards where our wines are made. Over the years we’ve collaborated with Adam Byatt’s Trinity, Brad Carter’s Carters of Mosely, Josh Eggleston’s Pony and Trap and Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers.
Where to enjoy Gusbourne this spring
March brings with it a clutch of wonderful Gusbourne events across the country. Here, we’ve picked out some highlights – from six-course seafood feasts to talent-filled art fairs.
Behind the bottle: meet Alastair Benham, Head of Wine Operations
AJ Benham looks after the lesser-known aspects of winemaking at Gusbourne: bottling, secondary fermentation, dosage and more. Here, we talk to him about his new role as Head of Wine Operations