Last Friday, I was invited to an evening of cocktails and Canapés at Paris House on the Woburn Estate. With a little help from Chase Distillery, there was a pop-up bar, plenty of nibbles and some amazing live music. Fellow blogger and work bestie, Gemma was my date for the evening and we had such a good evening sipping on cocktails and learning a little more about Paris House.
Paris House is located on the beautiful Woburn Estate, surrounded by a deer park. It’s just a stones throw away from Milton Keynes and Bedford, though many tend to drive past the big, stone gates – and if that’s you, you are definitely missing a treat! The building itself is absolutely gorgeous and was actually built in Paris – hence the name! It’s been everything from a mistress’ house to a hospital, until it was turned into an exclusive restaurant. Fast forward to now, and it boasts several awards and the Head Chef, Phil Fanning, is continually creating exciting, cuisine and playing with flavour to wow diners. Safe to say that this place is definitely worth a trip!
Chase Distillery, a single-estate, family owned distillery in Herefordshire, were there for the evening creating some exciting concoctions. They had all sorts of vodka and gins in different flavours, with each cocktail conjured up before your eyes. To start with, I had a Sloe and Mulberry Cobbler, which used their sloe and mulberry gin. There were all kinds of sweet, fruity flavours going on and it got me feeling a little bit excited for autumn! Gemma had a Raspberry Ripple which used their raspberry and vodka liqueur to create an alcoholic version of the classic ice cream flavour.
For seconds, Gem opted for my first cocktail – the Sloe and Mulberry Cobbler – and I went for a twist on the classic G&T, with cucumber and mint, which was very fresh indeed! I’m definitely a gin girl at heart.
We weren’t just treated to some amazing cocktails – we got to go inside the kitchens with the Chefs to help make the Canapés for the evening! It was a real experience to go behind the scenes and see what goes on in the kitchen, though I imagine on a typical day, it’s a lot hotter and with much more pressure!
First on the menu was a mushroom eclair, topped with black garlic butter crispy parmesan. I found out that I was rubbish at piping but they tasted okay and that’s half of it, right!? Paris House has its own garden where they grow herbs and vegetables so a majority of the ingredients are quite literally sourced on their doorstep! The black garlic butter was made by soaking the garlic in balsamic which gave it a sharper flavour to contrast the mushroom.
Next up was my absolute favourite canape of the evening! It was a Rabbit and red lentil kofta topped with a poppadom and mango chutney. The kofta was marinated in a sweet, sticky chilli jam which lifted the flavour. They were like fancy cocktail sausages and absolutely delicious. They came on the same board as a potato quaver with fermented barley and pickly ash berry. Now, the potato quaver was probably the cleverest thing I’ve ever seen. To make it, they juice potatoes then let it harden. As it dries, it turns into a clear, plastic looking crisp which they then deep fry to create the potato quaver. Amazing!
One of the more traditional looking canapes was the sourdough blini topped with a trout and caper rillette with preserved lemon. My lack of co-ordination failed me here and I found it so tricky to shape the rillette with the spoons! I’ll leave that to the chefs, I think….
The dessert canape of the evening was an Asian-inspired trifle. Sponge and fruit including mandarin and Japanese peach (a sweet green, olive-like fruit!) was topped with custard, a sesame seed cracker and grated chocolate ganache. It sounded strange, but it all worked in perfect harmony!
As a parting gift for the evening, we were given a bottle of a Chase Spirit and a voucher to upgrade a tasting menu booking to a Chef’s Table experience – something I would absolutely love to do!
I’m so excited to head back to Paris House now it is firmly on my radar. If you’re looking for somewhere a little different serving up exciting cuisine for a special occasion, I would recommend checking them out.
To book a table and keep up to date with their latest events, visit their website: www.parishouse.co.uk
* My tickets to this event were provided free of charge for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion! *